Flight-Report

Review of Qantas flight Perth Melbourne in Economy

Airline Qantas
Flight QF776
Class Economy
Seat 36F
Aircraft Airbus A330-200
Flight time 03:05
Take-off 19 Dec 18, 17:45
Arrival at 19 Dec 18, 23:50
QF   #23 out of 127 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 133 reviews
bldavid
By SILVER 719
Published on 20th January 2019
We live in Iceland and several of our family members live near Melbourne, Australia, so we decided to spend Christmas there. The two airports - Keflavík and Melbourne - are not exactly close to each other, the distance being 10,539 miles (about 17,000 kms). If there was a direct flight it would overfly Svalbard, Eastern Siberia, North-East China and Eastern Indonesia and it would take about 21 hours. But there's of course no direct flight. So how should we get there?

We knew we didn't want to fly economy and we didn't have the budget for most business class flights, so we had to look for an exceptionally good deal in business class. Connecting flights from Iceland to Africa, Asia or Australia are never good value. London, Copenhagen, Frankfurt or Germany are usually among the more expensive departure airports. Amsterdam or Paris can have better deals but none was available at that time.

We checked premium economy as well, and although Singapore Airlines' great premium economy was bookable at a reasonable price from Stockholm to Melbourne via Moscow and Singapore, we still hoped for a good price in business.

We considered for a long time, and we even held a booking for some time, to fly from Cairo. A CAI-MCT-KUL-MEL in business class was offered by Oman Air and Malaysia Airlines at a price similar to many economy class flights from Europe to Australia. But direct flights from Europe to Cairo are overpriced even in economy and connecting flights can have unfavorable schedules.

So what was the solution? Oslo is usually, maybe surprisingly for some of you, the cheapest airport for long-haul business class flights from Europe. And there came a promotional offer: Oslo to Perth with Qatar Airways and Auckland to Oslo with China Southern. Yes, we wanted to fly to Melbourne but why not to visit Western Australia for a few days? And yes, the return leg was from New Zealand but we could finally visit NZ as well - and the flight was even slightly cheaper than a return from Australia.


The final routing was:

Keflavík to Oslo, SAS, premium economy
Oslo to Doha, Qatar, business
Doha to Perth, Qatar, business
Perth to Melbourne, Qantas, economy
Melbourne to Christchurch, Qantas, economy
Christchurch to Auckland, Air New Zealand, economy
Auckland to Guangzhou, China Southern, business
Guangzhou to Amsterdam, China Southern, business
Amsterdam to Oslo, KLM, business

There's a lot of traffic between in the air between Perth and Melbourne - not surprising if you consider that the driving distance is about 3400 kms! Four airlines compete on this route: Qantas, Virgin Australia, Jetstar and Tiger Airways Australia with a total of an average of 16 direct flights a day. Jetstar and Tiger offer a low-cost model with flights costing from AUD 199 (EUR 125) one-way with check-in luggage, priority boarding, seat reservations or meal. Virigin and Qantas offer full service even in economy with checked-in luggage, in-flight entertainment and snacks & beverages included. They can also have prices as low as AUD, although their more typical price would be around AUD 320 (EUR 200).

Business class is offered by Virgin and Qantas only: Virgin's prices start at AUD 1299 (EUR 820), Qantas' is more expensive at AUD 2300 (EUR 1450). Both airlines have a high standard domestic business class, and operate both narrow-body and wide-body planes on this route. But the price difference between economy and business class, no matter how good it is, just cannot be justified. I booked Qantas economy for this route for two reasons: Qantas offers a full-service economy and we had access to Qantas business lounge due to my British Airways Executive Club Silver (oneworld Sapphire) tier.

A side note: it's interesting that many Australians still book their flights at travel shops that can be found even in most smaller towns.

Qantas has its own domestic terminal (T4) at Perth Airport.

photo 01


The interior is classy - they make sure you know which airline you'll be flying

photo 02photo 03

Most passengers check in on-line or at the self-serve kiosks

photo 04


Baggage drop-off

photo 05


There were not many people at security although the staff was quite thorough.

There are quite a few shops and cafés airside




We were quickly admitted to the Qantas Club

photo 10


The lounge was very large, not crowded, and I found the food and drink offer very good for a domestic lounge. Moreover we were travelling in economy class so we really appreciated being there.

There's a fantastic view on the apron from the lounge

photo 11


Some of the food offer





You can ask for a real coffee from one of the baristas

photo 16


Or order a glass of wine

photo 17

Some of the seating areas

photo 18photo 19

Newspapers and magazines

photo 20photo 21

Kids' corner

photo 22


The departure board. It shows the only direct flight to Europe, and also some other obvious destinations such as Sydney, Brisbane or Adelaide. But have you ever heard about Paraburdoo or Karratha?

photo 23


Although our boarding pass indicated a boarding time of 16.45 boarding only started at 17.20 - and it was very fast, much faster than it normally is in Europe.

A view on our plane:

photo 24photo 25

Headphones were available on the boarding bridge

photo 26

A close-up view of the headphones. They look very good for economy. The problem? The sound didn't work at all at my seat (I tried other headphones as well).

photo 27

The first impression of the cabin was very good. I like the seat patterns

photo 28

Legroom was OK

photo 29

My seat was 36F

photo 30

Push-back was at 17.45 and take-off at 17.55 for a scheduled departure time of 17.05.

Service started about 25 minutes after take-off. A hot meal was included even in economy on the Perth to Melbourne route on Qantas with a choice of three mains. Unfortunately for the passengers and for the cabin crew there were no printed menus - the crew members had to tell the three options hundreds of times on every flight and passengers had to make a choice very quickly. The mains were not the usual "chicken or beef or pasta" but somehow more creative. The problem was that my main had such a strange taste I was unable to eat (and I eat pretty much everything).

photo 31photo 32

Another meal which I also tried and which I also couldn't eat

photo 33

Qantas offers flee in-flight entertainment. Screen size is standard for economy. I found the screen difficult to use: you have to touch it exactly at the right place to get what you want.

Two scenes from the safety video:

photo 34photo 35

I found the choice of movies good - but I couldn't really watch anything as my headphones didn't work



Some more movies:



There was also quite a lot to choose from what was categorised as TV Shows



There were almost no music available at all except a few radio stations and some uninteresting business talk-shows

photo 58photo 59

The moving map at departure



I spent most of the time reading my guidebook and also checking out Qantas' fleet and route network in the on-board magazine



Getting closer to Melbourne

photo 67

We're almost there!

photo 68photo 69

We landed at 23.50 for a scheduled arrival time of 23.40 - we made up most of the delay due to the late departure.

Melbourne Airport was almost completely deserted when we arrived and we go our luggage quite quickly.

Thank you for reading my flight report.
See more

Verdict

Qantas

6.0/10
Cabin8.0
Cabin crew9.0
In-flight Entertainment4.0
Meal/catering3.0

Qantas Qantas Club Domestic

9.0/10
Comfort10.0
Meal/catering9.0
In-flight Entertainment8.0
Services9.0

Perth - PER

9.0/10
Efficiency9.0
Access9.0
Services9.0
Cleanliness9.0

Melbourne - MEL

9.0/10
Efficiency9.0
Access9.0
Services9.0
Cleanliness9.0

Conclusion

Qantas' lounge is a great place to spend time before the flight: it's large, has nice views and has a good choice of food and drink.

It sounds great to have full service in domestic economy with airport check-in, boarding by bridge, nice seats, reasonable legroom, built-in screens and a hot meal with three choices. But not everything was perfect: the screen was slow to respond, the sound didn't work at my seat, there are no printed menus and the food was certainly not as good as it first looked. The overall impression is however positive especially that the crew was friendly.

Information on the route Perth (PER) Melbourne (MEL)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 5 reviews of 3 airlines on the route Perth (PER) → Melbourne (MEL).


Useful

The airline with the best average rating is Qantas with 7.8/10.

The average flight time is 3 hours and 28 minutes.

  More information

4 Comments

  • Comment 484784 by
    hometoyyz SILVER 498 Comments

    Hello BLDavid!

    Thanks for the thorough explanation of the dynamics of this route, and your basis for making the choice you did.

    “A side note: it's interesting that many Australians still book their flights at travel shops that can be found even in most smaller towns.”
    - That is interesting. And very surprising.

    Qantas lounge looks quite reasonable indeed for a domestic lounge product — and you’re right, you probably do appreciate the catering in the lounge a lot more when a flight in Y awaits you.

    The IFE screen looks good — it’s unfortunate the audio didn’t work at your seat, and that the touchscreen is, well, touchy. Your description sounds like older AC system, which was very picky about where you touch it.

    Interesting that Qantas offers something a little bit more creative than the usual in economy — but perhaps at that budget point and that level of mass-production, “the usual suspects” are usually there because they’re what can be reliably executed. Bet you’re even more glad you ate in the lounge after the disappointment with the in-flight meal!

    Thanks for sharing this, and happy flying!

    • Comment 484863 by
      bldavid SILVER AUTHOR 104 Comments

      Hi hometoyyz, thank you for your detailed comments! I really appreciated the lounge, it was very comfortable. Having a full service economy sounds good on the paper but as the food was unedible for me and the audio didn't work I couldn't really enjoy this flight.

  • Comment 484893 by
    atco 89 Comments

    Hello Bldavid,

    Thanks for this very interesting flight report. I had originally posted a comment yesterday but it was lost when the site went down later on.

    This looks like a decent enough Economy product aside from the non-functioning headset port.
    A decent IFE screen, free IFE with a good selection and free food even if it wasn't the best. So many airlines are making you pay for all that these days.

    Its always a treat to get a widebody on a domestic flight and overall this looked not bad at all.

    Thanks for posting this very interesting report.

    Safe travels!

Login to post a comment.