Perth to Broome (return)
QF2658 + QF2659
13F (window) + 13C (aisle)
- Normally, a hot meal service on these 2.5-hour flights
- No entertainment of any kind, so bring your own
- There's no charge to select exit row seating at check-in
As travel within Western Australia begins to bounce back, QantasLink's Airbus A320s are busy shuttling passengers around the state – namely from Perth to places like Broome.
Although inflight service is currently limited to a beverage and a snack, here's what the QantasLink economy class experience normally entails on these intra-WA flights.
- Frequent flyer program: Qantas Frequent Flyer, Oneworld alliance.
- Checked baggage:
- 1x23kg: standard ticketed allowance
- 1x32kg: Qantas Club members, Qantas Silver frequent flyers
- 2x32kg: Qantas Gold, Platinum, Platinum One and Chairman's Lounge cardholders
- 2x23kg: Other Oneworld Sapphire and Emerald frequent flyers (Qantas members get higher allowances, as above)
- 1x23kg: standard ticketed allowance
- Carry-on baggage allowance: 1x115cm bag (up to 10kg); or, 2x105cm bags (one up to 10kg, 14kg total); or, 1x105cm bag plus 1x185cm non-rigid garment bag (one up to 10kg, 14kg total).
- Airport fast-track (Perth): Qantas' self-serve check-in process makes it possible to deposit your own checked bag with minimal fuss, before heading through priority security if eligible. No signed priority boarding lane was in place at the gate, although the queue was minimal in any case.
- Airport fast-track (Broome): With a dedicated check-in queue for Qantas Club members plus Qantas Silver frequent flyers and above, luggage is tagged and taken quickly, with a separate priority boarding lane awaiting at the gate. On arrival in Perth, that priority-tagged bag is among the first to arrive on the belt.
While a QantasLink economy class ticket doesn't include lounge access by itself, Qantas lounges are available in both Perth and Broome for eligible travellers.
At the other end of the journey, the Broome Qantas Club similarly welcomes all lounge-eligible travellers, ranging from Qantas Club members through to Gold- and Platinum-grade frequent flyers of Qantas, and its web of Oneworld and other airline partners.
Unlike Qantas' Boeing 737s which offer both business class and economy, the QantasLink Airbus A320s come in an all-economy layout, spanning 30 rows.
These jets normally appear on flights within Western Australia, and formerly flew in Jetstar colours: retaining those seats, but not the bright orange accents, as part of their move to QantasLink.
The cabin comes in a 3-3 layout, with a pitch of 28-29 inches for most rows, and 38 inches at the exits.
This makes the exit row a choice pick for comfort and space, and at the time of travel, seats here could be purchased for $15 from the time of booking, while those unclaimed at check-in time could then be selected at no charge.
As you'd expect, legroom here isn't an issue (pictured below) – but even in the other rows, the design of the seat, which places the storage pocket higher up rather than around your knees, doesn't make the space feel too cramped.
Just be mindful that in the exit row window seats (12A, 12F, 13A and 13F), the arm rest isn't attached to the seat itself, instead being part of the exit door.
The height isn't ideal for comfort – and this comes in place of a regular arm rest so that there's nothing blocking the exit door, if it needs to be used – but the additional legroom gained in these rows still makes them worth seeking out.
With a flight time of around 2.5 hours in each direction between Perth and Broome, QantasLink normally serves a hot meal on these flights, as was the case at the time of travel.
On the morning service from Perth up to Broome (QF2658), a hot breakfast was offered.
Inside the box: scrambled eggs, a sausage, bacon, and baked beans. Of course, we'd not award any extra marks for presentation, but the meal was fine, all things considered:
The beverage cart followed shortly after, where non-alcoholic drinks were available, including hot tea and coffee.
On the journey back from Broome to Perth, a 1pm departure offered a hot boxed lunch.
Inside, a slider and chips, which were particularly tasty – although tomato sauce was unfortunately unavailable.
Beer and wine were available for $6, but only cash payments are accepted, which means you ironically can't use your Qantas Points-earning credit card.
However, due to COVID-19, Qantas is currently limiting its food and beverage service in the economy cabin to a snack and beverage on most routes.
This journey took place prior to these temporary service changes going into effect, and so reflects the experience normally available on these flights when such restrictions aren't in place.
Entertainment & Service
On these flights, there's no entertainment provided of any kind – no overhead TV screens, or seatback panels: instead, just a pouch for your own materials, and the safety card(s).
That caught several travellers off-guard, given passengers were offered headphones at the boarding gate, with nothing on the aircraft to connect them to.
However, for those packing their own tech, the edge of the literature pocket is a great place to slot in a tablet pre-loaded with your own content – particularly if you've also brought a pair of wireless headphones along for the ride.
On flights to and from Broome, the window seats are the place to be, and certainly give you something to look at:
All things considered, QantasLink's Airbus A320 economy class is perfectly acceptable for journeys of this length, but if you have long legs, do yourself a favour and reserve an exit row seat – it certainly made the ride more comfortable for this six-foot editor.
Chris Chamberlin travelled at his own expense.