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1. Heathrow to Hong Kong on the upper deck of a British Airways A380
2. Hong Kong to Sydney A330 Cathay Pacific
3. Sydney Ayers Rock B737 Virgin Australia*
4. Alice Springs to Cairns B717 Qantas
5. Cairns to Sydney B737 Qantas
6. Sydney to Heathrow via Singapore British Airways B777
All the above flights were fantastic, a bit of turbulence here and there, except *.
On the A380 I was chatting to a passenger who has flown this particular route many times and she said that she use to fly the B777, but now takes the A380, as over China there is a bit of "regular" turbulence and the A380 just rides through it. It certainly had bumps but nothing to cause any disturbance, the seat belt sign was never put on for the whole of the flight. Yet flying back on the B777 and other flights, the seat belt sign came on a few times.
When you get up close and on board the A380 it is like a mansion in the sky.
ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC. A very different flying experience.
Now the *, this was a very smooth flight to Ayers Rock, except when coming into land, then "roller coaster" springs to mind. Apparently due to the heat, the nearby Uluru (Ayers Rock) and surrounding flat terrain, all comes together to give a very bumpy flight path to landing, as the heat rises and whistles over the flat land and hits the rock. It is quite safe, but as Bette Davis once said "fasten your seat belts its going to be a bumpy ride" well I think she said bumpy night, but anyway.
On the B717 we took off in heavy rain and for all of the flight we were flying in and out of cloud and skimming the top, yet fairly smooth, a few bumps though. This plane is like the old BAC 1-11, a good flight though.
All in all a great flying experience and very enjoyable, though tiring on the long flight home, 23 hours.
Has it cured my fear of flying? well I'm looking forward to my next flight, and these six flights has now given me Silver on the BA Executive Club and a shed load of Avios. It has certainly made me feel more at ease within myself where flying is concerned, which i'm happy with, as I was concerned it might have a negative effect, but I am glad to say bring on the next flight. Though not just yet, I'm still getting over the jet-lag!!
Photo 1. Wings and engine of the A380 taken from business class upper deck over China.
Photo 2. Approaching Sydney Airport, just see the arch of Sydney Harbour Bridge in the mist, about halfway down in the photo.
Photo 3. Just about to descend into the cloud on our approach to Sydney.
Photo 4. This is what awaited us once we descended through the thick cloud, see photo 3.
Photo 5. "Fluffy clouds" and a little of the Outback on our way from Cairns to Sydney. soon after this the clouds got a little more dense until coming into landing, see photos 3 & 4.