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QANTAS Domestic Business Class | BNE-SYD | B737-800 | Video Link

Wed Aug 28, 2019 12:48 am

QANTAS Domestic Business Class
QANTAS describe their business class experience as “a superior way to fly with more space to relax, a dedicated cabin, fine dining, lounge access and maximum comfort to travel in ultimate style” but does the marketing departments description of QANTAS’s business class apply to their domestic narrow body aircraft’s product. I recently took a flight between Brisbane and Sydney on-board one of their older (2001 built) Boeing 737-800’s, testing their domestic business class product. Anyone who has read my other posts or seen my YouTube channel knows that I am normally a loyal Virgin Australia flyer and do not fly QANTAS very often. I will attempt to be as unbiased as possible during this report but will be using my VA experience as the comparison.

As with all my trip reports you can access the video footage by clinking on the link below:

Upon arriving at QANTAS’s check-in area I was greeted by a whole bunch on self-service check-in counters, thinking I might be expected to check myself in even as a Business Class passenger (first world problem… I know). However, signage directed me to QANTAS’s premium check-in area. Upon arriving here, I was warmly greeted by a member of the QANTAS staff who helped me with my luggage and checked me in – done and dusted with this process in less than 5 minutes. In this area there is a dedicated security screening, before ascending a set of escalators to the two QANTAS lounges.


QANTAS Brisbane Domestic Business Lounge
QANTAS has two lounges in Brisbane, one accessible to all top-tier frequent flyers and top one-world members, QANTAS club members as well as Business Class passengers. The other is exclusively for platinum frequent flyers and business class passengers. On this occasion the standard lounge was packed!! - so I spent my time in the Business Lounge.


This lounge is fantastic – in my opinion a lounge needs to tick some key criteria. Comfortable seating, workspace areas, great food with plenty of choice, variety of drinks and a decent view is appreciated too. This lounge ticked all of them. Let’s start with the seating - I was able to find a nice comfortable chair near a charging point overlooking the tarmac, with a side table for my laptop -what more could I ask for. Food wise there is self-service salad/sandwich area and cooked to order Mexican food at their “Cantina” which is exclusive to the Brisbane lounge - I highly recommend the beef and bean nachos if you’re in here. Ice old beer to go with my nachos??……. TICK! along with other options if beer is not your thing. As far as I am concerned, this lounge beats Virgin Australia’s at the other end of the terminal hands down.


Premium boarding is one area where QANTAS misses the mark on expectations. QANTAS boards all passengers at once and just has a separate boarding lane for premium customers to skip the line. VA on the other hand enforce their premium boarding and loads these customers first. Again, a small difference but VA takes this round. Don’t get me wrong I understand why QANTAS do this however VA makes the premium customer feel valued by boarding them first.


In-Flight Experience
The cabin on this old girl was showing her age and I would say she is not far off being sent for retirement. This 737-800 is fitted with recliner style seating, spanning the first three rows in a 2-2 configuration. The seat offered ample pitch, width and recline for a comfortable short hop down to Sydney.


QANTAS do not have seat back entertainment however an app is available for download that connects to the entertainment streaming system on-board. This is becoming standard across most airlines on short flights. They also offer free, that’s right, FREE high-speed Wi-Fi to all passengers. On this occasion I couldn’t get my device to connect – but when you are connected download speeds are able to easily stream YouTube or Netflix with ease. Nice touch QANTAS!


My favourite part of any Business Class flight is the food. This can sometimes make or break the experience, whether it is a domestic or an international flight. On this flight two choices were offered, I went with the slow cooked beef – while tasty the presentation was a little dull. On the flip side the wine on-board was excellent and I even went as far as to track down a bottle after the flight.


The cabin service I received from the flight crew on this trip was second to none. The service was personal and attentive throughout the whole flight. At no stage was there anything I could have wanted or needed that the cabin crew hadn’t already offered. They were the highlight of this flight hands down – this old school high end customer service is something that VA aims for but on occasions misses the mark.

Final Thoughts
This flight was great, and my expectations were well and truly exceeded. Am I going to cash-in my Velocity points and relinquish my platinum status with VA and jump ship? Probably not - the experience was exceptional at ever stage however I still prefer the fresh young vibrant experience I get with Virgin Australia. I also like supporting the “under dog” in the Australian full-service airline market. Would I fly in Business Class with QANTAS again? Absolutely, without hesitation – the marketing team at QANTAS are right. The experience was superior and relaxing.

As always the link below will take you to the full video of this flight:

Posts: 555
Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2018 6:37 am

Re: QANTAS Domestic Business Class | BNE-SYD | B737-800 | Video Link

Sat Aug 31, 2019 1:13 am

Nice review and video.

Qantas 737 fleet consists of 75 aircraft delivered between 2002 and 2014 (so 5 to 17 years old).
The latter 37 have seatback entertainment, of which about 20 have the new Sky Interior. The first 38 rely on the app. Mostly randomly distributed on routes although the seatback IFE aircraft are typically used in the shorthaul SEAsian and NZ flights.

Internet using the NBN Ka band satellite with speeds of up to 12/1 and unlimited data (so suitable for streaming) has been installed on about 90% of the fleet, remainder should be done in the next few months.

Qantas hasn't announced a formal retirement plan for these aircraft, although does have 321XLRs on order from 2024 which could be expected to takeover the SEAsian routes, and has also stated that the proposed 797 would be an ideal aircraft for domestic routes (Qantas used to heavily use 767s domestically). So I think even the oldest aircraft will still be around for another 5 years or so.
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Joined: Wed May 28, 2008 12:06 am

Re: QANTAS Domestic Business Class | BNE-SYD | B737-800 | Video Link

Sat Aug 31, 2019 11:53 pm

Thanks fr a nice TR.

The early QF 738s went into production for AA before 9/11 IIRC and QF picked them up in AA config. But I also thought they had been refreshed by now.

My domestic flying is mainly SE Oz, so I never see the point in J (and not enough status). QF is my strong preference.

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