Would you take a business class bus -- yes, a bus, not an Airbus -- between Canberra and Sydney?
Bus operator Greyhound is betting that enough business travellers will say yes to its new daily Canberra-Sydney 'Platinum Business Class' bus.
Free WiFi Internet, USB and AC power points for each seat, reclining leather seats and a price tag starting at $36 one-way are all ticks in the plus column.
That's just one-third of the price of Sydney-Canberra economy airfares, such as Virgin Australia's $110 and Qantas' asking price of $138.
And Greyhound is quick to tout the benefits of bus over plane.
"The service runs express from city centre to city centre, allowing optimum time efficiency with no cabs to the airport, no queuing to check in and no tarmac delays" says Greyhound Australia's Kevin Lyons.
Greyhound also plays up the ability "to remain 100% connected and productive while they are travelling thanks to the free onboard WiFi and the fact they don’t lose phone reception as you do when you’re flying", a spokesperson told Australian Business Traveller.
“In short sectors this coach is the ultimate way for busy business people to travel. It’s quick, it’s convenient and you can stay in touch with the world for the whole journey.”
So how long will that journey take? A bit over three hours.
Leaving Canberra's Jolimont Centre at 6am, the BC903 service is scheduled to reach Sydney's Central Station at 9.15am. It then continues on to Sydney international airport (9.35am) and domestic airport (9.45am) if you've got a connecting international flight.
The 4.30pm departure from Sydney on BC904 gets you into Canberra at 8pm.
That's a rather long day on the bus for a relatively short day in the office -- but perhaps no longer than taking the plane, depending on where in Canberra you're coming from and where in Sydney you're going to.
"The service is designed to allow business people from Canberra to spend a whole day in Sydney," Lyons says.
Also on the downside? The fact that it's a bus makes it subject to traffic delays on the road.
The four-across seating looks a bit cramped (similar 'business-class' style buses in other parts of the world use a much more spacious three-across 1-2 configuration) and the seat pitch of 31 inches is on par with economy class flights.
There's currently just one platinum coach is the fleet for the Canberra-Sydney service, but if the service takes off Greyhound says it will roll out additional buses for Melbourne-Geelong, Sydney-Newcastle, Brisbane to the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast to Toowoomba.
For more information: Greyhound Platinum Business Class
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Over to you: assuming a similar on-time record to the airlines, would a 'business class' Canberra-Sydney bus work for you? If not, what would it need to do to win your business away from the airlines?
About John Walton
Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.