“What time will you arrive? I’ll pick you up” My old mate Daz texted me.
“I’ll be landing at 10:35” I texted back.
“Ok, see you at 10:30” was the reply.
“No, its 10:35!” I responded.
“Yeah, 10:30!” “No, 10:35!”…..
The banter went on for weeks, “10:30?” “No, 10:35!” we laughingly texted each other.
The 1 hour and 35 minute flight was departing at 10:00 New South Wales time and arriving at 10:35 Queensland time due to Queensland not observing daylight savings time so NSW was one hour ahead (and Queensland on the correct time…).
I’d bought my ticket a few months earlier when Qantas(Link) announced their new direct services from Sydney to Maroochydore and had a sale, even though I had flown on a QantasLink 717 a couple of times before, that was in Business Class and although I was turning right to Economy Class this time, the avgeek in me was excited.
I boarded the 9 year old Boeing 717 at 9:40am. The 2-3 configuration in Economy Class seemed quite. We departed the terminal on time, but due to a couple of aircraft being ahead of us in the lineup to take off, we flew off out of Sydney around 20 minutes late. Not to worry, the captain informed us we would make some of that time up with only a 1 hour and 19 minute flying time.
The aircraft, registered VH-YQW has been leased to Cobham Aviation on behalf of QantasLink since mid April 2014. When I researched this particular aircraft I was surprised to learn it was the last Boeing 717 ever built in May 2006. It first flew for Midwest Airlines until that airline ceased operations in 2008, next saw it fly with Click Mexicana before it entered service with Cobham.
On this mid morning flight we were offered a refreshment, which started with a choice of juice or water and tea or coffee.
In addition to the drinks, we were offered a snack, Banana bread or sweet chilli rice crackers. I opted for the latter but ‘TBH’ (as sometimes said via text), I should have gone for the Banana Bread, these weren’t that nice. Kindly though, the Cabin Crew were offering passengers not only the choice, but both.
As we descended out of the clouds, I noticed we were flying over the ocean and heading west towards the land. With a quick flyover the town of Maroochydore and a few right turns we landed at the airport at 10:50 am and I disembarked to meet Daz in the terminal.
“10:30?” Daz questioned.
“No 10:35 I said!” Seems we were both wrong.
The Qantaslink service adds some competition to the ever burgeoning holiday destination of the Sunshine Coast and although the ‘refreshment’ was lacking in volume (and taste), I am sure during meal times there would be a better offering.