Qantas is now selling premium economy on Melbourne-Perth flights

Qantas is now selling premium economy on Melbourne-Perth flights

Qantas travellers jetting between Melbourne and Perth can now book themselves into the premium economy cabin of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner on QF9 and QF10.

Until now, it’s been possible only to book business or economy on the domestic leg of those flights, with premium economy held back for passengers flying internationally.

Qantas has up to eight daily flights between Melbourne and Perth, with most on the Airbus A330 and some on the Boeing 737.

Savvy travellers already know to avoid the Boeing 737 on this transcontinental trek, but choosing the Dreamliner and its premium economy seats is a welcome option for the east-west flyer.

Fares for the domestic premium economy hop from Melbourne to Perth start at around $1,250 one-way ($2,500 return): a decent asking price for business travellers who may not need a fully-flat bed on a four-hour daytime domestic flight, but want more comfort than ‘regular’ economy provides.

AusBT review: Qantas Boeing 787 premium economy seat

How to book Qantas Boeing 787 premium economy between Melbourne and Perth

Qantas has added a 'Premium Economy' travel class to its domestic booking engine, which reveals the premium economy option which is exclusive to flights QF9 and QF10.

This displays the saver and flex versions of premium economy fares alongside business class.

Selecting Economy from the previous screen's drop-down menu shows the lowest (saver) premium economy fare next to economy class on the same flight.


Premium economy on the Melbourne-Perth Boeing 787 can also be booked as a Classic Flight Reward using Qantas Points, at 27,000 points one-way (plus fees and taxes).

Upgrading from economy to premium economy

If company travel policy forces you into economy but you'd still like a bit more comfort flying coast-to-coast, you can upgrade to premium economy for 4,000 Points from a flexible economy fare or 10,000 points from a discount economy booking.

One more option: upgrading from an economy Classic Flight Reward booking to premium economy for 18,000 points.

Upgrading from premium economy to business class

If you've booked a premium economy pew between Melbourne and Perth you can request an upgrade to business class.

You'll be up for 9,000 points from a flexible premium economy fare, 10,000 points from a regular premium economy ticket, or 11,000 points from discount premium economy.

Passengers who initially booked their premium economy flight using Qantas Points also have the option of upgrading to business class for 16,000 points.

Flight upgrades from economy straight to business class remain available at existing rates – but in all cases, points-based upgrades are subject to availability, and Australian Business Traveller understands availability will be reasonably limited.

Travelling as a domestic passenger aboard QF9/10

Because QF9 and QF10 depart from international terminals, domestic passengers taking QF9 from Melbourne and QF10 from Perth are subject to the same security requirements as international travellers, including the usual 100mL restriction on liquids.

You’ll also need to show an acceptable form of photo ID (matching the name on your flight reservation) at check-in, at the international terminal's passport control before boarding, and at customs on your arrival.

As you’re not actually leaving the country, this doesn’t have to be, a passport: an Australian driver’s licence, Australian-issued APEC Card, Australian university or TAFE photo identification card or even an Aviation Security Identification Card (ASIC) will suffice.

Note that you won’t be able to check-in online for these flights, as your ID needs to be verified at the check-in desk and an orange ‘D sticker’ attached to your boarding pass, which shows Customs you’re travelling on a domestic-only flight both before and after the flight, as you’re processed manually at the desk and can’t use SmartGate.

Of course, for travellers leaving Melbourne on QF9 there's a handy upside: because the flight departs from the international terminal, Qantas Platinum and Platinum One card-holders can relax in the Qantas First Lounge before their flight to Perth.

That puts a superb seasonal à la carte menu at your disposal, and even a spa treatment if you so fancy.

AusBT review: Qantas first class lounge, Melbourne Airport

Business class passengers, Qantas Gold frequent flyers and Qantas Club members will be directed to the far less appealing Qantas International Business Lounge, which we would suggest is the last reason to choose QF9.

If you're outbound from Perth on QF10, domestic passengers can only use the Qantas domestic lounges before proceeding through ‘passport control’, not the new Qantas Transit Lounge, which is reserved for passengers connecting to or from London.

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!


  • grov


    18 Oct, 2018 03:28 pm

    This won't impact upgrading from Economy to Business on other PER-MEL flights, either availability or points required?
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  • Chris Chamberlin


    18 Oct, 2018 03:34 pm

    As in the article: "Flight upgrades from economy straight to business class remain available at existing rates."

    As always, availability varies by flight.
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  • Dave


    18 Oct, 2018 04:03 pm

    Qantas are certainly not pricing this to fill the cabin up, that's for sure
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  • Rufus1


    18 Oct, 2018 05:22 pm

    They're proabably happy to take a bit of cream, but keep it mostly open for people flying right through to London...
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  • mviy


    18 Oct, 2018 05:27 pm

    Indeed but say 10 PE seats are taken by paying customers only flying the leg between PER and LHR then ignoring the possibility of upgrades that's 10 seats that can't be filled by paying customers flying on QF9/10 all the way to/from MEL. So rather than bump customers up for free or using points from MEL-PER they'd rather sell those seats for cash.
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  • AJW


    19 Oct, 2018 12:55 pm

    Also remember QF9/10 allows Perth passengers access to the MEL to USA flights too. So indeed some passengers could be flying in PE in that direction too.

    That said I would suspect that Qantas dynamically realeases the seats on the domestic only portion section to ensure there are sufficient seats for expected demand for end to end travel.
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  • Aleks Popovic


    18 Oct, 2018 10:50 pm

    Agreed! I think Y+ on the 787 is comparable to 737 J. Seating wise that is. But I can’t justify paying that money for a 4 hour flight. You can get Garuda for $1700 to Bali and back. Scoot premium to SIN is about $1200 return or $1600ish on BA or SQ. Not to mention VA sells east-west flights for about $1150.
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  • Scott Brown


    18 Oct, 2018 06:05 pm

    Those are eye watering high prices!
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  • cavemanzk


    18 Oct, 2018 07:18 pm

    Hmmm when SYD-AKL is offten 400AUD on NZ for PE....
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  • John Harley


    18 Oct, 2018 06:51 pm

    Can get VA The Business flat bed for same/cheaper price
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  • reeves35


    18 Oct, 2018 08:50 pm

    Ridiculous pricing; as pointed out the excellent J class on VA A330 is about the same $ but if QF can attract pax willing to do it, good luck to them.

    Previously these seats were offered free of charge to high tier pax so they have taken a hit here though I don't know how many Platinum flyers were using QF9/10 for PER-MEL anyway due to the extra time and hassles involved in travelling as a D passenger on an international service. Typically a Platinum flyer is a time-poor very frequent business traveller who actively tries to minimise their travel time and is a bit past being impressed by "froo-froo".
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  • peteshep


    19 Oct, 2018 06:42 am

    Does the upgrade process work the same way as an international or domestic flight? Ie. international confirmed only 7 days before for Platinum One, 2 days before for Platinum, and 1 day for others / or domestic confirm ahead of time if available?

    Also if upgrading from economy does it give you the option to upgrade to Business, but then if that’s not available fall back option for PE?
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  • Morgan Judd


    19 Oct, 2018 07:34 am

    It is ridiculous pricing I agree, however how you considered how ridiculous business class pricing is between Perth and the east coast. For instance, Perth to Sydney is normally about $2300 and up to $3200 one way on Qantas. You can book Perth - Auckland business class for $1300-$1400, and it is on the same aircraft from Perth to Sydney (as Qantas doesn't offer year round direct service).
    I have booked Business to Auckland/ Wellington in the past, and only flown to Sydney (not boarded the second leg).
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  • Nick Keith


    19 Oct, 2018 01:12 pm

    Supply and Demand in action...
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  • Morgan


    19 Oct, 2018 01:11 pm

    What will the soft product be like though?
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  • Dave Thomas


    19 Oct, 2018 01:30 pm

    I can fly PE on Virgin BNE to LAX return for about that amount.
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    19 Oct, 2018 01:47 pm

    LOL what Qantas calls J in domestic has always been PE !
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  • AJW


    19 Oct, 2018 02:49 pm

    Which for domestic is still for the most part miles ahead of the rest of the world!
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  • PeterBla


    19 Oct, 2018 02:54 pm

    I am assuming by your comment that you have not flown domestic F in the USA or domestic J in Europe. Qantas J domestic beats these hands down.
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  • Paul Clarke


    19 Oct, 2018 09:38 pm

    Australian domestic J product is better than anything in Europe or US.
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  • Jason Hamilton


    19 Oct, 2018 07:43 pm

    Tried to find some available PE seats for points bookings - zilch! I’m sure QF will be as generous as always when it comes to reward points bookings!!
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  • iamwill


    22 Oct, 2018 11:53 pm

    Too much. I just flew Beijing to Shanghai on a 777 lay flat bed (not really needed) and Shanghai to Manila business class both for $750aud with China Eastern and they were great. Qantas are great but can be expensive!
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20 Jul, 2019 10:14 pm


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