Fantastic trip, many thanks Isaac once again for all the bookings and your help.
Someone to talk to at the end of a phone in seconds with no auto answer menu is greatly appreciated and sets the tone for a DialAFlight experience.
Very disappointed with the flight from KL to PERTH. Fell way short of business class standards. The matter was relayed to Malaysian Airlines who were going to investigate these issues, that was a month ago with little response. Many thanks for the way you organised my flights.
Good to know we had someone available if we needed it but things went so well that we didn’t. Will be back for the next flight!
It was all fantastic, definitely come to DialAFlight again
From start to finish Roger kept us updated. The airlines he chose for us were exactly the same. We will definitely use the company again.
Extremely helpful, I felt Nicholas went the extra mile
Brilliant service all round.
We had unfortunate health problems whilst in Australia. Les was there to help rearrange flights making that one problem I didn’t have to deal with. Outstanding service. Thank you so much.
Messed up the meal so three of us had veggie meals instead of just me
Finn was excellent throughout research, booking and comms up to departure. Have used him before and will do so again.
Rob always does a great job
Economy flights to Perth with Singapore airline were basic. I upgraded to Premium Economy on return flight from Singapore
An emergency trip back to Australia, handled excellently by Liam's team. Thank you all for your compassion and help at a difficult time.
The staff at DialAFlight really make your travel life so pleasant, no question too complex, nothing is too much trouble. Wonderful company.
Always found Greg very helpful in fulfilling our requirements.
Fantastic company to deal with. Will definitely use them again.
Flights were excellent
I have used DialAFlight in the past and always found them efficient and helpful, and they delivered this time too. I recommend them to friends and family
My only complaint is that I still didn’t get a window-window seat on the A380 of either Emirates going out or Qantas coming back. Next time?
Molly was amazing. Thank you for all your support .
Seamless, all points and queries answered promptly. Outstanding service
I will always book overseas holidays with your company - fantastic service from start to end
As always we were treated with respect and you found us excellent flights to Australia - thank you DialAFlight.
Your service was fine. That of Qantas was not and not for the first time in our experience.
I am absolutely delighted with the service I received from Seymour Fernandes. He went above and beyond, with information, helpfulness, kindness and understanding my requirements. It was a please to deal with your company and I will certainly use it again in the future.
Sally Burton and her team are all very helpful, nothing is too much trouble and they go out of their way to make sure everything runs smoothly. I would recommend them to my friends and family.
Always room for improvement but not sure where
Used DialAFlight many time and always had great service and a trouble free trip.
It's a sun-drenched morning at the East Perth Terminal and the Indian Pacific train gleams brightly beyond the cool shadows of the station. Two dozen stainless-steel carriages stretch along the boomerang-shaped platform.
Our coaches, dating from the late 1960s and early 1970s, were built in New South Wales by Commonwealth Engineering, which received a licence for the sleek, bullet-like design from Budd, a metal-fabricating company in Philadelphia.
I know this because John Brinkley, one of three train managers on the 1,860ft-long Indian Pacific (it travels from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific Ocean), is on hand to answer any questions. He also points guests towards their carriage for our 2,700-mile journey.
We are departing Perth on a Sunday at 11.55am, and are due to arrive in Sydney on Wednesday at 11.07am.
I'm travelling in gold class for two nights (sleeper cabins and a lounge with free drinks, plus free meals in a smart dining carriage) followed by a night in red (reclining seats and a cafe where you have to pay). There's also platinum class - comfortable cabins with double beds, a swanky dining carriage, and a free cocktail bar.
Brinkley tells me the train hit a camel on the way from Sydney to Perth a couple of days ago. 'There was damage to the loco - we had to repair an air pipe. We blow animal whistles and the horn, but it still happens. Kangaroos keep out of the way generally. Kangaroos are pretty smart.'
We roll out of Perth and into the parched countryside with gum trees, shrubs and orange-tinged soil. After dumping my bag in my cabin, I go to the gold-class lounge to meet my fellow travellers. Many are sitting in burgundy leather armchairs and banquettes drinking Crown lager and glasses of Australian wine, while conversations range from Chinese investment in Hunter Valley coal mines to the quality of the train's gin (deemed top-notch).
It's a jolly train. Meals are substantial: three courses, served in booths separated by frosted-glass partitions.
We stop at Kalgoorlie (population: 31,000) at 10.45pm. Coaches take us past darkened sights including a vast working mine; gold was discovered here in 1893. The town has a frontier feel. A guide points out a Woolworths that has the biggest takings in Australia (gold miners have plenty of cash to spend).
I sleep well, to the rhythm of the tracks, and wake to see copper-gold light illuminating wispy clouds above gum trees and dried-out river beds.By mid-morning, the Indian Pacific draws to a halt at Cook (population: four) and I spot a sign saying: 'If you're crook, come to Cook, Queen City of the Nullarbor.' Crook, of course, is slang for 'ill' in Australia, while the Nullarbor Plain is a region that boasts a wild and rugged landscape. A 297-mile section of track running through it is the world's longest straight stretch. Cook is an outpost of rundown buildings. However, it's a good place to stretch our legs.
Early next morning we pull into Adelaide, and passengers join coach tours of the South Australian city. We are taken to Mount Lofty, though it's shrouded in cloud. We see the Adelaide Oval, where there's a statue of cricket legend Sir Don Bradman.
Back at Adelaide Parklands Terminal I buy a battery-powered beer-bottle cooler that makes train sounds when lifted.
Now I have to switch to red class, towards the front of the train. It comprises 48 seats that look as though they belong in a plane's business-class, but filled with backpackers and retirees.
Our duty manager recommends the breakfasts that he personally cooks. 'I've had phone calls from Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver saying, "I've heard about your breakfasts". I reply, "No, I can't come to work for you. I want the twenty bucks an hour Great Southern Rail is paying me".' Not far out of Adelaide, I glimpse my first and only kangaroos, far in the distance. I also spot an eagle high above.
That evening we reach Broken Hill, a lead and zinc mining town, and I make my way to the Palace Hotel. The venue featured in the 1994 film The Adventures Of Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert, about the unlikely subject of drag queens in the Outback.
I discover a reception area with bright murals, stuffed birds and cabinets displaying leopard-print high heels. On the wall is an advert for the Broken Heel Festival. Its motto? 'Life in the Outback is never a drag.' Back on the train, we clatter through the night and wake to see cows munching grass in the foothills of the Blue Mountains. I eat our carriage manager's Gordon Ramsay-quality breakfast and sit back as we snake into Sydney's Grand Central station. We're a mere 13 minutes late - not bad when you've just covered 2,700 miles.
First published in the Mail on Sunday - September 2016
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