We began our holiday this morning with an early start so that we could take the dogs for a nice long walk before leaving home. Good for them and good for us since we are going to be cooped up an an aeroplane for about 24 hours!
After our walk we had our breakfast, did some last minute cleaning and finished off our packing. All we really had left to pack was our toiletries after showering and cleaning our teeth. Our house sitter, Eddie, arrived just before 10.00am and we went out for another quick walk just to reassure ourselves (and Eddie) that he was going to be OK to manage the two dogs on his own. We introduced him to the correction chain for Finbar - just to help to remind him not to pull too much!
Just after 11.00am we loaded the bags and headed off to Tullamarine. Of course we added some padding to the time we allowed to drive to the airport and had a dream run arriving about noon for our 3.30pm flight. After handing the keys to the Tribute over to Eddie we headed into the international terminal expecting that we would have to wait for check-in to open.
Despite it being three and a half hours until flight time we actually found that the Qantas desks were open for check-in. Being so early we were able to pretty much walk straight up to the counter. Bernie tried to check-in on-line yesterday afternoon so that we had some control over where we were going to sit, but was not able to complete our check-in over the Internet.
The Qantas staff member advised us that we had been allocated seats 83F and 83G. As this was an aisle plus one in the middle section of seats towards the back of the plane we were reasonably happy with that allocation. The thing is that we don't really know where we want to sit in an A380. We have our favourite seats on a Jumbo - right down the back where there are four rows of two seats on each side of the plane - but there's nothing similar in the seating configuration for the A380. Unless you pay for Premium Economy seats ... maybe next time?
After checking-in, it was off to the Qantas Club Lounge via the Swatch shop. I was really in need of a casual Swatch so HAD to make my traditional duty free watch purchase before leaving the country!! An outrageous purple and green time-piece this year which is very adventurous by my usually conservative standards. Having arrived so early at the airport we were in the Qantas Club Lounge by just on 1.00pm. That gave us plenty of time to enjoy the hospitality before our flight started boarding at 2.50pm.
Our flight pushed away from the Skybridge right on time at 3.00pm and we were in the air soon after for an entirely uneventful flight to Singapore. The Melbourne to Singapore leg was not fully booked so we had a spare seat between us and the girl sitting on the other aisle. It is nice to have a spare seat to be able to spread out onto a bit! The flight to Singapore seemed to pass quite quickly without even getting around to watching a movie.
At Changi Airport we just had time to disembark, walk around to the Qantas Club Lounge, use their facilities, have one quick drink and then they announced that QF9 to London was (re-)boarding. At least walking around to the lounge meant that we had a bit more exercise than if we had just waited at the gate lounge while the plane was being cleaned.
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