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REVIEW: Qantas Domestic Business Class Adelaide to Sydney in 2021

REVIEW: Qantas Domestic Business Class Adelaide to Sydney in 2021

Flight: QF 740
Route: Adelaide (ADL) to Sydney (SYD)
Date: Saturday, 19 June 2021
Depart: 12:55 PM
Arrive: 3:15 PM
Duration: 1 hr 47 min
Aircraft: B 737-800 VH-VXA
Seat: 2D (Business Class)

a seat in a plane
My seat 2D on the right


It’s been a while since I travelled in business class on a domestic Qantas route in a 737. For the under 2 hour flight between Adelaide and Sydney, it seems an extravagance. I have done it a few times to tip myself over the status credit line on both Qantas and Virgin. This flight was such a case, with the flight earning me double status credits, so 80 instead of the usual 40.

I’m finding domestic business class on Qantas is usually full these days. I’m thinking with all those saved points, frequent flyers with status are upgrading any opportunity they have. The passenger is 2F was certainly doing that. She was served lunch last, as catering service is not guaranteed for lounge and gate upgrades.

a seat in an airplane
View towards economy

At the Airport

Adelaide Airport is having a massive refit and extension, which has worked its way from the Virgin end of the terminal, towards Qantas at the other end. One desireable addition has been this South Australian providore shop.

a store with signs and shelves


I had checked luggage, so had been given a paper boarding pass – which I don’t think I’ve received for the last year of COVID.

Boarding was a little late, but Qantas now seems to have got the premium boarding experience bedded down. One of the cabin staff adjusted the premium boarding sign to make it clear which side of the divider to queue. I was near the front, so got to my seat quickly and painlessly, stowing my additional luggage easily.

a seat in an airplane

The Seat

These seats may look flash from back in Economy, but up close, they are showing their age. Seat width and pitch are generous but not huge on Qantas. As you can see in the picture below, there is a very annoying ‘leg’ and power/video box in the way of your feet. Frankly, the comfort of these seats could do with a refresh. They are not bad, just not worldleading.

a person's legs in a seat with a bag in the pocket

The controls are manual, but I’m never sure they all work. For instance, I can rarely get those leg rest/footrest buttons to work. In this seat, the back support kept on blowing out, making the seat uncomfortable. For me, the standard recline on these seats is back too far – but not uncomfortable. I had no need to recline my seat.

a close up of a seat

I didn’t use either the sound or video system on this flight. I had Mahler playing through my Bose noise cancelling earbuds, and a book (actual paper) on my lap.

In-flight Service

Charming cabin staff as always on Qantas. Garry (I think it was) had a glass in a napkin, roll off his cart and shatter on the floor. After making sure no one would walk through it, he procured and unwrapped a brush and dustpan and dispatched the shards without raising a sweat. Who knew aeroplanes carried dustpans and brushes?

That’s the only drama I have to report. Service was flawless, presented on one tray, without tray ‘table cloths’. I always forget to take a photo before chowing down. The choices were between a red (Shiraz I think) and a white (Gerwürztraminer) or a pastie with Beerenburg Caramelised Onion and a grilled broccoli salad or still and sparkling. I went down the pastie route, and it reminded me of school tuck shop lunches in primary school, which I think is the last time I had a pastie.

a plate of food and a fork on a tray

The pastie was morish, and the caramelised onion delicious. Top-ups were offered frequently, and declined rarely.

a baggage carousel in a airport


No circling, only a couple of minutes late despite our short delay out of Adelaide. Love being first-ish off the plane, especially when my bag was first in the queue on the baggage carousel! Never happened to me before. It was a good feeling to march through the waiting passengers crowding the baggage belt, take the first bag, and flee to the Taxi rank.

a building with glass doors and a person walking
Still one door down at the Sydney Terminal 3 exit, mind you it used to be the left, now its the centre door

2PAXfly Takeout

This is another timely reminder to wear your seatbelt when seated. Holding you close to your seat will protect you from the sort of injuries sustained on this flight, when unsecured passengers flew to the ceiling of the aircraft, and then came crashing down once the ‘drop’ ceased.

The hope will be that this is an anomaly – a ‘freak accident’ in casual parlance. If it is a systemic error either mechanical or electronic, then this is a larger concern for the airlines that fly Boeing Dreamliner 787 aircraft. Let’s hope it isn’t. If it is, it will pile on the woes to Boeing’s existing stack.

Business Class is almost always better. It is more comfortable with a wider seat (56cm / 22″) longer pitch (94cm / 37″) and way better service. The food is obviously better as well, but less obviously so is the wine.

But the question becomes – is it worth paying about 4 or 5 times the price? Unless you are using it to gather the required credits to retain or upgrade your frequent flyer status, have extremely long legs, or wide girth, or someone else is paying, the answer is no.

But it is quite nice.

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