Town Hall Station is right next to the Queen Victoria Building (QVB), an ornate Romanesque building completed in 1898. Originally a concert hall, it is now an indoor mall and a tourist attraction in its own right.
From the station I tried to follow the directions to the Four Points that I had gotten from the concierge. These turned out to be less than worthless. The easiest way to the hotel from the QVB is to take Market Street down the hill toward Darling Harbour for four short blocks, turn right on Sussex, and the Four Points is 100m on the left. My room was not ready when I arrived at9:30am. It was a hot day and I wanted to shower. The front-desk clerk offered the fitness center facilities. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the shower there was actually a completely private mini suite with a sitting area, bathroom and shower. After a leisurely shower and change of clothes, I went back to the front desk to turn in the fitness center key, and low and behold, a room was ready.
The room was a Premium Deluxe Harbour View room. Not a suite but very nice for a solo two-night stay.
The room had a great view of Darling Harbour, Sydney Aquarium, Madame Toussaud’s and Cockle Bay.
There was a small balcony, sofa bed and chair, and a well-stocked minibar.
The bathroom was standard Four Points except with a walk-in shower instead of a tub. The cable TV had a good selection of local and international channels. It even offered American sports shows from time to time rather than the steady diet of football (soccer), rugby and cricket that I’m usually forced to watch in this part of the world.
Air New Zealand was renovating its lounge and was utilizing a temporary space on the lower level of Terminal 1. When I arrived, the lounge was packed. It made the B10 club at ATL look roomy.
The lounge emptied after they announced boarding for a JetStar flight to Auckland. There must have been 40 or 50 people in the lounge on that flight. The lounge offered mid-day food and beverages comparable to Skyteam international lounges, soup, cold sandwiches and wraps, fruit,and cheese. The bottled beer selection included several Australian and international brands. No skunky beer. The lounge also had a hot dog cart where you could make your own jumbo frankfurter with all the fixings including “American” mustard. Delicious.
The boarding gate is just upstairs from this lounge. I went there about an hour before departure. Before getting to the seating area, passengers had to go through additional security screening. The flight boarded about 30 minutes late apparently due to catering and a delay in getting the plane to the gate from where it had been parked after arriving from LAX that morning. Our departure out of SYD flew directly over the Four Points and Darling Harbour and offered a great view of downtown Sydney, the Opera House, the Coat Hanger and Manley Beach on the Pacific coast.
My seat, 3D, was on the side that had the best view. Leaving the Australia coast, the captain gave us the bad news that our arrival in LAX would likely be 30 minutes late in accordance with the late SYD departure.
The flight attendants started the beverage and five-course dinner service shortly after reaching cruise altitude. Prior to departure I’d given my dinner order, braised beef. Unlike other airlines I’ve flown, delta FAs claim to have no control over how beef is cooked. I don’t know why delta goes to the expense of paying for nice fillets if the only way they can serve it is well done. I didn’t mind if the braised beef was well done and it exceeded my expectations as far as taste and texture.
In addition to the mid-flight snack, I like the snack basket that the FAs keep in the galley. It is nice at my convenience to grab some munchies to go with a beer and a movie.
During the flight, I could tell from the flight-following display that we were not making up time. The captain confirmed this while breakfast was served 90 minutes out. He assured us that delta was re-booking those (me) with close connections. I did not know how that would affect my upgrade. When I checked in Sydney, I was still on the GU waiting list for my LAX-ATL flight. Checking the delta app after landing in LAX, I could see I had been rebooked in first class on the the ATL flight immediately after my original flight plus there were additional options in first going through DTW, MSP and SLC. I didn’t confirm any of these flights since I didn’t know the aircraft being used and if possible I wanted to route back through JFK to try that BE experience again. Getting through customs was a breeze thanks to the kiosk machines. I don’t think Global entry saves much time in most cases especially when I’m one of the first off the plane.