Qantas travellers jetting between Melbourne and Perth can now book themselves into the premium economy cabin of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner on QF9 and QF10.
Until now, it’s been possible only to book business or economy on the domestic leg of those flights, with premium economy held back for passengers flying internationally.
Qantas has up to eight daily flights between Melbourne and Perth, with most on the Airbus A330 and some on the Boeing 737.
Savvy travellers already know to avoid the Boeing 737 on this transcontinental trek, but choosing the Dreamliner and its premium economy seats is a welcome option for the east-west flyer.
Fares for the domestic premium economy hop from Melbourne to Perth start at around $1,250 one-way ($2,500 return): a decent asking price for business travellers who may not need a fully-flat bed on a four-hour daytime domestic flight, but want more comfort than ‘regular’ economy provides.
AusBT review: Qantas Boeing 787 premium economy seat
How to book Qantas Boeing 787 premium economy between Melbourne and Perth
Qantas has added a 'Premium Economy' travel class to its domestic booking engine, which reveals the premium economy option which is exclusive to flights QF9 and QF10.
This displays the saver and flex versions of premium economy fares alongside business class.
Selecting Economy from the previous screen's drop-down menu shows the lowest (saver) premium economy fare next to economy class on the same flight.
Premium economy on the Melbourne-Perth Boeing 787 can also be booked as a Classic Flight Reward using Qantas Points, at 27,000 points one-way (plus fees and taxes).
Upgrading from economy to premium economy
If company travel policy forces you into economy but you'd still like a bit more comfort flying coast-to-coast, you can upgrade to premium economy for 4,000 Points from a flexible economy fare or 10,000 points from a discount economy booking.
One more option: upgrading from an economy Classic Flight Reward booking to premium economy for 18,000 points.
Upgrading from premium economy to business class
If you've booked a premium economy pew between Melbourne and Perth you can request an upgrade to business class.
You'll be up for 9,000 points from a flexible premium economy fare, 10,000 points from a regular premium economy ticket, or 11,000 points from discount premium economy.
Passengers who initially booked their premium economy flight using Qantas Points also have the option of upgrading to business class for 16,000 points.
Flight upgrades from economy straight to business class remain available at existing rates – but in all cases, points-based upgrades are subject to availability, and Australian Business Traveller understands availability will be reasonably limited.
Travelling as a domestic passenger aboard QF9/10
Because QF9 and QF10 depart from international terminals, domestic passengers taking QF9 from Melbourne and QF10 from Perth are subject to the same security requirements as international travellers, including the usual 100mL restriction on liquids.
You’ll also need to show an acceptable form of photo ID (matching the name on your flight reservation) at check-in, at the international terminal's passport control before boarding, and at customs on your arrival.
As you’re not actually leaving the country, this doesn’t have to be, a passport: an Australian driver’s licence, Australian-issued APEC Card, Australian university or TAFE photo identification card or even an Aviation Security Identification Card (ASIC) will suffice.
Note that you won’t be able to check-in online for these flights, as your ID needs to be verified at the check-in desk and an orange ‘D sticker’ attached to your boarding pass, which shows Customs you’re travelling on a domestic-only flight both before and after the flight, as you’re processed manually at the desk and can’t use SmartGate.
Of course, for travellers leaving Melbourne on QF9 there's a handy upside: because the flight departs from the international terminal, Qantas Platinum and Platinum One card-holders can relax in the Qantas First Lounge before their flight to Perth.
That puts a superb seasonal à la carte menu at your disposal, and even a spa treatment if you so fancy.
AusBT review: Qantas first class lounge, Melbourne Airport
Business class passengers, Qantas Gold frequent flyers and Qantas Club members will be directed to the far less appealing Qantas International Business Lounge, which we would suggest is the last reason to choose QF9.
If you're outbound from Perth on QF10, domestic passengers can only use the Qantas domestic lounges before proceeding through ‘passport control’, not the new Qantas Transit Lounge, which is reserved for passengers connecting to or from London.