Friday, February 29, 2008

Sydney, Australia: Arriving in Sydney International, Sydney Australia (SYD)

29FEB08 Sydney International Airport Sydney, Australia (SYD)

We touched down with a double bounce as promised at 9:35a. It was a nice taxi to the gate and it was good to see other airplanes all over the place. It is the home of Qantas so of course there were plenty of red and white with the kangaroo on the tail to go around.

The flight said that we were heading to Terminal 3 and also gave connecting information for the International terminal at Terminal 1 and other connecting flights at Terminal 2.

We got up to the gate and I deplaned without incident. I found an area to sit and got a faint free WiFi connection and a plug for the computers. I was able to get some work done as well as continued my search for the Indian consulate information. It was my intention to see if I can get an Indian visa while I am here. I already have one, but it is in my old expired passport; I was trying to see if I can get it transferred to my existing one.

I also watched a few planes depart.

Once I was done, I exited the concourse, and headed for the Airport Link into the city center.

Sydney, Australia: Cairns (CNS) to Sydney (SYD)

QF921 29FEB08 Cairns International Cairns Australia (CNS) to Sydney International, Sydney Australia (SYD) 5:45a 9:45a 734 VH-TFJ

Flying Time: 2:20

I gave the agent my boarding pass and she slid it through the gate reader with a good day and a smile. She returned it to me and I continued, passing a bin with headsets so I picked one up. I continued walking down a long angled jetway to the waiting Boeing 737-400 airplane; been a while since I flew one of these.

As I boarded, I noticed that the Captain is a female. As I entered the plane, I was greeted by the flight attendant who inspected my boarding card and advised me that my seat was on the left. I made my way down this single aisle airplane with its five rows of Business Class cloth seats (the first three with a 2-2 config. and the other two at 3-3, but the middle seats' handled folds in) and then Economy class in a 3-3 configuration. There was no divider between the cabins.

There were two monitors on the walls before each side of the cabin as well as overhead.

The boarding process continued for this nearly full flight. Just before the doors closed, I was able to switch to the aisle across from me as there was no one else boarding. The lady who was there had moved to the window seat.

We pushed back at 5:48a and headed for the runway as the safety demo was done manually. Takeoff was swift at 5:51a as there was no one else using the runway at that time; two flights to Brisbane had just left.
It incredible that as soon as we broke the cloud, it was light out as the sun had already risen quite a bit; odd...

"The Invasion" with Nicole Kiddman started on the overhead. The flight attendant came through with headsets, just in case people did not pick them up on the way in.

I had to do a bathroom break and while there, the female captain came on the PA and welcomed u on board and said that we were at our cruising altitude of 32,000’. She introduced her first officer and advised that he was flying us to Sydney today. She also added that we should arrive about 10 minutes early and that the local temp will get to a high of 19/20C and there are rain showers in the area. She also advised that Sydney was an hour later and it was now 7:13a there and gave our flying time of 2:20 today.

Back at my seat, the flight attendants then passed through the cabin with breakfast on their way towards the front of the plane; the movie played on.

At 6:23a, breakfast arrived at my row; I moved my computer away to make room for it and the flight attendant said, “I see you made room for some brekkie” in a lovely Australian accent, yes, I added smiling. It was a bottle of fruit frusion (pineapple, orange and mango juice) with a bag of sliced green apples, a tub of Special K cereal, 100% pure full cream milk and a tea cup a little thing of milk in it and finally a warm raisin roll. There was also a packet with plastic utensils plus a stirrer and a packet of sugar.

Coffee and tea followed, then once they were cleaning up, they offered a bottle of water and more coffee and tea also followed.

I fell asleep after the movie finished and when I awoke, we were served water and Apricot and pecan muesli biscuit at at about 8:54a.

At 8:57a, the First Officer came on the PA and announced that we would start our descent in a bit and that we would be in a holding pattern before still landing ten minutes after schedule. The descent started right after he finished.

We touched down with a double bounce at 9:25a as promised.

Sydney, Australia: A rat in the terminal at Cairns (CNS)

As I was blogging, I saw a rat ran under my chair and across the floor! Others saw it as well, good grief!

An agent saw it and screamed, it was interesting to see her reaction and that of the others around...

Sydney, Australia: The domestic terminal in Cairns, Australia (CNS)

29FEB08 Domestic Terminal, Cairns Australia (CNS)

I got listed and made it over to the domestic terminal and decided to take the 5:45a, after all it gets me in earlier.

There is a sign that says "covered walkway" so I followed it, but there is one point where the walkway is just not covered :-).

Once at the Domestic Terminal, I checked in, got a seat and made my way to the security check-in area. This terminal has a lot of places for people to sleep, but the cloth seats are a bit dodgy though. I did see one guy spread a sheet which is quite funny to see.

I easily cleared security and noticed that bottled water is allowed on domestic flights...Once behind security, I found a WiFi signal and waited for my flight as I blog.

Sydney, Australia: In Cairns

29FEB 08 Cairns International, Cairns Australia (CNS)

I arrived and pulled up to the gate at which point I got my crap together and was about to disembark, when we all had to sit back down as we were not at the gate properly. After a few minutes, we got that sorted out and deplaned.

I cleared Immigration and Customs without incident and then made my way to the arrivals area. I needed to get another tickets so I made my way to the ticket counter, but they were closing so I was out of luck.

I then found Internet access and a plug behind the coke machine and started working and blogging.

I have a few updates to do and will soon; later today. There is a 5:45a (734) and a 6:45a (763). Torn, as I want to be in the International terminal which is where the 6:45a arrives, but would love to get there earlier, but the 5:45a arrives in the domestic terminal :-(...