Day 1 (28 December): SYD-BNE-NRT


The Plane: A330-300

Loyalty: Qantas Club and Frequent Flyer Bronze. Seats were redeemed for 35,000 points each plus taxes. The Qantas Club in Brisbane International is small and was cramped with a large volume of travellers flying immediately after Boxing Day. 

Flight time: Scheduled for 10 hours. We depart on time and with favourable weather gain 30 minutes for a total flight time of 9.5 hours.

Seats: 47A, 47B. We paid $30 per seat beforehand to secure the seats on what was a full flight. The seats are narrow but had sufficient legroom for the Navigator to stretch out and for the Navigatrix to store her pillows and handbag.

Entertainment: A touchscreen about the size of an iPad is mounted in the headrest of the seat in front. It has a USB port for charging devices and the headphone sockets. There is plenty of content - I lost count of the number of available movies and didn't even get time to browse the TV or audio content. The headphones were a bit finicky and required regular twiddling to maintain stereo sound.

Food: Lunch was served about two hours into the flight. Chicken salad and Japanese beef were ordered via the Qantas website prior to the flight and arrived before everybody else received their meals. The chicken salad was short on protein but the Japanese beef was adequate and certainly tasted better than it looked in the website picture. A light snack of beef sliders and a hot dog was served about 90 minutes from arrival. Adequate again but nothing special.

The flight: On entering the plane for the SYD-BNE leg the flight attendant commented on our coats. "We're headed for -15 in Norway," we said. "That's not cold," piped up a passenger. "We've just come back from -23 in Canada." OK, you win.

On approach to Narita we were treated to the spectacular silhouette of Mt Fuji at sunset.


Passage through immigration at Narita Airport was brisk and efficiently Japanese. For the first time in memory Customs asked to check our bags!  We were at our hotel in Narita via the airport bus within an hour of arrival.