My day started off reasonably early, leaving for the airport at 7am to catch the first of my two flights, BA1441 to London Heathrow, transferring between Terminal 5 and Terminal 3 is fairly hassle free as long as you know what terminal your connecting flight leaves from and you hold your onward boarding pass.
With the flight from Edinburgh being slightly delayed I ended up with only 1 hour between flights, so by the time I had negotiated my way through flight connections my flight to Melbourne was already boarding.
QF10 from London to Melbourne stops off in Dubai to refuel and change the crew, for anyone that’s new to this it’s basically 2 flights; London – Dubai (6.5 hours) and Dubai – Melbourne (13 hours), most of your fellow passengers will be continuing through to Melbourne with you but some will change in Dubai onto other Qantas flights, similarly you’ll be joined by people from other flights or who are just flying from Dubai to Melbourne.
If your going all the way you’ll still have to get off the aircraft in Dubai (taking your belongings with you), you follow the transit passenger signs and pass through security and back into the departure lounge for around an hour until they start boarding again.
Arrival in Melbourne was hassle free, if your from the UK and have an ePassport, you use one of the machines which will issue you a ticket, you then follow the signs and pass through their electronic border control (similar to the eGates we have in the UK). You then pass through to baggage reclaim, collect your bags, pass through customs and exit directly into the arrivals hall. I pretty much walked straight out, from landing to being through customs took a little over 30 minutes.
Having never been to Melbourne before and since my flight was arriving at night I had pre-booked a transfer with Qantas from the airport to my hotel, so I was quickly on my way, on hindsight this wasn’t really necessary, there are plenty of taxis at the airport and the substantially cheaper shuttle bus service which costs $18 and will take you from the airport to the various hotels.
It took about 30 minutes to get from the airport to my hotel, I stayed at the DoubleTree by Hilton located on Flinders Street, pretty much across from the station. It turned out to be a good location as it was right in the centre of the CBD and only a short walk from most places.
Since I had been travelling for well over 23 hours I pretty much fell asleep as soon as I got to my room.