Flight: QF493, Sydney-Melbourne
Loyalty Scheme: Qantas Frequent Flyer program (a partner of the Oneworld program)
Frequency: Multiple flights daily
Duration: 1 hour and 10 minutes
Qantas has long been the leading standard in Australian domestic aviation. However their fleet can very and depending on what type of plane you fly on, the experience can vary substantially. I have often found their A330 product their best domestically but more often or not it is the B737 workhorse that I end up landing in.
The flight for me was severely delayed with the flight taking off an hour and 15 minutes later. Qantas has a shocking record of on time departures and my flight was sadly no exception. The poorly communicated delay left me bitter upon entering the flight but I did not want that getting in the way of reviewing the airline fairly on this flight.
Economy Class, 4C. Being in the first row (aka bulkhead) of the economy class I had a bit more wriggle room than my fellow passengers seated behind me. The seat had poor pitch but for a one hour flight it did the job. That said I couldn’t imagine flying this very aircraft to Bali like Qantas does for 7 hours where it would seem too small and overbearing for such a long flight.
The flight offered seatback entertainment which I find is far superior than its wifi entertainment option. I watched half of the movie Victoria and Abdul (yes I break up my flick watching with the ambition of watching the other half on my return flight). At times the entertainment jumped around which was a tad frustrating but generally the product was quality viewing.
The Bread and Butter (Food and drink)
Qantas a year ago adopted a tray less food service where meals were packaged and able to be easily disposed of once the passenger had finished their meal. The dinner service offered two options: a creamy pesto pasta or a chicken coleslaw salad. I went with the salad option. The chicken was tender and rather delicious with the coleslaw drizzled in a zesty and tasty Asian style sauce.
Drink selection throughout the flight offered some simple but satisfactory alcoholic and non-alcoholic options. I went for the sparkling Redbank option which was a tad less sparkling and more flat in flavour.
The only downside on this flight was the rushed service. Normally this flight usually does well in terms of attentiveness but the attendants seemed rather in a hurry to dish out the meals and drinks without any real care or effort. Additionally the traditional mini dessert of a Lindt chocolate ball was not offered like it had been on other Qantas flights during the dinner service.
The complimentary alcoholic beverages in the main cabin after 4pm weekdays is a nice touch after a long day in the office.
The Qantas domestic economy product is definitely head and shoulders above its rivals, especially when executed well. That said I have experienced at times quite warm and exceptional hospitality from its budget counterpart Jetstar to the point that they even load free gourmet goodies onto me without any additional charge. Qantas going that extra mile in terms of the service is something that lacks here; especially when the airline is deemed Australia’s premium full service airline.
The seat for economy is generous and comfortable for the flight and the meal service is satisfactory and filling. Qantas shines with its drinks service with staff usually more than happy to offer an additional beverage top up on their City Flyer flights.
Now if only I could one Qantas flight that was on time, I would rate them a lot more glowingly.
Have you experienced the so called Qantas services or were left a bit bitter like me all flight thinking about how late the Qantas plane would be landing into the destination? Keen to hear your thoughts.