I flew Sydney to Gold Coast on Virgin Australia, and then back to Sydney on Qantas. That gave me a taste of two different Australian domestic options on the same route, and they were remarkably similar. (Jetstar and REX also fly between the two cities.)
While there wasn’t any award space on Qantas for my trip up to Gold Coast from Sydney, for our Thursday morning return there was plenty available. In fact the short flight can be booked in business class for just 9000 British Airways Avios one-way per person and $76, which is a nice value against a ~ $525 fare.
Gold Coast – Sydney, 11:10 a.m. – 12:40 p.m., Qantas QF1783
While the trip up to Gold Coast was on a Friday at the start of a long weekend, I was returning on a Thursday morning. And Gold Coast airport isn’t going to be as busy as Sydney anyway There was absolutely no no wait to check in, and security took a matter of seconds.
Qantas Club Gold Coast
The Qantas lounge is just past security on the left. It’s a small lounge but sufficient for the passenger volume while we were there (but since it was largely full even at this off peak time I imagine at peak times it gets quite packed).
The lounge consists of two major areas – a dining room and a seating area that’s divided into a few smaller ‘zones’.
The lounge food was less robust than Virgin’s, but with more choices (and in Gold Coast, versus Sydney where you might expect more choices). Coffee here was self-serve, versus barista-made from virgin in Sydney.
QantasLink Business Class, Gold Coast – Sydney
We walked over to the gate just before scheduled boarding. It was a gate area where you’d enter and take an escalator downstairs into a holding area, most of which was encompassed by boarding queues. Much of the flight was already lined up when we boarded to the priority line was pretty deep. But we didn’t have a lot of overhead bin space needs on this short flight, so I’d rather come later than stand in line longer.
Within a minute or two of scheduled time we boarded the QantasLink Boeing 717. That meant walking out onto the tarmac to board via ramp.
Inside the cabin was a standard domestic layout, with three rows of business class compared to two on Virgin Australia’s larger 737. Seating felt tight. In fact there was almost zero underseat storage because of how the seat is mounted to the floor
No predeparture beverages were served. We just sat on the plane and waited to taxi out, which didn’t take long at the Gold Coast airport. Once in the air though a flight attendant came through with the drink cart, followed by a choice of hot meals.
I watched a couple of shows on my phone. There’s no seat back entertainment. And before I knew it we were on approach in Sydney, and in fact arrived 10 minutes early.
Qantas Short-Haul Domestic Business In A Nutshell
The flight was average in most every way, but I mark it down somewhat due to the antiquated seats and lack of underseat storage.
Qantas domestic business class flight (1-10):
- Seat (50%): 4/10
Lounge (15%): 5/10
Food and Beverage (20%): 5/10
Service (15%): 5/10
Weighted average: 4.5/10