Four Continents and 37,000 Miles in Two Weeks: Qantas Business Class Lounge Sydney, Qantas Business Class Sydney to Melbourne

Trip Report Index

————————————————————————————————————-

I was dropped off by Super Shuttle at the domestic terminal at around 2:20PM, and proceeded straight to check-in. Check-in for intra-Australia flights is very efficient, since almost everyone uses kiosks or checks in online.


Terminal exterior


Terminal

There was a business class check-in area with no line, so I had an agent manually check me in. I was booked on the 5PM flight, though the agent asked me if I preferred to take an earlier flight. Qantas has a flight almost every half hour, so I figured I might as well take the 4PM flight to ensure I made it to Melbourne in time to enjoy the evening spread in the club lounge at the Park Hyatt.

Moments later my bag was checked and I had a boarding pass for the 4PM flight.

I proceeded to the security checkpoint, which had a dedicated premium line, though as it turned out there was no wait for anyone.


Security checkpoint

Security in Australia is hassle free, so within a minute or so I was airside, where there were quite a few shopping options for a domestic terminal.


Airside terminal

The Qantas business class lounge was maybe a five minute walk away, so I quickly found it and proceeded up the escalator to the reception desk.


Qantas Business Lounge

The lady at the entrance couldn’t have been nicer, and regrettably informed me that the wifi seemed to be down, though there were computer terminals available.

I think everyone expects international lounges to be a bit better, though even Qantas’ domestic lounges are truly top notch.

For one, they featured plenty of seating, so there was no battle over finding an empty seat or power outlet.


Qantas Business Lounge seating


Qantas Business Lounge seating

Second, the snack selection was incredible. They had a bunch of cappuccino machines with great sweets (I had more blueberry crumble things than I can count), and also a buffet area.


Sweets


Qantas Business Lounge bar area


Silverware, juice, and more sweets

The buffet featured salad, meats, cheeses, breads, and plenty of other things that could easily constitute a meal.


Buffet


Bread


Buffet


Workstations


Qantas Business Lounge seating

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect on an hour long flight in the way of food, so I figured I’d have something. I first had a coffee with some of those blueberry crumbles while on one of their computers trying to figure out how to get from Melbourne Airport to the Park Hyatt upon arrival.


Coffee and blueberry crumble

I then had a light lunch.


Lunch

At around 3:30PM I headed to my departure gate, for a scheduled boarding time 3:40PM. Most of the plane had already boarded and there wasn’t any sort of a premium boarding line, so I was among the last aboard.


Qantas boarding gate


767-300 bound for Melbourne

Qantas Airways 447
Sydney (SYD) – Melbourne (MEL)
Sunday, May 22
Depart: 4:00PM
Arrive: 5:35PM
Duration: 1hr35min
Aircraft: Boeing 767-300
Seat: 5F (Business Class)

Despite how close Sydney and Melbourne are, Qantas primarily operates 767s on the route. I was assigned an aisle seat in the center section in the last row of business class. The seats were slightly more comfortable than domestic first class seats in the US, with a couple more inches of legroom and a legrest.


Business Class


Legroom


Seat controls


Center console

Because the 767 has some of the worst bins of any aircraft, boarding was a mess. A lady settled in next to me, with her two young kids seated across the aisle, while the husband schlepped back to coach.

Eventually pre-departure beverages were offered by one of the flight attendants who had one of the most bizarre accents I’ve ever heard. As it turns out, he’s from Texas but has lived in Australia for 20 years. Oh man, that’s a killer combination.


Pre-departure water


Business Class cabin

We pushed back right on time as the safety video began to play, and started our fairly long taxi. As we held short of the runway the captain welcomed us aboard and informed us of our flight time of 70 minutes once airborne, anticipating an on-time arrival.

Shortly before takeoff the overhead screens started playing sitcoms including Two and a Half Men, 30 Rock, etc.

Soon enough we were airborne, and 10 minutes later the seatbelt sign was off and the flight attendants sprung into action.

They first offered hot towels.


Hot towel

That was quickly followed by the “snack” service, which was the option between some fish dish and soup. I went with the soup, which was served right out of a canister. It came with bread, crackers, and a chocolate muffin. I ordered a Diet Coke with lime lemon and water with it.


Soup

The soup was fairly tasteless, but then again, for a 70 minute flight you won’t get this type of service on a US airline.

After the main service tea and coffee was offered. By the time the trays were cleared we were well into our descent and the seatbelt sign was turned on.

The sun was starting to set as we descended upon Melbourne (after all, it is winter in Australia), and we had a smooth touch down just a few minutes ahead of schedule.

Our taxi to the gate was fairly quick, at which point I headed for baggage claim.


Arrival hall

It was maybe a 10 minute walk to baggage claim, and within another minute or two my bag arrived.


Baggage claim

At that point I saw an information counter offering shuttles to hotels in Melbourne. I bought a ticket, and within a few minutes I was on a bus to the Park Hyatt.

Comments

  1. Cedarglen says

    As always, the incidentals tend to mount. how much did you pay for the hotel shuttle? Did your chosen hotel not have enough traffic to offer their own shuttle? Perhaps the distance is too great – I don’t know. It seems a little strange to me. Thoughts?
    Thanks, -C.

  2. lucky says

    @ Cedarglen — LOL! I can’t win, can I? If I provide any more detail, people complain my reports are too long. If I don’t provide enough, people want more details. The shuttle was something like $15AUD.

    As far as the general shuttle question goes, I don’t know of very many hotels in cities that have airport shuttles. Airport hotels have shuttles usually, but other than that it’s just not something hotels do… at least the ones I’ve stayed at.

  3. rich (arizona) says

    “… to baggage claim, and within another minute or two my bag arrived.”

    Well that is something I don’t think has ever occurred at PHX or BWI. I don’t usually check bags but family and visitors have and it is more like 20+ minutes.

  4. Glenn says

    one of my fave cities in the world. Looking forward to the rest of the report.

  5. says

    Ben – you don’t really express an opinion on this experience – seemed like you thought the Business lounge was good, and the flight as expected?

  6. lucky says

    @ Keith — I felt like the business class lounge was fantastic, those Air New Zealand’s domestic lounges are fantastic as well. They’re leaps and bounds better than any domestic lounge in the US, and even better than most international business class lounges, in my opinion.

    I felt like the flight itself was quite good. The meal wasn’t amazing, though I felt like this was a hybrid between domestic first class in the US and business class on an intra-Europe flight. In the US you have decent personal space, and in Europe you have a great meal service with a coach seat. This was right in the middle, so I was a fan.

  7. Ken 747-400 Denver says

    Ben, it appears they jammed too many rows in Bus class; not much leg room there.

  8. says

    Thanks Ben, appreciate your viewpoint.. As a regular Qantas flyer I don’t access the domestic business lounge, as that’s only available for oneworld Emerald or QF Business class passengers only, oneworld sapphires like me are relegated to the lowly Qantas Club. So nice to see some pics and hear your thoughts.

  9. says

    The QF domestic experience is, I think, the best domestic travel experience anywhere in the world. Many/most Australians will say how bloody awful QF is, but they are mistaken or unfamiliar with domestic (or intra eu) travel.

    Indeed, QF has it relatively easy – with a primarily point to point network, and generally decent weather (little severe stuff at least).

    Qf’s Qantas club, their paid lounge and the sapphire access lounge isn’t too much different than the j/emerald lounge. These domestic lounges offer more amenities than the vast majority of the lounges in the United States.

    This visit was only to one of the domestic terminals. SYD has a separate international terminal where the QF lounge offerings are materially nicer (same situation in Melbourne). Indeed, the f international lounges are worth getting to early.

    http://www.sitinfirst.com/2011/02/sydneys-qantas-first-class-lounge-ow-emeralds-too/

  10. gpapadop says

    Rhetorical question: “Do we really need to see another pic of a hot towel” :-)

  11. chitownflyer says

    I took this flight in 2007 when my UA flight SYD-MEL had a mechanical, and I was quite impressed with QF Business class service on such a short flight.

  12. Cedarglen says

    Lucky, Ouch! If I pissed you off, I’m sorry. I’m not complaining about your post and I LOVE reading them. I was just curious. I’ll bite my tongue. Happy flying!
    -Craig of Cedarglen

  13. lucky says

    @ Craig — No, no, no, no, no! That wasn’t my intention at all, sorry if that’s how it came across. By all means ask away. It was just funny because as I was writing this, I found myself writing this post I ended up deleting a lot of stuff saying “no one wants to know those details” (I was ready for “mark” to attack me for providing too many details), and then the first post was the opposite. Seriously, ask questions by all means, please!

  14. GoAmtrak says

    That J configuration does look a touch nicer than UA’s ghetto bird. I take it there was not enough time for a recline/legrest action shot? ;-)

  15. Willis says

    In general, the more detailed the better/more enjoyable. Don’t hold back… I speak for your coalition in saying we very much enjoy even the mundane aspects of your trip reports.

  16. Uniter says

    Lucky — Keep up the great work! Like others have said, the more details, the better. Some of us are grounded nowadays and must live vicariously through your travels. PS Please include more hot towel pics from a variety angles… ;)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *