Review: Qantas Business Class, Brisbane to Melbourne

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After leaving the Qantas Business Lounge, I left for my gate about 35 minutes prior to scheduled departure. Qantas flights appear to be scheduled to board at 20 minutes prior to departure, however I noticed this flight was loading at about 30 minutes.

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There was hardly a queue, and I was onboard the aircraft in a matter of minutes.

Qantas domestic 737 jets are very similar to US aircraft. In the front, they feature a Business Class cabin in a 2×2 style seating, though you’ll find these seats very similar to First Class in the United States. There’s only 3 rows up front, and behind that, a bulkhead separating the economy cabin in the rear.

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When I sat down, there was no one else in the Business Class cabin. Qantas doesn’t give out complimentary upgrades as freely as the domestic American carriers do, so often it truly is a privilege to sit up front. After stowing my briefcase, I was offered a choice of guava juice, champagne or water. I took the guava juice, which was mighty refreshing.

The seats on this plane do feature a foot and leg rest, as well as adjustable lumbar controls on the side. I like to think of these seats as similar to the MD80 First seats American flies, less the leg and foot rest, if that makes sense.

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After pushback, the traditional Qantas safety video was played. Up in the air, the flight attendants began their service, with the onboard service manager taking the lead for the Business Class cabin. This flight was still in the breakfast timeframe, and there was a choice of a cheese platter, a roast beef sandwich, and some oatmeal. I chose the sandwich, which was really fantastic. It was almost a panini of sorts, that was very tasty. Served on the side was a bowl of yoghurt with strawberry sauce. A few short minutes later, the attendant came around with a choice of bread – either a slice of hearty wheat bread, or a banana nut bread. I chose the banana bread. To drink, I also asked for some sparking wine, which the flight attendant had to “legally disclose” that it wasn’t actually champagne.

The service on this flight was absolutely phenomenal, and these seemed to have been a theme on all of my Qantas flights. I was really impressed by how things were executed, and at the level they were done.

My Take

Qantas domestic Business class is well ahead of what you’d expect in any domestic First Class product in the United States, by far. Not only is the food better, but the service is on part with an international flight, just in a smaller airplane. Well, done Qantas.

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