The Airline: Qantas Airways
The Flight: QF 121 Sydney to Queenstown, dep 09.15, arr 2.30pm, flight time, 2hrs 30 mins.
Details: Boeing 737-800 with 12 seats in Business Class and 156 in economy in a two and two configuration.
Check in and lounge: Check in was seamless and quick so we could spend more time relaxing in the Qantas Lounge – through our Qantas Club membership. Being so spacious, finding a seat was easy, with several different spaces on offer. There are computer stations, should you feel the need to do some last minute work, several areas close to the large TVs, a zone just for kids and plenty of stools at the long dining table. We loved the barista-made coffee and the gelato bar.
In-flight service: Can’t be faulted. Friendly, informative and helpful. Excellent from go to whoa.
Meals and wine: We were offered orange juice or Katnook Founder’s Block Chardonnay Pinot Noir sparkling wine after boarding and for breakfast, we could choose a Continental or Hot Breakfast, with two options in each. The Continental options were cereal or Brookfarm toasted macadamia muesli with apricots, while the Hot Breakfast choice was between savoury French toast with fontina and fried egg, pork sausages, butter spinach and slow roasted tomatoes, or banana pancakes with blueberry compote and honey yoghurt. The Banana Pancakes were lovely.
Seat and entertainment: The Marc Newson-designed seat was extremely comfortable, furnished in soft luxury leather and a good amount of space – with a 37″ seat pitch and up to 22″ width between arms. On selected aircraft, including the one we are on, seats also feature a 10.6″ in-arm inflight entertainment touch-screen, extendable leg rest with fold-out footrest, ergonomic cushions, cocktail table, PC power and a USB port.
The seat back touch screen entertainment system had plenty to keep us busy for the relatively short flight, including new release movies, TV shows, CDs, games and Q radio channels. I chose a movie called The Lunch Box and started watching the second I sat down so I had time to watch the whole movie before the end of the flight. There’s plenty of content for kids – all G rated – to keep them occupied.
The Verdict: Short and sweet – so enjoyable I was wishing it was longer. The view, as we came in from the ocean over the snow-capped mountains of the Southern Alps, had us glued to the windows. This would have to be one of the most picturesque flights on the network.
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