Brian Kelly flies from Sydney to Darwin with Qantas.
A Qantas 737-800. Qantas has 75 of these planes in their fleet. They carry 174 passengers.
Class: Economy. There didn't seem to be any Business Class on the long domestic flight out of Sydney.
Flight time: We left the Sydney domestic terminal about 15 minutes behind our scheduled departure due to weather. The flight time was just over four hours.
My seat: Ah, now here's a story. Being just a bit over six foot four, I asked when checking in if there was any chance of a seat with a bit of extra leg room, like an exit row, but was informed that none were available so ended up in seat 11C. I absolutely struggled to get my legs into the seat and hoped like hell the person in front didn't try to put their seat back during the flight. Thankfully they didn't. I have never felt so uncomfortable on a plane. Being in an aisle seat at least meant I could hang my right leg out in the aisle a bit, although that became a problem when the food and drinks service began. In fact, the flight attendant asked whether I could sit up in my seat and pull my long legs in. I informed her I was. It was a very, very uncomfortable four hours!
How full: The plane was 90 per cent full with a smattering of empty seats, including an exit row seat. Grrr.
Entertainment: There were two options: an overhead screen that showed one movie or via the Qantas' app that you needed to download before you took off. You could then watch the selection on your laptop. I had to put up with the weird movie they screened on board; however I did manage to sleep for a fair bit of the flight.
The service: Apart from being asked to pull my leg in, it was friendly enough.
The food and drink: A choice of roast beef or pasta with salad. I chose the pasta. It came in cardboard packaging but was tasty enough and when you've been travelling for over six hours it hit the spot. If you wanted a cold beer or wine you had to pay with cash. Note to self: take money next time.
The airport experience: Transferring from international to domestic at Sydney airport is quite a journey so plenty of time is needed. Once you have collected your bag you proceed to catch a bus that transfers you to the domestic terminal. We had about a 10-minute wait for our pick up, and then it's around 10 minutes to the domestic terminal.
Once there, it's a matter of finding your gate. There are a number of nice cafes in the terminal to relax in prior to your departure.
Would I fly again? Only if I could get a seat with a bit more leg room.
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