Keen to travel on the Qantas Boeing 787 Dreamliner on a domestic flight rather than an international route?
The Melbourne-Perth leg will carry the same QF9 flight number as the entire Melbourne-Perth-London service, and that four-hour jaunt high above the Aussie outback can be booked just the same as any other domestic Qantas flight.
Upon first announcing the launch of those Melbourne-Perth-London flights, Qantas indicated it would hide the Melbourne-Perth leg of QF9 (and the Perth-Melbourne return leg of QF10) from its bookings website.
But right now, a quick search on the Qantas website shows QF9 in the mix with all other daily Melbourne-Perth flights.
What's more, the fares are generally the same as you'd pay for any domestic Melbourne-Perth Qantas flight – $2,148 for one-way business class and $645 for a flexible economy ticket, although the $409 Red e-Deal economy fare shown above is more expensive than the adjacent domestic flights.
However, points-based economy reward bookings are available at 18,000 Qantas points one way.
(Note that the Boeing 787's premium economy cabin isn't offered on the domestic leg – it's only available if you make an international booking.)
Qantas had also indicated it would deliberately set the Melbourne-Perth pricing of QF9 to be well above its domestic equivalents, but so far that's not the case.
The lure of a domestic leg on QF9
So why might you want to book the Melbourne-Perth leg of QF9 instead of a regular domestic Qantas flight?
The fact that this is Qantas' all-new Boeing 787 rather than your ho-hum Airbus A330 or Boeing 737 is going to appeal to many travellers who are eager to experience the Dreamliner.
And for Qantas Platinum and Platinum One frequent flyers, a major drawcard will be that QF9 leaves from Melbourne Airport's international terminal – so even clutching an economy ticket you'll be able to get into the Qantas international first class lounge rather than the domestic Qantas lounges ahead of your flight.
And that means enjoying a four-course lunch with fine wine or champagne at the lounge's Rockpool restaurant (not the worst way to spend your lunchtime) plus the possibility of a free treatment at the spa.
As to the flight itself, the timing's not too bad: QF9 leaves Melbourne at 3.20pm to reach Perth at 5.20pm, so you can get a morning's work done in Melbourne and reach Perth in time for a business dinner.
The mechanics of catching what is ostensibly an international flight for a domestic trip aren't too bothersome: you'll be subject to the same security checks and LAG limits as an international flight, and you'll want to arrive early at the airport to avoid the crowds.
However, you may be unable to do online check-in and you should carry a form of photo ID to present when you check in for the flight – and of course, you won't be able to do any duty-free shopping!