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COVID-19: Experience – Adelaide Airport, QANTAS Lounge, ADL-SYD

COVID-19: Experience – Adelaide Airport, QANTAS Lounge, ADL-SYD
Series: COVID-19 Adelaide

Thought you might be interested in impressions of Adelaide Airport and the Adelaide Qantas Lounge under COVID-19.

In the previous trip reports of this series, I have covered the flight between Sydney and Adelaide on Qantas, my impressions of Adelaide, and my stay and the IHG Adelaide, and how they differ from my experience pre-COVID-19.

Adelaide Airport

Like every other airport around the country, Adelaide’s is a bit quiet.

The service desk and premium check-in lane were operational here in Adelaide, unlike in Sydney, so no self-check-in for me. No queues, no waiting, no fuss, and nice interactions with the Qantas staff.

a row of black barriers in an airport

Security was down to one lane, and they had suspended operation of their body scanners and new bag scanners, which don’t require you to remove your computer. Obviously I am too used to these new scanners, as I failed to remove my computer from my bag, so that held things up a bit. I wasn’t the only one, so didn’t feel too stupid, but did apologise profusely for inconveniencing the security staff.

The airport has basically closed half of itself – the half that used to service Virgin Australia and Tiger Airways. Now all the domestic flights are handled from gates 20 through to 26.

an office with desks and chairs

Qantas Lounge Adelaide

The Adelaide Qantas Lounge is a combined business and club lounge, and currently also serves Chairman’s Lounge patrons, since those elite lounges are still closed nationwide.

Often you need to jostle a bit to nab a desk within this area. I don’t like the long desks on either side with their pouffe seating.

a man sitting at a desk in an airport

Many stools had been removed to assist in social distancing. Since it was a morning departure, I headed for a coffee, where patrons were social distancing. I was asked whether my coffee was to drink in the lounge or to take with me, and given a ceramic cup since I was drinking within the lounge.

a cup of coffee on a napkin

Food service was similar to Sydney, although they did have a display of the ‘hot’ dishes on offer – which I don’t remember them having in Sydney.

a buffet with plates of food on a counter
Hot meal selection

As in Sydney, an attendant asked you what you would like, and either ordered it prepared, or grabbed a dish on display and handed it to you – thus reducing customer contact with the food. The attendant was masked.

a plate of food with butter on top

I opted for the scrambled eggs and sourdough. It was delicious.

I ate my meal, and then did a bit of work. About the time I was debating whether to have a second coffee, the flight was called, and I headed for the gate, and the single queue, with priority and row boarding called out in order.

a package of food on a table

The Flight – Adelaide to Sydney

The standard ‘Fly Well’ pack with mask and wipes was distributed by cabin staff, if you had failed to collect one on boarding.

The flight was packed, with I think less than 10 seats vacant. You will be pleased to know that unlike the outward journey all cabin staff, nearly all passengers, including those in business class, but with the exception of two FF’s in row 4 was masked up.

My luck had run out, and unlike on the outward flight, there was no vacant middle seat on my side of the aisle.

The refreshments are pictured above. The cold drink choices were nothing alcoholic, water, orange juice, coke, (no, no-sugar coke though) and lemonade. They did offer tea and coffee, but no snack choice.

a logo on a wall

2PAXfly Takeout

I love digital, except when my phone dies, which happened to me on the last night of my recent visit to New Zealand

The flight was uneventful. Sydney Airport was deserted when I arrived early afternoon, with not a taxi in sight. Mind you there was a queue of 1 for taxis, so I can’t complain.

I am not convinced the reduction in service during the flight is only about reducing touchpoints for COVID-19 transmission. I think the reduced selection, and only providing a snack and no meals, is more about cost-cutting than COVID.

I know times are tough with domestic operations running at about 10% or normal, but with all fares through the roof, you’d think Qantas could do better in the relatively cheap area of catering. Maybe without meals in economy, they can do without dnata, who normally provide Qantas catering.

For a minimum fare Red e-Deal of AU$214 to AU$417 a sector Sydney to Adelaide instead of the usual AU$160, and with planes essentially full on this route, I think Qantas could provide more.

On the other hand, lounges are lovely! They are not overcrowded, and the new service flow, with an attendant to order food through makes the lounge service soooo much nicer.

Bain-marie under glass, begone!

Other Posts in the Series
<< COVID-19: Experience – Intercontinental Adelaide

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