View Full Version : Flying to Australia

10-20-2005, 01:23 PM
Does anyone recall what airlines and segments Josh and Wendy flew? Can wait to hear about their trip and experience.

Well, as Josh and his wife are raping and pillaging through the Australian outback, Shoshana and I have just booked our 2nd trip over.
I' just excited and must share.

This is our 3rd time booking award travel with AAdvantage.

First time was June 2001, we scored coach seats on AA and Qantas to Australia. What made that sweet was that at the time, we were allowed to book the exit seats months in advance.

So while the JFK-SYD leg on AA was good, the LAX-SYD, SYD-LAX-JFK on QF was awesome all through exit row. :D Those days are gone.

(on a side note, while in Australia, we also flew on Qantaslink, these routes: SYD-BNE, BNE-CNS, CNS-Ayers Rock(AYE?), AYE-CNS and r/t SYD-ADL. Flights throughout were great and jumpsat 5 times while in the air)

Josh, if you get to check this forum even once during the trip, dont forget to ask to visit that cockpit while you are in the air. You never know!!

Second time was March 2004, when we booked Business and First seats (mileage was gifted to us by mom and AAunt) to Maui and Kauai. Again, AAdvantage was awesome. But then again, scoring an award on AA metal is not terrible difficult.

So this is our third. We'd been saving the miles since 2001 and made a deal. You see, Australia is great and i'd love to go back often but its a long trip. And Shoshana, at the time, really wanted to see Europe. So we said we'd see Europe and then visit Australia once more, this time in First, before having kids. the time is coming..... :lol:

After going through 3 tough routings and date scenarios with AAdvantage and a complete stinginess on the part of QF to make life a bit easier, we just booked:

JFK-PPT-SYD, First class, on Air Tahiti Nui. (I'm excited as I read its an all A340-300 fleet and just won a Skytrax award for service. Only 1 row of 6 seats in First.)

we'll wander the outback to Perth.

then returning:
PER-SYD on QF Business, connecting in 3 hrs. to SYD-PPT on TN in First.
Then the unexpected bonus. We'll stay 2 days in Tahiti, then venture home,
PPT-JFK on TN in First.

Just wanted to share the news! I'm excited!

Has anyone flown either QF J or TN in F? I'm pumped to finally fly a larger AB (only like the 330 and 340)

Can wait to get back into photography again!

Oh ****, and in December, we're flying D3 on First to London.

Guys. I'm taking pics. Whatcha want to see??! :wink:


Alex T
10-20-2005, 01:33 PM
crap dude! that us a ton of flying, ur making me excited and I am not even going. haha

sounds like you two will have a great time!! enjoy it and take as many pics as u want. its ur vacation, you decide what is betetr for you two to enjoy!


10-20-2005, 03:29 PM
Hey Mario...we're actually leaving on Saturday morning, so I figured I'd chime in. We're flying first class on US Airways LGA-CLT-LAX, and then business class on Asiana LAX-ICN (744) and ICN-SYD (777). Sure, it's a lot of flying, but I am not complaining! I'm particularly looking forward to shooting inside the terminal at ICN on our layover. South freakin' Korea. Wow.

I'm kinda unsure about asking for cockpit access during the flight, but I'll play it by ear. Perhaps it can't hurt to introduce myself before the flight and say that I'd be thrilled to come up there and get some pics in flight. :)

I'll be sure to take lots of good pics on the trip. I'll post a thread when I get back and have a chance to edit the pics.


Mr Smith
10-20-2005, 06:56 PM
Perth?? jesus your coming to the most remote city on the face of the planet! it's a lovely place but not alot happens here! our beaches are the best in the world, our city the 3rd most liveable in the world and our crime rate the highest in Oz ;) if your here in summer then your in for a real experience ;)

enjoy the time here! when do you arrive?

10-20-2005, 07:25 PM
Josh, I'm excited for you guys. I can't wait to hear about the Asiana experience. Whats the routing coming back?

LGA-CLT-LAX, and then business class on Asiana LAX-ICN (744) and ICN-SYD

ICN I assume is S Korea (Hey, beats North Korea ;) but what is CLT?

The first routing for this trip was originally AA JFK-LAX, QF LAX-AKL-SYD-BNE, returning PER-SYD-AKL-LAX-JFK but it was all in Business. Not that I'm a snob, but just wanted the most for the miles.

Pros: a lot of stretching your legs and different a/c, Cons: business and the length of flight. So after thinking about it a bit, called back AA and worked out another solution.

Also, have you got flights planned to bounce around Australia? Cities planning on seeing? BTW, in Darling harbour, facing a fountain/manmade lake, had a great pizza at Blackbeards. An open front store. Check out Daintree and Mossman up in Cairns. Silky Oaks is a great place to stay.

hope to hear from you before you go!

MrSmith, Perth is calling for us.....back around May 31, 2001, I spent the weekend in South Beach Miami and while connecting flights home, I met a guy in a bar in Detroit (flew NWA). Turns out he was from Perth. We were due to leave for Australia on June 3. he asks me what cities I'll see then tells me, "you're missing Perth?! Its the forgotten gem!"

Then a few months ago, I call my professional mentor. Who picks up the phone? Her boyfriend who recently moved in from... Perth. We'll be going out for dinner next week. Tells us we'll love Perth.

we're destined to visit!

arrive July 1 in Sydney. I recall June in Sydney wasn't terrible cold. Only wore a flannel or a sweater. Hows the wx in Perth that month? Also, need to see what other cities to visit. Whitsundays? Darwin? We'll see.

im dating myself, but when we were in Sydney last, I recall an air carrier went under. It was no Ansett, was it? What carrier ceased ops in June 01 in Oz?

Mr Smith
10-20-2005, 08:01 PM
july here is pretty good, not to cold but can be quite wet...there is lots to do here and it's a very pretty place but the best time is summer, november to april because it's really an outdoors city, best seen on bike or walking or by public transport.

you won't be photographing squat at Incheon mate, it's getting dark fast in that part of the world now and if i'm correct the Asiana flight arrives after 6pm when it will be pitch black.


here are a few photos i took from out n about over here.

http://www.studio1.com.au/sc/gallery/vi ... tic-Photos (http://www.studio1.com.au/sc/gallery/view_album.php?set_albumName=Artistic-Photos)

10-20-2005, 08:52 PM
Josh, I'm excited for you guys. I can't wait to hear about the Asiana experience. Whats the routing coming back?

LGA-CLT-LAX, and then business class on Asiana LAX-ICN (744) and ICN-SYD

ICN I assume is S Korea (Hey, beats North Korea but what is CLT?

CLT = Charlotte, NC (one of US hubs)

Our routing coming back is AKL-LAX on ANZ 744 (biz class), and then US LAX-PHL-LGA (first class).

Before we come back, we're also flying up to CNS on Jetstar (not sure if 717 or A320), and then returning back to SYD on Virgin Blue (738). Our trans-Tasman flight is on an ANZ A320 (first class).

We had to cash in a ****load of ff miles to get all these flights, especially in biz/first class. We actually paid for the SYD-CNS and CNS-SYD flights, but they were cheap.

Monty, even if its dark at Incheon, I'll try night shots of static aircraft by pressing the camera right up against the glass. I may take pics of the inside of the terminal as well. Better than nothing, I guess. Can't say I'll be in Incheon again any time soon!


10-21-2005, 08:34 AM
Josh, real qucik, tell me how you booked the intra-australia flights.

I plan to pay for them as well. But last time, they were extremely cheap through Ozpass/Aadvantage. HOw did you go about booking them?

Qantas or Virgins websites directly? Also, surely you'll gain miles on them right?

10-21-2005, 08:35 AM
BTw, Phil, thanks!! I love my co-pilot's photo!

taken on the B 717 simulator in Long Beach CA

10-21-2005, 12:54 PM
Mario, I booked directly through Jetstar and Virgin Blue websites. The prices were cheap because we booked far in advance.

10-22-2005, 01:27 PM
Hey, happy Trails to Josh and Wendy! :) hoping they are on their way, sipping champagne and relaxing!

So we'll here from them in what?2-3 wks? looking forward to it!

10-23-2005, 04:36 AM
Hey all...I thought I'd check in from the Asiana Business Class Lounge at ICN. It's been some great flying all day long, and we're about to get on the last flight to SYD. The Asiana 744 from LAX was just awesome. Smooth as can be for 12 hours. Being on the upper deck was nice, too...much quieter and much more personalized service.

Haven't taken any pics today, but I saw some interesting stuff. Wunala was at LAX, along with China Airlines Dreamliner. Here at ICN I saw an Aeroflot Cargo DC-10 along with just a few Korean Air and Asiana planes.

Anyway, Wendy is giving me the look that means I should stop playing and go eat a snack. :)



10-23-2005, 01:57 PM
sounds like your having a great time....have fun!

Mr Smith
10-24-2005, 03:45 AM
welcome to Oz mate, hope you enjoy your stay in this part of the world!

10-24-2005, 05:38 PM
glad its been good so far!

Anyway, Wendy is giving me the look that means I should stop playing and go eat a snack.

damn, sounds a bit like the look I get from Higheels when I've been online too long ;)

10-29-2005, 02:37 AM
I'm sitting at an internet cafe in Port Douglas after a long day at the Great Barrier Reef, and I figured I'd check in with my NYCA friends. I flew out to the reef this morning by helicopter and met up with the boat that Wendy took out to this floating pontoon which serves as a base for the divers/snorkelers. I got some nice aerial pics of the reef, as well as some in-flight cockpit shots in the helicopter. It was a challenge shooting in the cockpit due to the large amount of glass and relatively small amount of "cockpit", but I think the shots came out nicely...at least on my camera's LCD screen. :)

Australia has been absolutely excellent, and tomorrow we're off to New Zealand. We'll be flying a Qantas 763 from CNS to SYD (switched from Virgin Blue so I could have 6 hours to spot from the observation deck at the international terminal in SYD!!) and then an ANZ A320 to AKL.

I had a great day spotting at SYD on Wednesday. Chris Griffiths (StealthZ from a.net) picked me up at 5:30am and we spent 12 hours at the airport until I had to leave for my Jetstar flight to CNS. Chris was a perfect host, and I am extremely grateful for his help. The weather was dodgy at times, but I still got some great shots. We shot from the spot next to the control tower, from The Beach (which wasn't as good as you'd think) and from the observation deck at the int'l terminal (which was awesome). The highlights of the day were an ANZ 744 (which I am told is extremely rare at SYD), a Qantas 743 and the Virgin Blue 737 painted with the Gillette advertisement. Sorry Brian...no Wunala. :( Our flight to CNS on Jetstar was great....only 35 people on board, so we had room to spread out. There's no assigned seating, so we had entire rows to choose from.

Then, on Friday, I made the 60km drive from Port Douglas to CNS to shoot at the hill made famous by Anthony Jackson and others. Climbing this "hill" was anything but easy....it was in the humid, hot forest, with a very steep path. But, I made it to the lookout spot, and I got some amazing photos. CNS is kinda like SXM in that most of the good stuff is between 11 and 2, so I got there around 10 and stayed until about 2:30. I got too hungry to stay after that! I saw a few Australian 763s, an ANZ 744, a few Qantas 763s and 738s, a few Virgin Blue 737/738s and a few Jetstar planes (one A320, and two 717s).

As you can tell, it has been a productive week in terms of spotting. I'm gonna take more pics tomorrow at SYD and maybe some in AKL next week, so hopefully when I come home I'll have enough pics to keep me busy editing for a few months during the winter!

I'll check in next week after we get to Hobbiton....I mean, New Zealand.



10-29-2005, 08:10 AM
just remember, that QANTAS pilots mum owns the shoe shop in Port Douglas.

jumpseat baby;)

Mr Smith
10-29-2005, 06:02 PM
great stuff Josh...glad to see you've enjoyed Oz and got some spotting done, Wunala is currently on QF 93/94 Mel-Lax run this week, you'll probably catch her there on your way home!

11-08-2005, 04:30 PM
I'm back in New York after an amazing vacation in Australia and New Zealand. It was a lot of flying, but I'm not complaining about that! I must be crazy, too, because I'm flying again this coming Sunday when I go to ABQ on business (LGA-ORD-ABQ and ABQ-DFW-LGA).

I did get to do some spotting at AKL last week, and I saw a few interesting things there. So I'm gonna have pictures from SYD, CNS and AKL, as well as one from WLG which I took while waiting for our flight to AKL (the picture is of the plane we were about to fly on). Lots to keep me busy this winter.

I'll post a more complete trip report over the weekend.


P.S. -- Mario, it was impossible to even get cockpit shots let alone jumpseat rides. On every single flight I went on, I was not allowed to even go near the cockpit when the door was open pre-flight, and the door was always left shut when we landed. Not a single flight attendant on any of my flights on any of the airlines was receptive to the idea of me even talking to the pilots much less taking pictures. In fact, on every airline the response was "No, it's a security issue". These airlines include US Airways, Asiana, Jetstar, Qantas and Air New Zealand. Times are changing, I guess.

11-08-2005, 04:59 PM

Welcome Back, It sounds like you had a really great time. Can't wait to see some of the stuff you shot.


Mr Smith
11-08-2005, 10:14 PM
just remember, that QANTAS pilots mum owns the shoe shop in Port Douglas.

jumpseat baby;)

no chance, only QF family and staff are given jumpseat and that has to be authorized weeks in advance, Qantas is even anal about letting people take photos in the cabins during flight for some reason!

glad you arrived home safely Josh and enjoyed your time down under, see you in about 8 weeks ! :D

11-09-2005, 03:31 PM
Sorry to hear it Josh. Since my last trip there was June 2001, of course, I can see how they changed. But it was worth a shot. Sorry to hear it.

Looking forward to your report. Welcome back.

Darren Howie
11-20-2005, 07:24 PM
Glad to hear you hada great time Josh.
Sorry i couldnt arrange to be in Syd for your visit but its great that Chris organised to be there for you.
Hope you had a ladder down at the beach!!
Take it easy