Tuesday, May 23, 2023

It’s No Wonder We’re Happy to Be Down Under

Following up on our previous post, we’re currently relaxing in the SYD Qantas Domestic Business Lounge and reflecting on how pleasant the past 24 hours of travel have been since we took off from YVR.

Our drive from home included a quick and painless NEXUS border crossing into Canada, and quick and uncrowded security and US Immigration pre-clearance for our flight to San Francisco.

We had ample time to visit an Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge that we hadn’t seen in years.

Our YVR-SFO flight was lightly loaded and the middle seat in our exit row happily remained empty.

We navigated the airside walk to SFO’s International Terminal, remembering the days when we had to clear security again.

We found ourselves in a rather crowded United Polaris Lounge that didn’t impress us as much as we had expected.

We arrived around 8 and added our names to the dining room waitlist. A little less than an hour later we were seated and the friendly server told us the kitchen stopped taking orders at 9. We can order quickly when pressed, and the food came out promptly. The quantities were small and the dishes definitely did not blow us away.

Pasta Primavera?

We then proceeded aboard our United 777 Polaris, and enjoyed a great flight to Sydney with a fine cabin crew that reminded us of the good old days on United.

We had two seats in the middle right next to each other.

The pot roast by another name was substantial and nicely presented.

The dessert sundaes with a choice of toppings are a definite treat. After dinner we both managed to sleep for several hours, always easier for us on the ultra-longhaul flights like this 15-hour 7400-mile journey.

We’ve had free Wifi on UA YVR-SFO-SYD, thanks to being  T-Mobile customers. That’s quite a feature.

After a smooth Sydney landing, we went through the E-Pass automated gates without having to talk to a human being.

Another walk across the terminal to the Qantas transfer Skybus allowed us to clear security and be whisked to the Domestic Terminal.

Our OneWorld Emerald status enabled us to enter the QF Business Lounge, even with our QF economy tickets to Melbourne.

Barista-made double-shot Cappuccinos and a breakfast buffet sampler for both of us, coupled with a shower, and we’re ready to board the relatively short hop to Melbourne, where we hope to meet up with two of our best Aussie friends, Bill and Sue, for a reunion celebration at the Hilton Melbourne Little Queen Street Executive lounge. That’s one good way to celebrate Kathy’s birthday, especially since Sue’s birthday is just two days earlier.

It’s good to be back in Oz.


Kim H said...

Looks like your trip is off to a great start! PS pasta primavera looked interesting

Kathy and Brian said...

Good eye! Pasta Primavera was apparently invented in the 1970s iin North America (Nova Scotia?). It’s made with a cream sauce and vegetables. Check the photo again. Our dinner on board was competitive and certainly more filling.

Anonymous said...

Glad you had a good flight to Australia even if your first stop is Sydney, I wish Qantas would have Wifi on international flights
Regards Bevan

Kathy and Brian said...

It was our first time having FREE WiFi on a transoceanic flight. A great feature!