Rex Boeing 737 business class explained

Regional Express (Rex) reveals its business class offering for Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane flights from March 2021.

By Chris Chamberlin, December 4 2020
Rex Boeing 737 business class explained

Premium travellers between Sydney and Melbourne will be spoiled for choice from March next year, when Rex joins Qantas and Virgin Australia as the market’s third business class option.

With lounges at each end of the journey, up to nine return flights each day, inclusive catering, same-day flight changes and sharp pricing, here’s what to expect of Rex's Boeing 737 business class when it takes wing in 2021.

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

Rex business class fares

With Rex going head-to-head against Qantas and Virgin Australia, the airline’s business class fare pricing is 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, based on current pricing:

  • Rex Biz Saver (I class): $300
  • Rex Biz (D, C classes): $400-$503
  • Rex Biz Plus (J class): $606

By comparison, on the same travel date, Qantas business class tickets currently begin at $715 one-way, with Virgin Australia charging $449 for a Business Saver fare and $599 for a Business ticket.

In fact, on the same flights, Qantas is asking for as much as $235 for an economy Red e-Deal and $521 for an economy Flex ticket, with Virgin similarly charging $205 for an economy Elevate fare and $439 for flexible economy Freedom.

This makes Rex’s business class pricing competitive against even economy fares at its rivals.

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.

Between Sydney and Melbourne, Rex will run up to nine return flights per day from March 1 2021, all of which offer business class.

On days where all nine flights operate, here’s the schedule from Sydney to Melbourne:

Rex (ZL) flight number

Departs Sydney

Arrives Melbourne

ZL9

7am

8:35am

ZL23

8:30am

10:05am

ZL31

9:30am

11:05am

ZL105

12:30pm

2:05pm

ZL113

1:30pm

3:05pm

ZL121

2:30pm

4:05pm

ZL145

5:30pm

7:05pm

ZL153

6:30pm

8:05pm

ZL161

7:30pm

9:05pm

In the reverse direction from Melbourne to Sydney, here’s what that schedule looks like:

Rex (ZL) flight number

Departs Melbourne

Arrives Sydney

ZL10

6am

7:30am

ZL18

7am

8:30am

ZL42

10am

11:30am

ZL50

11am

12:30pm

ZL102

12pm

1:30pm

ZL132

3pm

4:30pm

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 early and heads to the airport, may find an earlier flight available from Melbourne, but that’s less likely to be the case from Sydney, owing to the three-hour mid-afternoon gap in flights.

Rex business class seating

As Rex’s Boeing 737 jets arrived straight from Virgin Australia, they’ll be flown with the same eight business class seats as you’d otherwise expect on a Virgin flight.

Rex business class will already be very familiar to regular travellers.
Rex business class will already be very familiar to regular travellers.

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 come complimentary to all guests, regardless of fare type.

On the food front, travellers will be served “a specially crafted meal box”, although the airline is yet to elaborate on what that entails.

Soft drinks, juice, beer, white wine and red wine will also be available.

Rex business class inflight WiFi

As Rex’s Boeing 737s are arriving with satellite Internet access already installed, the airline has opted to keep the service active rather than ripping out its expensive hardware.

Inflight WiFi access will be free for all business class passengers, the airline has confirmed.

However, as the system can be programmed to offer a complimentary standard-speed service with a paid upgrade available to a higher speed connection – as Virgin Australia had implemented – it remains to be seen which option Rex will provide for business class flyers.

Rex business class lounge access

Regional Express currently offers Rex Lounges in both Sydney and Melbourne – perfectly positioned for the launch of flights between the two cities – as well as in 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 will enjoy complimentary lounge access, whether purchasing a Biz Saver, Biz, or Biz Plus fare.

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.

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 options 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.

Beyond the Sydney-Melbourne route, Rex is also looking to launch business class on flights to Brisbane from April 2021, and then more broadly.

Also read: Regional Express’ Sydney-Melbourne flights now on sale

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.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

06 Mar 2015

Total posts 209

Chris. Can you clarify what the meal on Rex will be in Business Class. 

 In David;s article about whether Rex can compete with QF and VA  he quotes  Rex as  " Rex’s business class passengers will be served a full meal ".

A " full meal " in my opinion would not simply be a " specially crafted meal box " so what is it ?

Either way I'm sure it will beat the pants off VA's pitiful offering.


31 Mar 2014

Total posts 349

"On the food front, travellers will be served “a specially crafted meal box”, although the airline is yet to elaborate on what that entails."

XWu
XWu

09 May 2020

Total posts 345

@Rod H

As I wrote elsewhere:

Wonder if Rex is selling business seats only because it’s already there in the VA 737 equipment and they probably treat it more like premium economy with fancy food box and throw in a bottle of alcohol of your choice (a bit like scoots biz rather than Jetstar business class) rather than a full J class experience”

I suspect your J full meal experience will come in a box (of sorts), albeit probably a large box

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

29 May 2020

Total posts 12

KLM and some other Euro airline offer "meal boxes" in their short haul J cabins.  To be honest I found the KLM ones pretty nice.  Would save some over heads too by not having plates etc to clean and haul around which is prob why the price is so affordable.  Re the substantial piece... QF sometimes only serve you soup in business but its made to look fancy with the tray, bowl etc...

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 337

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 781

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. 

XWu
XWu

09 May 2020

Total posts 345

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 345

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.


Hi Guest, join in the discussion on Rex Boeing 737 business class explained