Flight: QF044 Denpasar (Bali) to Sydney
Plane: Boeing 737-800
Seat: 2C (Business Class Aisle)
Boarded: 21.57 (Scheduled 21.35)
Departed: 22.20 (Scheduled 22.20)
Arrived: 06.07 (Scheduled 06.20)
Duration: 5 Hours 47 Minutes
This was the return flight of my international trip to Indonesia (Bali) with my two sisters and nieces Darby and Erin and nephew Harry (review QF043 here). Before boarding this flight I had visited the average Premier Lounge (review here) as a result of traveling in business class.
The Gate was the furthest from the Retail and Lounge area of the terminal and you have to submit to another bag check to access the Gate area. We commenced general boarding late at 21.57, there was no priority boarding calls but they did have separate lanes for business (including high status Qantas members) and Economy.
As a Boeing 737-800 this is a single aisle plane. I had selected seat 2C as I wanted direct aisle access for this 6 hour overnight flight with the hope 2A seatmate wouldn’t get up too often (he only did three times, twice at beginning and once at the end). There are three rows of 4 seats in business class (2 x2). The seats had a pillow and blanket on them I stored the blanket but kept the pillow for the overnight flight.
The seats are very basic leather seats with a 37″ seat pitch and about 20″ width between arms. Rows 2 and 3 have seat back video screens for the entertainment system. Row 1 has pull-out screens from the armrest in the seat (which must be stored during landing and departure).
We were offered juice, water or wine straight after boarding but before push back. All business class seats were occupied with one seat once again having a plus one – a small baby who we didn’t hear from during the flight. Economy looked like it was close to 100% full when I visited my sister, niece and nephew about 40 minutes into the flight.
The meal service commenced in business class at 23.27 of 51 minutes after the plane had levelled out. There was no entree / small plate offered (I won’t have selected anyway) but we did get roasted cashews & pretzels. I selected the braised beef in coconut with coriander, lemongrass and jasmine rice. I decline the dessert options and selected lemonade to drink during and after the meal.
We were provided the amenity kits after the main meal compare to the flight over when provided immediately after the plane leveled off. The kit included an Aurora Relax and Hydrate Travel Essentials kit (Hand Cream, Face Moisturiser, and Lip Balm), toothpaste and brush, travel socks, face mask and ear plugs. The face mask was welcome for this overnight flight.
The entertainment options were the same as coming over to Bali making for a limited selection since the only movies loaded after New Release instead of New Release and Classic. I watched the engrossing ‘Hidden Figures’ based on real events of black women who worked at NASA during the 1960s.
At 04.42 (AEST) just before passing over Broken Hill the plane experience significant air turbulence, significant in that it went for approximately 7 minutes not that it was serve. Still air turbulence in the dead of night always feels worse than during the day.
I selected the Bluberry muffin for breakfast which was service 50 minutes out from landing.
Along landing we had to stay in our seats while a special health inspection occurred for very sick passengers. I found out later it was a sick baby and her mother. This inspection took around 8 minutes but eventually everyone was allowed to leave their seat and exit the plane.
Upon exiting the plane I added jeans to me shorts and a jacket given we were now back in winter. Most passengers lined up for first ePassport machine but I knew from experience to get closer to Immigration and they would be empty. We all passed immigration quickly although my sister read the signs as children under 16 can’t use the ePassport Security Gate but they can (I read the signs the same way).
My sister and her children’s bags came up before mine despite mine having the priority bag tag but I didn’t have to wait long. The Customs control area was chaos with no lines in sight and everyone pushing in, a consequence of having some many planes land after curfew is lifted at this airport at 05.30. From here we turned left and walked to the Qantas Domestic Transfer Check In which while having a significant line moved quickly and before we knew it we were enjoying a bus ride across the tarmac to Domestic terminal (this is a free service for Qantas customers, everyone else had to pay for the train ride instead).
The Qantas B737-800 is the most basic service of the Qantas International Fleet but it still gets the job done especially in business. Would I like lie flat (or near lie flat) seat in business – yes, however this is the best option from Denpasar (Bali), way better than Jetstar. I would have thought the meal service would be better for breakfast at the end then dinner at the start given the late departure time as well. I was satisfied with the business class service I paid for and received.