Qantas Economy Class BNE-TSV

And home again after a fairly hectic 48 hours in Brisbane. Not much time to get out and do anything, but did manage to get in an hour of shopping in town after the meeting finished one night 🙂

Again, only travelling with carry-on and checked in online on my phone, so straight to the Qantas lounge when I got to the airport in Brisbane. Friday night rush too, so very busy. At least until the evening flight to Sydney departed. Lounge was pretty quiet after that. Got something to eat in the lounge – just rice cakes and some hommus. And caffeine. Always more caffeine.

Flight departed on time and as this was a night flight, they had special catering. I got my VGML! Some vegetable curry and rice. Was nice, if not a bit bland. Won’t complain though.

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My VGML on the flight home – vege curry and rice…

Landed on time and was straight out the door to go home. So tired, amazed I didn’t crash my car in hindsight.

Qantas Economy Class TSV-BNE

Short work trip to Brisbane for a meeting. Carry-on only, and checked in online on my phone, so straight to the Qantas lounge when I got to the airport in Townsville. Afternoon flight, so lounge was overcrowded and loud. I quickly gave up and went to wait at the gate. It was actually quieter outside.

Flight departed on time and shortly after take-off we got served a snack. Inedible for me – cheese and crackers. I knew they didn’t do special catering on this flight, and had plans to go out for dinner when I got to Brisbane anyway, so not a big deal.

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VGML? Not so much…lol

Landed a bit late because we got put into a holding loop over Brisbane. Ruined initial dinner plans, but came up with an alternative. Vegan food is so much easier to find in Brisbane than it is in Townsville 🙂

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 GUR-POM

Belated trip report (part 4)!

On mah way home!

Diving was awesome!

Got to the airport a little early after the transfer from my resort in Milne Bay back to Alotau. There’s a little cafe/shop at the airport which sells soda and candy etc. I just got some water and sat around outside the terminal. It’s pretty small, and you don’t really want to clear security until your flight is called. Checking in was quick and easy. Security pulled me up on my camera gear for some reason. I don’t know, took about 20 minutes to clear security anyway.

Flight left 40 minutes early. Seriously. I already had a 6 hour layover in Port Moresby, and now it’d be closer to 7. #FML

Got the same juice tub and cookies I got on the flight over. Didn’t bother with either. Wasn’t hungry, and I already had my bottle of water from the airport.

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Again…

Landed early. Was then stuck with my bags for 7 hours waiting for the flight back to Cairns. Boredom ensued.

Air Niugini Economy Class POM-GUR

Belated trip report (part 3)!

So the domestic terminal at Port Moresby didn’t get the upgrade like the international terminal did. Not surprised. But due to the late arrival of the flight from Cairns, my transit time in Moresby wasn’t as bad as it could have been. Made my way to domestic pretty quickly and checked in easily. Security screening was its usual chaotic mess.

The little cafe that they have airside sells water and snacks. I bought a couple of bottles of water, figuring that I’d get dinner at the resort later that evening. Spent the next hour trying to find a wi-fi connection that worked. I failed.

Flight was on time. Shortly after take-off, the standard Air Niugini snack for domestic flights came out: juice tub and cookies. Gave both to my neighbour.

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I drank the water that I’d bought at the airport that you can see in the seat pocket.

Flight actually landed early into Alotau. Then things got messy. My resort transfer didn’t arrive. There were some arguments at the airport over what I was meant to do. It all worked out in the end and isn’t really relevant to this story…But ugh. Sometimes travel is a pain in the arse. I didn’t end up getting dinner until about 9pm, put it that way.

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 BNE-TSV

Flight 12/12: Brisbane to Townsville

One last flight!

I had a couple of hours to blow in Brisbane, so I holed up in the Qantas lounge and tried to start getting on top of some emails. The chaos that appears to have occurred at work in my absence is mindblowing. Tomorrow isn’t going to be fun.

Anyway, the flight boarded on time, and there was a bit of an incident at the gate. There was an American couple asking the ground crew a question about a connecting flight they had to make in Townsville, and some guy in the economy line dressed in head to toe NQ Cowboys supporters gear started making disparaging comments about Americans, and saying “go back to where you came from,” etc. North Queensland – keeping it classy. I had to make a real effort not to have a go at him for it, I was kind of itching for a fight. I was tired and in a bad mood, and wasn’t prepared to put up with crap from anyone.

The meal was served not long after take-off, and OMG, why don’t Qantas do this all the time? I got a package that contained carrot and celery sticks with some hommus. I like this stuff! Give it to me all the time! I wouldn’t complain! I hope this is a new thing that stays, but I will not be holding my breath.

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Dear Qantas catering: Gimme more of this!

Spent most of the flight playing games on my phone. Yes, I was bored. And tired. I lost a lot of lives. We landed on time in Townsville, my bag made it, and I was rapidly in a taxi home. Only to realise how much laundry I had to do and how much I didn’t want to go grocery shopping. Sleep now, domesticity tomorrow!

So, 12 flights in 2 weeks later, I return. Never again. As fun as the diving may have been, Raja Ampat was just too much hassle for a somewhat mediocre dive experience. To be brutally honest (as always), I prefer the diving in PNG. After having now dived both the north and south of Raja Ampat on different trips, all I have to say is “I’d rather go to Milne Bay“. Sorry, not sorry.