Qantas Perth-London: will you fly direct, or connect via Dubai?

By David Flynn, April 21 2017
Qantas Perth-London: will you fly direct, or connect via Dubai?

TALKING POINT | Qantas is expected to announce this week the exact 'late March 2018' launch date (and pricing, and schedule) for its non-stop flights between Perth and London.

The much-trumpeted Boeing 787 service will rewrite the rules of the Kangaroo Route, which has over decades shrunk from a four day trip with seven stops on a Lockheed Constellation in 1947, to one stop in 23 hours on the Boeing 747 or Airbus A380.

Come March 2018 it'll be no stops and just under 18 hours – presuming you're starting from Perth, of course.

However, most Australian travellers will begin their journey from the east coast, adding an extra handful of hours and one stopover in the WA capital.

Or will they?

Despite the allure of the advanced Boeing 787 Dreamliner, with its superior seats and ability to reduce the impact of jetlag, how many travellers will continue to opt for the more established Airbus routes from Sydney and Melbourne (assuming the Melbourne-London QF9 flight isn't cancelled or curtailed at Dubai, as some expect)?

In the A380's favour, there's a first class cabin – the Boeing 787 tops out at business class – which will appeal to the many frequent flyers who use their points to upgrade from business class to first class).

For Platinum frequent flyers the superjumbo routes also provide a lush starting point at the Qantas first class lounge, and of course an often-welcome break at Dubai before the final leg to London.

On the other hand, travellers from the likes of Brisbane and Adelaide may decide it's preferable to make the dash to Perth to join the Boeing 787, trimming several hours and one Sydney or Melbourne stopover from their overall trip.

Today, we're asking our readers who regularly fly with Qantas to London if they'll continue to go via Dubai on the Airbus A380 or switch to the non-stop Perth-London flights of the Boeing 787. Tell us which you'll do, and why, in the comments section below.

David

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

08 Jun 2014

Total posts 255

Via Abu Dhabi or Singapore 😂

21 Apr 2017

Total posts 12

Singapore was & still is my preferred route to Europe. Great city for a stopover as well. For that reason I fly SingaporeAir more than qantas.

sq

07 Aug 2015

Total posts 15

I agree totally. Far too long a sector from Perth irrespective of class. 14 hours to DXB tough. Sin-lhr wins.

26 Jul 2015

Total posts 53

Not with QANTAS.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 Feb 2015

Total posts 309

If only Qantas had the option via Singapore as you would see this quickly become the favoured stopover point.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

15 Mar 2016

Total posts 169

I'm really hoping QF9/10 remain as an A380 route. I love flying so long haul doesn't bother me but 18 hours, even in J, is pushing it. There's a novelty value to the non-stop flight and I'm not a huge fan of transiting in DXB but even so, I think the classic route will remain my choice. If the MEL A380 route switches to another EU city, that will make things more interesting. 

08 Mar 2013

Total posts 28

Since the family and I usually fly Economy. Whatever is cheaper, which in most instances is not Qantas unfortunately.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Feb 2014

Total posts 146

Keeping this QF related, I'd much rather go via DXB but If they flew via SIN, they'd have my money for sure. Definitely not going PER-LHR direct.

29 Jan 2012

Total posts 108

Totally agree! 18 Hours in a 789 is crazy. East coast to Europe/LHR via HKG or SIN in a 747 or A380 has the options and comfort for the distance travelled. PER to LHR is nothing but a QF gimmick at the moment and by 2019 will be dropped. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Jan 2015

Total posts 62

I would but most of my work travel is to Europe so depends on connections and any possible?? code sharing with BA via LHR

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

03 Jul 2011

Total posts 184

Given I'm in ADL, I'd rather not back track and go East to go North.  So PER it is.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

30 May 2013

Total posts 328

In economy I'd definitely go via Dubai. 18 hours in a 9 abreast cabin sounds like a living hell. I'd consider going via Perth in Premium Economy and Business though.

08 Feb 2016

Total posts 14

I personally struggle to see how the Perth option is better than the current Dubai stopover for Syd/Mel-based passengers. I would definitely favour a stopover closer to 'half-way' as it currently is in Dubai, rather than a short 4-hour trip to Perth followed by the marathon flight to London.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

30 May 2013

Total posts 328

Until Qantas upgrades their A380's the Boeing 787 will have a much better Premium Economy and Business Class product. So Perth may be a popular choice for people travelling in the premium cabins.

05 May 2016

Total posts 587

Whilst the A380 seats don't have the in seat storage space of the A330/787, I find the centre seats are excellent. I'd prefer to fly on the QF A380 from MEL to LHR even with the older seat.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Mar 2014

Total posts 221

Direct get it over and done with

Qantas

03 Mar 2015

Total posts 13

Well, id does depends on what class you'll be flying in.  

F = Direct, 
J = Direct, 
Y=Stop off

But you miss out on the opportunity to max out on Status Credits!

05 May 2016

Total posts 587

That is a good point. If the SC earn is terrible going via PER then that will make it an even more unattractive option for those with FLounge access.

23 Feb 2015

Total posts 267

Stop over for sure (I'm in Melb).

QF

11 Jul 2014

Total posts 505

Flying from Sydney / Melbourne,  Perth is a stop over?  I'm keen on stop overs in either Singapore, Hong Kong or Dubai etc. Whether that be 30 minutes or 23 hrs it's a good chance to enjoy other countries. I'm not that keen on a direct flight unless the price was right.



Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 Feb 2015

Total posts 309

Essentially this is a major win for Perth based travelers but no major gains for any other city. If you are coming from Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne or Adelaide there is a stopover involved whether that be in Perth or Dubai when flying on QF or EK. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

27 Feb 2015

Total posts 34

Canceling the QF9/10 altogether opens up two A380s for their mid-life refresh which makes the QF1/2 look more enticing, especially with the new business class...

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

18 May 2011

Total posts 229

If I'm going to London, I'll probably go via Perth. If I'm not, then I'll probably go through Dubai.
The only exception to that plan would be if some bizarre mixture of price & status points emerged. 

MHG
MHG

21 Apr 2017

Total posts 13

Living in country SA will always mean 2 stops to London. Would prefer the A380 as I always travel in J and being platinum always choose the small J section. Would probably try Perth once, but I am sure would return to Ad/Melb/Dubai as the legs are shorter, and the lounges better.

The poll does not have a neither option.

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2421

Because this is an either/or proposition with regards to Qantas routes – the article isn't about "Which airline is your preference for the Kangaroo Route?". 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Jul 2014

Total posts 144

Depends on price and schedule. I live in Sydney but have occasionally flown to London via Melbourne to take advantage of QF9's departure and arrival time (and occasionally it has been cheaper) it also adds extra SC and points.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

30 May 2013

Total posts 328

I love the current QF9 departure time. It's easy to get to sleep as it's late at night and you're in your London hotel by check-in time, mid afternoon.

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2421

Ryan: that's so true. I recall many complaints when Qantas announced the re-timing of QF9, but pretty much everybody I've spoken to who has since caught QF9 loves the revised timetable!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

15 Mar 2016

Total posts 169

It's definitely not uncommon for Sydney-siders to book on QF9 because the timing is so much more appealing! For frequent and business travellers, timing, points and SCs and connection capacity will probably be the deciding points. There will still be a group (me included) who just want that better split between legs and some time on the ground to stretch and rehydrate!

QFF

19 Sep 2013

Total posts 163

PER based, but I believe that QF will always charge considerably more for their J flights, so it looks like Qatar and others will be my preferred option for a while.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

31 Jan 2016

Total posts 79

Being regionally based (NSW) and already having an additional sector I am more than happy to go SYD-DXB-LHR (via the First Lounge), it's just the most practical way to manage the trip. Although through Perth 'could' be a great experience.

LP
LP

30 Jun 2016

Total posts 49

Surely the frequent flyer addage is why fly direct when you can connect?!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Oct 2016

Total posts 40

If I was going to London, being from Perth I'd definitely do the direct at least one way, then I might try something else on the way back to experience different airlines (Emirates, Qatar, Etihad..)

05 May 2016

Total posts 587

I'll probably fly QF9 MEL-DXB-LHR unless that route is scrapped or flying via PER is significantly cheaper. Whilst I'm WP if going via PER would mean no QF FLounge visit, I'd rather avoid going via PER until I've dropped back to SG.

If QF9 is scrapped and the predicted MEL-PER leg of MEL-PER-LHR leaves MEL International and one can still get a FLounge visit in that would change things.

I don't care so much about missing the FLounge visit in Dubai. If things go according to plan one wouldn't spend long there and it's not as nice as the FLounges in MEL/SYD anyway.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Mar 2012

Total posts 212

Perth for me...especially as I live here and I'd rather not do off and on again rat run en route.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

21 Jan 2014

Total posts 9

I would still go via DXB, love the Dubai connect service and usually make sure I have enough time between flights to get that ground experience, nice sleep in a real bed before the short hop to LHR or elsewhere in Europe the next morning. Also never go direct when I can connect in that endless chase for Status Credits! 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Jul 2011

Total posts 1390

I suspect status credits will be the same. Just like SYD-LHR on a single flight number is the same as SYD-DXB-LHR

Qantas Platinum

04 Dec 2012

Total posts 48

If I need to be in London, I would do Qantas through Perth. But normally I need to be in Amsterdam and that will be more convenient via Dubai, Singapore or Hong Kong.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 May 2014

Total posts 20

It all depends on the timings... I reckon the PER flight will be an am arrival into London... On the way would be ok as you depart late afternoon/evening for arrival first thing... It's really dependent what is the arrival time back.. If it's night arrival past 6pm into Perth then you have to do a read eye to the east coast which will just be chaos for the body clock... However an afternoon/ morning is suitable for adjusting to the body clock...

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

23 Jul 2014

Total posts 11

I'm assuming that you would need to collect baggage and pass through customs on the return leg if going via Perth to the East Coast.  To me, that's a negative and would be the reason I wouldn't want to do it.

21 Apr 2017

Total posts 35

I will do neither thanks. I will continue to take the best airline in the world via HKG...

Zac
Zac

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

23 May 2014

Total posts 128

Because the hard product is better, and for the novelty factor, I'd choose Perth. But only in Business. And after a few trips probably switch to a mix of the two, nice to get a bit of variety.


I'd also like the option to build in a Perth stop over at no cost - eg an afternoon to look around or at least a few hours to exit the airport and get a proper meal somewhere. It's also about the journey, not just the destination.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer GOLD

15 Sep 2015

Total posts 13

I loath the Dubai pitstop security rigmarole so if the price was favourable I'd like to try the direct from Perth option. Might just be too long on an aircraft but worth investigating for me anyway.

24 Apr 2014

Total posts 273

I'm not a fan of Dubai so PER for me. I'm not Jewish, but I think this route via Perth could be popular with Aussie Jews as Dubai is no go for them.

24 Apr 2014

Total posts 273

Flying from MEL, I would find PER attractive if I cleared Customs in MEL on the way and then cleared customs in MEL on the way back.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Aug 2014

Total posts 513

Flying through Perth because:

1. Rather fly from Australia than the UAE.
2. Flying from MEL so can probably clear Customs and get it done with.
3. Direct Oz-UK route, the novelty alone is enough.
4. QF will probably remove MEL-DXB-LHR A380 and at least in terms of flying QF it will be a pain to go Sydney so flying to PER would make sense.
5. Overall flying time will be around 90 minutes shorter and 787 has got better J than the A380.

10 Aug 2015

Total posts 118

Ethically I cannot agree with a stopover in Dubai. I would happilly travel Canberra - Perth - London only if they can ensure I receive five meals in economy.

PK
PK

03 May 2012

Total posts 114

Australia is a country drowning in QFF memberships and points, relative to the equivalent in other countries.  Points are becoming easier and easier to stockpile and more and more difficult to use.  Upgrading from J to F on the A380 Kangaroo route is a great use for them.  For me, that reason alone is enough to fly via Dubai.  If upgrading from Y to J, I would give the Perth service a go, but would end up choosing on load and likelihood of upgrade. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

08 Sep 2012

Total posts 244

18 hours in economy sounds awful. In Premium Economy it's bearable and in Business it could work. I wonder how much time it saves though?


For me, a stopover has 2 main benefits:

1.Shower - which makes remaining leg bearable
2. Breaks journey allowing for walking around / fresh air etc

This goes for the crew as well - many of whom I know don't sleep much during their breaks on board.

I also wonder whether, after 18 hours in the air, the crew (no matter how 'rested' - seen those bunks?) will be as alert as they should be to handle the landing, one of the riskiest parts of the flight. 

Food for thought I guess. 
 


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

14 Dec 2016

Total posts 43

Being from Perth, obviously the direct flight is a no brainer, depending on pricing.


However, one thing to consider is the laptop/tablet ban when going via Dubai.

QFF

12 Apr 2013

Total posts 1446

I stop flying with QF when they went into bed with EK and I may resume if they start flying direct. But indeed I am missing transit via SIN by QF.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Dec 2012

Total posts 38

I feel this really depends on the class of travel. The only reason to choose Y PER-LHR would be if you're originating in PER or elsewhere in WA. On the flip side, if you're in J, I feel now you would actually prefer PER-LHR regardless of where you're coming from. This unless Qantas markets their Y via PER cheaper and J via PER more expensive. It will be interesting to see how the pricings compare!

Cathay Pacific - Asia Miles

01 Feb 2015

Total posts 113

Cathay all the way!

bsb
bsb

21 Jul 2011

Total posts 72

Since it starts in MEL I'd go via Perth. I don't like DXB. But like most others, if I could choose via SIN or even HKG, I'd prefer them. 

As a Brizzy resident I'd happily give Perth a try, provided the connecting Brisbane-Perth flight is an A330... can't say I'd overly fancy a journey from Brisbane to London via Perth that involved 4-5 hours on a domestic Boeing 737 though, when I could fly Brisbane-Dubai-London on a Qantas codeshare instead with an international-grade seat/bed the entire way.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 May 2014

Total posts 450

Still waiting for the inaugural flight invitation then ;-)

09 Sep 2012

Total posts 140

Brisbane has a population close to three million and is the capital city of Queensland, population close to five million, while Adelaide is a place half the size and is the capital city of a state the population of which is no more than a third the size of Queensland's.

The far smaller city is a mere 1317 statute miles from Perth while the much larger city is 2246 miles away therefrom. 

You'd have to be some sort of a fool, as you've implied, to fly backwards on a five-hour domestic flight from Australia's third city to its fourth city just so you could then fly non-stop to London, while it makes perfect sense to make the short hop from Adelaide to Perth.

As usual, Alan Joyce, who rarely strays north of the Hawkesbury except on an A380 on the way to Dubai and Dublin, has overflown Queensland, the home of Qantas, and Brisbane yet again. He's very good at ignoring the Q in Qantas, and very likely has no idea whence the name came.

So no, David, no one from Queensland - not that you asked - would be interested in going backwards to Perth. 

What we would like is a Qantas service - of any sort - from Brisbane to London. A330, A387, anything; of course Al must not, repeat not, give Brisbane an A380 service. Well done Al.

The Kangaroo Route, in fact has never gone anywhere near Perth, David, missing the place by half a continent, so to term this new service from Perth the Kangaroo Route is completely erroneous.

Read your history, not the recent blurb from the airline once known as the Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Service,







Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1041

Longreach the Kangaroo route in my time has gone through Mumbai, Bahrain, Bangkok, and Singapore; so why is Perth so un-kangaroo. The transit time will be an hour or two faster than via the overcrowded (with a delay scheduled in) Dubai. It might make perfect sense for a Brisbane person to go via Perth if it saves an hour. From Canberra it is a no brainer as it saves a stop and the backtrack to Melbourne or the bus in Sydney.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

14 Dec 2016

Total posts 43

Longreach, being from Perth, this is excellent news as we do try to reduce the number of Queenslanders in Perth. 


However, we are happy for NSW, VIC, SA, ACT, and TAS residents you take up the superior route via Perth.

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

11 Mar 2015

Total posts 191

18 hours non stop?put the pax in an induced coma to survive that ordeal!only tolerable in business as they won't have first..

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

27 Jun 2011

Total posts 37

From Perth

, I'll be keen to board a flight once and disembark next in London. More sleep/rest on one long flight, and more time in London. I'll most likely travel in PE. But if Y isn't a hit, I'm happy to a row of 3 to myself. 

Also, I don't think the flight times will be that bad. Because of seasonal and weather variations it may even get down to just over 16 hours in the air - and that's QF8 daily.

Joe
Joe

03 May 2013

Total posts 521

QF paper on EK  metal via Dubai until:

1. Qantas refurbs A380 J Class to direct isle suites
2. MORE toilets in J class on 787 and A380
3. A proper break out bar area akin to EK's

I have flown both 787 and A380 and I can say hands down the A380 is definitely the superior experience. I think the A350 will be better than 787 in terms of experience.

02 Dec 2016

Total posts 92

I've said from the moment these flights were rumored, they'll only appeal to Perth and Adelaide Flyers.  And then, only if you're in Business (Premium... maybe).  No way a SYD, MEL or BNE flyer will go via PER.  Why would they?  BNE flyers go with Emirates as will Melbournians if they cancel that flight. I doubt the flight time is quicker SYD - PER - LHR than SYD - DXB - LHR.

Even if orginating from Perth, a stopover DXB is a great way to stretch your legs etc.

But, if you're in business, originate in PER, and fly a lot then sure go for it.

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1041

Jazzop the flight time probably will be an hour faster (from Bris, Syd, or Mel) as it takes at least two hours to sort through Dubai which is very slow (when I was last there it took one hour from plane landing and going to a remote stand, wating for bus and getting through airport traffic into the terminal), and QF says they can cut an hour off that. Note they had to add a slower schedule last year to fit the Dubai delays. From Canberra it is a complete no-brainer. The flight time itself is much the same as DFW-SYD (16-17hrs) which I do regularly, and it is fine.

RSD
RSD

Jetstar Airways - Qantas Frequent Flyer

12 Dec 2016

Total posts 5

I reckon it will be well worthwhile, except maybe if ultimate destination is Southern Europe.  Anything to avoid that horrible DXB stopover, what a shocker it is.

Also mooted arrival and departure times into and out of LHR are more civilised than currently.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

13 Apr 2016

Total posts 8

It all depends if Qantas bring back pork products on the Perth - London flight! Banned on all Dubai flights if I recall.

05 May 2016

Total posts 587

That would definitely be a plus if they do that.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

29 Mar 2017

Total posts 2

I like many of my collougues work in the Pilbara and live in Europe for me it's no difference Perth to Manchester, however the return is great it arrives into Perth at 11:00 11:30 ( as advised by staff in lounge ) and I can connect straight to Port Hedland instead of staying overnight as EK don't connect.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

16 Feb 2013

Total posts 15

As a regular tourist from Scotland, PER to LHR gets me home quicker and I think UK tourists and retired folk living in PER taking a trip home will pay the wee bit extra to fly direct. If Qantas could just sort out the congested and frankly unhelpful Flight Connections early morning at LHR that would be helpful but really isn't their problem I guess!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 Oct 2016

Total posts 115

Based on the previously released route to the US I bet the premium will be steep for the 787 service to London - for those that pay our own money that will make some decisions easy

Singapore or Hong Kong is my preference but I would try Perth if a deal was available

Qantas

13 Jun 2015

Total posts 143

Two words: Non-Stop

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Apr 2015

Total posts 12

When you're flying out of Adelaide, your choices are extremely limited for one-stop flights to London .... and even more limited if you want to fly Premium Economy. In fact, only Cathay Pacific offers that service (via HK). From experience, it's quite acceptable and knocks hours of having to transit Sydney on the way.

Similarly, Air NZ is the only airline that flies you in PE to LAX (via Auckland) without the dreaded Sydney turnaround. Air NZ is also the only airline that flies non-stop to NZ from Adelaide, it's Auckland only but again it knocks hours off the via-Sydney journey if Auckland is where you want to go.


Hi Guest, join in the discussion on Qantas Perth-London: will you fly direct, or connect via Dubai?