Quick quiz: you’re a Qantas Platinum member flying from Sydney to Perth. Would you rather:
(a) fly 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 a la carte lunch, some fine wines and Champagne and the possibility of a spa treatment?
Yeah, we thought you’d choose (b). Who wouldn’t?
That short domestic portion of the 23-hour trek is available to be booked on its own – and as QF5 is nominally 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).
That includes the a la carte dining menu, fine wines and Champagnes and, if you’re lucky, a spot at the day spa.
(This is largely the same arrangement as for QF9, which flies Melbourne-Perth-London: Qantas Platinums can book just the Melbourne-Perth leg and begin their trip at Melbourne’s international Qantas First Lounge.)
Not just for Platinums...
What if you’re not a Platinum-grade frequent flyer? It’s still worth considering for Gold-grade frequent flyers and Qantas Club members, given that the international Qantas Business Lounge at T1 is certainly a few steps up from the domestic Qantas Club at T3.
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 start just under $400, with business class from $2800.
And in terms of the flight itself, there’s the novelty of making it on the modern, quiet Boeing 787 – which 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.)
The timing for QF5 also works pretty well: although the last Sydney-Perth flight of the day, its 6pm departure from Sydney means you can put in a solid morning’s work (or packing) before heading to the airport for a late lunch at the Qantas First Lounge and having dinner on the flight.
After the 8.50pm 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 two caveats:
- these Qantas flights from Sydney to Rome via Perth run just 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 June 22 until October 6 this year – although it will return for a similar run in 2023
Oh, and before you ask: 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.
How to book yourself onto QF5 from Sydney to Perth
- Go through the usual steps for choosing a Sydney-Perth flight on the Qantas website
- Make sure you’re looking at a Monday, Wednesday or Saturday no later than October 6
- Scroll to the bottom of the flight listings, where you’ll see QF5 ready and waiting to be clicked
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 – although if you’re in business class, the meals certainly seem to be a cut above most domestic fare.
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 checkin desk: 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 10.05am, reaching Sydney ay 4.05pm; the flight departs from the international wing of Perth’s domestic T3/T4 complex, and Qantas has confirmed that eligible Sydney-bound domestic passengers will be admitted to the Perth International Transit Lounge ahead of QF6’s departure.