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Old 9th February 2016, 09:24 PM
Alex S Alex S is offline
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 3
Default Qantas QF576 Perth - Sydney on a 737

Good day everyone. After a good flight onboard Qantas flight QF485 & staying in Perth for four nights, it was time to begin the next phase of my interstate trip. This leg would see me fly from Perth to Sydney, again with Qantas. The flight I choose was QF576 which was operated by an Airbus A330 and had an early afternoon arrival into Sydney. Unfortunately the mid-year schedule change meant that the flight was downgraded to a Boeing 737 while the A330 would be used on flights between Sydney & Brisbane.
Flight Details:

Date: 22nd January 2016.
Flight: QF576 Perth (YPPH) to Sydney (YSSY)
Plane: Boeing 737-800 VH-VXB
Class: Economy.
Seat: 19A
Flight time: 3 hours 33 minutes.

On arrival on Perth on the 18th I caught public transport to my accommodation in Thornlie. I'm a public transport enthusiast so I don't mind riding it even though it does take longer. Being an early morning flight though, PT wasn't an option. For the first time in my life I booked a taxi to take me to the airport. I had no problems with the taxi itself; however a closed section of the Tonkin Highway meant taking a detour to get to the airport. Despite this I still arrived at the airport in good time, pays to get to the airport early.

Like in Melbourne I used the kiosk to complete my check-in. I already checked in online using the Qantas app so I only had to print off my bag tag & boarding pass. Unlike in Melbourne I had no issues using the self-serve baggage drop.

I had no issues with security & proceeded towards the Qantas terminal. I haven't got any photos of the concourse but there were some planes around so I took some happy snaps. First we see an Airbus A330-200 VH-EBP operating flight QF574 to Sydney. Considering my flight got downgraded I wonder if in hindsight I should have went on this flight instead. If I had no checked luggage I could have easily have made this flight as boarding hadn't even started. Maybe I could have gone on this flight in an alternate universe but not today.

Off it goes.

And then by chance Retro Roo rocked up.

I'm not the biggest aviation buff around but I'm happy to get a shot of Retro Roo. I later showed that photo to some of my aviation friends and they were quite jealous (they haven't got photos of it yet). I noticed it was heading towards my gate so i was hoping it would be operating my flight. Sadly it went into the gate next to mine. It operated flight QF1350 to Ginbata, one of the many mines in rural Western Australia.

Here we see a Boeing 737-800 VH-VYA, probably being prepped up for the day.

Another A330 at the gate.

Unfortunately by this point the sun rose up meaning that I couldn't get any more photos without getting sun glare. Why oh why did I leave my long lens in the checked luggage? By this point I decided to get something to eat. I ordered a chicken baguette (which could have tasted nicer) and sat down. A positive feature about the Qantas terminal is that the eating areas have power points inside the tables meaning you can charge your device while you eat. Because it was early morning the terminal was rather quiet so there was plenty of power points to choose from.

I spent some time on the tablet until it was time to board. My flight was operated by VH-VXB which is the second oldest 737-800 in the Qantas fleet (although I didn't know it at the time).

Considering the (scheduled) four hour flight ahead of me I was hoping to get one of the newer 737's with seatback IFE or one of the refurbished 737's with Q Streaming IFE. Whether you get a 737 with proper IFE or not is a bit like the lottery, you literally don't know what you're going to get. I had my boarding pass scanned and boarded the plane. Would I get the 737 that I wanted? I immediately found the answer when I walked though business class.

Bollocks! Millennium interior configuration! No (proper) IFE! Oh well considering the lack of likeable content I had with Q Streaming on the A330 maybe it wasn't that big of a loss. While I was seated some of the passengers were commenting that this flight should be operated by a larger aircraft. I then told them I booked this flight back in July and that it was initially supposed to be operated by an Airbus A330. Iíd estimate that the load factor on this flight was at least 90%.

Another view of the seats.

My seat by the window. You can tell this plane was supposed to be delivered to American Airlines by looking at the wall pattern.

Flying has made me realize that there is one advantage of being a small person, always good legroom on planes.

Seat comfort was good for the 4 hour flight but back support wasn't as good as it was on the A330.

I recorded the safety briefing which was relayed on the pop down screens and takeoff:
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Old 9th February 2016, 09:28 PM
Alex S Alex S is offline
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 3

After takeoff the cabin crew handed out copies of The Australian newspaper which I declined. I settled into my tablet watching videos & playing games. I did quickly glance at the overhead IFE every now and again to see what was playing. All I saw on it was some kind of childrenís movie about aliens abducting people.

One of the ladies in my row with specific diabetic requirements received her meal quite early in the flight, well before the rest of the cabin received theirs. As per my previous flight there was a hot & cold option for breakfast. I didn't pay attention to what the hot option was as I decided beforehand to go for the cold option. This consisted of some breakfast biscuits, yogurt and cranberries. I choose apple juice as my drink

It does seem a bit basic but I still quite liked the meal. The breakfast biscuits were good while the vanilla yogurt was simply wonderful. I treated it like a dip and ate it together with the biscuits, but it was still quite yummy on its own. I was quite disappointed when I finished it, I wanted more. I barely touched the cranberries; I personally don't like them too much.

Shortly after breakfast I decided to head to the toilet. One of my neighbours also decided to head to the toilet at the same time so getting out & returning to my seat caused minimum fuss. With only two toilets for the economy cabin a queue for the toilets was forming with me stuck in it. Now I understand why people tend not to like the seats at the back of the plane, it's fairly cramped for standing passengers who constantly knock into the seats as they try to move around, not helped due to us standing within close proximity to the cabin crew. I had no complaints about the toilet itself, it was clean enough.

Overall I couldn't say that it was a smooth flight. There was a quite a lot of turbulence for the first hour of the flight. The next two hours went smoothly but started again during the final leg of the flight. Worse still the last round of turbulence interrupted the second drinks round. When it resumed the cabin crew made the decision not to serve hot drinks. It personally didn't bother me as I ordered another apple juice. As per my previous flight I was also given some cookies. In some good news though the pilot announced that we were running early due to favorable winds.

Shortly after we began our descent which I found to be quite scenic, if you find urban & built form interesting that is. We flew over pass major suburbs including Liverpool, Parramatta, Hornsby, Chatswood & the CBD with views of the Harbour Bridge, before landing on runway 16L.

A photo of my plane at the gate.

I also got a photo of VH-XZD, one of the newer 737's in the fleet.

A shot of VH-EBC.

By this point I couldn't figure out if I was in an airport or a shopping centre. I think I was in the latter.

All board the Qantas travelator!

A photo of the luggage carousels. I didn't have to wait too long to pick up my luggage. I then proceeded towards my hotel in Newtown using the train.

Overall it was another good flight with Qantas, but not as good as it could have been. In the end the lack of proper IFE didnít concern me, but it was one of the reasons I booked this flight as it was initially supposed to be operated by an A330. The lack of IFE would have obviously impacted those who didnít have any decent electronic devices with preloaded games or movies, and those with kids. I wanted to be decently comfortable and entertained for a long 4 hour flight. If I didnít want entertainment or free food I probably would have booked with a low cost carrier. Personally I wouldnít go on this flight again until a time when all of the older 737ís are refurbished with Q Streaming (although I probably wouldnít have a need to go on this flight again). Because the choice is there I would aim to fly on the A330 to and from Perth.
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