Welcome to the 2nd half of my Commonwealth Games Trip Report, and thanks to those who provided some kind words for Part 1.
As promised, there's a couple of bonuses in this report. One is a special treat for everyone on Airliners.net. Another was a treat for myself I alluded to in part 1, but you all get to see the treat in this report too. After all, there's only so many picture of BNE's drab ceilings one can take!
The first treat is some pics from the Commonwealth Games. I was there for 6 days, so won't bombard you with pics from the trip (after all, we're here for the plane back), but here's a snippet of what I saw at the games.
A snippet of the opening ceremony, with the Australian, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags watching the action unfold at a sodden Carrara Stadium.
The exciting opening night mens hockey match between Wales and Pakistan. The match ended 1-1
One of the epic stands for the swimming. Sitting up in the nosebleeds was seriously scary - and I'm not afraid of heights!
Some of the swimming action from the nosebleeds.
Friday night was beach volleyball night, and a trip to Coolangatta. No trip to Coolangatta is complete without a trip to the border with New South Wales. New South Wales to your left, Queensland to your right. OOL actually transcends into New South Wales as well.
Canada and Fiji kick off proceedings in the first ever night session of beach volleyball in Commonwealth Games history. Canada would go on to win the gold medal in the women's tournament.
Back to the hockey for the ladies session. Here is the dramatic end to the New Zealand v Canada match. New Zealand had a penalty corner with half a second remaining. It was unsuccessful, and a video review to see if they could get another one after the siren was unsuccessful. New Zealand would go on to win the gold in the women's tournament.
The gold medal women's singles lawn bowls match between New Zealand and Wales. Wales dominated most of the match, but Jo Edwards showed why she is one of the worlds best lawn bowlers, coming back to secure the gold for New Zealand.
The medal ceremony for the ladies singles lawn bowls.
Australia and Fiji in one of the most one-sided netball matches of the tournament, Australia winning 108-23. The games saw a massive changing of the guard in world netball, with England knocking off Australia to win gold, while Jamaica beat New Zealand for bronze, meaning it's the first time New Zealand come away from a Commonwealth Games netball tournament empty handed.
Carrara all set for a super final night, which included the mens and women's 100m finals.
10000m ladies final, made memorable for this beautiful act of sportmanship by the Australian girls in the race https://www.foxsports.com.au/breaking-n ... 70f332da2e
But enough of the games, before I have everyone diving for Camilia's magazines! After 6 glorious days of Opening Ceremony and competition, it was time to go home, and enjoy the games from the comfort of my lounge room. After a slightly sad moment checking out my hotel (and the reality that it was time to go home), and a few hours in Queen St Mall with a mate, it was time to head to the airport. While I could've spent an extra hour or so in Brisbane CBD, I did have a special treat waiting for me at BNE - an upgrade to Business Class.
As I mentioned in part one, this flight was originally booked in Economy Class - and at a great price too for a Qantas BNE-ADL dinner service flight. I was happy to book an exit row seat a little closer to the games to ensure I had a decent amount of legroom for the return flight back. I then discovered that you could upgrade your flight to business for the reasonable price of 17,500 QFF points. Given the length of the flight from BNE to ADL, I thought why not, and set out to get the points. In the end, I got them with some change as well.
So my flight back was as below:
10 APR 18 1810-2030
Business Class seat 3A
While the flight was in business class, the trip to the airport was a bit more economy, via Airtrain.
Roma St Station, ready to get my train to Brisbane Domestic Terminal Station. A couple of little tips for the Airtrain:
1. You get a discount if you book more than a week in advance, making it pretty reasonable $30 return (especially when compared to Airport Link in SYD or Skybus for OOL and MEL). You don't get the discount using a Go Card, so book the Airtrain ticket separately from Airtrain directly.
2. QR staff are probably the most laid back train staff in the country (must be the Queensland air lol). As long as you have an Airtrain ticket, they will wave you through the gates. So if you're not sure which station to pick, just pick one of South Brisbane, Roma St or Central, all of which provide easy access to the CBD.
Inside Roma St Station
'Bandicoot' EMU train. Despite the oldest EMU's pushing 40 years of age, they are still the backbone of the Brisbane suburban train network. The majority have an all yellow front, but about 15 of them have a black strip across the middle, resoling in their 'Bandicoot' moniker.
The first generation IMU to take me to Brisbane Domestic Station
Inside the first generation IMU. They are the only IMU's to have doors between carriages, and have more longitudal seating than later IMU's. Like IMU's, they also have luggage racks (which you can just see to your right), so storing, or holding onto your luggage, is a breeze on these trains.
Lego display on the footbrige linking the car park/Airtrain station and BNE domestic terminal.
Walkway to the terminal.
Entry to the Qantas domestic terminal
General check in and security at Qantas domestic at BNE. Qantas domestic check in at BNE is completely self-serve, with no service counters at all. Surprisingly, Jetstar has desk check in available in the common user part of BNE domestic.
With my Business Class upgrade, I could access the premium entry, which is at the far end of the Qantas terminal. It also has one staffed counter, which I opted to use as the app wasn't letting me check in online. After the scales showed just how much I shopped while on the trip (8kg of shopping lol), I was given my card boarding pass, and it was one last trip through security (something I'd done many times at all of the Commonwealth Games venues).
Once it was past security, it was up the magical staircase straight into the lounge precinct. One glimpse of the boarding pass, which has 'Business' clearly stamped on it, and it was straight into heaven, I mean the business lounge.
Shower? Who doesn't love an opportunity to walk around a small part of the airport naked. Also, after a day of wandering around Brisbane, and it's humidity, you don't want to board your business class flight smelling like an athlete. So it was a great chance to freshen up.
Didn't bring a towel. Don't stress, Qantas will supply the towels for you. Want to smell like the fragrance counter of David Jones? Then Qantas will provide some of the best soaps, shampoos and conditioners for you so that not only will you look like a business class traveller, you'll smell like one too.
If you're in the business class lounge you may as well try and act like a business person.
Anything in the paper today Phil?
No Betty, just an article about an old tart doing time in the colonies
Oh how touching I must send a royal pardon
Ok, enough acting around, back to the job - taking photos for everyone at A.net to see
Cup of tea anyone?
Catching up on the Commonwealth Games action over a latte and lashings of pineapple lollies
After a couple of hours of living it up in the Business lounge, it was time to rough it at the gate briefly as the plane was ready for boarding
It was to be an upgraded 737-800, with the Silveroo livery, to take me home.
A quick look at the commoners in ecomony class
As I settle in to my comfy business class seat. By far it's the biggest seat I've ever sat in on a plane. Yep, you can tell it was my first time in business class.
Decent legroom on the flight
Silveroo on the winglet
And as you enter the aircraft
The current iteration of the safety video plays. No more 'Gloria from Qantas' https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hnkIWEJ3e54
With a pre-departure water to help you take in the safety presentation.
Now that we are off, it's time to get out the table
Halfway out - perfect for sticking the iPad on if your covers makes it's own stand.
As you get a nice drink and nibbles, lets have a look at what's in the seat pocket
Alright, seat pocket's done, let's eat
It was a beautiful roast, with sourdough bread...
...with a cake that I think Bruce McAvaney would describe as 'delicious'.
Real cutlery. Do I do an uncle Frank and attempt to souvenir it
With a nice cup of tea to finish it off. Dinner service took awhile for the 8 of us, as dinner also came with a nice conversation with the cabin crew. Not long enough to mean those in row 3 are waiting for an eternity for dinner, just enough to make you feel welcome and that the staff are going out of their way to make sure you are having a wonderful flight.
Dinner's done and it's a night flight, so not much to look out the window to. Let's enjoy the rest of season 1 of Ready for Takeoff. The leg rest is amazing, and I recline knowing I'm not bugging anyone.
While no flight map on the Q Streaming app, you do get a summary of the flight time at the top, which you can tap for some more details on the flight.
Your standard Boeing row number/letter signs
After all the fun it was time to land. After a pretty rough landing (that stopped my recording of the recording), I was home, with my suitcase the first out on the carousel.
And that's it. My big trip to the Commonwealth Games done, and my first couple of TR's done. If your phone is in reach, you may now switch off flight mode. I hope you've had a great read. My next flights are with VA in July, and I'll have my next batch of reports then.