Aircraft: Boeing B 737-800
Cabin: Economy Class
Seat: 13A, window on the emergency exit
From: Alice Springs
Date: 18. August 2013
GETTING TO THE AIRPORT
I just arrived in Alice Springs from Uluru. I like the airport, passengers are allowed to walk the short distance from the terminal to the aircraft and vice versa.
As you enter the terminal through the arrivals channel, the Qantas lounge is located on the left hand side, adjacent to the Qantas gates. The place is quite full when I arrive, with the flights to Melbourne, Brisbane and Darwin leaving ahead of my flight to Adelaide. In fact it’s so full it’s standing room only initially.
Eventually the place clears as the flights are called for boarding. I find a place to sit and enjoy some of the sandwiches on offer.
It looks like the flight is going to be pretty full. I am the last one to board, mainly because I’m busy taking pictures. Eventually the gate attendant aka one of the flight attendants catches up with me and we have a nice littler natter about her job and the differences between working in aviation in Australia and in Europe.
As I board she takes my suitcase off me and stows it in one of the Business Class bins. Which is kind of ironic, given that I wanted to travel in Business Class on this leg but the booking engine never showed an availability. Eventually I figured the flight simply didn’t have a Business Class cabin.
Originally I was booked on 14B, which is the middle seat on the second emergency exit row of the Boeing 737-800. Fortunately though, it turns out that the three seats on row 13, the first overwing exit row, are all completely free. So I quickly settle into 13A. The flight attendant places another gentleman on 13C, apparently they must have two persons on each side sitting on the emergency exit, and we have an empty seat between us. I’m happy!
The cabin and seats are very clean and modern. The only thing I don’t really like is that the colours are very dark and give the cabin a somewhat gloomy appearance.
Every seat is equipped with a video screen in the back of the seat in front. From what I can tell the selection is more or less the same as on the long-haul flight I took from Tokyo to Sydney.
The flight is slightly delayed departing. Apparently the inbound arrived on time but there were no stands available and the aircraft had to wait for one to become available.
But the delay is no more than 15 minutes or so. We taxi out. There is a further, brief delay as we wait for a Boeing 717 to land, backtrack and eventually exit the runway. And then we’re off.
The weather for most of the flight is nice. It’s a smooth flight and a cloudless sky right until we reach Adelaide. That’s when it gets windy and the weather deteriorates rapidly, with heavy showers in the area.
To eat there is a choice of either an apple or a chicken sandwich with spinach and Dijon mustard. I go with the latter. To drink I have a still water and a cup of coffee. Qantas provide you with a rubbish bag for your meal. I think this is a really neat idea and certainly something they should introduce in Europe.
As previously mentioned, the weather deteriorates rapidly as we near Adelaide until eventually we make our final approach in the most horrible weather. It’s a very bumpy approach and it’s raining cats and dogs.
It’s only after I reach arrivals that I realise I’ve left my camera on the plane. So I head upstairs again to departures and explain the situation to the guys at security. I ask if I might be let through again to try to retrieve my camera. Fortunately it’s no problem at all. I go through security and immediately head for the gate my flight arrived at. The aircraft is already in the process of boarding for its next flight. Fortunately my camera has already been found and is sitting on the counter. I show the gate agent my passport and she hands me the camera. Thanks a bunch.
I’m not actually staying in Adelaide on this trip. Instead I’m heading out of town into the Barossa valley. No, I’m not a wine connoisseur. I just want some peace and quiet, which is exactly what I find at the Barossa Pavilion, a lovely B&B located about an hour away from Adelaide in town called Lyndoch.