In case anyone missed it, today marked the start of Link doing VA's SYD-CBR flights after a few delayed start dates.
Finally! Does anyone know what the holdup was? The number of times I booked and had to get refunded (OK just twice but irritating).
I notice they board from gate 47 at T2 in SYD which means a bus transfer. Now if you don't get a 717 with Qantas - and they seem to focus on Dash's during some pretty key periods - it's potluck about how and where you board your QF dash. If it's from gates 1B or C in SYD, expect to stand in a dank old bus with almost no seating and the doors wide open for 10-15 minutes, sweating through your work getup in a wet n humid Sydney summer.
REX on the other hand have a much more pleasant system, boarding you onto the bus at the last possible minute, with air conditioning, plenty of seating and clear information and instruction from staff.
For QF to have such a ramshackle and messy boarding experience for Canberra flights where most travellers are dolled up for immediate meetings on arrival, is weird. And for the premium QF charges you get a really really poor experience. Return from CBR is fine but that's a much nicer terminal experience all round.
If Virgin can just be better than QF on the Sydney Airport experience (using Gate 31 - or is it 33, where the ATRs used to park - would be ideal), then I can see them doing just fine. I continue to be blown away at how ordinary QF is in a lot of its ops. Perhaps they need to blow away some COVID cobwebs and fix the small things to warrant their premium.