[Click above for the video review.]
- Flight: QF462
- Route: MEL-SYD
- Equipment: Airbus A330-200
- Cabin: Business Class
- Seat: 3J
It was our first time in Melbourne, and we absolutely loved it! Great food, friendly people, and a laid back vibe made it an awesome short stay. We can’t wait to go back and visit!
After an enjoyable day of shopping, and walking around in the many laneways, it was time to continue with our trip to Sydney. We took an Uber from the Grand Hyatt Melbourne to the Domestic Terminal of Melbourne’s Tullamarine Airport.
We already had our boarding passes, so we just went straight to security. The queue was light and we were through in about 5 minutes. We had about 2 hours before departure, so there was plenty of time to check out the Qantas lounge. We followed the signs and took the escalator up one floor to the Qantas Club.
Upon arriving at the lounge, we were greeted by a friendly lounge agent who scanned our boarding passes. She explained that there are 2 sections of the lounge, and we had access to both. There was the Club which is the massive general lounge area, and the Premium Business Lounge which Business Class passengers and OneWorld Emeralds have access to.
First we hung around the Club lounge which boasted a nice panoramic view of the tarmac, and plenty of seating. There was also a hot and cold buffet spread with, an espresso machine, a business center, and a bar area.
After about 20 minutes, we got curious and decided to move to the Business side of the lounge. There was a separate entrance to the business lounge, in which a lounge agent would scan your boarding pass to see if you have access. We were promptly assisted, and welcomed by one of the agents.
We found the setup was similar to the Club area with identical views of the tarmac. We did notice an expanded selection of food items and beverages including alcohol. We decided to stay in the dining area, and helped ourselves to the buffet spread. I also ordered a latte from the barista, which was nicely presented.
After the nice meal and a few pictures around the lounge, we started our trek to the gate area. The gate area was rather crowded since this flight was being serviced by an A330 rather than the usual 737 aircraft. We waited about 10 minutes until boarding started. Business Class passengers have priority access, so we were one of the first passengers to board.
Upon arriving at the plane door, we were greeted by a female flight attendant and we walked over to our seats. My companion was seated in 2K, while I was in 3K on the starboard side of the plane. We were lucky to be flying one of Qantas’ internationally configured A330-200, which features the same excellent flat bed seats as their Airbus A330-300 that I reviewed here.
Waiting at our seat was a noise canceling headphones. Upon settling in, a flight attendant came by and offered us a pre-departure beverage. I opted for a glass of still water.
I decided to explore the seat features a little while boarding was still under way. The seat offers plenty of storage space on both the side console, and the rather large compartment below. AC and USB Power are available next to the seat. The IFE remote, and a small vanity mirror is hidden below one of the arm rests. The seatbelt includes a shoulder “sash” belt which the crew requires you to fasten during taxi and landing. The tray table pops out of the side compartment revealing a boomerang-ish shaped table.-How fitting! 🙂
I also fiddled with the IFE contents while I was at it. There were plenty of movies, TV programs, music, and games available, but I ended up just watching the moving map.
Within a few minutes, boarding was complete. Business Class was completely full, and based on my observation most passengers were Australians coming back home from vacation. Soon the Captain made his announcements on the PA, and mentioned our flight time of 1 hour and 20 minutes to Sydney. The Qantas safety video started playing as we pushed back from the gate.
Our taxi to the end of the runway was quick and we soon started our takeoff roll. It was raining when we departed, so we hit a few bumps on the way up but it got smoother out as we flew above the clouds.
10 minutes after take off, the Captain switched off the seatbelt sign, and the flight attendants sprung into action. Mind you, this flight was only slightly over an hour long so I was surprised that there was even a meal service on such a short flight.
The food cart rolled by, and a flight attendant asked for our meal orders. The selection was Ravioli, or the Barramundi (fish) and rice. I ordered the latter. The meal was served entirely in one tray along with a fruit tart dessert, and a small box of Koko Black Chocolates. A selection of bread was also being offered, and I chose the sourdough. For my drinks, I ordered a glass of water and champagne. The barramundi was surprisingly very moist and flaky unlike most fish dishes I’ve had on a plane.
The fruit tart was OK, and I was also offered coffee along with it. Overall I was pleasantly surprised at how good the meal was and amazed at how the flight attendants were able to squeeze everything in such a short flight.
With over half an hour of flight time left after the meal, I decided to recline my seat and watch the airshow. I actually dozed off a little bit since I was so full from the meal, only to be awakened by the captain’s announcement of our initial descent into Sydney.
The descent was a little shaky as we descended into the clouds, but the weather cleared up as we got closer to the airport which gave us some nice views of Botany Bay during sunset. Landing was very soft, and we soon taxied to the Domestic Terminal of Sydney’s Kingsford Smith Airport.
We soon said our farewell to the crew and disembarked. Upon leaving the terminal, we were a little confused about the Uber pickup location, but soon found out that we needed to follow the signs to the Priority Pickup area, which is the designated area in Sydney airport for Uber pickups. It was a rather long walk from the domestic terminal to the pickup area, but we made it and we were soon on our way to the city via Uber.
Overall, I was astounded at how excellent this flight was. We received great service from the crew even though business class was completely full, and with this being a short flight. In a lot of ways, I wished US carriers would be more like Qantas on Domestic flights. I was used to just getting a drink and a snack in First Class on most domestic flights in the US shorter than 2 hours, so I was amazed that an actual meal was offered. I continue to be impressed with Qantas’service, and I am already looking forward to our next flight with them. Well done, Qantas! Well done! I give this an almost perfect 9.5 out of 10.