Flying Qantas Business Class is not a new experience for me but rather a periodic one. It is generally a comfortable experience but also only one I have experienced domestically. On my most recent experience there were some positive improvements from my previous flights.
Qantas (Queensland and Northern Territory Airline Service) is the most well known and established main carrier in Australia. In such a vast land mass the airline and the airline industry is crucial to the effective running of the country. In fact the Sydney to Melbourne flight route is one of the busiest in the world.
My review of Qantas Business Class focuses on my flight in July 2013 from Brisbane to Melbourne. A flight of just over 2 hours.
My journey began with check-in at Brisbane Airport. There are self service machines which are a growing trend amongst airlines plus a bag drop area. You can effectively check-in without ever speaking to a person.
These self service machines are becoming widespread and relatively easy to use. I did struggle a little bit with mine. My flight was booked under an Emirates flight code since there is now a partnership between the two airlines and they code share numerous flights. The self service machine said that I could enter my frequent flyer card to begin, so I did. Sadly the machine did not recognise my Emirates Skywards card so I tried another approach.
The machine offered me the opportunity to swipe my passport which I did. Again this was of little success since it either did not read the passport correctly or just couldn’t find my booking. So I reverted to the drawn out method of typing in my ticket reference number and managed to proceed.
The slight concern I have with these self service machines is that they issue you with your luggage tag and sticker. They can be a little fiddly to attach to your luggage correctly and with all that stickiness there is scope for things to go wrong. I’m pretty reasonable at it now but I still don’t like it.
Once bag drop was complete I proceeded through security and headed to the Qantas Club Lounge.
Qantas boarding process
Once boarding time was close by I headed to the boarding gate which was close to the Club Lounge. I noticed that thankfully the airline makes a distinction between Business and Economy Class travellers during the boarding process; or so I thought. There was a clear sign showing the area for Business Class travellers to enter for boarding.
A few of us Business Class travellers queued here yet for some reason there only seemed to be enough staff to board from one area and they began boarding Economy passengers before us. The staff member soon realised her error and called us over so we could board as a priority. After all why have a premium ticket if you don’t get priority?
On board the Qantas Boeing 737
On boarding I was particularly impressed with the seats. It had been more than a year since my last domestic flight with Qantas Business Class. Previously I’d flown with Virgin Australia. This time the Boeing 737 seemed to have been refitted and the furniture was very impressive.
The Qantas Business Class seats were large and leather. Yet somehow they seemed more comfortable than the big leather seats you find on Delta Business Class. They also have a reasonable recline for a short haul flight.
Qantas food and refreshments
Pre take off drinks consisted of water or a juice combination drink. I took the later which was refreshing. Naturally post take off there was a much wider selection of drinks.
The post take off snack made me feel as though I was in America again as it consisted of pretzels. I’ve never been keen on pretzels and I get frustrated when so many airlines seem to think that most people will like them. I suppose they are a safer bet than nuts due to the risk of allergies.
I was peckish so I took them anyway and was glad to see the packet was a combination of pretzels and almonds. I like almonds.
Even though it was a short flight (just over 2 hours) a lunch was provided. Choice was limited to a hot or a cold dish. I went for the hot dish which was salmon with potatoes, broccoli and mushroom. I have to be honest and admit that for any food, not just airline food this was exceptionally nice. The salmon was succulent and just melted in your mouth, just how it should be. Many restaurants would struggle to please me more with a salmon dish. Well done Qantas.
Whilst the food was exceptionally good, albeit limited in choice, the on-board entertainment was a mixed bag.
The Qantas on-board entertainment system is called “IQ”. For a domestic flight it was very good. The screen which you pulled out from the armrest (when flying Qantas Business Class) was a good size touch screen.
There were 25 films to choose from on IQ, a good range of TV programmes, music and games. I opted to watch a film yet somehow didn’t quite manage to finish it due to pauses for flight announcements and putting the screen away ready for landing.
The real disappointment with the entertainment system was the headphones. These were cheap and awful. They didn’t provide a seal cover over your ears, were difficult to position correctly and allowed a lot of background noise in. At times I struggled to hear the film even with the volume turned up loud.
I wish I’d taken the time to get my preferred earphones for travel out of my carry on bag but that was my error.
If you are fortunate enough to be flying Qantas Business Class there is a chance that you might be flying on a business trip. The workers are catered for in the Business Class cabin. Between the Business Class seats was the dividing tower which had power sockets and USB sockets. So it was easy to work on your laptop or charge your phone or tablet whilst flying with Qantas.
Flying Qantas Business Class
I enjoyed Flying Qantas Business Class and I have little doubt that I will do so again in the future. The cabin of their Boeing 737 is very nicely fitted out. The staff are very friendly with a great service. Qantas even launched some superb looking outfits for the cabin crew a few years ago which features Aboriginal designs.
The food was divine and the entertainment system, IQ was impressive. It was a shame that the headphones were cheap and of poor quality. I would also have liked the boarding process to be more clear so that passengers were boarded in priority.
Overall I enjoyed flying with Qantas. Have you ever flown Qantas Business Class? What did you think? Please leave your comment below.
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