Seat: 3A (Business Window)
Departed: 16.34 (Scheduled 15.00)
Arrived: 18.13 (Scheduled 16.25)
Duration: 1 hour 39 minutes
Distance: 706 kms
This was the first leg of three flights to get to Bogotá, Colombia. I was originally booked on a flight that would have left at 09.00 (QF418) but was cancelled due to significant problems at Sydney Airport. As a result I ended up having 1 hour to transfer from the domestic terminal to international terminal.
Airport Check In
I checked my bags in at Melbourne Domestic Terminal 1. For Qantas Domestic flights the airline pushes you to use the self service kiosks there are still a few staffed check in counters (located near the entry to Terminal 2 for international flights) which are mostly for people with international connections. the checkin staff tried to switch me to a Melbourne to Los Angeles flight but I explained that Qantas Customer Service (when dealing with them at 2 am) couldn’t organise the Los Angeles to Dallas flight which is what I needed so stayed with this flight.
As I was travelling in Business Class I got to use the Qantas Melbourne Domestic (review here). Due to significant travel disruptions the lounge as very busy, when leaving there was no sitting left.
We boarded from Gate 4 using priority boarding using the Platinum / Gold / Business lane however the Economy Lane gets called at the same time and usually there is no major benefit using priority boarding like today the economy lane was faster.
Qantas B737 Business Class seats are arranged in a 2-2 configuration. There are 12 business class seats (which is the highest class on Qantas Domestic flights). The seats are 22 inches (56 cm) wide and have 37 inches (94cm) of legroom.
There is no seat entertainment system instead you need to use the Qantas App.
Not provided on a short domestic flight (so to be expected).
In business class we were offered a pre departure water or wine. Given the last 24 hours I went with the alcohol option.
There were three meal options in business class:
- Fried rice with lamb, bread and caramelised coconut milk chocolate (my choice)
- A cheese box
- Penne Soup
The service provided was excellent. The plane was at 100% capacity with lots of passengers having been bumped from earlier flights. In Business Class the flight attendants spoke directly to everyone with an international connection to discuss what would happen.
The flight attendants had to be creative to get all the carry on stored across the plane. Additionally the meal service was quick and efficient (which it needs to be on short haul flight).
You access the entertainment system via using the Qantas App (bring your own device). Very large selection of movies and television shows. Additionally this flight offer free and very fast testing downloads at 15.3 mbps (varied a lot during the flight)
This was a surprisingly smooth flight given the weather problems in Sydney. Their was very little turbulence and that was only on approach to Sydney.
We arrived at Gate 8. Everyone needing an international transfer (like me) headed straight to Gate 8. Qantas put on extra buses to transfer passengers between the terminals which was appreciate as it result in very little waiting time. Some unfortunate international passengers didn’t board the transfer bus as instead they were being informed of how they will need to overnight in Sydney (at Qantas’ expense) as they at missed their next flight.
The flight was very good for what it was, a short haul flight by the major Australian airline on the major Melbourne to Sydney route. The staff handled the 100% full plane well and many passengers who were tired and / or worried about connections or appointments in Sydney that they were missing.
They say you can judge and airline best when things go wrong and how they recover and I found Qantas did everything they could in this situation.