Grab your cowboy hat and boots, Victorians. Qantas’ non-stop route between Melbourne and Dallas/Fort Worth has finally left the departure gate, with the new thrice-weekly connection unlocking greater access to the United States via codeshare partner American Airlines.
Clocking it at an impressive 17.5 hours and nearly 14,500km on the return DFW-Melbourne leg, the route is the fourth longest in the world. With that in mind, the lie-flat business class beds on the red-tailed Boeing 787 are sure to be a hot commodity.
Melbourne-Dallas/Fort Worth is one of eight new international routes announced by the Red Roo since borders reopened, joining the now-flying Sydney-Bengaluru and upcoming Sydney-Seoul, scheduled to take off on December 10.
Pushing back from Melbourne every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday, QF21 takes off at 2pm and arrives 15 hours 45 minutes later at 12:45pm.
On the return, QF22 sees wheels up at 7:10pm on the same above-mentioned days, with the 17 hour 35 minute flight touching down in Melbourne at a cheery 5:45am two days later.
Qantas Domestic and International CEO Andrew David describes the new route as a big win for both travellers, with the Texan hub less than four hours from every major city in the United States and providing over 200 connections across North America.
“We’ve already seen a great response to these flights since they went on sale, not just from those wanting to visit Dallas, but for travellers wanting to take advantage of the excellent connections to popular destinations like Orlando, Miami and Boston,” he adds.
Dallas Fort Worth is the home base for Qantas’ Oneworld partner American Airlines, and a great halfway point across America if you’re travelling on to other southern destinations, headed up to Chicago or New York, or bound for Florida, where Miami is the starting point for many cruises.
Depending on your final destination, it also makes your next flight a fair bit shorter, compared to transitting via Los Angeles and facing an extra five hours or so in the air to reach the east coast.
Qantas’ three-class Boeing 787 offers 42 business class lie-flat berths at the pointy end, 28 reclining premium economy seats and 166 economy perches for the trip to the Lone Star state.
Like all of Qantas’ international aircraft the Boeing 787 doesn’t have inflight WiFi, so you’ll need to settle in with a book or have a few seasons of your favourite TV shows ready to go for the trip.
And while the Boeing 787 lacks a first class cabin, it has superior seats to those older aircraft, while the lower cabin pressure, increased humidity and oxygen saturation means you’ll emerge in Dallas feeling fresher and ready for an authentic Texan rodeo.
Qantas is gradually rebuilding its US route network, having resumed flights between Sydney to Los Angeles in November last year and ratcheting these up to the A380 in January.
Airline CEO Alan Joyce has grand plans for Qantas in the US, revealing non-stop flights to Chicago and Miami could be one the cards in the near future.