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September 11, 2013 / oneworld82

Just a short hop over breakfast. Sydney to Adelaide on Qantas Business Class

After flying business class on Qantas last year from MNL to SYD and then from CNS to MEL and on to LAX, I was looking forward to this flight, as I wanted to see whether the excellent meal and service I received on a domestic sector was just pure coincidence or were a symptom of a great airline. This segment confirmed the latter.

As I mentioned earlier, my flight was delayed in AUH, but we landed only 30 minutes beyond schedule. Given the express immigration card handed out by Etihad, that meant that I was able to catch my onwards flight to Adelaide with even a few minutes to spare. Wntering Australia is like entering the US: you have to collect your luggage and go through customs. This process could be painfully slow, as Australia is very strict on its custom rules (and it actually enforces them). After this step I had to walk for about 800 ft to get to the Qantas transfer desk. A very nice lady assured me that I would not miss my flight, which was very comforting. After going through a security screening I waited for a shuttle bus to take transfer passengers to the domestic terminal – inexplicably located at the other side of the runway! And I really mean to say that whoever came up with this layout must not have had a degree in architecture or urban planning, because the airport layout makes absolutely no sense. Talk about London Heathrow being a mess….

Anyways, I made it on time to the domestic terminal. Regrettably, I did not have enough time to check out the Qantas lounge, as my flight was about to board. As business class passenger, I was allowed to board with the first boarding group.

QF Flight #739, SYD-ADL
08:20a-10:00a
Business Class, Seat 4F
Boeing 737-800

The cabin of our plane this morning looked like the one I flew in lst year from CNS to MEL. Think about AA’s domestic First: large seats, corporate feelings… Nothing too special. The service, though, was great as usual.

View from my seat

View from my seat

Business Class seat

Business Class seat

Legroom

Legroom

Cabin

Cabin

IMG_1488

Seat controls

Seat controls

Once in the cabin I was promptly offered a pre-departure drink; the flight attendant – a middle-aged woman – offered to hang my jacket as well.

Some water, please!

Some water, please!

The guy next to me was in no mood for conversation, and basically fell asleep as soon as he sat down.

Take off happened on time, and it was a while before we got to the right altitude and stabilized ourselves – the NSW skies were particularly turbulent today.

IMG_1493
Once we were cruising happily towards South Australia, the breakfast service started.
Now, this was a short 2h30m flight. Yet, the amount of food they served was impressive. There were basically two choices: a hearty breakfast of pork sausage, eggs et alia – your typical English breakfast; and a healthier cereals with milk. Being still full from my previous flight I opted for the cereals – not that I needed more food, but still I needed to try it for the purpose of writing a good trip report.

Breakfast tray

Breakfast tray

Perhaps I am too used to US domestic breakfasts, because I was expecting a small bowl of Kellogg’s with some milk and maybe a banana. I was instead served:

1. Muesli with milk

Very good muesli

Very good muesli

2. Yogurt with fruit

Yogurt (Australian and German spelling)

Yogurt (Australian and German spelling)

3. Orange juice and coffee freshly brewed out of a French press!

Amen to the healthy breakfast – this all must have been 500 kcals! 😀

Anyways, short of complaining I ate (almost) it all and felt like exploding. Some TV show was played on the overhead screen, but I rather reading about Australian elections (by the way, Rudd DID not end up winning).

IMG_1489

Time flew by, and in the galley I was able to chat with a middle-aged male flight attendant who was very curious to know whether I was from Italy. Once I assured him I was 100% Italian, he confessed that his parents were Italian themselves from Foggia, Puglia – a 10 minutes conversation about the many Italians living in Adelaide and the good pizza to be found there ensued. This was just another typical demonstration on friendliness on Aussies’ part. I find that people in Texas are interested in me because to them I look exotic; here peopl are interested in me because I took my time to learn more about their country. Huge difference.

Anyways, we soon were over the skies of South Australia. I almost managed to snag a picture of the mighty Murray River – the ones of you who read Nancy Cato’s trilogy “All the Rivers Run” will know the significance the the steamer trade up and down this and the Darling rivers represented between the XIX and XX centuries. Some pictures:

NSW? Victoria? SA? Mmm...

NSW? Victoria? SA? Mmm…

IMG_1499 IMG_1500

Finally, we started our descent into Adelaide – I was able to take some good pictures with my camera. Let me tell you, the view we got was spectacular!

Adelaide, SA

Adelaide, SA

Adeliade CBD

Adeliade CBD

One thing that every map you look at makes clear (and that Bill Bryson didn’t fail to point out) is how perfectly planned Adelaide is. It’s central area is perfectly enclosed on it’s four sides by a vast park – a unique example of urban planning indeed.

Once landed we made our way to our gate and we were out in the terminal within minutes. While not big, the Adelaide airport certainly looked modern and well-kept.

Finally!

Finally!

Parking terminal @ ADL airport

Parking terminal @ ADL airport

After crossing 2/3 of the World I was finally back to Down Under. Ten, amazing days between South Australia, Victoria, and Auckland ensued. Keep on reading if you want to know why – now more than ever – I think that Australia is really the most appealing country in the World.

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