Review: Qantas Business Class B737-8, Melbourne – Hamilton Island


We were able to get outsized value out of an Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan award by adding a domestic stopover on our ticket from Los Angeles. We redeemed for Qantas First Class on Los Angeles – Melbourne, following up with a continuing flight in Qantas Business Class Melbourne – Hamilton Island. The flight up to Hamilton Island in Business Class was comfortable, stylish and a great way to kick of a week of beaches and islands.

This post is one chapter on our trip to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, Melbourne with The Great Ocean Road, exploring The Yarra Valley and the beaches of The Gold Coast via Qantas First Class. This trip was booked using Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.

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Read More From This Trip

Review: Qantas Business Class, Boeing 737-800, Melbourne – Hamilton Island

We were fortunate enough to get award space on this flight. Hamilton Island was previously downgraded from Qantas to JetStar and other LCC carriers until Qantas announced a return to the route in 2014. The flight only travels 3 times a week with a business class cabin of only 3 rows of business; making available inventory even more scarce. Nevertheless, when I checked for reward availability, there it was. We were able to build this flight into our trip free of charge courtesy of Alaska Airline’s free domestic stopover on international awards.

Qantas Airlines
QF 870 – Business Class (U)
MEL-HTI (Melbourne International Terminal – Hamilton Island )
July 7, 2019
8:25 AM – 11:25 AM
Booked: Boeing 737-800
Flown: Boeing 737-800 

When we arrived to the gate at T-30, five minutes in advance of the posted boarding time, boarding had already started and the gate area was completely empty. We walked on board without lining up. 

On Board Qantas Short Haul Business Class:

Qantas Business offered a 2-2 configuration across 3 rows of business. The load was a full 12/12 occupied today. Some unoccupied seats across the aisle, along with our seats on the left side of the aircraft.

A pre departure beverage of sparking or still water was offered. There was also the same thinned down version of the in flight seatback entertainment system from our A380 experience that was a bit clunky to navigate.

We headed out on time, along with the usual great airplane spotting opportunities in Australia. 

We had some green views of Melbourne’s suburbs on the climb out.

The Meal Service: A Breakfast Brunch

“Qantas never leaves you feeling hungry, even on it’s domestic flights”

Once airborne, a breakfast brunch was offered. Today’s offering was an egg white omelet with bacon and tomatoes with spinach or a breakfast quiche with spinach and tomatoes. I had this the quiche with sparkling wine and a coffee which came around afterwards.

After the breakfast service, we didn’t have much happening on the flight. The crew came around with macarons afterwards, which we paired with more sparkling wine.

We had a very pretty descent into the Hamilton Island airport. The islands and coast line were really picturesque and was a beautiful setting to start and otherwise peaceful holiday.

And the final approach shot with Qualia resort in the background on the right hand side. 

We arrived at Hamilton Island and had a non gate position. There don’t appear to be any gates here. I was able to snap a MrsWT73 “bored millionaire shot” and a few others before getting spoken sternly to by the ramp agents.

Qantas Business Class Short Haul Summarized:

All in all, Qantas Business is probably the most comfortable way to get to and from Hamilton Island. The service is great, if not predictable. The in light entertainment is just okay, and you’d likely run out of things to look at if you were traveling all the way across Australia on a regular basis. The terrific Qantas lounges along the way add to the experience.

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