Review: Qantas Business Class B737-8, Sydney – Adelaide


Our flights within Australia were courtesy of Qantas Airlines. With only two major carriers in Australia, Qantas (along with it’s Jetstar low cost subsidiary) and Virgin Australia, we settled for Qantas which was redeemed through the British Airways Executive Club Avios program. Travel within Australia domestically is generally quite expensive, making a points redemption a very easy and worthwhile opportunity.

This post is one chapter in our trip to Australia on Air Canada & Qantas Business Class and United Airlines. This trip was booked using British Airways Executive Club Avios and Starwood Preferred Guest (Marriott Bonvoy) points. 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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Review: Qantas Business Class B737-8, Sydney Kingford Smith – Adelaide, Australia.

At about T-35, we wandered down from the Qantas Business Lounge Sydney to Gate 1A. The Sydney Kingsford Smith Terminal Three Domestic concourse is a pleasant and utilitarian space.

Qantas Sydney Kingsford Smith – Terminal 3
Sydney Kingsford Smith Terminal Three Concourse

There was a large line of about 40 people had developed, running down the length of the concourse. There appeared to be no priority boarding, although there was a priority lane that didn’t appear to be enforced.

Rightly or wrongly, we wandered up to the front and ended up using the empty economy lane to “self-priority board”. Surprisingly, the only ID check was at check in during our travels. There was no identification check at security or on boarding of the aircraft which felt like traveling in an era well past. 

Gate 1A
Gate 1A
Qantas B737-8 at the Gate
Qantas – The Spirit of Australia

Soon enough, it came time to board and we were underway.

Business Class
SYD-ADL (Sydney Kingford Smith Domestic Terminal 3 – Adelaide International)
QF741 – Business Class (I)
6:40 PM – 8:15 PM
Thursday December 4, 2014
Booked: Boeing 737-800
Flown: Boeing 737-800

On Board Qantas Short Haul Business Class:

Once on board, we settled into older style recliner seats that had been gracefully aged a bit. It was a somewhat drab and muted cabin that was without flair but completely functional.

MrsWT73 commented that the equipment had aged quite considerably for a newer generation Boeing 737-800. I’d have to agree with her given that the 737-8 is the among the more current generations of the B737 series.

Qantas Business Class B737-8 Seats
Qantas B737-8 Seats
Qantas B737-8 Business Class Cabin
Qantas B737-8 Business Class Short Haul Cabin

There was a recline feature for the seats, but no in seat power.

Qantas B737-8 Seat Recline Options

In terms of storage, our regular sized carry on’s wouldn’t fit in the overhead bin. We had a very mild reminder consisting of a raised eye brow and a wink and a nod from the flight attendant that the carry on weight limit was 7 kg (15 lbs). Who travels with a bag that is that light weight these days? And why does Qantas have such a ridiculously light carry on limit? We ended up thinning down our bags a bit to make them fit by removing some items. As it turns out, the sizing for Australian carry on’s are much smaller than the standard and familiar North American or European sizes. You’d only expect to take enough for an overnight trip, instead of squeezing everything into a carry on for a 10 day trip.

Entertainment on Board:

Our cabin didn’t have any individual video monitors. Entertainment was given from the main screen entertainment and additional drop down monitors. This meant we had to settle for the woman telling us all about the Qantas Sydney First Class Lounge.

Qantas Short Haul Video Entertainment
In Flight Videos, Set to Mark Newson Designed First Class Lounges

The Qantas in flight magazine was sturdy and had was an interesting read unlike some of the Asian in flight magazines which are more a collection of cosmetic advertising articles. 

Qantas “The Australian Way”

Pre-Departure Services:

A pre-departure beverage of orange juice or water was offered from a tray in a proper glass. 

Pre – Departure Orange Juice

We had a late departure of about 35 minutes, setting off with a long taxi to 34 L runway and a departure track straight over downtown Sydney. We passed by with more hangar views on the way out of town.

Qantas Hanger 245
On the Apron: Qantas B747-4
Qantas Domestic: Sydney Terminal 3

It was a bumpy climb out due to thundershowers. Before we knew it, we were above clear skies headed westward towards Adelaide.

Sunset over Australia

Meal Service: A Full Dinner served from the Trolley

The in-flight service today offered a full dinner service, served direct from the trolley. There was a choice of chicken leg, green beans and roast potatoes or a lamb and pasta salad. I had the chicken paired with Wirra Wirra Riesling from Adelaide hills. The chicken was topped with fresh sauce, scooped straight from the cart immediately before it was served, along with fresh cracked pepper from the mill. It was a classy touch that I haven’t seen anywhere else. It reminded me of those vintage photographs of Pan Am when your ritzy parent’s friends dressed up to dine on board. 

Chicken Leg, Roast Potatoes and Green Beans with fresh sauce
Wirra Wirra “The Lost Watch” Adelaide Hills Hand Picked Riesling

Dinner service concluded with a tea and coffee service. 

Overall, the Qantas service on board was excellent. The manager, Sophia addressed us by surname on every contact, with warm eye contact and was exceptionally pleasant to deal with. 

The flight ended quite quickly after about 2 hours. We landed at the new Adelaide airport. We were met gateside by our good Australian friends who were able to clear security to meet us directly at the gate.

My thoughts on Qantas Short Haul Business Class:

Overall, Qantas was a very pleasant way to get around Australia. Despite the somewhat plain interior of the aircraft, the lounges, food, beverage and service was a substantial step up than North American carriers. The Qantas flights are a great value redemption on British Airways Avios, given the generally high cost of flying business class around a single market airline of Australia.

Is Qantas Business Class your preferred way to get around Australia?

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