Your guide to Rex Boeing 737 business class

From seats to lounges, and dining to pricing, here's your complete guide to flying business class with Regional Express.

By Chris Chamberlin, July 19 2021
Your guide to Rex Boeing 737 business class

Expanding upon its traditional regional route base, Regional Express (Rex) is now flying between many major cities, with business class service joining the typical economy offering.

Wherever you're headed, here's what to expect of Rex's Boeing 737 business class.

Rex's Boeing 737s will take wing from March 2021.
Rex's Boeing 737s will take wing from March 2021.

Rex business class routes

Business class is available wherever Rex flies its Boeing 737 jets.

At the time of writing, that's:

  • Sydney to Gold Coast
  • Gold Coast to Sydney
  • Sydney to Melbourne
  • Melbourne to Sydney
  • Melbourne to Adelaide
  • Adelaide to Melbourne
  • Melbourne to Canberra
  • Canberra to Melbourne
  • Melbourne to Gold Coast
  • Gold Coast to Melbourne

Other routes are expected as Rex adds more Boeing 737s to its fleet in the second half of 2021.

You won't find business class on other Rex routes for now, including Sydney-Canberra, as these are operated by the airline's Saab 340s.

Read: Rex Saab 340 economy class review, Canberra-Sydney

Rex business class fares

With Rex going head-to-head against Qantas and Virgin Australia, the challenger's fares are sure to grab your attention.

Offering three types of business class tickets – Biz Saver, Biz, and Biz Plus – here’s what you’ll pay for a one-way flight from Sydney to Melbourne at the pointy end of Rex's Boeing 737s, for travel in mid-September:

  • Rex Biz Saver (I class): Not currently available
  • Rex Biz (D, C classes): $299
  • Rex Biz Plus (J class): $599

By comparison, on the same travel date, Qantas business class tickets currently begin at $716 one-way, with Virgin Australia charging $299 for a Business Saver fare and $349 for a Business ticket.

In fact, on the same flights, Qantas is asking for $99-$200 for an economy Red e-Deal and $522 for an economy Flex ticket, with Virgin charging $79-$89 for an economy Getaway fare, $159 for Elevate, and $299 for flexible economy Freedom.

This makes Rex’s business class pricing quite competitive, even for those who'd normally book economy.

Rex is bringing fresh competition to established routes.
Rex is bringing fresh competition to established routes.

Just to note, however – bookings made via the Rex website also attract a compulsory “booking/handling fee” of 1.1% regardless of payment method, on top of advertised fare prices – a fee not levied by Qantas or Virgin Australia.

A Rex payment method surcharge applies on top, being between 0.902% and 3.597% (including GST), depending on the card type or other payment method used.

The only way to avoid both fees is to purchase a ticket in cash at a Rex airport counter.

Rex business class schedule

As well as price, the breadth of flights available to business travellers can make or break their journey – and their decision to book with one airline over another.

On routes like Sydney-Gold Coast and Melbourne-Gold Coast, the airline typically offers two return flights per day.

Melbourne-Adelaide typically sees 2-3 return flights a day; Melbourne-Canberra, 1-2 return services each day, with Sydney-Melbourne getting the lion's share of flights.

Launched with up to nine return flights a day, Rex now offers between three and seven daily departures on this route.

All of these offer business class, and on days where seven departures are available from Sydney (such as Fridays), here's the current schedule:

Rex (ZL) flight number

Departs Sydney

Arrives Melbourne

ZL9

7am

8:35am

ZL31

9:30am

11:05am

ZL111

1:00pm

2:35pm

ZL121

2:30pm

4:05pm

ZL145

5:30pm

7:05pm

ZL153

6:30pm

8:05pm

ZL161

7:30pm

9:05pm

Melbourne tops out at six daily departures – here’s what that schedule looks like on a busy day (e.g. Friday):

Rex (ZL) flight number

Departs Melbourne

Arrives Sydney

ZL18

7am

8:30am

ZL42

10am

11:30am

ZL102

12pm

1:30pm

ZL142

4pm

5:30pm

ZL152

5pm

6:30pm

ZL182

8pm

9:30pm

Accordingly, a business traveller booked to fly at the end of the business day, but who finishes their meeting slightly early and heads to the airport, may find a slightly earlier flight available from Melbourne, but that’s less likely to be the case from Sydney, owing to the check-in and departure times.

Rex business class seating

Rex’s Boeing 737 jets came straight from the fleet of Virgin Australia, which sees them offering the same eight business class seats as you’d otherwise expect on a Virgin flight.

These are spread across two rows in a 2-2 layout, offering the ability to recline – albeit without a leg rest as you’d find in Qantas’ Boeing 737 business class.

You won’t find an inflight entertainment screen in front of you, so be sure to load your own device with content, or pack a good book.

Rex business class meals and drinks

All food and beverages served in Regional Express’ business class cabin are complimentary, regardless of business class fare type.

On the food front, travellers are provided with a hot or cold dish atop a cardboard tray, along with a pastry, sweet item, and bottled water.

Tea, coffee, soft drinks, juice, beer, white wine and red wine are also available, but are again served in plastic or cardboard cups.

This sees Rex's overall food and beverage presentation being a notch below Qantas and Virgin Australia, which both use tableware.

Rex business class inflight WiFi

Rex’s Boeing 737s already have satellite Internet functionality installed, although the service isn't yet available across the fleet.

In recent times, the airline has been testing the connection on some flights with complimentary access available to passengers, but the future of the service, and any pricing that applies, are yet to be announced.

Rex business class lounge access

Regional Express offers established Rex Lounges in both Sydney, Melbourne, and Adelaide.

Sydney Airport's Rex Lounge is cosy, but gets the job done.
Sydney Airport's Rex Lounge is cosy, but gets the job done.

All business class passengers receive complimentary lounge access – whether travelling on a Biz Saver, Biz, or Biz Plus fare – although as with other airlines, lounge openings may be limited by local lockdown restrictions.

Rex also has a temporary Rex Lounge at Canberra Airport while a permanent facility is built.

Rex business class cabin baggage allowance

If you’re flying with only carry-on baggage, pay close attention to Rex’s cabin luggage allowances, as they vary between business class fares.

  • Rex Biz Saver cabin baggage: two bags, up to 10kg combined total weight.
  • Rex Biz, Biz Plus cabin baggage: two bags, up to 15kg total (max. 10kg in a single item).

For example, a traveller packing a single 10kg bag would be able to fly under all three fares types – but if they also wanted to bring along a second cabin bag, this would only be possible on a Rex Biz or Biz Plus fare, owing to the extra weight.

Rex business class checked baggage allowance

Unlike cabin baggage where the allowances change by fare type, when it comes to packing your suitcase, all three Rex business class tickets provide a flat 32kg of baggage.

That’s in contrast to the 23kg allowance in economy class on Rex’s jet routes, giving you more wiggle room for shopping or other heavy items like business samples.

However, the standard 32kg allowance in Rex business class is only half as generous as on Qantas and Virgin Australia, which both cover at least 2x32kg bags, or more for eligible frequent flyers.

Rex business class flight changes

If your plans wrap up early and you’re keen to get home, Rex’s ‘Get Me Home’ service offers exactly that.

All business class guests can standby for an earlier flight at the airport at no charge – so if you arrive in time for an earlier departure, and there’s still a seat available, you can jump on and fly.

For all other flight changes including cancellations and no shows, here are the rules that apply:

All tickets provide the option of cancelling the journey with a Travel Bank credit for future travel, or to refund the flight to the original form of payment – the only difference is when this can occur.

Lounge reviews for Rex business class flyers

Review: Rex Lounge Sydney

Review: Rex Lounge Melbourne

Photo tour: Temporary Rex Lounge Canberra

Reviews on Rex business class

Boeing 737 review: Sydney to Melbourne

Boeing 737 review: Gold Coast to Melbourne

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller, and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins not just with a single step, but also a strong latte, a theatre ticket, and later in the day, a good gin and tonic.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

27 Jan 2016

Total posts 18

Interested to know who's providing the Wi-Fi service? These aircraft were Gogo when with VA but their contract was cancelled as part of VA's administration. Gogo's commercial aviation business has just been sold to Intelsat as well - so are Intelsat providing the service or is it someone else such as local telco given Gogo were using an Optus satellite in this part of the world. Have Rex provided details on this?

AT
AT

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

14 Sep 2012

Total posts 354

How funny, the only way to avoid the >3% fee is to line up at an airport counter and pay in cash like it’s 1979, and the cost to maintain that counter and staff it would be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars to Rex. This alone tells you what kind of an airline you’re flying with. 

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 795

Rex is a very canny airline. They operate cash counters as it works for them, a lot of people not from the golden triangle still book and pay for tickets like it's 1979. 

Etihad - Etihad Guest

20 Jul 2019

Total posts 4

wait what, we do?

-someone from perth

XWu
XWu

09 May 2020

Total posts 431

It’s been some time since I flew REx, but they didn’t have self serve kiosk as I remembered them, and check in is still by the counter (unless you only have carry on) so it’s almost normal for them to rely on counter service (although those whose J seats are booked by corporate are unlikely to be the ones to try saving the 3+% fee by paying cash anyway)

XWu
XWu

09 May 2020

Total posts 431

If wifi linkup is maintained and complementary for J class, then it will be expected that economy class can also get wifi by paid subscription or even by paid frequent flyer membership (that’s a free idea for you Mr Sharp, no need to thank me for boosting paid FF subscription) since it it will be crazy to limit the entire wifi service to 8 possible pax max per flight.

Delta Air Lines - SkyMiles

16 Oct 2017

Total posts 131

How is the 1.1% not effectively part of the fare? Assuming most of us live in the cashless world of 2021? The ACCC should look at this.


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