Melbourne – Cairns
Departure Time: 9:35AM (Actual Departure 10:05AM)
Business Class Seat 3C
Duration 3.5 hours
Promptly at our pick-up time the ChaufferDrive ride pulled up to the Park Hyatt in Melbourne. Today we had an awesome Audi A8 extended. The interior definitely felt like a limousine with our own backseat air and heat controls and very comfortable spacious seats. The right to Melbourne airport took about 45 minutes and we were there a bit before 8AM.
At the check-in area we could not find any signs indicating business class check-in, so we just went to the kiosks which accepted our check-in based on our last name.
We then proceeded quickly through security and into the Qantas Lounge.
I didn’t realize that the Qantas Business Lounge at Melbourne is a slightly nicer lounge that is wholly within the Qantas Lounge. So we entered the Qantas Lounge and sat down. While I was exploring and snapping photos I saw the entrance to the Qantas Business Lounge. I popped in to check it out. As far as I could tell it was slightly quieter and hit sausage on the buffet spread which the regular lounge did not. That was it.
Right before our boarding time we were alerted in the gate area that our flight to Cairns would be delayed by about 30 minutes due to the late incoming arrival. No big deal for us as we had no connections to catch and would be in Cairns (really Port Douglas) for a full 4 nights.
The flight was full. It was a 737 with an older seat configuration from the 737 we enjoyed from Sydney to Melbourne. There were no in-seat TVs, just overhead LCD TVs shared by the entire cabin. The seats were older and a bit shabbier but the service was excellent. So far all of our Qantas flights have featured flight attendants who were genuinely nice and seemed to like their job. Across the board we have had professional service, smiles, and felt very comfortable. The crew on this flight was no different.
They served a lunch on the flight. No menu was presented, just a choice between pasta and a chicken salad. I gnoshed on the pasta while I cranked out blog posts. Lady Tocqueville also had the pasta. We felt like it was alright.
The flight attendant was very generous with refilling Lady Tocqueville’s white wine. She finally declined when offered for more towards the end of the flight. However, a few minutes later the flight attendant arrived with a long Qantas gift bag. Inside was a bottle of white that he opened in case she would have more but didn’t serve any of it. So he gave it to us “to-go” as a gift. What a treat! That would probably break some arcane federal laws in the USA (and believe me, Australia too has arcane laws over social norming behaviors like alcohol consumption). We really appreciated this thoughtful gesture. The flight went by quickly and before we knew it we were descending into the Cairns area.
We had 4 nights in Port Douglas and some snorkeling the great barrier reef to look forward to. The plane taxied quickly on arrival and we were at the gate, in the rental car, and on our way to Port Douglas in about 10 minutes.
Audi A8 pick-up for free courtesy of Qantas ChaufferDrive
Check-in Kiosks used in Melbourne since we couldn’t find the business class line to check-in
Entry to priority security area which had no line.
The interior of the Qantas Lounge in Melbourne
Great views of the tarmac from the Qantas Lounge
A view of the drink/buffet section of the Qantas lounge.
The buffet of the Qantas Business Lounge. We did not feel this was materially different from the Qantas Lounge other than it was quieter.
All Qantas lounges have this scary machine which is a pancake-on-demand machine. You push a button and out pops a pancake. This kind of scares me so I didn’t partake but found it funny.
Snacks before the meal service.
Pasta was the meal on our flight. I split the tray table between my laptop for trip report posts and the tray for chowing down.
Lady Tocqueville’s Qantas gift bag with a full bottle of white wine to-go courtesy of the very friendly flight attendant.