Qantas drops business class on selected Boeing 717 flights

By Chris Chamberlin, April 23 2015
Qantas drops business class on selected Boeing 717 flights

Qantas' regional arm QantasLink will temporarily remove business class on selected flights between Sydney and Canberra, Hobart and Adelaide from July, with the current two-class Boeing 717s being replaced with economy-only versions of the same aircraft.

The substitutions will take place between July 28 and August 24, again between October 29 2015 and January 31 2016, and once more from March 15 until April 11 2016, caused by maintenance requirements of the airline’s Boeing 717 fleet.

A full list of the exact flights affected hasn’t been released, although passengers on these services can choose to remain on the same flight but in economy, or can switch to a different Qantas or QantasLink flight in business class at no charge.

Read: QantasLink Boeing 717 business class review

Travellers on impacted Sydney-Hobart flights will also be given the option to transit via Melbourne to retain their business class seats.

Business class on QantasLink's Boeing 717s
Business class on QantasLink's Boeing 717s

Alternately, Qantas is offering affected passengers a full refund should they choose not to fly, or a refund of the difference between the cost of their business class fare and a Y-class economy fare – the most expensive economy ticket you can buy, and only $100 cheaper than the least-expensive business class seats on Sydney-Canberra flights.

If remaining on the same flight is the best option for your schedule, we’d suggest opting for the full refund and then making a completely new booking in economy, which will almost certainly keep more cash in your pocket than by taking the partial refund.

Frequent flyer members who have used their points to book a Classic Reward seat in business class have similar options of:

  • a reimbursement of the difference in points needed between business class and economy
  • full return of any points used to make the booking, or
  • being rebooked on other flights with Classic Reward seats available.

Qantas introduced business class on selected Boeing 717s in early 2014 as a replacement for the ageing Boeing 737-400s, which have all since been retired from the fleet.

Earlier this month Qantas began beaming movies, TV shows and music over WiFi directly to passengers' iPads and iPhones using a new Q Streaming app on selected Boeing 717s flying between Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney and Hobart.

Read: Qantas releases Q Streaming iPhone, iPad app for Boeing 717 trial

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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.

12 Jun 2013

Total posts 742

Including Sydney to Canberra? But what on Earth will our politicians do? Perhaps the RAAF will have to airlift them, one at a time. 

undertheradar Banned
undertheradar Banned

28 Oct 2011

Total posts 662

is the RAAF a 'full service' carrier? LOL....all jokes only affects selected services, so there will still be some/limited J/C services on other aircraft that operate the particular stated, the J/C 717s are being pulled offline due to scheduled maintenance, and the date ranges are the least disruptive, as they are in periods of lowest J/C demand (parliament holidays).....some would say our pollies are always on hols....but that's another topic LOL

12 Jun 2013

Total posts 742

If our pollies were always on holidays, that would probably be an improvement. But no, they're hard at work, eighty hours a week, trying to make things "better".

The job of politicians is to make laws, and that you'd think Australia had pretty much all the laws it needed by, say, 1902. But they keep thinking up new ones...

09 Sep 2012

Total posts 141

[Deleted by admin - personal comment.]


As we always ask, please discuss the topic of the article, not the users who form part of that discussion.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

16 May 2013

Total posts 25

Who gives a rats about the damn politicians, let them fly cattle class like the rest of humanity does!!!!!!!


21 Aug 2012

Total posts 14

It's the public servants who fly up the front that take the cake, I think you will find more than a fair share of MP's who gladly sit down the back if there is not J class, like most people they just book what they are entitled to and that applies in the corporate world.

16 Nov 2014

Total posts 2

hey chris,

any idea when the list of flights will be released? from reading your thread it appears not all flights will be affected during those periods but just selected ones?

could you also tell me where i might be able to find that list of affected flights when it does get uploaded?


Hi coolkid101,

There is no published list I'm afraid, otherwise we'd have included it or linked to it – if your flight is one that's affected, you'll be notified directly by Qantas.

Re: 'selected flights', that's correct: some flights on those routes, but not all, will be impacted during the dates provided.

Short of searching every date and every route on the Qantas website to find the 717 flights without business class, there's no easy way of compiling a list of every impacted service over the next year, which would be subject to change anyway as flights draw closer to departure with unplanned aircraft changes and the sort.



17 Jul 2012

Total posts 1

I am booked from Sydney to Hobart in January and notice that the service is operated by a single class 717. Do these aircraft have Q Streaming technology or will they by the time Janury arrives? 


21 Aug 2012

Total posts 14

Really, your talking about a booking 9 months down the track? Think the QF website may have the answer to that closer to the time, better still download something to watch.

16 Nov 2014

Total posts 2

hi chris,

has there been any updates on the list of flights affected? thanks!

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