TRIP REPORT: Capital Connect-Before and After (Warning: Wing Shots)

Started by Snorzac, October 11, 2011, 12:52:11 AM

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I am writing this report for the purpose of comparing the former 'Capital Jet' product offered as a stock standard service in E-Jets by Virgin Australia to their new 'Capital Connect' service which is now in place, becoming the first Virgin service to have complimentry snacks served on all flights. My first trip was taken in July so I wasn't really planning on writing a report, but here we go.

July 20, 2011
The moring started with a drive to Sydney where I caught a train to the airport and got drenched at the mound. Having no sleep the night before I decided I would fly back that night on Virgin's 7pm service as I had a 6am start at work. I booked the flight via my phone and went and got my boarding pass, before heading into the City.

Flight: DJ670    Aircraft Type: Embraer E-170      Rego: VH-ZHF        Name: Little Miss Sunshine Coast
STD: 1905        Off Blocks: 1855                          Rotate: 1935         Gate: 38
STA: 2000         Touchdown: 2015                       At Gate: 2018.

3rd Time on VH-ZHA
5th Embaer 170 Flight
62nd Flight Overall

Arriving at the airport at 1730 I decided to go and get some dinner before heading to the gate, tonight my flight would be onboard one of only three remaining E170s in the fleet and there was a two in three chance it would be an aircraft I haven't been on before, but alas I get to the gate to find ZHF, tonight I would be riding her for the 3rd time making her my most travelled on aircraft and possibly the last Virgin E170 I travel on (was also my first E170 to ride on).

At the gate.

Sydney's weather was certainly sub-optimal with the rain pouring down almost to the point where you couldn't see the aircraft out the window, boarding commenced ontime and I joined the line before taking up my place in seat 4F.

Gate screen before boarding

Boarding pass.

Onboard, next to VOS

Loading for tonights flight was very light possibly due to the fact that two E190s had just departed for Canberra, however premium economy was full. Push back was early and we taxied out to the holding point on 16R closest to the Qantas Jetbase, and that's where we remained for the best part of 30 minutes.

Boredom shot of the seat pocket contents whilst waiting.

Finally, just after 1930 the No Smoking sign flicked on and off (Virgin's signal for the head cabin crew to call the cabin crew to be seated) and we taxiied onto the runway before powering up and climbing up into the clouds. Climb was as expected very bumpy but it soon smoothed out and cabin crew began serving food and drink to those who wished to purchase it, they mainly stayed in the galley during the flight.

Decent into Canberra soon commenced and we were soon landing on Runway 17. taxi to the terminal was very fast and I was soon off the aircraft which was been hurridly unloaded so it could jet off to Melbourne.

At the gate.


October 7
I was up early for this one as I had to get the bus to the airport, leaving early just in case a bus didn't show up, so it was the first bus from home leaving a full three hours before my flight was due to arrive, getting to the airport just after 7am, got a coffee and some breakfast and in no time the aircraft was on the ground.

Flight: DJ637                      Aircraft Type: Embraer E-190              Rego: VH-ZPE                Name: Bluephoria
STD: 0900                          Off Blocks: 0900                                 Rotate: 0909                  Gate: 9
STA: 0950                           Touchdown: 0940                              At Gate: 0950

1st Time on VH-ZPE
4th Embaer 190 Flight
63rd Flight Overall

ZPE arriving at the gate from Brisbane.

Parked-boarding today would be via stairs.

Boarding for today's flight was done in two parts, first boarding the rear half of the aircraft (that's me!). Upon entering the aircraft I was offered a free copy of The Australian, I then made my was to row 23. Boarding was relitivly fast and compared to my previous experiences on the CBR-SYD services with Virgin the load was quite heavy, about 75%.

Awaiting push back.

On our way pretty much on time we taxiied out to Runway 35 where we wasted no time in getting off the ground. Cloud was rather low today and we were into it just a matter of seconds after takeoff.

Breaking throught the cloud.

At the top of our climb, just over Golburn the seatbeltsign was turned off and the cabin crew got to work, at the same time the pilots rapidly powered down and made a rather steep left bank to enter a holding pattern.

Virgin's complimentry offerings on todays service, very nice! (once you could get it open)

Luckily we only did one pattern before we accelerated toward Sydney making an approach for 16R, the crew came through the cabin shortly before the seatbelt sign was turned on to collect rubbish.

Top of decent

Turning finals for 16R

On final approach


Landing was smooth as per the rest of the flight and we were quickly back at the terminal where the usual race for the door took place, I just kept my seat and waited and what do you know, I got off at the same time all the racers did!

Bluephoria at the gate getting prepped for a flight to Rockhampton.

Virgin really have changed the game as far as travel between Canberra and Sydney and they would be on par with of not better with Qantas in terms of the offerings on these flight. I think I have to say Virgin wins hands down, the friendly, young cabin crew out do Qantas' crew in the customer service department and the seats are alot more spacious.

Next trip will be Brisbane in early December at this stage so stay tuned!

Sir Pompously

You can easily tell by the spot pattern on the wing that it is VH-ZPE, also, between photos 4 and 6 (in post 2) the wing has flexed by an extra degree.