Flight to Osaka – Japan 2006

Woke up at 5am – way too early – and caught the shuttle bus to the airport. I think that the cold tablets that I took must have woken me up. B was asleep on her feet.

As we wandered the terminal I admired the other aircraft, including the Asiana’s 777 which we caught on a previous trip and the Virgin Atlantic A340 which just looks damn good. I think that we exited through the same gate (37) as the flight I caught down to Melbourne to watch Revenge of the Sith.

At check in the ground crew were happy to seat us further forward than originally booked in 30A and B. Meal served 45 minutes into the flight by a male steward who speaking with a true strine accent, mate! Mango passion Ski yoghurt (just like I buy for B), Light’n’Tasty triple berry cereal (sultanas and honey – yuck!), milk, water and a warm sultana roll, served on a plastic tray. Ended up just drinking the milk and water as none of the other items were to my taste. Fortunately I had already treated myself to a very naughty breakfast of hot chocolate and a couple of Krispy Kreme donuts at the airport.

The crew are pretty slow to respond to pages and the Thai crew member unsmiling. The others are more cheerful. We had to get up and retrieve our own magazines from the rack.

In flight entertainment is a rather washed out projection screen in the centre aisle of the plane. It’s showing “So Long and Goodnight”, a modern black and white movie. I’m not watching. So far, so smooth. Hope it stays that way for both flights today.

Our route to Cairns is taking us across inland New South Wales and Queensland, past Narrabri, Rockhampton and crossing the coast at Townsville. I miss having a flight path display, one disadvantage of a lack of IFE.

After collecting our plates (and delivering B some extra milk – she is eating my cereal) the crew have come around to hand out more water and yoghurt bars (damnit, more honey). All the crew (bar the Thai lady) appear very jovial and fun.

Plenty of legroom for our seat and despite the 767-300 being one of the older aircraft the interior looks clean.

2006/04/10 11:52 AM
Cairns International Airport is quite nice. The area past customs (the only bit we have access to) has a clean blue-green theme. There are a number of Australian themed shops, most with support for the dominant Japanese tourists. Food consists of a bar, also selling muffins and wraps, a sushi and Japanese food stall and a burger shop. I bought some small souvenirs as gifts in case we encounter anyone deserving in Japan. The flight in was a little rough north of Townsville.

The landscape around Cairns is such a verdant tropical green in comparison to the dry reds and yellows of our inland flight path. Boarding our Australian Airlines flight shortly.

2006/04/10 3:23 PM

The only difference between the Australian Airlines 767 we are in now and the Qantas 767 that we flew up to Cairns is the paint job on the outside, the orange cushions and uniforms of the flight attendants. The plane looks a little tired, but clean and the crew are young and cheerful. We are in row 1and have our own LCD screen to compliment the main projector.

There was a very funny Japanese gameshow compilation screening with people performing as anything from a forklift to a washing machine. Impossible to describe, very clever to watch.

Nuts and drinks were served shortly after take-off. Lunch was chicken and field mushrooms for B, vegetable gratin for me, accompanied by delicious cold soba noodles with a soy/sesame sauce, wholegrain roll and mini strawberry cream roll. The attendant, thinking that B was Japanese, explained that it was an Australian version of soba.

It’s been a bit bumpy, with scattered storms and high level cloud. Had magnificent views of the coral reef as we departed Cairns, brown and turquoise atolls. The cloud broke for Papua New Guinea and I could see mountains and long brown rivers flowing into the sea. Surrounded by cloud now. Time to get back to writing a report.

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