Qantas Economy Class CNS-TSV

Belated trip report (part 6…and home)!

Home sweet…I hate this place.

After getting up at 4am to get to the airport for my 6am flight…Blah. I hate everything. Checking in was quick and easy – the perks of frequent flyer status and having a separate check-in line. Security was long. But then I had Qantas lounge access, so all was not lost. Coffee! And hash browns 😀 Sometimes I like a bit of fried food, not going to lie.

Flight left on time. Shortly after take off we got breakfast…Juice, pastry thing, apple.


I ate the apple!

Landed on time. Had to wait an unusually long time for my bag to come out. Then home, dump my bags, and off to work…

Another holiday over. Fun times were had. I look forward to the direct flights from Brisbane to Alotau starting later in the year. Anything that allows me to avoid Port Moresby is a good thing.


Air Niugini Economy Class POM-CNS

Belated trip report (part 5)!

Bored. Bored. Bored.

7 hours stuck in any airport is boring. 7 hours stuck at Port Moresby airport is excruciating.

The international terminal had finally finished its upgrades since my last visit, which was awesome. But the thing is, my flight didn’t open for check in until 4-5 hours before departure. Which meant several hours sitting around the check-in area doing nothing. Boredom.

Eventually check-in opened and everything was quick. Immigration and security was also quick. Thankfully. With the new renovations, airside now had a number of duty free and souvenir shops, as well as half a dozen cafes. Huzzah! I even managed to find something to eat. I’d hoped to get something more substantial, but all I could find was a salad. And more caffeine. Always more caffeine.

The flight was thankfully on time and shortly after take-off we got an early dinner. Some rice salad thing (which had feta in it, so no go), salad, crackers, and juice.

20160307_172819Supposedly a VGML, but the rice salad thing had cheese in it. I ate the side salad.

We landed on time back in Cairns, and I made my way through immigration quickly. Had some stuff to declare at customs, but that too went relatively fast. Due to flight schedules, I had to spend the night in Cairns before flying home in the morning. I had planned to get a proper dinner in town, but it turns out that my favourite restaurant (the Turkish place on the Esplanade) had closed down. I wanted to cry. So I went to the Woolworths down the road and bought some random stuff, went back to my hotel, and ate dinner in front of the tv. Yes, I’m so adventurous sometimes.

Air Niugini Economy Class CNS-POM

Belated trip report (part 2)!

Because my flight from Townsville landed quite early, I had a bit of a layover in Cairns (4 hours) before the flight to Port Moresby left. Air Niugini check-in doesn’t open until 2.5 hours before departure, so I was stuck hanging around Cairns international for 90 minutes before check-in opened…*yawn* Landside in Cairns international is dead. I was bored very, very quickly. Eventually check-in opened and everything was straight forward.

Fun times ensued…The fire alarm in the terminal building went off when I was in line for security screening. Everything in the terminal came to a screeching halt for about 30-40 minutes while they found the culprit. We didn’t have to evacuate, but we were basically standing around doing nothing while they found the source of the alarm. It took ages for them to eventually start screening again. So boring, and you get no phone signal in that part of the airport, so I couldn’t even Facebook. Doom!

Once through security, there’s not much going on airside. A few duty free shops and a cafe and a pizza shop. The cafe had coffee, but not much in the way of vegan or gluten free food. The newsagents sells paleo bars, so I bought a couple of those which were edible, and sat around waiting for the plane. Which was 45 minutes late. Shocker, I know…

After departing a bit late, we were on our way to Port Moresby. Made up a bit of time along the way. Shortly after take-off we got brunch.20160226_123538No VGML: pasta salad with mayo, ham, a bread roll, and an ice cream…lol

I would survive. This was predictable. My plan was to just wait it out until I got to the resort in Milne Bay for dinner.

Landed a bit late, but I had enough time up my sleeve to make the connection to Alotau, so not a problem. Immigration was really slow, even for PNG. And customs officers seemed more interested in standing around having a chat than in clearing the 3 plane loads of passengers that had just arrived. Not a surprise. PNG runs on island time…

Qantas Economy Class TSV-CNS

Belated trip report!

I was off to PNG for another dive trip…Surprise!

Anyway, flight from Townsville to Cairns was at stupid o’clock in the morning, and all I really wanted to do was caffeine load.

Check-in was easy, and I made my way rapidly to the Qantas Club lounge at Townsville airport for coffee and breakfast. All the caffeine! And some fruit salad…Because to be honest, that’s about the only vegan thing in the lounge at breakfast.

Flight went on time, and we got our snack box shortly after take off. Unsurprisingly, none of it was vegan: yogurt, cake, museli bar type thing. I got another coffee and listened to my ipod for the remainder of the 40 minute flight.IMG_20160226_070211

When you don’t get a VGML because it’s such a short flight and they don’t do special catering…

Landed on time and I made my way to the international terminal in Cairns to wait for my next flight to Port Moresby.

Qantas Economy Class CNS-TSV

Chuuk to Townsville: flight 3…

Nearly home…After waiting around outside the terminal for about 4 hours for the building to reopen, we finally got inside around 3.30am. However, Qantas check-in desks didn’t open until 4am. Seriously, I know Cairns isn’t a huge port, but it’s atrocious that the airport terminal building isn’t open 24/7, even if check-in isn’t. At that point, I’d already checked in online on my phone and just needed to bag drop.

Eventually did that and headed upstairs to the Qantas lounge. It’s usually quite quiet in the mornings in Cairns, but for some reason, the place was full of loudmouthed bogans. Imagine my joy?

Eventually headed off to get the flight, which was running on time. Given that it’s the first flight of the day, you’d hope it was on time! At the gate, the scanner wasn’t working – because of course it wasn’t. They had to manually check everyone in at the gate.

We did depart on time, and once in the air were served our typical bunny hop snack box. Last time I took this flight, we got some fruit, so I was hopeful, but not holding my breath.

Good thing I didn’t hold my breath…

QF_cnstsvApple and cinnamon bread, a museli bar, and orange juice.

Nothing edible, but I did get a coffee.

We landed on time, I got my bags, and headed for the taxi rank. The second I walked in the door at home, I stuffed my face with a box of raw food bars. Seriously. I was starving.

Thus ends my aborted holiday to Chuuk. Back to work again.

Also, I hate United.

United Airlines Economy Class CNS-GUM

Townsville to Chuuk: flight 2…

So after landing at about 5pm in Cairns from my domestic flight, I had a roughly 7.5 hour layover in Cairns before the flight to Guam. Qantas wouldn’t check my bags through on to United, so I had to run circles around Cairns airport trying to find the luggage storage guy. Took a while, but eventually got him to put my dive bag into the security room so that I could head into the city to grab some dinner.

Predictably, I went back to my favourite Turkish restaurant (Ala Turka) on The Esplanade and ordered my favourite dish – the baba ghanoush salad. All the noms!

IMG_5796My favourite food in Cairns! It comes with Turkish bread by default, but I didn’t eat it.

After eating dinner in town, I went for a short wander (it was raining, so didn’t really want to walk around for long) before heading back to the airport for the international flight from Cairns to Guam. All straight forward with check-in, immigration, and security. They’ve installed the bloody body scanners at security screening now though. I hate those things. Blame the TSA.

Post-security, almost nothing was open. The Guam flight is the last of the night, and since it leaves just after midnight, and there’s no other flights in the same general time slot, nobody bothers to stay open. The little cafe that does pizzas etc. was open, as was the newsagent and the duty free place. I got a raw food bar and a bottle of Coke Zero from the newsagent. I was tired, and the Coke probably wasn’t the best idea, because I wanted to curl up and sleep on the flight. I would inevitably want to kick my own ass for that in a few hours.

The flight information from United says that the CNS-GUM flight only serves a snack. This, historically, usually means they don’t do special catering. So a bit of advance planning, and I made sure I had something to eat on the flight, given that inevitably, whatever United was likely to serve me would be inedible. To be honest, even regular passengers who don’t have special meal requests complain endlessly about the catering on United, so I really didn’t have any expectations. Which was a good thing.

The flight departed on time, and it was half empty. Most people had a row to themselves. We could stretch out and sleep! The snack got served about 20 minutes into the flight, and as predicted – no special catering. I literally couldn’t eat anything on the tray. There were cookies, a muffin, and a chocolate bar. I ate one of the snack bars I bought at the airport in Cairns and got some black tea, then pretty much passed out until we were about to land.


What United gave me…

IMG_5798What I actually ate…BYO VGML.

We landed on time in Guam and then had a nice long queue at immigration. Joy. Transit was easy enough, and that was probably the most efficient and easy TSA screening I’ve ever done in my entire life! So clearly the TSA aren’t all bad, just the ones on the mainland US…*cough*MIA*cough*

Qantas Economy Class TSV-CNS

From Townsville to Chuuk: flight 1…

The flight from Townsville to Cairns is a short bunny hop up the coast. I flew instead of driving is because I could leave straight after work and still make the connecting flight out of Cairns to Guam that night. Driving would have meant missing work for the day – plus the cost of parking my car at the airport for a week. Rather not.

Qantas Club access in Townsville is still mediocre. It’s a small regional lounge, but it has wi-fi. There was actually a bit of food out, but predictably almost nothing I could eat. I got some olive mix and some grapes. A bit lean, but better than nothing I suppose.

IMG_5794My munchies in the Townsville Qantas Club…

No priority boarding as it’s a small Dash-8 flight, and everyone just walks out to the plane on the tarmac rather than using the aerobridges.

I put in the VGML request when I booked the flights, but as expected, it was just a snack box that got served. No special meal catering. I figured as much, as it’s not the first time I’ve caught this flight. That’s why I ate in the lounge.

IMG_5795The snack box that was served. Vegetarian? Yes. Vegan or gluten free? Nada.

I don’t think many people ate it anyway, the flight was vomit inducing. The turbulence was pretty nasty, and while I’m not one who is prone to getting airsick, I really didn’t feel well.

That aside, the flight was uneventful. We landed on time, and then the fun began…