Thursday, 17 November 2011

Why I loved travelling with V Australia (Part 1) - MEL-LA - VA11

Aircraft carrier: V AUSTRALIA
Aircraft type: Boeing 777-300ER
Flight duration: Approx 15 hours

Overall flight rating: 9.3/10
In-flight food rating: 9.1/10
Staff friendliness:  9.6/10

Well, it was hard to believe, but I had to come to terms with the fact I was boarding a plane to America.  That's right:  to the US!  For many years, I had dreamt of travelling there and visiting many regions.  The opportunity finally arose when I decided to apply for a study abroad program - during the break - with the University of Melbourne.  The subject ran for around three weeks and included visits to Boston, Washington and - of course - New York!

Nobody likes 15 hours flights, even plane enthusiasts such as myself.  Although, what you will soon find out is that the flight was fantastic.  It went fast and smooth thanks to the wonderful crew on board and the glistening Boeing 777-300ER.  It was beyond my expectations.  Although the plane is fairly new to the fleet, it was perfectly clean and had a fresh feel to it.  This I believe is partly due to the smart design of the seats, the material and the lighting.  The overhead bins (where on board luggage is stored) on this model are well designed and leave plenty of ceiling space.  This gives passengers a greater feel of open space.

The on board meal was fantastic also.  Mine was chicken with noodles.  Honestly speaking, it was one of the tastiest meals I've had on board a flight.  We were provided with plenty of drinks and snacks throughout the rest of the flight.  For dessert, I chose Peach pancakes with custard.  It was also tasty but I found it funny that one of the pancakes was almost burnt whilst the other was not cooked properly.  I guess I was just lucky and had both extremes.  I forgive V Australia for this, but it could certainly be an improvement.

The remainder of the trip was quite entertaining.  I requested a window seat at check in which unfortunately split me from the rest of the tour group (about 50 or so students) and was stuck with some teenage students which were travelling to the United States to compete in Water Polo competitions.  These guys weren't that young, they were in their final years of high school but they sure had ants in their pants.  They seemed to play musical chairs for most of the flight and took advantage of the on board entertainment - chat function.  This is how it worked:  a small group of boys went searching the aircraft for good looking girls and noted their seat numbers.  They then came back to their seats and began to giggle for what seemed hours.  It so happened that they ended up chatting to girls which later came hunting them down.  Fortunately, the girls were young and had a bit of a laugh.  Talk about an entertaining flight...

The guy that sat next to me seemed really nice.  We talked about what they were planning to do and see in the US and why they had put in so much effort to compete for these titles (Water Polo Competition remember...).  I found it hard to contain myself when he spilt orange juice all over himself around half way through the flight.  I totally saw it coming (yes, he opened the container towards himself instead of away).  I felt for him though because ... oh, forget it.  I'm sure you know what the consequences are... A sticky and smelly tshirt...

And such was my adventure for the first half of the flight.  Part 2 of this review will cover the decent and touch down in Los Angeles Airport.

The seats have a wonderful colour scheme.  The legroom was beyond my expectations, now I understand why they boast so much about their 'International Economy' service

However, the seats were not the most comfortable.  They look good, leg room is very pleasing but the back rests are rock solid.  The shape is just not right...

Two 747's parked near the Cargo terminal

Can you see the new tower being built?

Making our way to the end of the runway, ready to depart beloved Melbourne!

And away we go!

Overview of Melbourne International Airport (Tullamarine)


Melbourne CBD in the photo above

Dusk arrives, time to rest

Purple mood lighting

The sunset was spectacular also.  The cloud formations were not dramatic but the gradients of colour were beautiful!

PART 2 - Coming soon!
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