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FLIGHT REVIEW: Brisbane to Sydney on Qantas Business Class in a Boeing 737-800

FLIGHT REVIEW: Brisbane to Sydney on Qantas Business Class in a Boeing 737-800
Series: TRIP REPORT: Double Status Credit run to New Zealand

This is the last leg of our Double Status Credit trip in Business Class from Sydney to Auckland via Melbourne and Brisbane. I have already reviewed two flights in this series, travelling in Business Class on a Qantas Boeing 737-800. The first was Sydney to Melbourne, and then Melbourne to Auckland, so this review is going to be brief and to the point, concentrating on the meal and service.

a safety instructions in a seat
The Qantas domestic war horse, the Boeing 737 800 [2PAXfly]

Flight Details

Flight: QF555
Route: Brisbane (BNE) – Sydney (SYD)
Date: Sunday, 30 July 2023
Depart: 7:40 PM
Arrive: 9:15 PM
Duration: 1 hr 35 min
Aircraft: Boeing 737
Seat: 2A & 2C (Business Class)
Cost: part of a four-flight ticket AU$1,912.89 (destinations include: SYD-MEL-AKL-BNE-SYD)

a window on a plane
City by night Brisbane to Sydney [2PAXfly]


We had successfully transited from our arrival at Terminal 1 in Brisbane, the International Terminal, to Domestic Terminal D, via an overcrowded Qantas Business Lounge. To be honest, I think both I and Seat 2B were over it, and were looking forward to setting our heads down on a non-moveing bed back in Sydney.

The highlight of the flights, the leg between Auckland and Brisbane on a Qantas A330 was now behind us, and we were back to the fairly pedestrian (comparatively) offering of a standard domestic 737-800 service.

a close up of a chair
The view from 2A toward the galley [2PAXfly]


The boarding call was earlier than on our tickets. 7:15 pm instead of 7:20. I’m all for starting early when it comes to flying into Sydney!

I’m always endlessly fascinated by the boarding habits of others. Seat 2B and I were straight to our seats, luggage stowed, and seat storage organised. I love watching people with seats back in row 25 who start watching the row numbers in business class. Do they think a miracle may have occurred so that the plane’s seating plan starts at row 22?

Then there are the others, like the woman today who claimed to have walked the entire length of the aircraft and couldn’t find their seat. It gives you an insight into what patient cabin staff have to put up with. Needless to say, the flight attendant grasped her ticket and led her directly to her seat.

a person's feet in white shoes and a grey object on a plane
Business Class leg room on Qantas 737-800s is good, but not excessive if those in front of you choose to recline. [2PAXfly]

Security at the airport was a bit of a nightmare. Brisbane airport’s domestic security still has the old-fashioned system, with small trays, and the unpacking of computers etc. No contemporary X-ray units and body scans here.

By 19:39 the forward door was closed, and cabin crew were requested to ‘cross-check’, as we pulled away from the gate. The safety demo was played on overhead video screens at 19:41. However there was a further delay – the captain announced as being associated with a lack of air-traffic controllers, which could cause some delays. He advised we were heading for runway 19L, and were currently second in the queue.

About 15 minutes later we were heading down the runway and in the air by 19:57.

a close up of a seat
No seatback entertainment on this dated 737-800 [2PAXfly]


These are standard Qantas Business Class seats for the 737 fleet. No seatback entertainment, but a strap to hang your tablet from. Qantas used to supply the tablets, but now they assume you will bring your own. The seat comes with a set of manual mechanical controls. These seats lack any form of power steering. I am convinced that most of these controls have little effect, and the footrest invariably requires some manual assistance.

a close up of a seat
Manual seat controls [Schuetz/2PAXfly]

The seat recline does usually work, but be careful. You can seriously impair the passenger behind you’s ability to work or get out of their seat if you do. Not much different to Economy really.

a close up of food

Meal Service

The meal service commenced at 20:31, as usual off the cart. Three options were available: pea and mint soup, a ploughman’s plate, or chicken and chees panini on focaccia bread. And that is what both me and Seat 2B chose. ‘Satisfying stodge’ is the best description I can muster to describe the taste, texture and result of consuming this meal.

Service was efficient and friendly, and involved wine.

a close up of a car
Glassware etched with the designer David Caon’s name and the Qantas logo [2PAXfly]


The female first officer had advised that we would be landing on time, pending any weather or other delays. At 20:55 staff were requested to prepare the cabin for landing, and we were warned that there might be some turbulence on the way down, so the seatbelt sign went on early.

We arrived safe and sound in Sydney, with no unforeseen delay at 21:11, and five minutes later at 21:16 arrived at Gate One. We disembarked efficiently, and with only hand luggage, Seat 2B and I were out of the Qantas Terminal 3 and into a taxi, arriving home before 10 pm.

a staircase with a sign and a truck in front of it

2PAXfly Takeout

I’m not sure Qantas staff could have done any more to make our flight more comfortable. It was us, tired and slightly travelled out who were the underperformers on this flight. Qantas staff performed admirably.

Seat 2B enjoyed ourselves immensely on this trip. We managed to enjoy four flights together, a couple of nights at a delightful boutique hotel in Auckland, earn double the normal status credits, to ensure I requalified for Platinum status, and give 2B a good start to his credit and point earning year.

Ultimately for me, earning all those status credits was not required. I could have re-qualified more cheaply on a few domestic flights. I hadn’t factored in the status boost that Qantas offered after we had already booked this trip. Qantas loyalists were offered the boost on the basis that many couldn’t fly as much as they usually would, due to the pandemic.

But, making this status run, with my mate Seat 2B was much more enjoyable, than some domestic flights. Plus we got to enjoy some of that Qantas international service, however slimmed down it is since COVID-19. We also got to go to Auckland which is always a pleasure.

I’m looking forward to my next adventure with Seat 2B.

Other Posts in the Series
<< LOUNGE REVIEW: Brisbane Qantas Business Lounge. Packed to the gunnels!

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