Sydney to Melbourne

After rushing onto the plane and stowing my 4.99 kg hand luggage (the limit is 5 kg), I found my seat and strapped in. The view out the window was something like this:

Sydney winter nights are black!

Meanwhile, on the inside I was snug and warm and still trying to figure out the video screen controls! Each seat on this Malaysian Airlines 747 had a controller in the armrest tethered by a cable. It looked like a game console controller on one side and a mobile phone on the other. In fact it was a game controller and mobile phone! You inserted a credit card to make long distance calls ... or high altitude calls... and the 'game' side controlled the LCD video screen embedded in the headrest of the seat in front.

After 15 minutes of fiddling about I realised that the screens weren't turned on yet. Then they were on and I was surfing! The setup was something like cable TV, with channels showing movies in various languages, a collection of video games - no flight sims, info screens about Malaysia and the Flight Information Screen. This was cool!

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines 747
in Microsoft Flight Simulator 98

As well as showing our position on a map it gave such useful information as:
Time to destination: 22 minutes
Altitude: 31 K (that's 31 thousand feet)
Ground speed: 536 mph
Outside temp: - 50 deg Centigrade.

Catering to Muslims, the screen also showed the direction to Mecca. There was a prayer room upstairs.

Going to Melbourne was a bonus, more take-off and landings! (Melbourne is South of Sydney - Europe is North).

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