An Empty Qantas Bangkok to Sydney

 

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This has happened four times in 991 flights -a plane so empty, l score four seats in Economy to myself allowing me a stretch and a good sleep

Not sure where the passengers were? Normally this is a very full flight. Scared off by the troubles in Thailand? Flying Jetstar, Emirates or Air Asia instead?

Check in: 7 out of 10

After a frustrating time trying to do this on my phone, I gave up and waited until I had laptop access. This has got to be made possible using the Qantas mobile site or their app. I was also unable to access bulkhead seats which appeared to be blocked off.

The check in counters were very quiet at Bangkok and the friendly staff member switched me to a bulkhead seat (23C). She visually sighted my check in but did not weigh it (7.3kg so within range!).

Lounge: 6 out of 10

The Qantas lounge in Bangkok (and the Business one in Sydney for that matter) are looking tired. They are both beaten by a far superior Emirates product. With the Qantas/Emirates partnership, this needs to be rectified. Staff were very friendly and helpful.  The shower was very refreshing in a spotless (but sad looking shower room).

Boarding: 9 out of 10

Security and immigration were amazingly quick, which is very unusual at Bangkok I was one of the last to board so the gate area was very quiet when I arrived. Bangkok does a secondary search of hand luggage at which point many customers find they lose their waters and other liquids they may have purchased at the airport.

The ground crew were friendly and efficient. The welcome on board Qantas was genuine and appreciated. Staff were no doubt thrilled to be serving on a flight with a light load (less than half full).

Crew members told us to we were welcome to move seats but there was some confusion with one telling some customers they could move right away and another asking others to wait. I took  my cue from staff member one and sat quickly in the empty Row 24. I was surprised that the two passengers behind me who were both offered a row each as well, refused the offer and remained seated upright for the whole flight.

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On Board: 9 out of 10

I don’t normally wax lyrical about the A330. Today’s plane (VH-QPF) is ten years old but appeared to have had a recent makeover with a sparkling interior. The 300 had 30 business class seats arranged 2-2-2 and 267 economy seats arranged 2-4-2. Seat pitch in business is 60″ with a width of 21.5″. In Economy pitch is 31″ and width of 17″ (which means I had 68″ to myself!)

Lavatories were clean and remained so for the whole flight (as they should with less than half the usual use)

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This was my first flight since the introduction of the new Qantas uniform. My immediate thought was how much the bright bright pink hurts the eyes!

Lying down (and falling asleep) in a row to myself was a rare blissful luxury.

I was woken up by two passengers chatting mid flight. I was astounded to find they were seated eight rows behind me. I flashed them a look of Inside voices gentlemen! and they did indeed quieten down!

 

Entertainment: 8 out of 10

I think the Qantas system offers one of the best ranges in the sky. Sixty movies gives you lots of scope. The controls work smoothly and are very responsive. Multiple new episodes of Big Bang theory and two of Modern Family kept me entertained until my eyes became too heavy!

Lack of a power/usb outlet is a drawback. I still think qantas decision to can wifi is a poor one.

Meal: 8 out of 10

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The Thai themed meal was delicious. The main meal was a good size but I would have liked another mouthful of dessert! Fresh fruit and snacks were available through the night for those awake.

Landing

A smooth (and early) landing into a a Sydney dawn capped off a lovely flight. Crew proffered very pleasant farewells. Immigration and customs were a dream and I was at the airport door 11 minutes after we had reached the gate and 19 minutes after touchdown. Another rare occurrence.

My Flight Rating: Overall 78% (4 out of 5).
My Overall rating of Qantas over 288 flights: 94%

Update: My overall rating of Qantas in 2013: 76%

Skytrax: Qantas has a 4 star rating from Skytrax.
Negatives: Wifi
Would I fly them again? Yes- can i have four seats again please?

 

 

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