Grabbed an Uber back to the airport in Perth, where I learned that Perth airport is actually four different terminals – two of which are connected together for domestic flights, and two more for international flights. The domestic terminal was pretty small, and it was super easy to get a boarding pass from the kiosk and I think I was through security in less than five minutes after getting out of the Uber.
It was kind of cool seeing the departures board with all the “exotic” place names from all over Australia:
I wasn’t entirely sure which of the two Qantas lounges (the “Qantas Club” or the “Domestic Business Lounge”) was the better of the two but a quick google found several reviews which suggested the domestic business lounge was actually better, and based on the dress code seems I made the right choice. I can think of some Admirals Clubs and United Clubs that could benefit from a sign like this!
Gift shop just outside the lounge….it was very tempting to get koala oven mitts…
The lounge was a nice place to spend an hour or so, with a rather nice buffet, fresh pizza constantly being made, and plenty of space. I can imagine how it might get crowded at certain times, but when I was there it was rather pleasant. Some tasty mezze and a Diet Coke while I waited…
Boarding was just two gates over from the lounge, and a rather civilized affair, although just like domestic flights in the US everyone started swarming the boarding lanes at least 15 minutes prior to boarding.
Qantas flight 476
Perth, Australia (PER) to Melbourne, Australia (MEL)
Depart 12:55, Arrive 18:25, Flight Time: 3:30
Airbus A330-200, Registration VH-EBA, Manufactured 2002, Seat 1A
Miles Flown Year-to-Date: 88,759
Lifetime Miles Flown: 2,465,736
Now this is a treat…great lie-flat international seats for a domestic flight! Comfortable, spacious, plenty of storage space, and overall nicely designed!
What’s this trickery, a menu on a domestic flight?!
For some reason, despite booking months in advance, Qantas had 75% of the seatmap blocked and the only seat I could select was in the very last row. Fortunately, their app works pretty well, and shortly after checkin 1A opened up and I grabbed it.
One of my favourite parts of flying over Australia is it always seems I get to see some amazing weather. Look at that crazy localized downpour:
Almonds and a glass of wine to start off…
The smoked trout with papaya, pomelo, and chili was delicious, and the bread even came with artisan butter!
Second lamb chop in two days! Seems to be something I never se on a plane, and here it was twice in two days. Maybe it’s a Perth thing, who knows. It was super tasty though!
What is this sorcery, a cheese plate on a domestic flight? Though I’m not sure what this fetish Qantas seems to have for almonds is…
Cheese AND dessert. I swear Australia has the best ice cream flavours. Honeycomb and caramel, mmm…and yes, that’s a glass of dessert wine. On a domestic flight. Crazy.
Overall, I was super impressed by Qantas on this flight. This blew away any transcontinental service you might find in the US, of which the best may be American’s 777 between Miami and LA. United’s premium transcon service doesn’t even come close in my book.
Although Qantas seems to get mixed reviews on international routes, all my experiences domestically continue to be absolutely fantastic.
Landing was about 20 minutes ahead of schedule, and when I walked into the lounge in Melbourne I noticed that there was a 7pm flight to Sydney (I was booked on the 8pm) and asked the agent if I might be moved to the earlier flight. Despite being on an award ticket, this was no problem at all, and I would make it into Sydney an hour sooner. Great customer service as well!
Qantas flight 462
Melbourne, Australia (MEL) to Sydney, Australia (SYD)
Depart 19:00, Arrive 20:25, Flight Time: 1:25
Boeing 737-800, Registration VH-VZX, Manufactured 2012, Seat 3A
Miles Flown Year-to-Date: 89,198
Lifetime Miles Flown: 2,466,175
Wasn’t really hungry on this flight after the rather substantial meal in the previous flight from Perth but was super excited to have the seat next to me empty…until right before the door closed.
Not too sure who my seatmate was, but he was clearly a Qantas employee and someone extremely important based on the extremely polite and deferential way the crew were acting towards him. I got the impression he was some major senior executive – potentially CEO/President level based on the way the crew was going about making sure everything was just perfect.
Unfortunately it was dark and I couldn’t get the lighting right to take a good picture, but for a 75 minute flight they served an impressive hot mean which I pecked and and can confirm it was pretty tasty!
Arriving Sydney an hour ahead of schedule was fantastic, and I was looking forward to getting a good few nights sleep after spending two nights of the previous four sleeping on planes. Once again, Qantas had done a fantastic job impressing me and I look forward to trying them longhaul soon hopefully!