Review of Qantas flight Sydney Christchurch in Business

Airline Qantas
Flight QF139
Class Business
Seat --
Aircraft Boeing 737-800
Flight time 03:05
Take-off 06 Jan 16, 18:45
Arrival at 06 Jan 16, 23:50
QF   #24 out of 141 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 152 reviews
KévinDC
By SILVER 3553
Published on 25th January 2016
Hello and welcome to the next report in this series of flights down under! This report will cover a visit to the awesome Qantas First class lounge in Sydney and a Trans-Tasman sector in Business class on Qantas Jetconnect.

Here is the full routing:

Washington Reagan National DCA ✈ Dallas - Fort Worth DFW : American Airlines, B737-800, Domestic First class [HERE]
Dallas - Fort Worth DFW ✈ Hong Kong Check Lap Kok HKG : American Airlines, B777-300ER, Business Class [HERE]
Hong Kong Chek Lap Kok HKG ✈ Singapore Changi SIN : Cathay Pacific, B777-300, Business Class [HERE]
Singapore Changi SIN ✈ Sydney Kingsford Smith SYD : British Airways, B777-300ER, Premium Economy [HERE]
Melbourne Tullamarine MEL ✈ Sydney Kingsford Smith SYD : Qantas Airways, B737-800, Business Class [HERE]
Sydney Kingsford Smith SYD ✈ Christchurch Airport CHC : Qantas Jetconnect, B737-800, Business Class [THIS REPORT]
Queenstown Airport ZQN ✈ Auckland Airport AKL : Air New Zealand, A320-200, Economy Class [HERE]
Auckland Airport AKL ✈ Sydney Kingsford Smith SYD : LAN Airlines, B787-9, Business Class [HERE]
Sydney Kingsford Smith SYD ✈ Singapore Changi SIN : British Airways, B777-300ER, Business Class [HERE]
Singapore Changi SIN ✈ Tokyo Narita NRT : Japan Airlines, B767-300ER, Economy Class [HERE]
Tokyo Narita NRT ✈ Chicago O'hare ORD : American Airlines, B787-8, Business Class [HERE]
Chicago O'hare ORD ✈ Washington Reagan National DCA : American Airlines, B737-800, Domestic First Class [HERE]

After a very pleasant short flight from Melbourne, we headed straight for the International terminal and the Qantas First class lounge. As explained in the previous report, the check-in agent in MEL moved out MEL-SYD to an earlier flight, allowing us more time to enjoy the lounge in Sydney. I'd heard really great things about this lounge so I was looking forward to experiencing it.

Interesting covered moving walkway in the Domestic terminal

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SYD International terminal

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The Qantas Business and Qantas lounges are on the mezzanine level. The First lounge is right at the top of the escalators, and the Business lounge is down a corridor to the left.

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An agent checks out boarding passes at the Entrance of the First class lounge. There is a small waiting area there with the famous living wall on the left after the entrance.

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The First lounge is located up another set of escalators. The check-in desks are located here.

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Next to the check-in counters, there is an old school departures board. It's a really cool feature, but can be a bit noisy when the flights are being updated and the whole board flips.

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I was immediately impressed by this lounge. It is very spacious and lofty with grand architecture and great views of the tarmac and CBD.

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Before settling in, I wanted to have a shower. There is no need to sign up for a shower as plenty are available.
The shower rooms are quite nice with good products.

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I would have liked to get a spa treatment, but there was nothing available until after our departure time. No big deal as we were due to visit the lounge again upon returning in 10 days.

So we grabbed a seat with a view on one of the restaurant sections.

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A lovely view indeed, despite the grey weather.

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The menu had some really tempting options.

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I decided on some calamari as an appetizer with a Mumm Rosé
Delicious.

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The mist cleared up just a bit, enough to make out the CBD in the distance.

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Jetstar 788

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I had originally ordered the lamb for the main, but our attendant advised that the kitchen was out of the lamb. I went for the Australian beef minute steak and chips. You can't go wrong with Steak Frites.

In the "Market Inspirations" section on the menu was a Thai chili beef dish that looked very appetizing. We each ordered a different dish to taste.

Though not the fanciest dish on the menu, it was perfectly cooked and very tasty.

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A look at the Thai beef dish. The presentation isn't great, but it was delicious and very spicy, as I like it.

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Another glass of Mumm Rosé

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After a nice meal in the lounge it was time to head to the gate.

A few more shots of the Qantas First lounge on the way out. The design of the carpet is a bit trippy, but I find it elegant at the same time.

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We arrived at the gate a few minutes before boarding began.

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An Emirates 777-300ER parked across the way.

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Our ride down to Christchurch, New Zealand this evening. A 5 year old 737-800 with registration ZK-ZQN.
Although difficult to tell at this distance, that is a New Zealand flag (and registration) on the tail, as opposed to an Australian flag. Jetconnect, is a New Zealand airline wholly-owned by Qantas. The aircraft and crews are all based in New Zealand.

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Our aircraft is named after Abel Tasman, the 17th century Dutch explorer who discovered Tasmania and New Zealand and for whom Tasmania and the Tasman sea are named. Very appropriate for my first Trans-Tasman flight!

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Boarding began right on time and we were the first to go down the jetbridge.

Our aircraft again as we head down the jetbridge on this rainy afternoon.

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A very warm welcome on board by our two Kiwi flight attendants by the door.

Good first impression of the cabin. Although the Jetconnect fleet does not have Boeing Sky Interior, the cabin looks relatively fresh and modern and I like the color of the seats.

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My seat 1A

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A large pillow, blanket, and an amenity kit are on the seat.

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The legroom is good in the bulkhead row. It's a little tighter in rows 2 and 3 with 37" of pitch.

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It's nice to get an amenity kit on a short 3 hours flight.

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Contents of the amenity kit.

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Let's take a look at the menus

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Choice of 3 mains for dinner.

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Real French champagne, along with the amenity kits, on Trans-Tasman flights is a relatively new service upgrade from the past year. Prior to this, Australian sparkling was served.

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Of the 3 possible champagnes, today's flight has Duval-Leroy.

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Unlike the older Domestic 737s, the Trans-Tasman Jetconnect fleet featured PTVs

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I thought the safety card was hilarious…

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Look closely. Yes, that is a Furby! There is seriously a Furby on the saferty card!

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Not only are Furbies not allowed on Qantas, but an array of 90's technology, including gameboys, tamagotchis, Zack Morris' gigantic cell phone from Saved By The Bell, and discmans.

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Just remember, next time you fly Qantas, leave your Furbies at home! The safety card really gave me a chuckle and brought me back to my childhood :-)

Before I knew it, we had pushed back and were on our way.

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We took off facing south and turned left over Botany Bay heading east.

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Philip Bay

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New South Wales Golf Club

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Cape Banks

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As this was a relatively short flight, I kept the IFE on the airshow most of the time.



Blue skies above the clouds

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There was a hot towel service shortly after takeoff.

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Followed by the aperitif service.

Gin & Tonic

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There is also a decent choice of movies, series, and music on the IFE, but again, I mostly kept it on the airshow.

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Dinner was served on a tray, no linens were laid. The Appetizer and main course are on the same tray.

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The carrot soup was decent. I have to give QF credit for having soup, as it is rare in J IME, except on DL.

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For the main, I chose the Red curry of duck. Again, QF gets credit for creativity here. This is a nice change from the usual "Beef or Chicken." It was delicious, well cooked, and on the spicy side, which I appreciated.

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Here is a look at the pan fried snapper option.

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By the end of the meal, we were almost halfway across the Tasman sea.

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Cheese plate

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Maggie Beer ice cream

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After dinner coffee

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And a cognac to finish up. There was a bit of turbulence.

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Nice products in the Business class lavs.

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Only cloth hand towels available, no paper.

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Cabin prepares for landing 20 minutes before arrival.

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Too bad it was nighttime, I'm sure there would have been some gorgeous views crossing the Southern Alps.

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The lights of Christchurch in view during final approach.

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We get to the gate a few minutes early.

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Immigration and customs were a breeze at this time of the night and bags came out quickly.

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Welcome to Christchurch!

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Thanks for reading! Feel free to leave a comment

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Bonus pics of the Sydney area

The Blue Mountains, about an hour west of Sydney

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New Year's Eve on the Harbour

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Around Sydney

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Bondi Beach



Sydney by night



From the coastal drive down to Melbourne

See more

Verdict

Qantas

8.3/10
Cabin7.0
Cabin crew9.0
Entertainment/wifi8.5
Meal/catering8.5

Qantas First Class Lounge International

9.0/10
Comfort9.0
Meal/catering9.0
Entertainment/wifi9.0
Services9.0

Sydney - SYD

8.9/10
Efficiency9.0
Access8.5
Services9.0
Cleanliness9.0

Christchurch - CHC

8.9/10
Efficiency10.0
Access8.5
Services8.5
Cleanliness8.5

Conclusion

I was overall very happy with my first Trans-Tasman flight. With so many International widebodies on Trans-Tasman routes, QF does not have the most competitive hard product with the 737s, but it is perfectly good for a 3 hour flight. Full flat with all-aisle-access is overkill on these types of flights. The friendly Kiwi crew was awesome and very attentive. Catering was great and definitely not boring. A great flight onboard the Kangaroo tail!

The Qantas First class lounge in Sydney was amazing. It was everything I thought it would be. The service was great. Our attendant was really friendly and chatty. We really enjoyed out time in the lounge.

Information on the route Sydney (SYD) Christchurch (CHC)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 3 reviews of 2 airlines on the route Sydney (SYD) → Christchurch (CHC).


Useful

The airline with the best average rating is Emirates with 8.4/10.

The average flight time is 2 hours and 50 minutes.

  More information

12 Comments

  • Comment 159768 by
    SKYTEAMCHC GOLD 8153 Comments

    Thank you for sharing this report Kevin.
    The lounge is just great both in design and catering.
    The B737 Business seats look good and comfy.I like the amenity kit and the blanket. The lunch is also great and original.
    I only had two flights with QF in Business ( A380 & B747) and I must say I was quite impressed by their service.
    See you soon.

    • Comment 336706 by
      KévinDC TEAM SILVER AUTHOR 5226 Comments

      Thank you for your comments. Funny how you have the Christchurch IATA code in your screename :-)
      Yep, the lounge is awesome! The only think I wish they had in addition to the sit down restaurant catering is a self-serve buffet for those who may not want to sit at a table. I would love to fly the QF A380. What Qantas lacks in hard product innovation, they more than make up for with service and originality.

  • Comment 159796 by
    socalnow GOLD 980 Comments

    Another stunning report, thanks KevinDC.

    Interesting covered moving walkway in the Domestic terminal.
    -Such a clever and interesting way to...basically...put up advertising. I don't mind being marketed to when it's smart.

    The Qantas First class lounge in Sydney was amazing. It was everything I thought it would be.
    -What a beautiful lounge. I'm so glad it lived up to the, I'm sure lofty, expectations. The food looks very good as expected.

    The safety card really gave me a chuckle and brought me back to my childhood :-)
    -Ha, me too! Furbies! I wonder if it's only for international flights or... ;)

    The in flight product looks solid. Like you mentioned the menu options are more diverse.

    Maggie Beer ice cream.
    -Is this beer flavoured ice cream?

    Really enjoyed the Sydney pictures. Oh the memories!

    Thank you very much for sharing these great flights with us. Happy flying.

    • Comment 336707 by
      KévinDC TEAM SILVER AUTHOR 5226 Comments

      Thanks so much for the kind comments!

      Such a clever and interesting way to...basically...put up advertising
      - It is indeed. When advertising is interesting, well executed, and aesthetically pleasing like this, I don't mind it at all.

      What a beautiful lounge. I'm so glad it lived up to the, I'm sure lofty, expectations. The food looks very good as expected.
      - I did have high expectations, although not as high as I would if I were to visit the AF CDG La Premiere lounge for example. Being able to get into awesome lounges like this is one of the huge advantages of Emerald status.

      Ha, me too! Furbies! I wonder if it's only for international flights or... ;)
      - I wish I'd paid attention to the safety card on the MEL-SYD flight to see if it had Furbies too :-)

      Is this beer flavoured ice cream?
      - Maggie Beer is an Australian celebrity Chef. She has a brand of high end foods that includes ice cream. I believe the flavour was vanilla bean, IIRC.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  • Comment 159870 by
    Rl 777 810 Comments

    Thank you for sharing this FR with us!

    The lounge at SYD is very sleek, the design of the first lounge is elegant and modern. It has got nice views as well!

    The cabin looks to be in very good condition, not bad at all.

    PTV looks good and that safety card is hilarious haha.

    Fantastic aerial shots!

    Great shots of the meals, the lighting was great. Both of the meals look good to my eyes, I liked the presentation.

    Overall it looks like you had a pretty good flight down to CHC.

    Wow, absolutely fantastic tourism bonus! Breathtaking!

    Have a good one, see you!

  • Comment 160142 by
    KL651 TEAM 4472 Comments

    Thanks for this FR gurrl.

    The decor of the QF lounge is weird, the carpet has a pattern from the 60s but everything else is modern.
    But in the end, it still looks nice.

    What a good soft product with amenity kit and 2 course meal with original dishes !
    Sure the seat could be better, but you wouldn't get neither the meal nor that kind of seat on CDG-SVO that is as long.

    Looking forward to the coming reports ^^

    • Comment 336791 by
      KévinDC TEAM SILVER AUTHOR 5226 Comments

      Haha...weird? I think it's interesting and avant-garde. I would say the carpet design is a bit weird, but it fits well with the whole retro-modern-chic concept.

      There really isn't much need for a better seat on a 3 hour flight. Although I would say, a little bit more pitch would be appreciated.

      The next report is already posted. And I'm slumming it in coach! :-P

    • Comment 336875 by
      NGO85 1622 Comments

      that kind of seat on CDG-SVO that is as long.
      - Doesn't SU have a real J cabin on it's narrow-body fleet? The in-flight service on SU would never touch QF, but the seat might not be too different (I think SU also has tablets now for IFE).

    • Comment 337137 by
      KévinDC TEAM SILVER AUTHOR 5226 Comments

      Yeah, SU has real Business seats, but AF flying the same route does not.

  • Comment 160202 by
    NGO85 1622 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this very beautiful report Kevin!

    It's a really cool feature, but can be a bit noisy when the flights are being updated and the whole board flips.
    - These are awesome and all over Japan. Several airports on my current trip also had some. I love the sound when all the flights update, it makes your feel like you are in 1950 :) I see they had to rope it off to keep people from playing with it.

    but our attendant advised that the kitchen was out of the lamb.
    - That's no excuse, tell them to go out and slaughter one... I do like the look of the QF F lounge, the large wood frames around each seating area are visually nice. The lounge does look a little bit on the crowded side even despite its side (not like the CX F lounge). The food looked good and getting actual restaurant service in the lounge is better than the typical buffet style. The calamari looked delicious.

    Jetconnect, is a New Zealand airline wholly-owned by Qantas. The aircraft and crews are all based in New Zealand.
    - I'm commenting out of order, but based on the next report, why doesn't Jetconnect offer NZ domestic service then? It would seem like a very cheeky way for QF to muscle out NZ a little ;) Or do they have some gentleman's agreement?

    It's nice to get an amenity kit on a short 3 hours flight.
    - Maybe because of an arrival close to midnight, quasi-redeye? Either way, a nice kit with Aspar products.

    Zack Morris' gigantic cell phone from Saved By The Bell
    - Is it bad that I know what you are referring to? I miss the 90s.

    Dinner was served on a tray, no linens were laid.
    - So it was a tray on a tray? Of the two meals, your dish looked better and the use of duck as a protein is a nice choice. Three options for main is also nice for a flight of this length. The single piece of sliced bread is my only knock on the tray. I prefer rolls. They still did a cheese plate and dessert, which is commendable. I guess they are battling a lot of carriers operating 5th freedom flights so they can't slack on the service standards (we'll soon see the LA offering).

    There was a bit of turbulence.
    - Blame it on the turbulence instead of the copious amounts of alcohol ;)

    Only cloth hand towels available, no paper.
    - If I remember correctly from other reports, NZ is the same. Must be an Oceania thing.

    Beautiful bonus. I like mountains so the Blue Mountains stand out for me. Are they named that because of the color? The Berkshires up in Massachusetts are sometimes called the Purple Mountains for their color.

    • Comment 337138 by
      KévinDC TEAM SILVER AUTHOR 5226 Comments

      Thanks for your comments!

      That's no excuse, tell them to go out and slaughter one...
      - Hah! A sacrificial lamb ^^

      The lounge does look a little bit on the crowded side even despite its side
      - something about the design of this lounge made it feel not crowded. Plus we were in a back corner which was quieter.

      why doesn't Jetconnect offer NZ domestic service then?
      - From what I understand, they used to fly domestic routes in NZ, but these were all taken over by Jetstar eventually. Had Jetconnect been a direct option for my domestic NZ flight, I would not have hesitated to book.

      Maybe because of an arrival close to midnight, quasi-redeye?
      - Yep, Amenity kits on Trans-Tasman flights are offered only on flights departing after 1800

      Of the two meals, your dish looked better and the use of duck as a protein is a nice choice
      - I def made the right choice, and I love duck.

      The single piece of sliced bread is my only knock on the tray. I prefer rolls
      - I prefer sliced bread like this. It's more French-like IMO, lol

      Blame it on the turbulence instead of the copious amounts of alcohol ;)
      - Little bit of both at play :-P

      If I remember correctly from other reports, NZ is the same. Must be an Oceania thing.
      - Maybe. I felt kinda bad throwing out real towels in the trash.

      I like mountains so the Blue Mountains stand out for me. Are they named that because of the color?
      - Yes, there is always a blue-ish haze over the mountains. The haze is a product of evaporation from Eucalyptus trees. Or...Koala farts ^^

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