FLIGHT REVIEW: Qantas Double Status Credits trip to Auckland – Sydney to Melbourne
- TRIP REPORT: Pointless New Zealand double status credit run to requalify as Qantas Platinum 2023
- FLIGHT REVIEW: Qantas Double Status Credits trip to Auckland – Sydney to Melbourne
- LOUNGE REVIEW: Qantas Melbourne International First Lounge. My first time – I was treated gently.
- FLIGHT REVIEW: Qantas QF153 Melbourne to Auckland in Business Class. Perfectly uneventful.
- HOTEL REVIEW: Hotel Debrett – friendly, quirky gem of a hotel in the centre of Auckland, New Zealand
- LOUNGE REVIEW: Qantas First Lounge Auckland Airport and smoking patio
- LOUNGE REVIEW: Strata Lounge, Priority Pass lounge at Auckland International Airport
- FLIGHT REVIEW: Qantas A330 Auckland to Brisbane, Business Class
- LOUNGE REVIEW: Brisbane Qantas Business Lounge. Packed to the gunnels!
- FLIGHT REVIEW: Brisbane to Sydney on Qantas Business Class in a Boeing 737-800
This is the first in a series of four flight reviews of our Double Status Credits run to Auckland, New Zealand. To maximise the number of Status Credits earned for this trip, my companion 2A and I travelled via other capital cities out of Sydney So, instead of flying directly from Sydney to Auckland, we travelled via Melbourne on the way out. This had several advantages. The additional cost was negligible compared to the additional status credits that could be earned.
For a direct flight between Sydney and Auckland, the earnings would be 85 Status Credits each way before the doubling promotion is applied. For this trip via Melbourne to Auckland, the Status credit earned was 40 (SYD-MEL) and 85 (MEL-AKL) Status credits, totalling 125 Status Credits before doubling. The additional cost was a couple of hundred dollars, and still gave us a Status Credit ‘purchase’ price of ~AU$ 3.63.
Content of this Post:
Flight Review Details
Flight: QF 431
Route: Sydney (SYD) – Melbourne (MEL)
Date: Friday, 28 July 2023
Depart: 9:35 AM
Arrive: 11:10 AM
Duration: 1 hr 35 min
Aircraft: Boeing 737-800
Seat: 2C (Business Class)
Cost: part of a four-flight ticket AU$1,912.89 (destinations include: SYD-MEL-AKL-BNE-SYD).
Introduction to Flight Review
I arrived at Sydney Airport a little after 8 am. We had both checked in online and since we were both travelling with only hand luggage headed for security.
2A and I met up in the lounge about 15 minutes after I arrived. It was the usual morning rush at security.
As regulars would attest, the lounge is in a pretty sorry state, with facilities looking tired, worn and in some cases broken, especially in the bathrooms. The catering was the usual disappointing array of breakfast fare. Nothing awful, but nothing stand out. I will mainly be there for the coffee.
After a quick flat white, a bit to eat and a chat, we headed to Gate 1, for boarding at about 9.15 am. Boarding was orderly, and the premium priority lane was observed. I got my usual ‘Welcome back Mr Schuetz’ on showing my ticket. Note that I have returned to physical tickets. I got sick of waiting for people to organise their phones to show their digital tickets. Then it happened to me, and I was embarrassed. Now, When I check in at any Qantas Business Lounge, I ask for a physical ticket, unless staff are swamped.
The aircraft door was closed at 9:38 am. The business cabin was featured video screens on the back of business class seats. Correct me if I’m wrong, but you don’t get these on the older 737s.
Business cabin old school with seatback screens in Business
2A is not called 2A for no reason. My seat was 2C in the Business Class cabin. Neither of us are fans of row one, the bulkhead seats, or row 3, where if catering choice is going to run out, it will do it there. So Row 2 is perfect. I tend to favour 2D, but who’s squabbling about the other side of the aisle?
Safety Video & Take Off
The Qantas ‘historical’ safety video was played at 09:40 am, along with a cabin demonstration as we pulled back from the boarding gate. The First Officer announced at 9:54 am, nearly 20 minutes after our scheduled departure time of 09:35 am that the flight was expected to take one hour and thirty minutes, and we would experience some crosswinds, arriving at 11:20 am into a 15ºC Melbourne day. That put us about 10 minutes after our scheduled arrival time of 11:10 am.
Oh well, 10 fewer minutes in the Melbourne First Class Lounge. It could have been worse.
After taxiing to the east-west runway, we were in the air by 09:57. The seat belt sign was turned off at 10:06 am
About 10 minutes after the seat belt sign was turned off, the meal service started. There are no printed menus, and options are recited to you by the cabin staff. Forgive me if I missed some of the details. The choices were:
- Sweet potato and black rice salad with edamame
- Egg and bacon panini (the option both 2A and I chose)
- Tomato & basil (something) quiche
Each passenger in Business was addressed by name, and we were offered water (still or sparkling), coffee and an orange Friand. Coffee and tea were served once all passengers had received or been offered their meal.
As mentioned, seat-back entertainment screens were available, but between eating our breakfast catching up on gossip, and discussing the remainder of our trip, neither of us got to watch anything.
We started our uneventful descent into Melbourne Airport at 11:19 am and landed five minutes later at 11:24 am.
By 11:27 we were at our arrival gate, 17 minutes later than scheduled, and 7 minutes later than promised by the First Officer. Doors were opened at 11:30, and we quickly departed with our carry-on, heading as quickly as possible to the Qantas Melbourne First Class Lounge. My first time. Be gentle!
This leg of our journey was perfectly acceptable. Service was good and food and beverage choice and quality were good. Our flight was slightly delayed, but given it is on the busiest route in Australia, it’s no biggie.
The jewel in the crown of this Trip Report was about to become evident. Spoiler – the Melbourne Qantas First Class Lounge is possibly better than Sydney. Well at least different in a good way.