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