Wow. How time flys! It’s been 10 months since my first instalment:viewtopic.php?f=9&t=980785&p=13176293#p13176293
It’s been a crazy year, and I can only apologise for the delay in finishing this report. Given I’m back to PER (this time with MH in F) in about three weeks time, I thought it might be worthwhile doing this now! I’ll be off to complete the road trip with myt332 before the UK registered car has to come home (or at least leave Australia) in October 2017 - any takers to carry on this amazing road trip, let me know!
A brief outline on what’s to come in this report:
April 20th 2016 - VA0185 (MEL-NAN, Y Class, 737-800)
April 24th 2016 - VA0184 (NAN-MEL, J Class, 737-800)
April 26th 2016 - QF0428 (MEL-SYD, J Class, A330-200)
April 29th 2016 - BA0016 (SYD-LHR, F Class, 777-300)
Also some pictures for those who are interested of a little tour via speed-cat boat, and also a wonderful helicopter experience the day before we departed NAN for MEL (sad times!).April 20th 2016
After a great flight and a day in Melbourne it was time to get back to the airport for yet another sector on our trip. We spent our time well, having a few beers down by the water and meeting up with our pal Adriel.
We were quickly through checkin at the excellent Melbourne international airport, and stocked up with water and snacks for our *shock* Y class flight. All jokes aside, I fly Y all the time, but when you’ve just floated across the planet in such luxury, it’s always going to be a come down, right?
Onboard over the wing and a nice SQ aircraft alongside.
Taxiing out behind a nice UA 787.
In our cruise shortly after takeoff and the meal service soon commenced. As we had done a few times before my sister and I decided to get different meals so that we could experience as much as possible. Why not?
I went for the pasta dish whereas my sister went for some form of Beef and rice. Both dishes were decent and a good offering in Y. A five hour sector on a 737 is not the best of fun in any case, and whilst VA’s aircraft are modern and decent, I felt fairly uncomfortable and thought - why didn’t I upgrade! More on that later…
Decent cabin, nice mood lighting and an airy feel.
About an hour before there was a buy on board offering as well.
I managed to nick a couple of hours sleep on this sector and before long we were descending into paradise, the lush colours and crystal clear waters of the Fiji islands becoming visible.
A short video of the landing into NAN:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=es9o2xA ... e=youtu.be
We were soon outside in the Fiji heat and at our hotel, which had the most wonderful beachside view. Not bad for in the region of £30.00 per night.
Sunset in Fiji.
The one place in the world where Fiji water is acceptable to drink I think. As we were only in Fiji for a few days, we wanted to make the most of our time there. We opted for a day tour which would include a sail boat, lunch and a visit to the castaway island. For the all in price of £150.00 for the pair of us, this was something we just had to do!
We were picked up early and soon found our way onto a boat.
One of many little nuggets of paradise we stopped at along the way dropping people off and picking people up.
Our boat for the day.
I couldn’t recommend this experience enough. Fantastic company, brilliant food and drink all inclusive, all day and the weather and scenery to die for.
We spent a couple of very relaxed days on Fiji after this, dealing with a little sunburn but really just chilling and having a few beers. On the last day we had an evening flight and decided we wanted to splurge on a proper experience in our final few hours in paradise. For about £240 per head, there was a helicopter excursion available which included pickup from hotel, transfer to another island for lunch and bubbly, and then being flown back and dropped to the airport. A video below. We didn’t expect to be flown directly to the airport on the way back! How cool!!https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u18DwKOZEtY
On arrival into Fiji a few days earlier I received an email from VA offering an upgrade service, all we had to do was bid. I bid A$120 each and we were successful in getting seats in J for the return flight. Happy days!April 24th 2016 - VA0184 (NAN-MEL, J Class, 737-800)
A nice Fiji A330 parked up next to our 737.
Our MEL bound 737 of VA.
Beautiful light conditions showing a really rather nice paint job.
Time to get onboard and enjoy the 4:30hr flight.
Nice plush American style J class seats. Really comfortable.
IFE. They give you an iPad style device loaded with media to enjoy.
On climb out of NAN, a beautiful evening and a real shame to be leaving Fiji behind.
I connected my iPad to VA’s wifi and decided to use that rather than their device. You get all the same media. This is also available for free in Y.
A tasty beverage and warm nuts served in a bowl. In a bowl?? Take note BA J!
An attractive cabin, especially in low light conditions. We had J to ourselves!
Dinner orders were taken and we both went for the beef. It was excellent. Proper tableware, nice cutlery and cute S&P shakers. Overall a really impressive product and well worth the surcharge.
Overall, a fantastic flight. Attentive service, comfortable seats, beautiful food and drink and just all in all a great experience. We were soon landing into MEL, where we spent a day with family and had a wonderful time. The last evening in MEL we visited a beautiful bar which is styled a bit like a theatre. I can’t remember what it’s called. Anyone?April 26th 2016 - QF0428 (MEL-SYD, J Class, A330-200)
Soon enough it was time for us to get on yet another flight! This time a very short hop between MEL and SYD, but again with QF’s A330 and their superb business class product.
Some nice equipment on the gate at SYD.
Time to fly!
It’s a very photogenic cabin - and a very comfortable one at that.
Unfortunately for such an attractive salad, the shrimp didn’t have any flavour. A real shame. Nice glass of wine though.
I made a points claim on the central Hilton for this and we bagged a great high view room.
Obligatory SOH shot….
Aussie humour in public service announcements and adverts should breach out and make it overseas. It works!
We decided to take a day trip to the blue mountains and it was well worth it. The public transport is semi subsidised so it’s really affordable too.
And with that, our trip was coming to an end
. We decided to spend our last day on the beach and making use of the free to use BBQs they have. We decided against getting crocodile curry mind!
While we were at the beach we saw a BA jet flying into SYD so I checked us in and selected our seats. This time middle seats so we were together.April 29th 2016 - BA0016 (SYD-LHR, F Class, 777-300)
Last Aussie avo for a while at breakfast…
Arriving at the airport
Sad times. But at least we were about to make use of the absolutely superb QF F lounge for a couple of hours.
Beautiful living wall at the entrance to the lounge.
Brilliant old clapper board style flight scheduler.
We took seats at the bar and perused the menu for a snack before our long flight homeward bound.
Cocktails and beautiful mozzarella.
Fried squid. That green sauce (whatever it was) was absolutely to die for!
Burger and steak between us. The burger was sublime - perfectly cooked and just fantastic. Also not too big - ideal.
The chefs working hard
I decided to take a shower to freshen up before the long flight.
My sister looking very devastated to be heading back home.
Our jet, G-STBI waiting to ferry us all home.
A quick shot of the cabin, a very soothing atmosphere. I like BA’s lighting in F.
Various shots of the menu.
A light taster to start, some asparagus and cranberries.
I had the crab and mandarin which reminded me of something I had with BA club a few years ago to JFK.
I had the prawn curry, which was distinctly average. I had about a half of it.
Tanith on the other hand made the wise choice and went for Arancini followed by the lamb which was apparently outstanding.
We stopped briefly at SIN for refuelling and made us of the lounge. I managed to lose my boarding pass somehow and ended up having this hand written one made up for me
And off we go again.
Menu shots for the SIN-LHR sector. We didn’t eat anything. Mid flight I woke up with a bit of an acid reflux so I soon had some ice cream to enjoy which hit the spot.
We both managed about 8 hours kip on this sector and woke up somewhere over Eastern Europe, just in time for breakfast to be served.
BA’s presentation of breakfast in F is probably what they do best, which isn’t saying a lot, but it’s the small things.
Light coming through and nearly at LHR. Our trip was well and truly over.
Back at LHR and in my car - greeted by the shocking 3.5 degree weather of late April.
I really hope you’ve enjoyed reading my report. I’m no writer, and I appreciate there are plenty of non-av related shots but I wanted you to see the full picture.
As I said, I am going out to PER again in a few weeks, this time with MH to finish the charity road trip with MYT332. We are driving from PER to SYD and spending a couple of days on Tasmania. I’ll post back here again soon!