Travels in 2014

Despite deciding 2014 would be a slow year, it started with a bit of a flurry as I was given the opportunity to shoot for Platinum One status with Qantas. To get there, I needed to put in just a little more flying though. This lead to me almost doubling the amount of miles I flew, though actually flying 4 less segments.

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Understandably, a large chunk of the mileage came from a trip to Europe, but I still did my fair share of flying in Australia this year, beating last years purely domestic total by a hundred miles or so.

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Looking to the year ahead, my travels should drop off even more, and I’m not expecting another international trip, as those happen every few years or so.

Christmas Day

We had a quiet Christmas this year, with all the usual suspects away in other places, and dad didn’t even play golf like he usually does due to a sore foot. As such, you’d think we’d be more organised, but that wasn’t to be and it wasn’t until mid-morning that we opened various things.

My gift to everyone was a bottle of Billecart-Salmon Brut Rosé, as when I tried it at the Dan Murphy’s Champagne appreciation night in October I absolutely loved it. Unfortunately for me, I didn’t find it quite as tasty the second time, however everyone else seemed to enjoy it, so the gift was a success.

I received some clothes, money and little bits and pieces like I usually do… in fact so did everyone else, as we usually do. Very boring but there really wasn’t anything on the list. There may be soon though, and that was worked in, but more on that another time.

Lunch/dinner wasn’t served until mid-afternoon, but was an unorthodox lamb or salmon main, with the usual spuds and other yummy roughage.

Qantas Family Day

You have no idea what time I had to get up for this event. My day started at 02:30 and I was on the road by 03:00. However I got to the airport just prior to the lounge opening to be greeted by a very welcome surprise, my operating aircraft would be VH-XZP, the newest 737-800 in the fleet and painted in a special livery from the past. Dubbed Retro Roo, I’m sure you can see why.

In Sydney I had another hour or so to kill before meeting up with James and his family, for the event in a hangar conveniently placed adjacent to the terminal.

Inside we were given the ability to virtually run amuck on VH-OGM, a 22-year-old 767-300 that will be retired from the fleet at the end of this month. In fact, I’m on the very last flight, appropriately named QF767. Next to her was VH-OJA, a 25-year-old world record holding 747-400. You see, back in 1989 this 747 flew the longest non-stop flight, LHR-SYD in 20 hours and 9 minutes.

So I met a #B767 Fleet Captain, thank you for having me @qantas

A photo posted by Sam Heathfield (@samh004) on

It was an interesting day, getting to see AFP equipment, firefighting equipment, two planes and all their secret spaces, like crew rest areas, flight decks and doing it with people who enjoy it as much as I do.