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Australian Business Traveller reviews

Airline Review: QantasLink Boeing 717 business class

Check-in

Travellers with a business class ticket can also use the premium service desks to deposit checked bags, or can obtain a boarding pass in the lounge if travelling with only carry-on luggage.

Irrespective of frequent flyer status or Qantas Club membership, all business class passengers receive the same complimentary baggage allowance of two checked bags, with each piece weighing a maximum of 32kg.

Business class passengers receive screening priority at the security checkpoint – accessible via a dedicated signed queue on the left-hand side.

Lounge

Business class passengers can access Qantas' domestic business lounges prior to departure, along with one guest who needn't be travelling.

If you're like me and identify as a self-confessed 'coffee snob', a pit stop in the lounge is must – you'll only find the usual plunger coffee on board, though that's to be expected of a short domestic flight.

I must say, I take my hat off to the baristas in the Brisbane lounge... despite powering through a never-ending line of coffee orders, they still remembered my 'usual' when I approached again twenty minutes later.

On both occasions, the beverages were expertly poured – with a perfect 1cm of froth at the top, and a rosetta (latte art) to boot!

The lounge also offers a range of hot and cold buffet options, including an old favourite – pancakes with maple syrup.

Premium boarding

Business class passengers, Platinum Frequent Flyers and oneworld Emerald members are eligible to use the fast track 'premium boarding' lane, along with their accompanying party.

I arrived to find a reasonably long queue branching back from the gate, though I couldn't spot the premium boarding lane from the back – overhead signage would be very beneficial here.

Fortunately, I'd departed from this particular gate before and knew where to find it, so I made my way down... though there was nobody else in the premium queue, there was only one member of staff scanning boarding passes – located on the 'general' side.

Instead of inviting me across, the crew member ignored me and continued to scan boarding passes from the general queue – until one of the passengers invited me to board ahead of them. I don't think this is how priority boarding is supposed to work.

Alas, the premium boarding lane was still faster than the general queue, though could use with a little tweaking.

Pre-departure

The crew had closed all of the overhead lockers in the business class cabin before boarding commenced, which helped to keep the space available for passengers travelling at the pointy end.

As such, I had no trouble finding space for my rollaboard, though as my bag is the maximum 'legal' size for most airlines (105cms), it could only fit in sideways on my side – though could slide straight into the larger lockers on the right-hand side.

Once seated, I was greeted by QantasLink flight attendent Ambar with an offer of chilled water or an apple, pear and strawberry juice. I chose the latter, and it was deliciously refreshing.

Cabin partition

Like the 737-400, there's no curtain between the business and economy cabins, though there is a floor-to-ceiling bulkhead between rows 3 and 4, which doubles as a closet.

On-time performance

QF1545 left the gate moments behind schedule, and reached Canberra just seven minutes late – in the aviation industry, the flight would be considered 'on-time' for both departure and arrival.

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