Enjoy the Qantas 787 and first class lounge on a domestic flight

Sample the flagship international jet, and the international Qantas First Lounge, without leaving the country…

By David Flynn, August 8 2023
Enjoy the Qantas 787 and first class lounge on a domestic flight

Quick quiz: you’re a Qantas Platinum member looking to fly from Sydney to Perth. Would you rather:

(a) be on an Airbus A330 or (yikes!) a Boeing 737, and start your journey at Sydney’s T3 Qantas Business Lounge, or

(b) fly on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner and begin your trip at the international Qantas first class lounge with a leisurely à la carte lunch, some fine wines and Champagne and the possibility of a spa treatment?

Yeah, we thought you’d choose (b). Honestly, who wouldn’t?

And until early October that’s exactly what you can do – by hopping onto the Sydney-Perth leg of QF5, the Qantas flight which after a pit-stop in Perth continues all the way to Rome.

The Qantas Boeing 787 offers an international-grade experience, even on domestic flights.
The Qantas Boeing 787 offers an international-grade experience, even on domestic flights.

What makes QF5 so special is that you don’t have to take it all the way to Rome: the domestic Sydney-Perth leg of the 23-hour trek is available to be booked on its own.

And as QF5 is effectively an international flight it departs from Sydney’s international terminal, which in turn makes the luxuries of the Qantas First Lounge available if you have Qantas Platinum status (or any Oneworld Emerald equivalent). 

There are worse ways to spend an afternoon before flying from Sydney to Perth...
There are worse ways to spend an afternoon before flying from Sydney to Perth...

(This is largely the same arrangement as for QF9, which flies Melbourne-Perth-London on a daily year-round basis: Qantas Platinums can book just the Melbourne-Perth leg and begin their trip at Melbourne’s international Qantas First Lounge.)

Furthermore, doing a Sydney-Perth hop on the QF5 Dreamliner costs no more than any other Qantas flight from Sydney to Perth – entry-level economy fares typically hover around the $500 mark, with business class around $2800.

Business class on the Qantas Boeing 787.
Business class on the Qantas Boeing 787.

And in terms of the flight itself, there’s the novelty of making it on the modern, quiet Boeing 787. The Dreamliner has Qantas’ best business class seats, while economy is also a better experience than any other domestic jet.

(Note that you can’t book into premium economy on the domestic QF5 flight – only travellers going all the way from Sydney to Rome can choose that option.)

Economy class on the Qantas Boeing 787.
Economy class on the Qantas Boeing 787.

The timing for QF5 also works pretty well: its 6.20pm departure from Sydney means you can put in a solid morning’s work before heading to the airport for a late lunch at the Qantas First Lounge, and maybe having a light dinner on the flight.

After the 9.20pm arrival into Perth, make a beeline for your hotel, hit the hay and you’re ready to launch yourself into the following day.

There are just three caveats with the Sydney-Perth Qantas 787 flight:

  • the Qantas flights from Sydney to Rome via Perth run only three days a week – on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday – so you’ll need to be a bit flexible with your travel schedule
  • Rome is a seasonal service, running only from July 17 until October 2 this year – although it will return for a similar run in 2024
  • unlike the domestic A330s and 737s, the Qantas Dreamliners don’t have inflight WiFi

Oh, and before you ask: no, you can’t buy duty-free at Sydney Airport, because your boarding pass will clearly show you’re effectively a domestic traveller so the goods won’t be leaving the country.

Plenty of time for the iconic Qantas First Lounge pav before you head to Perth...
Plenty of time for the iconic Qantas First Lounge pav before you head to Perth...

How to book yourself onto QF5 from Sydney to Perth

1. Go through the usual steps for choosing a Sydney-Perth flight on the Qantas website

2. Make sure you’re looking at a Monday, Wednesday or Saturday no later than Monday October 2

3. Scroll towards the bottom of the flight listings, where you’ll see QF5 ready and waiting to be clicked

QF5 lets you enjoy the Qantas Boeing 787 from Sydney to Perth.
QF5 lets you enjoy the Qantas Boeing 787 from Sydney to Perth.

What it’s like on QF5 from Sydney to Perth

Apart from the obvious novelty of beginning your domestic trip from the Qantas First Lounge, and making that short coast-to-coast hop on a Boeing 787 that’d usually be criss-crossing the globe, the flight itself is fairly normal.

That said, it’s delightful to be surrounded by passengers who are setting off for Rome and buzzing with excitement.

Note that even if you do online checkin for the domestic leg of QF5, you will still need to front up at the Qantas check-in desk at Sydney T1: this is where, after showing photo ID, you’ll be issued with a physical boarding pass with an orange D sticker indicating you are a domestic passenger.

You will also need to use a staffed immigration counter rather than the automated smartgates. And hang onto that boarding pass, as you will need it on arrival at Perth Airport.

Flying from Perth to Sydney on QF6

What about the return leg from Perth to Sydney?

You can even head back too Sydney on the Dreamliner’s QF6 return leg, which wings its way into Perth in the early hours of Monday, Wednesday and Saturday.

QF6 is wheels-up from Perth at 10am, reaching Sydney at 4.05pm; the flight departs from the international wing of Perth’s domestic T3/T4 complex, and eligible Sydney-bound domestic passengers will be admitted to the Perth International Transit Lounge ahead of QF6’s departure.

However, the International Transit Lounge and its associated immigration/security channels in T3 opens only two hours prior to the departure of QF6 (and its Melbourne-bound sibling QF10)/

Loungeworthy flyers arriving earlier at Perth can camp out in the domestic Qantas Club or Qantas Business Lounge at T4 until the announcement is made that the international lounge and immigration are open.

Executive Traveller understands that once at the Perth International Transit Lounge, Qantas Platinum One and Chairman’s Lounge members can flash their shiny status card for a sly glass of Champagne rather than sparkling.

16 Jan 2019

Total posts 1

Did this recently on qf5 and just a note of mild caution if you’re hoping to make a day of it.

I arrived at about 1pm. Despite the first check in being open they flatly refused that is was possible to check me in to qf5 prior to 3 hours from departure. Had hand luggage only and thought given the first check in was open they might be able to help.

Rest of the experience was very good and well worth it… although first check in was shut on return at t-3 hours, the business line was short.

Cheers.

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

14 Feb 2014

Total posts 33

Is it possible to use any of priority pass lounges if travelling only on the domestic leg does anyone know? Thanks 

QFP

22 Jan 2013

Total posts 95

Coming the other way (Perth- Melbourne/Sydney), can platinum+ gain access to the Perth Transit Lounge? If not where are you sent? Thanks

05 Mar 2015

Total posts 408

Yes, as the article mentions towards the end "eligible Sydney-bound domestic passengers will be admitted to the Perth International Transit Lounge ahead of QF6’s departure", the same applies to QF10.


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