Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Trip to Brisbane and Gold Coast: To Brisbane


The trip didn't get of to a good start as our Air Asia flight to Singapore was delayed for an hour because of late incoming aircraft. We had to sit and wait for another 15 minutes for a couple of flights to land before we had clearance to take off.  Typical of our Air Asia flight experience, the flight itself was uneventful and thankfully went by pretty quick.

We met our sister at baggage claim who had arrived on an earlier Air Asia flight from Kuching and by now, had waited for about 2 hours for us thanks to the delay. We proceeded to check-in and drop our bags off at the Emirates counter upstairs in departure. I was quoted a price of about $1500 SGD when I  inquired on paying for a cash upgrade to business which we thought was not worth the money for a 7 hour flight. Would rather suffer in coach and use that money on other stuff.

By now we were starving and only had about an hour and a half before departure. Instead using one of the Priority Pass lounges, we just had lunch at one of the Chinese Restaurant in Terminal 1. The food was surprisingly not bad but it might have just been because we were famish. Almost everything taste good when you're hungry.

A Hungry Lydia

We headed straight to the departure gate after lunch. I was surprised to see that the aircraft had not arrived yet and the cabin crew waiting at the departure gate. Another delay but a good one since we were not in a rush to arrive in Brisbane. We were scheduled to arrive at an odd time of one in the morning and we were just going to go cheap without a hotel room for that half a night. The longer the flight was the delayed, the shorter the time would be before we could check-in to the hotel.

The plane still had not arrived at the scheduled departure time of 3.15pm. There were no delay announcement made by the gate agents. I guess the delay pretty normal for this flight for no announcements to be made? The plane finally arrived and we were on-board an hour after for our first economy experience on Emirates.

The Emirates service in coach had a hot towel run before flight took off. Pretty impressive start I must say but everything went somewhat downhill after.  Service from most of the crew except for one guy was cold. My service button was ignored when I wanted a second drink during drinks service but I guess it might have been due to meal service starting soon?

The food itself wasn't too impressive or tasty. The bread rolls were cold I agree with my sister, that at a minimum, the rolls should be served warm.

The only Gin & Tonic that I got

Fish & Rice

Chicken & Pasta
I personally didn't have a problem with the infamous seat pitch and width on Emirates flight in coach. Must have flown Air Asia one too many times.

Lights were deemed after the meal service. I only could manage short 10-15 minute naps on the flight before waking up. Instead, I spent most of the time watching movies or browsing the in-flight entertainment. The selection on Emirates was pretty wide and I finished 3 movies on a couple of TV shows at the end of the flight. I must not be flying enough recently since there was a good selection that I haven't seen yet. The only complain I have is with the IFE controls through the tracker that was slightly unresponsive.

A snack of cold sandwiches and a dessert was served about 2 hours before landing. There were also instant noodles available throughout the flight for those who were hungry.

The Emirates flight would be the last arriving flight to Brisbane for the night. We arrived in Brisbane about 2 am in the morning and about an hour later, we were done with the immigration, custom and luggage facilities before we were picked up by the shuttle for our rental car.

The drive to the Gold Coast was uneventful and thankfully we didn't have a hard time staying up. We were initially hoping to get to the Gold Coast to catch the sunrise but it was already bright and sunny when we reached the coast around 4.45 in the morning. It sure does get bright early in the morning in Gold Coast. We drove around for a bit more exploring Surfer's Paradise before heading to the casino where we just did some "window betting".

By 6 am, we were exhausted so headed back to Surfer's and tried to check-in at the Hilton. Thankfully, we got a friendly check-in agent who after checking for available rooms for a couple of minutes, allowed us to check-in.

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