How to book Qantas' Boeing 787 for Melbourne-Perth flights

How to book Qantas' Boeing 787 for Melbourne-Perth flights

Keen to travel on the Qantas Boeing 787 Dreamliner on a domestic flight rather than an international route?

Starting March 24 2018, the advanced red-tailed jet will fly daily between Melbourne and Perth as part of a unique arc swinging all the way from London to Los Angeles.

The Melbourne-Perth leg will carry the same QF9 flight number as the entire Melbourne-Perth-London service, and that four-hour jaunt high above the Aussie outback can be booked just the same as any other domestic Qantas flight.

Upon first announcing the launch of those Melbourne-Perth-London flights, Qantas indicated it would hide the Melbourne-Perth leg of QF9 (and the Perth-Melbourne return leg of QF10) from its bookings website.

But right now, a quick search on the Qantas website shows QF9 in the mix with all other daily Melbourne-Perth flights.

What's more, the fares are generally the same as you'd pay for any domestic Melbourne-Perth Qantas flight – $2,148 for one-way business class and $645 for a flexible economy ticket, although the $409 Red e-Deal economy fare shown above is more expensive than the adjacent domestic flights.

However, points-based economy reward bookings are available at 18,000 Qantas points one way.

(Note that the Boeing 787's premium economy cabin isn't offered on the domestic leg – it's only available if you make an international booking.)

Qantas had also indicated it would deliberately set the Melbourne-Perth pricing of QF9 to be well above its domestic equivalents, but so far that's not the case.

The lure of a domestic leg on QF9

So why might you want to book the Melbourne-Perth leg of QF9 instead of a regular domestic Qantas flight?

The fact that this is Qantas' all-new Boeing 787 rather than your ho-hum Airbus A330 or Boeing 737 is going to appeal to many travellers who are eager to experience the Dreamliner.

And for Qantas Platinum and Platinum One frequent flyers, a major drawcard will be that QF9 leaves from Melbourne Airport's international terminal  – so even clutching an economy ticket you'll be able to get into the Qantas international first class lounge rather than the domestic Qantas lounges ahead of your flight.

And that means enjoying a four-course lunch with fine wine or champagne at the lounge's Rockpool restaurant (not the worst way to spend your lunchtime) plus the possibility of a free treatment at the spa.

As to the flight itself, the timing's not too bad: QF9 leaves Melbourne at 3.20pm to reach Perth at 5.20pm, so you can get a morning's work done in Melbourne and reach Perth in time for a business dinner.

The mechanics of catching what is ostensibly an international flight for a domestic trip aren't too bothersome: you'll be subject to the same security checks and LAG limits as an international flight, and you'll want to arrive early at the airport to avoid the crowds.

However, you may be unable to do online check-in and you should carry a form of photo ID to present when you check in for the flight –  and of course, you won't be able to do any duty-free shopping!

 

13 Comments

  • patrickk

    patrickk

    15 Jun, 2017 04:40 am

    The big disadvantage is the economy cabin is more cramped than the A330 and similar to the 737. On other measures much the same. The Lounge in the domestic terminal is much better than the dungeon in international. The security queues in international are longer than domestic plus an additional immigration queue. In short why bother.
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  • T L

    Kitch

    15 Jun, 2017 07:30 am

    Would you need it bring your passport to go through security and immigration?
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  • Phil

    phily

    15 Jun, 2017 08:32 am

    Either a Driver's Licence or a Passport will suffice. 

    You don't need to complete an Outgoing Passenger Card, and at Melbourne you'll need to go to the manual processing passport control desk rather than use one of the Smartgates.  They'll put an orange "D" (for Domestic) on your Boarding Pass.  At Perth you show your Boarding Pass to Border Force staff and they'll wave you through.

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  • GregXL

    GregXL

    15 Jun, 2017 09:17 am

    I expected that the PE seats would be sold for domestic only particularly on QF 9 which is not being offered as part of PER-LAX-PER PE bookings (because there is a large gap between QF96 arrival into MEL and QF9 departure). I would expect that this would lead to unsold PE seats on QF to PER.  Maybe they will be available as Y seats, which would be a good catch!
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  • Patricka340

    Patricka340

    15 Jun, 2017 09:51 am

    I imagine that top tier FF members travelling in Y may be able to select these seats free of charge. 
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  • marty30

    marty30

    15 Jun, 2017 10:34 am

    Premium economy is showing in redemption's 54,000 points return.
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  • mviy

    mviy

    15 Jun, 2017 11:03 am

    Maybe at T-80 or T-24 or something the PE seats that aren't taken would start to open for high status passengers or perhaps there'd be some op-ups.

    I suspect pricing for the domestic leg would vary depending on how many people have booked to join QF9 in PER. If 50 passengers hop on the flight in PER that's 50 seats they can't sell the whole way MEL-PER-LHR unless they want to overbook them.

    I might go just to PER on QF9 sometime. I hope online check-in would work as it would be nice to head to the airport extra early to get a few meals in at the FLounge (breakfast and lunch) rather than just one.
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  • Richard R

    rcnr25

    15 Jun, 2017 12:43 pm

    Will there be an inaugural domestic flight? Thank you very much
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  • John Phelan

    John Phelan

    15 Jun, 2017 02:07 pm

    Yes, but it hasn't been announced yet. Tipped to be one of:
    a) MEL-PER
    b) SYD-PER
    c) BNE-PER
    d) MEL-BNE
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  • GregXL

    GregXL

    15 Jun, 2017 03:05 pm

    MEL will be the start up operations and crew base so my guess for a first domestic flight will be ex MEL.  In view of QF's SYD focus, that would be the destination.
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  • JacobW

    JacobW

    16 Jun, 2017 03:11 pm

    IIRC I've heard someone high up in Qantas saying something about selling PE on the domestic leg too. So probably no free PE op up for high status pax. 
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  • rckjiang

    rckjiang

    16 Jun, 2017 04:28 pm

     Contacted Qantas and got this back. Not so sure about getting into the F Lounge anymore...
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  • ZT

    ZT

    17 Jun, 2017 08:54 pm

    All the B787 deliveries will operate to SYD.
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21 Aug, 2017 08:09 pm

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