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- Tried & Tested
505 & the preceding flight 501 are your staple “City Flier” commuter flights twixt Brisbane, Queenslands capital city, and Sydney, the business capital of Australia.
Most passengers will have been up since at least 0430 to make these flights so some leeway in Qantas favour should perhaps be granted. Cabin crew are usually experienced, pleasant & efficient both in flight and pre-board.
Overhead luggage space is at a premium so early boarding to secure locker space is recommended – most passengers will have an overnight bag for business and a laptop bag although the advent of tablets has diminished the prevalence of the latter in more recent times. Forward aisle seats are highly prized as the taxi queues at the Sydney end are usually horrendous – an early exit can get you to the head of the taxi queue.
Most aircraft have wrap around head supports in “cattle class” aka economy which are a boon for that extra 45 minutes of shut eye. The seats do recline however travel etiquette on these business buses is NOT to use the recline option. Regrettably I personally find the seat back very upright if you try to snooze and as a consequence your head tends to tilt forward.
Cabin noise is fair and ventilation adequate win adjustable nozzles. In recent years the standard of in flight fare has really slipped and the best adjective that can be applied here is “sustenance” – best eat before you fly or at the other end. The coffee is atrocious in flight, don’t bother (I’d be happy to forgo what is served up as breakfast in exchange for a decent brew Qanats!).
If you’re over 190cms (6 ft in the ld vernacular) books an exit row seat – they cost no extra – but be prepared to do your bit and sit halfway down the aircraft. At an hour and twenty minutes entertainment is usually a news bulletin canned the night before from and/or a re-run of a TV sitcom or other light entertainment genre.
Disembarking is the usual debacle although the further forward you sit the more experienced the traveller usually is and the smoother it goes – cheap tourist fares are usually allocated at the back of the bus and here you will find backpackers, mothers and children, pensioners and first time travelers gathering 400 individually carried pieces (well maybe a half dozen but it may as well be 400 it will take so long) of personal effects from throughout the cabin.
City Flier flights are best categorised as “public transport” – not much different to catching the train or the bus and certainly not up to the tag of “the romance of air travel”. These flights get you there in a reasonable degree of passable comfort. Much better I might add than the alternative Virgin aka “Pov Air” which is just chockablock full of first time and infrequent travellers. A shame somewhat as Virgins aircraft and cabin crew are usually younger and better turned out.
QF501 & 505 are good staple commuter flights – if you board with that expectation (and don’t drink the coffee) you”ll be fine.