Flying different airlines in each direction between Perth and Darwin has provided a handy point of comparison between Australia’s two main airlines’ narrowbody domestic business class offerings. We’ve previously reviewed Virgin Australia business class on the same route and now it is Qantas’ turn. Which did we find better?
Qantas / QF
Qantas have gone all in with advertising placements for its new A330 Business Suite at Sydney’s busy Martin Place train station. With both walls of the hallway leading up to the station covered in full length advertisements and a number of flashing screens overhead, commuters would struggle to miss this advertising onslaught. We can’t help but wonder whether Qantas is advertising this product too early. With only about 20% of its A330 aircraft currently configured with the new product, there is the high chance of disappointment. Is the small print that the product is being rolled out over 2015 and…
Qantas opened a renovated and expanded Qantas Club in Darwin on 30 September 2014. When we visited, we were impressed by the size of the lounge. While the lounge was furnished in a similar manner to other Qantas Club domestic lounges, it certainly feels ‘fresher’. Perhaps that is because, in contrast to most other state capital cities, there is no separate Qantas Business Lounge here.
After a nearly one year hiatus, Qantas have confirmed it will resume flights between Perth and Singapore. The service, operating five return flights a week using a Boeing 737-800 aircraft from 26 June 2015, follows a number of rumours in recent months.
For the second year in a row, Qantas have offered direct, seasonal flights between Auckland and Perth. Despite the fact that they only run on Saturday/Sunday, the service is welcome competition to Air New Zealand’s non-stop monopoly on this route. Qantas made the hard to understand decision to discontinue all regular international services from Perth on May 12th last year, so from December 5th-April 26th this is Qantas’ only international service to or from Perth.
Qantas currently operate a pair of lounges at Auckland International Airport, one ‘Business’ and one ‘First’. Despite the name this ‘First’ lounge bears very little in common with it’s far superior Australian cousins in Sydney and Melbourne. Instead, it is more aligned with Qantas’ offering in Brisbane’s International terminal, as a lounge that is ‘First’ only in name.
We’ve previously reviewed the Qantas First lounge in Melbourne, the Qantas Hong Kong lounge, as well as reported on a Qantas First flight from Dallas to Sydney. Continuing our tour of Qantas’ flagship global offerings, we report on the Qantas First lounge in Sydney. Entering the lounge, one first passes a (very friendly) bouncer, before walking past a living wall and large area of space which could probably have been used more productively.
Qantas introduced the world’s largest passenger plane on the world’s longest non-stop scheduled passenger flight by distance on September 29, 2014. QF7/QF8 was previously operated by a Boeing 747-400 aircraft, which needed to stop en route from Dallas to Sydney as it lacked the range to fly the route in that direction non-stop on the return QF8 leg.
Things did not get off to a good start in attempting to review the Qantas International Lounge in Hong Kong (HKG). The lounge doesn’t seem to keep to its published hours, insisting on closing earlier than the hours posted on both the oneworld and Qantas websites. The lounge represents an investment by Qantas in staying relevant in the ultracompetitive Asian market, and follows the airline’s new lounge in Singapore (SIN). The new lounge in SIN has received mixed reactions from frequent travellers, so we were interested to see firsthand how the HKG lounge was – particularly given that on its…
In the international terminals at its hubs in Sydney and Melbourne, Qantas operates what we think are two of the best lounges in the oneworld lounge network. Oneworld emerald status provides frequent oneworld travellers with access regardless of class flown. This is a double edged sword. On the one hand, frequent travellers get to enjoy these lounges far more often than the narrow network of destinations with first class service would ordinarily allow. On the other hand, it does mean that these first lounges can get busy at times.