Seattle to Los Angeles
Los Angeles to Brisbane
Brisbane to Sydney to Canberra
Canberra to Melbourne
Qantas First Lounge Melbourne
Melbourne to Los Angeles
Los Angeles to Seattle
Tuesday 9th April 2013
This was going to be an early start, with a flight time that moved forward 20 mins a day or two out, and then a morning departure and wanting to make sure that I spent as much time in the lounge as possible, it was a given.
So at 230am! I was up and hitting the gym for a workout. Why? Well because then i could justify all the goodness that was ahead of me. My pickup was 430am. Why so early? Well check in was meant to be 4 hours prior to my flight and that time with an average of 30 minutes to the airport would have me at the terminal just before that 4 hour mark to check in.
My ride picked me up dead on time! Unfortunately no free limo from Qantas for me as it doesn’t apply to the USA routes till later in the year, but i still rode in style! I had found a recommendation for a reliable driver who offered pretty good rates, so thats what I went with. It’s not my fault he drives an M Class Mercedes! Sadly there was no traffic and we made it to the airport in 20 minutes! With a new departure time of the flight of 915 I wouldn’t be able to check in for a bit yet, sadly when I approached the First Class Check in, they told me they no longer start check in 4 hours prior but 3.5 hours prior. So I had just under an hour to wait 🙁
So I did what anyone does, I sat down, and used the free wifi! It was damn comfortable in the Marc Newson designed chairs (same as in the lounge) and just did a lot of the work there, that I was intending on doing in the lounge (like responding to emails, checking in for my VX flight home to Seattle) that sort of thing. So really I didn’t lose any time! One thing the staff did for me was book a spa time. 730am Spa appointment was confirmed (apparently they had tried calling me the day before but they called my US number).
Once I was allowed to check in (and mind you they had it all ready for me) I was bags checked to Los Angeles, express path card in hand (not that I needed it at that hour) and lounge instructions given. I was on a mission to get through as quickly as possible. Security was pretty painless (they had the nude o scopes going but only selected at random and you got to go to the front of the queue if you were selected) and then immigration was painless as well (though they refused to stamp my passport). Now that I was officially no longer “in” Australia I was stuck in the giant (and i mean giant) duty free store. I did buy some candy for all the people back home and headed for the lounge. Total time Check In to Lounge… 15 mins!
Once I got up to the lounge, I was super excited. I was greeted in (after a few photos of the door etc) and I also handed over my Business Card to hopefully set up a pre board for some photos etc. The staff could not do enough, they took me on a tour of the lounge, offered to help me in anyway they could. I decided to take some time taking photos of the lounge and exploring while it was quiet and I ordered a coffee to kick start my morning. Coffee was good, photos were good. I was enjoying the lounge! It looked magnificent, had anything you could want (even a stocked library with some nice Avgeek titles). The bathrooms even had fully stocked toiletries (i may now have some of the moisturizers in my collection).
With all of the exploring and photos out of the way, it was time for a spot of breakfast! What to have what to have!! So many options. Do I go sweet, do I go savoury. Decisions decisions. (The Full Menu is Here) I started off with some Fruit and some Yoghurt. The yoghurt was sheep’s milk yoghurt and came with some Figs, honey and Toasted hazelnuts. The figs were amazing! The fruit was just spectacularly fresh!
Then it was time for the main course. I liked the sound of the Egg white omelette over the Normal omelette so ordered that with a side of bacon and roasted field mushrooms. It automatically came with Sourdough toast but I wanted rye so I never touched it. The omelet was delicious and the bacon was good (though I should’ve ordered it crispy). When that was all said and done I ordered some Rye toast and out came 2 thick slices of Brasserie Bread New York Rye… YUM!! With all the different jam options (Triple Berry, Marmalade or Lime & Passionfruit) along with Vegemite, I had plenty of choices.
With breakfast now filled me up, my spa appointment time was fast approaching. So I packed up my stuff and headed over to the spa for my free 30 minute massage. I grabbed a quick few photos of one of the smaller treatment rooms (a few jokes with the staff suggesting they can put one of the hotter ladies in the photos for me if I wanted). While they asked what I wanted during my massage my response was simple. Legs, dear god just fix my legs!
A lovely 30 minute massage later (and my treatment room had some of the most amazing views) and I was in heaven. Spa… check, breakfast… check… time for a drink (some water this time) and a few sneaky pastries I think while I waited to be collected for the pre boarding. Time had gone by so quickly this was only a matter of minutes away… my time in the lounge was coming to an end… did I have to leave?
I was collected and then it was going to be off to the aircraft… ready for the main event!