Qantas » Economy (short haul) » User reviews
Class rating 8.0
- Boarding 8.1
- Seat for sitting 7.8
- Seat for sleeping 0.1
- Service 8.2
- Entertainment 4.3
- Food & drink 8.0
- Punctuality 8.3
- Baggage 5.9
- Of course, your ratings vary widely for different classes. Choose one below for full details.
- A330-300 - 6.4
- A330-200 (Domestic) - 3.6
- B767-300 (Config 1) - 6.2
- B737-800 - 8.7
- B737-400 (Config 1) - 5.9
- B717-200 - 9.7
- A380-800 - 8.0
- B747-400 (Config 2) - 8.0
- B747-400 (Config 3) - 8.5
- B747-400 (Config 5) - 7.6
- B747-400 (Config 1) - 8.2
- B767-300 - 4.4
- A330-200 (International) - 9.1
- B737-400 (Config 2) - 0.0
- B767-300 (Config 2) - 7.1
- B767-300 (Config 3) - 0.0
- B767-300 (Config 4) - 0.0
- B747-400 (Config 4) - 0.0
- Q-400 - 0.0
- Q-200 - 0.0
- Q-300 - 0.0
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505 & the preceding flight 501 are your staple "City Flier" commuter flights twixt Brisbane, Queenslands capital city, and Sydney, the business capital of Australia.
Most passengers will have been up since at least 0430 to make these flights so some leeway in Qantas favour should perhaps be granted. Cabin crew are usually experienced, pleasant & efficient both in flight and pre-board.
Overhead luggage space is at a premium so early boarding to secure locker space is recommended - most passengers will have an overnight bag for business and a laptop bag although the advent of tablets has diminished the prevalence of the latter in more recent times. Forward aisle seats are highly prized as the taxi queues at the Sydney end are usually horrendous - an early exit can get you to the head of the taxi queue.
Most aircraft have wrap around head supports in "cattle class" aka economy which are a boon for that extra 45 minutes of shut eye. The seats do recline however travel etiquette on these business buses is NOT to use the recline option. Regrettably I personally find the seat back very upright if you try to snooze and as a consequence your head tends to tilt forward.
Cabin noise is fair and ventilation adequate win adjustable nozzles. In recent years the standard of in flight fare has really slipped and the best adjective that can be applied here is "sustenance" - best eat before you fly or at the other end. The coffee is atrocious in flight, don't bother (I'd be happy to forgo what is served up as breakfast in exchange for a decent brew Qanats!).
If you're over 190cms (6 ft in the ld vernacular) books an exit row seat - they cost no extra - but be prepared to do your bit and sit halfway down the aircraft. At an hour and twenty minutes entertainment is usually a news bulletin canned the night before from and/or a re-run of a TV sitcom or other light entertainment genre.
Disembarking is the usual debacle although the further forward you sit the more experienced the traveller usually is and the smoother it goes - cheap tourist fares are usually allocated at the back of the bus and here you will find backpackers, mothers and children, pensioners and first time travelers gathering 400 individually carried pieces (well maybe a half dozen but it may as well be 400 it will take so long) of personal effects from throughout the cabin.
City Flier flights are best categorised as "public transport" - not much different to catching the train or the bus and certainly not up to the tag of "the romance of air travel". These flights get you there in a reasonable degree of passable comfort. Much better I might add than the alternative Virgin aka "Pov Air" which is just chockablock full of first time and infrequent travellers. A shame somewhat as Virgins aircraft and cabin crew are usually younger and better turned out.
QF501 & 505 are good staple commuter flights - if you board with that expectation (and don't drink the coffee) you"ll be fine.
This flight from Alice Springs NT, makes a daily return from Sydney this being the return leg.
It leaves Alice at 11.50am, using a B737-800.
Seating 3-3 all the way down. It takes 2 hrs 40 mins.
Being a remote location there is no lounge, and everything is quick and easy. Few other Airlines serve ASP, no Virgin Australia flights here for eg.
Check in was quick and easy. Boarding was across the tarmac and up the stairs at this quiet airport.
The flight was about a thirds full, so we had 3 seats between us. Newish aircraft so comfortable.
The crew were very good, busy on making sure everyone was comfortable and serving regular drinks and a good sandwich, which were of good quality.
You don't pay for food and drink unlike Virgin.
I have to say the crew were older and more experienced, and worked hard were polite and pleasant, and we were all looked after well.
The flight was on time, though baggage at Sydney domestic terminal always a bit delayed, and always a scrum to get a taxi at busy hours.
Many Qantas aircraft are creakingly old! But the service is far better on board than Virgin Australia, the crews appear more experienced and content, and you get a good quality of food and drinks, which is complimentary.
Both Airlines compete harshly on fares in Australia often seat sales where they out match each other. Fares between major cities are very cheap (from AUD $79 Sydney to Melbourne), but to more remote areas around Australia, and the distances involved some domestic interstate fares can be expensive.
We bought 2 one way economy sale fares for AUD $ 460.
The joy in Australia, is that most Airlines flying within and to from NZ, you buy one way tickets, ao at least you have more freedom.
If you are visiting Australia, as we did fly to Ayers Rock, drive to Alice Springs, and then fly out of there, it is ideal and good to remember, compared to the Europe style and set up for fares.
Pleasant flights, on time, comfortable, nice hard working crew, and tasteful food and drink. A good choice over Virgin Australia, for routes where they both operate.
I checked in early for this flight from Ayer's Rock to Sydney. Ayer's Rock Airport is compact and closely linked into the only resort complex in the vicinity of the rock so virtually all travellers come directly from there.
There was no queue at check in and my bag was quickly checked for the 4 leg journey ahead of me. We went through security and worked in the departures area - no lounge here.
Boarding was very early and we made our way across the tarmacto the aircraft. I was in 13C, an emergency exit seat with plenty of legroom. Take-off followed ahead of time and we settled back for this 3 hour flight.
I chose not to make use of the free headphones for the IFE - small units overhead - and instead worked on my laptop - good room for that. Service was cold drinks, a meat pie - I had just remarked in departures that I had missed out on this Aussie trade-mark during my three weeks here-, an apple and tea/ coffee. Water service followed later in the flight.
Crew were efficient and friendly. We were on stand about 10 minutes early and I made my way to International Transfers.
Another faultless domestic service by Qantas.
We arrived at Alice Springs Airport in plenty of time for this Qantaslink hop to Ayer's Rock. The check-in area was reasonably quiet and we joined the priority line, waiting behind two other passengers. Travelling with a colleague, we were given window and aisle with the centre seat free in this 2-3 configuration. Bags were checked and mine, at somewhat over 23kg, hardly raised an eyebrow.
We went through security, Aussie light-touch, and made our way to the Qantas Club, which is not signposted in what is, admittedly, a small airport. The Lounge is surprisingly large, with good seating, free wifi, sandwiches, snacks and drinks. We worked for about an hour and, as the only passengers remaining after the Sydney flight left, received a personal call when boarding commenced,
We walked to the parked aircraft and up steps to board. Seats were fine in row 1, with good legroom. We took off after a short taxi down the runway and headed south-east to Uluru or Ayer's Rock. A snack of cheese and biscuits, muffin and juice was served after take off and I spent the flight enjoying the increasing red of the rocks and soil beneath me. We landed early but not before I'd had a great view of the Rock during the approach.
Disembarkation was onto the tarmac, followed by a short walk into the terminal. Bags followed soon thereafter and we were on the resort shuttle bus within 15 minutes of landing. A stunning location for an airstrip - pity we're here to work!!
I picked up this connecting flight to Alice Springs in Sydney. Went to the Qantas First Lounge (Domestic) and they permitted two colleagues to join me in this large and airy space. The good choice of food options were wasted on me as I had alread eaten before my first flight.
The flight was called in the lounge and we headed to the gate and joined a short queue for boarding. I had chosen 13C, an exit row seat and, with a free seat next to me, I guess my space was equal to the rather limited looking Business seats up front.
Push back was on time and we were soon airborne for the 3 hour flight. Service of a tortilla wrap, apple and drinks followed soon after and the friendly crew returned with water on three occasions during the flight.
Arrival was bang on time and my luggage was among the first items to appear.
Good and friendly service.
I booked this flight from Sydney to Cairns for a long weekend in the sun as a birthday surprise for my partner. The day was starting well as I checked-in online at home and was lucky to get exit row seats on the 3 hour flight to the tropics. Then it was off to the Kingsford Smith Airport for our trip away. But before boarding there was time for a quick visit to the Qantas Heritage Museum in terminal 2.
Boarding was a few minutes late but given the 3 hour flight time we easily made up the delay. Even in these days of Qantas cost cutting the children on-board were offered colouring packs before take off, and the extra 8-9 inches of legroom in our exit row made a big difference to us, so everyone was happy.
Once airborne the crew set about the drinks service and preparing for lunch while the drop-down video screens played the morning news and then a movie. Lunch consisted of Beef Goulash with mashed potato and beans, bread roll, butter plus a chocolate bar. Given my partner's birthday the purser also provided us with complementary wine from business class for the rest of the flight.
Free water, juice and soft drinks were also available with lunch and throughout the flight. Mid-flight the flight attendants handed out ice-creams to and a further drink run. The seats were comfortable enough for a day flight but I would not want to travel on a red-eye in a 737.
The flight was uneventful but pleasant. Having flown in the US and in Europe on low cost and discounted mainline carriers it really shows how good the Qantas service is on it's longer domestic flights which are often heavily discounted. Overall a great product, carefully planned service and at a good price.
I have flown the short haul SYD-BNE route many times and my ratings in this review reflect my experience today. I have not rated baggage as I rarely check in baggage on short haul, domestic business trips. The narrative below however could apply to most Qantas "CityFlyer" routes, being the product offering Qantas offers on flights between the Australian capital cities. In particular, the east coast, short haul routes (i.e. between SYD, CBR, BNE, MEL), as the experience is quite vanilla, having flown them countless times over several years.
Aimed at the business traveller market these are full service flights. However, if you fly outside of the peak business traveller hours then the full service is scaled back (you at least get a hot or cold beverage and a snack). Full service features at the time of writing are: * Newspapers from 6am to 9am weekdays * Complimentary beer and wine from 4pm on weekdays (Perth CityFlyer services from 12pm daily) * Dinners served between 6pm and 8pm (excl CBR-SYD city pair) * Breakfast served until 8.30am
Domestic check is easy with online and mobile check in available. There are plenty of flights throughout the day so if you are travelling on a flexible fare then it is easy to change your flight on the day if needed; good if your meetings finish early. A tip is to take a cheaper non-flexible fare on the outbound and a flexible fare on the return.
The aircraft used on the east coast CityFlyer flights are typically B737s and B767s. The 767s take longer to board so although the 737 is smaller, it is a faster on/off experience. I am over 6ft. and leg room is OK given the short haul nature however if the passenger in front reclines their seat, it is a tight space to be in.
Flights tend to run to schedule however I recommend that you factor about 30 mins of delays into your business travel plans be it flight delay related or ground transport related. I find that about 50% of the time there delays of some nature.
Cabin crew service is satisfactory and consistent - these are "milk run" type flights so once you're up in the air the crew have limited time to feed passengers so they just get on with it.
In flight entertainment is offered with complimentary headsets. A news service is aired followed by a short documentary style programme, depending on flight duration. Flights over a couple of hours may have a film. The inflight magazine "The Australian Way" generally contains good quality articles to accompany the usual in flight magazine content of fleet size, route map, entertainment guide, health and safety etc. It is only updated once a month however so after two flights, you are done with it!
One criticism is that the script that Qantas use on arrival at the destination is too long; it just feels never ending and simple messages are relayed using a lot of words. After you have flown a couple of times, it can become a little irritating.
Overall, for the business traveller travelling early in the morning and then returning later in the day, the CityFlyer service is a quality package and superior to the other domestic airlines.
After much bagging of Qantas by the Australian media recently, it was refreshing to have 2 perfect flights on Qantas: Sydney-Adelaide-Sydney. Both on 737-800.
Leaving Sydney on Friday night on time at 18:05. The flight was almost full. Only 2 spare seats and one was next to me. Qantas Citiflyer service provides free beer, wine and soft drinks after 4pm. Dinner was great - perfectly cooked linguini with tomato and zuccini sauce with veal meatballs, cheese & biscuits, and a Toblerone chocolate. Very good wine served with dinner - Primo Estate. Entertainment - TV and radio worked well.
The return flight on Sunday lunchtime was great as well. I could could overhear other passengers saying "why would anyone fly with Virgin Blue or Tiger". I can only agree.