With a 6.50 pm lift off from Auckland and working backwards, I had to catch the 4.10 pm 308 Airporter bus for a mere NZ$4 / US$3, the 2 stages 30 minute ride from the Onehunga Transport Centre to the airport. It was a quick 10 min downhill walk from mum's place where my car is parked for Tim who is flying back on Sunday to use while I'm away.
I was at the bus stop in plenty of time but come 4.10 pm, no bus. Crickey did it come early and left ... The next bus is not due till 4.45 pm. While technically one has to be at the airport 3 hours before departure, I knew that being there 2 hours before hand would be fine. Not to worry as at 4.18 pm the 308 turned up late.
Somehow I had expected to be on a plane with Qantas livery because of my Qantas frequent flyers and had booked through Qantas, but Qantas QF8761 was code sharing with Emirates EK407 on this sector and it was an Emirates Airbus 380-800 that awaited me.
Checked in and then the short wait for seating zone F to be called. All I knew is that I had months ago booked all of my seats with Eve of Globe Travel. Used the 'Seat Guru' web site as reference and 43K awaited me on this first sector. I wanted on this trip different experiences sitting both upstairs and downstairs in the A-380. With 2 long night flights on this trip, getting a seat which would accommodate my long legs was important.
I still had to turn right on entering the plane but was right up the front of cattle class with a window seat ... and plenty of leg room to stretch out, along with a young baby in the next seat. Four months old and on his 3rd international long haul flight!
Left Auckland a bit after 7 pm instead of 6.50 pm. Above the white puffy cotton wool like clouds, at a true air speed of 901 km an hour, pushed along by a 9 km tail wind, we chased the setting sun all the way across the Tasman Sea to Melbourne, some 2,640 kms away.
Dinner was Appetiser - Rotini salad - hand-made twisted pasta with pesto, served with beef pastrami and fresh lettuce. Main course - Salmon with lemon velouté - pan fried fish fillet with lemon sauce, served with mashed herbed potatoes and buttered vegetables. Dessert - Chocolate and coffee cake - rich, smooth layer of chocolate and coffee flavoured mousse on a crumbly biscuit base.
First brief transit is Melbourne.
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Auckland > Melbourne
Thursday, December 11, 2014
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia