Review of QantasLink flight Darwin Alice Springs in Economy

Airline QantasLink
Flight QF1939
Class Economy
Seat 18A
Aircraft Boeing 717-200
Flight time 02:00
Take-off 11 Aug 15, 15:20
Arrival at 11 Aug 15, 17:20
QF 26 reviews
By 2572
Published on 3rd September 2015
We're back !
I mean, not for a new Top Gear season but still, the fourth FR of the following routing :

CDG - KUL Boeing 777-200ER AF246
KUL - PER Airbus A330-300 MH127
PER - DRW Boeing 737-800 QF792
DRW - ASP Boeing 717-200 QF1939(Link) YOU ARE AT THE RIGHT PLACE !
ASP - AYQ Boeing 717-200 QF1941(Link)
AYQ - CNS Boeing 717-200 QF1854(Link) No FR, same aircraft
CNS - SYD Boeing 737-800 QF925
SYD - KUL Airbus A330-300 MH122
KUL - CDG Boeing 777-200ER AF241

(Reminder, bonuses are available here :
A special FR one :[email protected]/albums/72157657806681812
A 'normal' tourist one :[email protected]/albums/72157657809601382
I hope you'll enjoy them)



Let's put it straight forward, from my hotel room to being airside : an hour. The airport is not so far, that is for sure !

We were dropped off by a cab on the wrong side of the road so that he could leave with arriving pax directly. Okay… so we had to cross the airport road, I mean, in front of the terminal, not very courteous I think. My Amex alert shows 2:03PM so pretty much early for that flight leaving at 3:20 PM.


Anyway, here is the terminal (no soldiers that day)

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Once again, I did use self check-in kiosk to print luggages' tags. I checked-in online the previous day so we just had to get our BPs and drop our luggages. These kiosks are definitely very easy to use.

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Don't even think trespassing !

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We dropped our luggages at the counter, to be honest I don't remember it but I wrote down on Notes : normal staff, a bit kind, nothing special.

Security… another story.

Well, as always, because we have a lot of annoying stuff with us to pass security (computer, camera, phones, belt, jackets…), we are always making the queues long but we are as fast as anyone could be.

I passed the detector and the lady on the other side took my bag (with camera on it) and asked me to return to the other side (what for ? no idea, It is not even the method…). So did I.

When on the other side, I asked her colleague (friendly) why did her colleague asked me to do so. She asked the first lady. I did not understand what she answered but her colleague told me It is okay, my colleague told you nothing.

Right… So I went to detector again and it rang. I asked the agent if I could go straight because I did already passed it just 10 seconds before. He refused (I can understand that) but apologized because he was as well unaware of the problem.

So I had to leave once again on the conveyor my jacket. And finally I did pass the detector for the third time and I was granted access.

All that time wasted and that stress and I have still absolutely no idea why ? Completely idiotic.

Just after that I had to pass explosive powder detector, climb with treadmills and we were ?

III - AIRSIDE (never been so happy writing a title)

Our boarding lounge, plastic chairs (and news travel). You can see on the right hand side, where the light comes from, this is a small room to store boarding business and other signs for QF and JQ.

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My view for the next 1h20mins
Someone did forget to aspire !

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The bad thing is the terminal is almost blind. You can see this VA738 from the… café which you have to pay to go in of course. Well… I should stop talking.

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Back in front of our boarding gate, number 9 as you can see, no delay scheduled yet (but with QF it seems obvious)

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We were called for boarding 10 minutes after scheduled boarding time. The employees told us we were going to have a 20mins delay due to the previous flight's late arrival. I'll survive.


Because I was first in front of the counter I could take my time to shoot with my iPhone (I thought I wouldn't be able to use camera as the terminal was blind, so I was wrong).

I don't want to make a mistake about press… I think there was not, but I don't recall my blitz passing on jetbridge.

And surprise, can you guess who owns the tail above the jetbridge ?

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Our corridor

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Another one for the road

Our beast is VH-NXQ

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Yep, a Philippines Airlines A320 RP-C86II

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My view for the next two hours or so

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Yield is about 30 to 40%, pretty comfy. A lot of 3 seats rows are available if you are tempted by sleep on this short haul.

Door was closed at 3:56 PM and we started pushback just two minutes later.

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Toll 733 in the distance

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Damn, missed this one with the special livery

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VH-VUY, VA 738

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Failed this one as well, VH-QQY, Alliance F70, this is not my day^^

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Much better, from the rear (If I may say…)

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Metroliners and EMB 120 for Airnorth

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A QF738 lands when Philippines' A320 taxies to Rwy 11

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We have to cross the runway to get to the holding point, no traffic in sight !

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Now you see why I am at row 18… the sound ! The concerto should I say. When you pay a sale fare like I did, anyway, you are seated at the back, so you might as well try and enjoy it !

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Power set

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Positive rate of climb, gear up please !

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It is our turn

When we got to our cruise level the captain did introduce himself and apologized for the delay.

He said he did not introduced himself earlier to try and gain time. He said we should land at 5:40PM instead of 5:20. He did manage to limit the delay by 16 minutes, huge improvement for a 2hr flight.


I think that it is a very good point to offer pax lunch on such a short flight, furthermore when it is a 3:20PM flight. And it doesn't stop there.

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It was rice chicken, asian meal, with some vegetables and tasty sauce

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Why the hell did I show you the ended tray ? Because it was my second meal !

This was actually the first time I ever tried to get a second meal, and I did get it with smiles.

Our male FA was very courteous and happy to help, professionnal as always. It is him who scanned our BPs at boarding inside the terminal.

I am so glad having chosen QF, you don't even imagine. Especially because food in Australia is not that abundant, and I was hungry all the time. So… this is a huge satisfaction for me.


I like these seats

Brand new safety card

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Clean toilets but so noisy near to the RR engines ! Toilets are indeed only at the back

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Unfortunately, no flightshow and no IFE so, I can't tell you where we are


At the beggining of the descent, I had to call the FAs for them to pick up the tray. I don't think they forgot it, it is in my mind just because they did not want to put me in a rush.

Beautiful almost-kiss landing at ASP while sun was fading over MacDonnell Range that are 800 000 000 years old.


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Smooth deboarding as it was not a crowded flight. One of the FA was at the bottom of the stairs and waving goodbye to pax. I just asked for a last picture and said the aircraft was a beauty.

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ASP is a very lovable airport, it doesn't feel like it is pared-down. It is even what we can call 'modern' design.

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Exit by cab, sufficient cabs for the airport size. I ran to them as I did not want to risk DRW's experience at dawn, it can get very cold in winter. Around 0°C for instance.
See more



Cabin crew10.0

Darwin - DRW


Alice Springs - ASP



QF : Comfort top notch, a marvellous sound, even if some of you would perhaps hate that
Crew : really professionnal and helpful plus I got a second meal, what more ? Captain was concerned about arriving on time, a final 20 minutes late, not dreadful, 1/6th of the flight duration. The score should be 8.34/10 but we can't so I'll stay on 9

DRW : upset about the security lady
Access by cab is not courteous
Service : nothing terrible, just a café with sandwiches on the departure lounge side and a real café next to the VA 738, paying for a view when you leave thousands AUD in a country you visit... you see what I mean

ASP is a modern airport and luggages arrived fast (no traffic at that moment)



If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 145496 by
    tn92 174 Comments
    I've been flying Qantas rather frequently for the past few years and almost every time, the landings were well executed and extremely smooth. Thanks for the report and the landing video is really nice, with great views of Alice Springs!
  • Comment 145619 by
    eminere™ 272 Comments
    QF never fails with their catering, at least domestic wise.
  • Comment 145741 by
    NGO85 GOLD 1873 Comments
    Thanks for sharing this continuation with us!

    You must not travel to the US frequently, that security experience sounds like nothing compared to TSA. They'd give you a full cavity search ;)

    I never knew QF had B717s, they looked well maintained and the pitch is good, it was in the standard 2-3 configuration?

    Catering definitely looks good on this flight, and it sounds like you had a great crew. I've never asked for a second meal before, but with the low load it's not surprising they had leftovers and were happy to give you another (they would just get trashed anyways).
    • Comment 324376 by
      st7515 AUTHOR 220 Comments
      Thank you for your comment!
      Never flew to the US, I mean, one to YYZ (AF356 /B744 - French FR) did land at Niagara Falls because of the temporary closure of YYZ but we stayed onboard.
      They are well maintained yes, better than their old 738s it seems. They were retrofitted in 2011 or 2012 idk so the cabins were quite new. All the 712 are around 14yo and operated by the subsidiary QF Link, mine was an ex-TWA/AA/JQ... It was the standard 2-3 yes !
      Indeed, that is because of the low yield I asked for a 2nd meal but on the CNS-SYD, it was full and I got one anyway.

      Sometimes, even if it goes to trash, FAs can refuse to serve, which appears to be weird because trash is not the best option for food but it can be easier for them if they have to heat one or two again!
  • Comment 469580 by
    IflyAustralia 1 Comments
    Awesome report. Love the QF 717. Flying one to Broome soon and can’t wait.

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