Review of QantasLink flight Melbourne Hobart in Business

Airline QantasLink
Flight QF1535
Class Business
Seat 2D
Aircraft Boeing 717-200
Flight time 01:20
Take-off 25 Dec 20, 17:40
Arrival at 25 Dec 20, 19:00
QF   #32 out of 99 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 22 reviews
Tim84
By 1038
Published on 10th January 2021

Hi and it's been a long time since I've been able to post on here, but I wanted to share a recent trip that Mrs. Tim84 and I took recently to Hobart flying Qantaslink, and highlight both the business and economy class products which we were lucky enough to experience on the short hop there and back.

As a side note, it was my very first time flying the B717 (which is a fairly rare aircraft in most parts of the world), so I was pretty keen to check it out!


Routing


MELBOURNE AIRPORT


We arrived at a very quiet Melbourne airport nice and early, as we were keen to sample the newly refurbished Qantas domestic business class lounge offering (which we had never been in before either).

Check in was smooth and efficient and pretty soon we were headed past security and upstairs into the Qantas lounge area.



First impressions were very positive!

Although the lounge food and beverage offerings were slightly modified due to the pandemic, there was still hot and cold food selections (all served by food attendants rather than the usual self serve method), and given that we were flying out on Christmas Day, there was even a special roast lamb with all the trimmings on offer. Again, unfortunately we did not get to check out the showers as again Qantas had closed off the shower suites due to the pandemic - however the bar was in full operation and we availed ourselves to a selection of both alcoholic and non alcoholic beverages (because when in Business Class, right?).

Pretty soon the boarding call for our flight came on and we reluctantly left the lounge after a very enjoyable couple of hours in it. 


Boarding / pre flight


Boarding was from Gate 24 and we couldn't help notice how empty the Qantas domestic terminal was at 5.30pm on a Friday afternoon (normally filled with the hustle and bustle of passengers heading to and from Sydney and the other east coast cities).

We were first on board the B717 - how exciting! 


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View from the other side of the terminal.


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Our plane to Hobart with the special ''visit Tasmania" livery - what a great start to the trip :)


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A very quiet terminal :(


inflight / cabin


Onto our business class seats.

Seat pitch was roughly 37" which was perfectly acceptable for a short haul flight of just over an hour. The seat was essentially the same as the domestic business class product for Qantas' B737s, minus the personal IFE screens that you sometimes get on the Trans-Tasman planes. Speaking of IFEs, although in pre-COVID times all domestic Business Class passengers would normally get an iPad, Qantas has not yet brought them back because of health and safety concerns (but again, not a concern at all given the short duration of the flight). 


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Clearly a very well loved and used Business Class seat… :)


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The flight attendant was warm and friendly, welcomed us on board by name and pretty soon we were underway!

Take off was smooth and immediately after the seatbelt sign went off the inflight service started.

I was pretty surprised to be offered a hot meal on such a short flight (chicken teriyaki on rice with warm bread) and it was delicious! Our attendant came around with a selection of both red and white wines (all local to the Yarra Valley) and was very knowledgeable about the wines that were on board that day, which we were pleasantly surprised by and quite impressed with :)


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LANDING


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A sneaky view of the economy class cabin in 2-3 configuration (business class was obviously 2-2).

The captain came on about half an hour into the flight and announced our descent into Hobart, and the cabin crew were very efficient in clearing the cabin and getting it ready for landing. 


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A few shots from our window of flying into the Derwent Valley.

We touched down right on time at Hobart airport and taxied to the tarmac (disembarkation was via stairs as Hobart airport did not have aerobridges). 


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Just a few more shots of the Business Class seats in the B717 whilst waiting for the cabin door to be disarmed and opened.

After a quick health and security check by the Tasmanian authorities, we were granted access into the state, picked up our luggage and hire car and exited the airport, excited to begin our short break in Tassie! 

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Verdict

QantasLink

7.5/10
Cabin7.5
Cabin crew9.0
Entertainment/wifi5.0
Meal/catering8.5

Qantas Domestic Business Lounge

8.6/10
Comfort9.0
Meal/catering9.0
Entertainment/wifi7.5
Services9.0

Melbourne - MEL

7.5/10
Efficiency7.5
Access7.5
Services7.5
Cleanliness7.5

Hobart - HBA

7.8/10
Efficiency7.0
Access8.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness8.0

Conclusion

All in all, a perfectly acceptable flight and we were very impressed by the crew - even on a such a short haul flight,

The Qantas business class domestic lounge is fabulous and a great space to relax and unwind for a couple of hours.

It was fun flying the B717 (as opposed to the other narrow bodies that generally ply the east coast routes here in Australia) and we'd happily do it again (especially in Business!).

Information on the route Melbourne (MEL) Hobart (HBA)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 5 reviews of 4 airlines on the route Melbourne (MEL) → Hobart (HBA).


Useful

The airline with the best average rating is Qantas with 7.9/10.

The average flight time is 1 hours and 14 minutes.

  More information

6 Comments

  • Comment 569732 by
    flyLars 26 Comments

    Wait what? A hot meal on a flight of just 1 hour and twenty minutes :0? First of all, thanks Tim for the nice, compact report! But the fact that you got such a great meal makes me think of moving to Australia! In Europe you often get a cold plate in Business on flights of up to 2,4H (LH and AF) and in the US you get nothing but snacks on flights up to two hours!
    Stay safe and keep more reports coming!
    Lars

    • Comment 569733 by
      Tim84 AUTHOR 15 Comments

      Thanks , and yes we were shocked too ! We had flown similar length routes in Business with a number of the US legacy carriers and lets just say that their service + food options were very disappointing to say the least.

      Best wishes to you in Europe too, hope everything is safe and well where you are.

  • Comment 569791 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 5399 Comments

    Thanks so much for sharing this review Tim! There aren't that many reports out there on QF 717 J cabin, and it's even more interesting to be able to see QF service during the pandemic, which is essentially normal up front. The J cabin on this old 717 looks quite nice. I assume the current lack of IFE (suspended due covid) is less noticeable on a 717 on a short flight where there was only streaming IFE as opposed to staring at a blank PTV as on some 737s on other routes.

    I've been to the MEL lounge before and agree that it's a really pleasant lounge with some great views. It's nice for those of us in Europe and the US, where Covid has gotten pretty bad, to be able to live vicariously through this review in Australia where things seem much better right now. Thanks so much for this nice escape to another world!

    • Comment 569810 by
      Tim84 AUTHOR 15 Comments

      You're very welcome! The only thing that felt strange was having to wear face masks for the duration of the flight (even in Business), which I forgot to mention - its a QF regulation given the COVID pandemic. Not an issue for an hour long flight but definitely would have felt uncomfortable for medium / long haul flights (not that many of us would be willingly travelling long distance at the moment, unfortunately). Still, the price that you pay for a bit of normality, I suppose! Apart from that everything else felt semi-normal and full credit to QF for keeping the whole flight experience as 'normal' and stress free as possible!

      Hope you're keeping safe and well in these unusual times.

  • Comment 569860 by
    Aigle_voyageur GOLD 659 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this review. :)

    Despite Covid's crisis, QF seems to have maintained its offer as before the pandemic. A rather comfortable Business seat for a rather old aircraft : until recently, I know Qantas and Volotea (Spanish low-cost carrier) have Boeing 717-200 but Volotea recently removed from its fleet all remaining 717.

    The teriyaki chicken seems a bit strange to me for this flight but looks like very tempting if I refer to the time of flight and what we have on European and American flights now. Almost nothing like a low-cost carrier.

    Have safe flights and happy new year 2021 by the way. ;)

    • Comment 569871 by
      Tim84 AUTHOR 15 Comments

      Happy New Year to you! Haha it was actually a very delicious meal, made all the more surprising by the fact that we got a hot meal on a flight of 1.15hrs (actual flight time would have been closer to 30 minutes not including descent).

      QF have refurbished most of the B717s in line with their other domestic cabin offerings so you don't really notice the age of the aircraft unless you had done prior research:)

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