Port Moresby to Melbourne (via Cairns and Sydney) on Qantas
Hotel van dropped me at the airport where there was a very short line for check-in. The Port Moresby airport felt a bit like a tin shed, with nothing in the way of amenities, but it was purely functional. Nothing in the way of air conditioning, but fortunately it was still rather early in the morning so it didn’t yet have that tin can sweatbox feeling to it…yet.
Completed check-in less than 90 minutes before flight time, but…customs still wasn’t open. So it was time to sweat it out. It was rather warm, but not completely intolerable…and at exactly 60 minutes before the flight one immigration officer showed up to let us out of the country. Not a single question why I’d only been there 24 hours, and stamp stamp, I was out of Papua New Guinea.
The terminal was under a bit of construction, and apparently here’s where the door is going to be:
One common area for all international departures, which was rather empty this morning:
Boarded 15 minutes before flight time, and we were quickly packed away and ready to go. Rather empty flight this morning, so I was lucky enough to have an empty seat next to me again.
Qantas flight 192 operated by QantasLink
Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea (POM) to Cairns, Australia (CNS)
Depart 8:45, Arrive 10:35, Flight Time 1:50
DeHavilland Dash-8 Q400, Registration VH-LQK, Manufactured 2012, Seat 18D
Take off over Port Moresby:
Qantas provided us with a lovely snackbox this morning, with yet another reasonably tasty sandwich:
Approach over Cairns:
So, here was the test. Would I get grilled by Australian immigration in the same harsh way that they did in Darwin? I was back of the queue this time (thanks to picking the line behind the Papua New Guineans) and I thought I was going to get the third degree. Nope, two or three rather basic questions, and stamp stamp, welcome to Australia. I think there were three or four different customs queues, including two with questions and one with an x-ray, but all were straightforward. The Australians certainly are complete!
Through immigration, there was a Qantas counter to recheck bags, and then the simple 800 meter walk to the domestic terminal. Security was a non-event, and I even had a little time for a snack in the Qantas lounge. Yes, this passes for a mid-morning snack. Eat your heart out US airlines!
Boarding for the next flight was on time, and it was time to head off! There was a direct Cairns to Melbourne flight, but unfortunately I’d booked on miles and it wasn’t available. Oh well, more chance to sample the Qantas product!
Qantas flight 925
Cairns, Australia (CNS) to Sydney, Australia (SYD)
Depart 11:50, Arrive 15:45, Flight Time 2:55
Boeing 737-800, Registration VH-XZN, Manufactured 2014, Seat 2D
Oooh look, it’s the chicken parm again! It’s kinda like United and the chicken cacciatore…although ten times better. Yum, I actually rather enjoyed this meal, and normally I stay well clear of eggplant. Second time was just as good as the first!
Dessert was the tasty honey and burnt fig ice cream again, yum!
Landed into Sydney, and saw signs for something called the “Qantas Heritage Collection” so I had to check it out. It was a mini Qantas museum that was kind of cool. It would be cooler if it was just a bit bigger, but it was still an interesting way to kill 30 minutes between flights.
View from the museum of a Q400 in the fight against breast cancer livery:
A view down to the terminal…made me excited for my upcoming A330 flight to Melbourne!
Snack in the Qantas lounge – the White Rabbit Dark Ale was extremely tasty! …and hot dogs? People were lining up in droves for them. Who knew something as simple as hot dogs would get people so excited?
…had to try the White Rabbit Pale Ale too, with some wasabi peas. Good, but not as good as the dark.
Finally it was time for the last flight to Melbourne!
Qantas flight 463
Sydney, Australia (SYD) to Melbourne, Australia (MEL)
Depart 18:30, Arrive 20:05, Flight Time 1:35
Airbus A330-200, Registration VH-EBR, Manufactured 2011, Seat 5A
What. The. Hell. Qantas apparently has taken the A330 to a new low. 2-3-2 seating in “business” class with the same seat pitch of 37-38 inches as regular domestic business/first. I had no idea there were A330 “ghetto birds” flying around out there – is Qantas seriously taking a page from the United playbook? The seating on this was disgraceful – who wants to sit in a middle seat in domestic business? They were blocked today, but not sure if that’s always the case. Either way, what a stupid idea!
At least the seat next to me was empty, and the meal was tasty. Some sort of lamb dish:
Sunset on approach to Melbourne:
Landed a few minutes ahead of schedule to cap off a very long day of flying, and it was time to head to the hotel and explore Melbourne!