Qantas Boeing 737 business class (Sydney-Brisbane)

Review: Qantas Boeing 737 business class (Sydney-Brisbane)

Route:
Sydney to Brisbane
Airline:
QF (Qantas)
Cabin Class:
Business
Aircraft Type:
Boeing 737-800
Flight:
QF520
Seat:
1C

service:

meals:

seating:

overall:

What's Hot

  • New leather seats with recline, foot and leg rests
  • AC, USB and entertainment screens at every seat
  • Business class lounge access

What's Not

X-Factor

  • Full meal and bar service, even on a 1.5-hour flight

Introduction

The workhorse of Qantas' domestic fleet, many high flyers are familiar with the airline's Boeing 737s: especially on popular routes like Sydney-Melbourne, Brisbane-Sydney and Melbourne-Brisbane.

Australian Business Traveller takes to the skies between Sydney and Brisbane to put Qantas' domestic business class to the test.

Check-in

  • Airport priority services: Priority check-in, security screening and boarding.
  • Checked baggage allowance: 2x32kg bags, or 3x32kg for Qantas Platinum and other Oneworld Emerald frequent flyers.
  • Carry-on baggage allowance: Choice of 2x105cm bags, 1x105cm bag plus 1x185cm non-rigid garment bag, or 1x115cm bag, all weighing up to 7kg per piece.

Lounge

Appropriately, business class travellers can visit the Qantas business class lounge at Sydney Airport's T3 before their flight, located on the upper level after clearing security. The lounge itself is broken up into many different zones including space geared towards working, dining, relaxing and also simply enjoying the tarmac views, with free WiFi throughout and several private shower suites with amenities by Aspar.

We found an ample selection of breakfast items available earlier in the morning including bacon, sausages, scrambled eggs, Greek-style yoghurts, pastries and cereals, with the selections changing throughout the day to suit morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea and then dinner.

Coffee here comes hand-crafted by baristas...

... and while normally ordered at the counter, staff were taking coffee orders from seated guests during our visit, which was a nice touch.

AusBT review: Qantas domestic business class lounge, Sydney Airport

Seat

Business class on all Qantas Boeing 737s comes in a 2-2 layout, spread across three rows with newer and also reconfigured aircraft boasting nice maroon leather seats that are 22 inches wide and offer a 37-inch pitch... ... complete with a central (shared) cocktail table, a leg rest – deployed below... ... a further extendable foot rest useful mostly for shorter travellers... ... and power outlets at every seat, including a multi-country AC socket... ...and a USB port for each business class guest

Meal

Pre-departure drinks begin the service with a choice between a tasty apple and guava juice or a simple water... ... followed by lunch with three dishes on-hand, from which we selected the chilled Greek salad with roast lamb and weren't disappointed. Served at the same time was a bread basket and a nice if not hard-to-photograph sticky date pudding... ... plus beverages including full bar service, with the crisp Mr Riggs Watervale Riesling going down a treat.

As with the seat, you really couldn't ask for more on a 1.5-hour flight.

Entertainment & Service

Qantas' newer Boeing 737s offer personal inflight entertainment monitors for every passenger: mounted in the seatbacks in rows 2-3 and expandable from within the armrest in row one: Even with the meal table in use there's still plenty of room for the screen behind it: you'll just need to stow it for take-off and landing, so choose a seat in the second or third row if you'd prefer to watch movies and TV shows from gate to gate.

Alternately, you're also free to use smartphones and tablets at all times when in flight mode, so load yours up with a show or two and you'll be on the ground in no time.

Service on today's flight was top notch with the crew promptly collecting and returning jackets, addressing all passengers by name and engaging travellers in conversation without being overly chatty or intrusive in their questions.

It's rare that we can't find something in need of improvement on a journey, but as far as flights go – and particularly short hops where service and meal standards can sometimes be reduced – this is now the flight to beat.

Also read: Virgin Australia Boeing 737 business class review

Chris Chamberlin travelled as a guest of Qantas and American Airlines.

Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter: we’re @AusBT

Chris Chamberlin
Chris Chamberlin is a senior journalist with Australian Business Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!
 

18 comments

  • Yohy

    Yohy

    22 Feb, 2016 01:01 pm

    what were the other meal choices?

    have had that roast beef salad before as a dinner option and it doesn't really cut the mustard, more a starter than a main meal (sadly the case as with most of the domestic business meal offering these days).

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  • Dean

    deanr

    22 Feb, 2016 01:53 pm

    The review didn't say anything about roast beef, it looks to be carved roast  lamb. How much are you eating that you need more than bread, a large plate full of healthy salad and a dessert on a quick domestic lunch flight?

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  • mos

    mos

    22 Feb, 2016 05:24 pm

    I agree - the lunch and dinner options in Qantas business can be a bit light on the BNE-SYD vv route - usually a choice of a salad or a soup or a cheese plate. Though it's true there's always plenty of breat to fill yourself up on if you're still hungry.

    More than once I have thought the economy hot dinner offering announced over the PA system soon after takeoff sounded better than what I was being offered in business (though I suspect may not have lived up to the description!). 

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  • aldrigsomandre

    aldrigsomandre

    22 Feb, 2016 01:55 pm

    I was on a BNE-SYD 737 QF flight on my way back from Taipei a couple of weeks back. It was lunch time, by row two they had run out of the sandwich option and only had salad, they offered me the economy meal option and it wasn't as appealing. The chewing gum stuck on the side of the seat did not help either.

    The guy next to me switched seats with his wife and a 1 year old girl who was determined to spill my drinks on me for the entire flight.

    I'm sure it was bad luck that made this flight bad for me, maybe it'll be better next time.

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  • wilsoni

    wilsoni
    Banned

    22 Feb, 2016 02:58 pm

    No doubt as a "guest" of Qantas Chris was not subject to an experience similar to that of Emre. Some more information would have been helpful in this review. The seat was "nice". Pitch, width? Was the toilet clean, the flight on time, the baggage delivery prompt? Was the "hand crafted" coffee any good?

    Oh and Chris, as a journalist please learn the difference between "alternately" and "alternatively" - I think you actually meant the latter.

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  • kimshep

    kimshep

    22 Feb, 2016 03:26 pm

    .. and, in respect of the new seats - amount of recline ? .. Also, are there any additional 'hidey-holes' for glasses, phones etc.

    Must admit, I'm a little surprised with the choice of maroon leather - but the photos seem to do it justice.

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  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    22 Feb, 2016 03:27 pm

    Hi wilsoni, thanks for sharing your feedback.

    Being a 'guest' of Qantas actually meant receiving my business class seat assignment and boarding pass only once check-in had closed and boarding had commenced, by which time the seat is determined based on which are still available (not which passenger I'd be sitting next to) – I gave preference for an aisle as I take photos and this is what was left.

    I'm sure you'd realise that Qantas can't control the behaviour of other passengers on-board but it's interesting to hear other experiences all the same. I've flown Qantas domestic business class many times and I've found it rare that they'll run out of a dish by the second row. From what I could hear that wasn't the case on this flight, although Emre should certainly provide feedback on the issue.

    These days we try to keep our reviews of shorter flights relatively succinct and to-the-point and aspects such as the cleanliness of the bathroom, on-time performance and baggage delivery aren't mentioned unless there's an issue. (And for the latter, like many business travellers on this route we fly without checked bags wherever possible so are rarely seen at the baggage belt to provide comment.)

    Re: seat pitch+width: these had been excluded in the interests of being brief but following your feedback we have included these with the review and will look to do so for other short-haul reviews also.

    Re: the coffee, this is a flight review which entails only a few brief sentences on the lounge as a whole, not so much a detailed review of the lounge itself – you'll find that linked above as a separate piece of content.

    Re: 'alternately' vs 'alternatively', 'alternately' is correct as passengers can alternate between their own device during take-off, the fixed IFE during cruise and then back to the own device before landing (and whenever they desire). If the option throughout was more so one or the other for entertainment, 'alternatively' would be more appropriate. :)

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  • wilsoni

    wilsoni
    Banned

    22 Feb, 2016 03:44 pm

    To be clear, my suggestion was (and is) that Qantas knowing who you are would strive ensure you got your meal choice and that no chewing gum was affixed to your seat. Etc etc.

    I struggle with the notion the Qantas "cannot control the behaviour of other passengers on board". 1. Why not?  2.Reports suggest they attempt to do so quite often.

    I take your point about being succinct, even so there are two kinds of review - those that go no further than immediate experience and those that delve deeper. Though you had no checked bags, you were at liberty to attend the baggage belt to ascertain if there was or was not an issue.

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  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    22 Feb, 2016 04:12 pm

    For the record all meal preferences on this flight were taken in seating order, so 1A, 1C, 1D, 1F, 2A etc. – being a journalist doesn't get you 'first dibs' off the inflight menu, nor should it.

    Other passengers' behavour isn't really relevant to the review and content of this piece so that concern is best-addressed by Emre providing feedback directly to Qantas if help from the crew was indeed requested but not provided.

    While a nice idea, standing at the baggage belt after a flight and waiting to look at other passengers' baggage roll by isn't a great use of our time, and being an aspect we don't usually include in our reviews isn't something we'd do.

    We appreciate that some readers enjoy long-form reviews that dive into every small aspect of a journey in great detail, but our broader feedback and analysis indicates that the vast majority of our readers prefer content that's succinct yet still informative, which is what we strive to provide.

    Please feel free to email any further feedback on the editorial itself to our editor David Flynn (david@ausbt.com.au) or to myself, which allows us to keep the discussion here on-track. As your views have now been fairly shared and responded to, any further comments here concerning the presentation of the content or AusBT as a whole rather than the content itself will be removed as outlined in our published comment policy. :)

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  • wilsoni

    wilsoni
    Banned

    22 Feb, 2016 04:19 pm

    Thank you for your feedback. I stand informed of your commitment to informative journalism and the commitment of ABT to open and honest discussion.

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  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    22 Feb, 2016 04:21 pm

    Cheers wilsoni.

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  • aldrigsomandre

    aldrigsomandre

    22 Feb, 2016 06:00 pm

    I wasn't disagreeing with this review at all. I just wanted to share my experience of these new business class seats on the same (albeit reverse) route. The crew was very polite and understanding but it wasn't a very positive experience compared to my previous Qantas flights, all of which were absolute blasts for me.

    The business class wasn't even full and they ran out of food. I understand that there's a load ratio for food. Not important, I had had some food in the lounge.

    After a 9 hour flight from Taipei to Brisbane, it isn't a very nice feeling to have a little kid scream and crawl around you. Though kids will be kids. Nothing we can do about it.

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  • Marc

    Marxx63

    22 Feb, 2016 04:57 pm

    Thanks Chris for the comprehensive report. With even much more details than I find important for such a short flight but it makes for good reading.

    You guys seem to need to defend your objectivity quite regularly which I find nonsense. Do people really think that an established website like ABT can afford a selective treatment?

    Anyway, keep up the good work and I hope I can say hello in a lounge somewhere in the world someday.

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  • Skipp

    Skipp

    22 Feb, 2016 05:30 pm

    I seconds Marc's comments.

    I will however make my personal opinion that I think the leg rest in this business seat is pointless as it doesn't swing up enough (because of the seat pitch) to actually rest the legs.

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  • Alex_upgrade

    alex_upgrade77

    22 Feb, 2016 07:54 pm

    Thanks for another informative review.

    Personally I find these reviews (of flights/hotels/lounges and related products etc) a hightlight of the ABT site and a useful go-to if I want to remind myself of what I'm likely to experience on an upcoming flight.

    Plus the quality of the photos is always excellent.

    Once request. Where there are several meal options offered, could it be arranged that photos of all options be published? Perhaps a quick photo in the galley with the crew's permission? The benefit would be that readers would get a comprehenive overview of the product offered on that flight.

    Logistically might be difficult but something to consider? 

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  • daschok

    daschok

    26 Feb, 2016 04:47 pm

    At least the full menu

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  • OCA

    OCA

    26 Jul, 2016 02:04 am

    Qantas flys this plane and J class to Singapore daily. Why do they charge and arm and a leg for these seats in J class? Why don't they use pods on a INTERNATIONAL flight which is well over 5 hours? Qantas ripping of their clients again with a monopoly out of Perth to SQ!!! Oh sorry they only fly ONE flight to international destination and this is it!!   Seriously if you had to pay out of your own money (not companies) $4k return would you to sit in this pissy little seat? Disgusted with Qantas and I am Plat/ FF (silver life F/F) considering where my next dollar is spent!!!!

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  • Roy McCullagh

    Roy McCullagh

    24 Aug, 2016 06:08 pm

    It is interesting reading the comments about the food . I would expect top quality food at a restaurant , and top quality safety and comfort on a plane .Do we really need a full meal on a short domestic flight as opposed to a reduced fare price ?

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22 May, 2019 03:14 pm

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