The airline with the best average rating is Qantas with 7.9/10.
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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!
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 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!
View from the other side of the terminal.
Our plane to Hobart with the special ''visit Tasmania" livery - what a great start to the trip :)
A very quiet terminal :(
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).
Clearly a very well loved and used Business Class seat… :)
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 :)
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.
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).
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!
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!).