Your complete guide to travelling with QantasLink

Whether you're a regional flyer or jetting to places like Cairns and Canberra, here's what you need to know about QantasLink.

By Staff Writers, October 12 2022
Your complete guide to travelling with QantasLink

Operating a wide range of domestic flights across Australia spanning short regional hops to journeys to and from the major capitals, QantasLink's fleet and network are equally varied.

With many of the perks travellers have come to expect – including Qantas Frequent Flyer Points, airport lounges and other perks for frequent flyers – here's your guide to travelling with QantasLink.

QantasLink operates a variety of aircraft to suit various routes and passenger numbers, as below.

Within the Bombardier 'Dash 8' family, QantasLink counts three types of turboprops: the 200 Series, the 300 Series, and the Q400 series.

The Dash 8 200 Series, shown below, can seat 36 passengers across nine rows, in a 2-2 layout. This makes it the smallest member of the QantasLink fleet.

All seats are Economy class, with Row 4 designated as the exit row seats, with a further exit at the rear and one lavatory at the front.

Larger in size, the Dash 8 300 Series makes room for 50 passengers, again in a 2-2 configuration, with Row 10 marked as exit row seats and exits at the front and rear beyond that. There’s one lavatory at the front available to all passengers.

As the biggest member of QantasLink's Dash 8 family, the Dash 8 Q400 can accommodate 74 passengers, once again in a 2-2 setting.

This time, you won’t find exit rows in the middle of the plane, with exits at the front and rear only, with one lavatory at the front.

An advantage of these planes is the absence of a middle seat, with everybody on board enjoying either an aisle or a window seat.

The jet-powered QantasLink Fokker 100 model seats 100 travellers, in an all-economy, 2-3 layout.

These planes have two exit rows in the middle of the plane and two lavatories at the rear.

While QantasLink has three different Fokker 100 configurations (the A Series, G Series and T Series), the primary differences are only to the aircraft galleys and closets: the seats remain in the same 2-3 layout across 21 rows.

Notably, there's no row 13 on any QantasLink Fokker 100s – the row numbers jump from 12 straight to 14 – although other QantasLink planes do have a 13th row..

Not unlike the Fokker 100, which also has its engines back near the aircraft tail, the QantasLink Boeing 717 also accommodates economy travellers in a 2-3 cabin.

On some QantasLink Boeing 717s, economy stretches from tip to tail on the aircraft, with 125 seats in total. Two exit rows are in the middle of the aircraft, with two lavatories at the rear.

On others, business class is available in addition to economy. Here, 12 business class seats adopt a 2-2 layout, and 98 economy seats remain in a 2-3 configuration, for a total of 110 seats.

You may notice with this variety that the 98 economy passengers must share one lavatory at the rear, while the 12 in business class have a loo for exclusive use at the front.

The newest plane to join the QantasLink fleet is the Embraer E190-100: another jet aircraft originally operated by Alliance Airlines on QantasLink's behalf – that is, with Qantas service and a Qantas livery painted on the plane.

These aircraft offer 10 seats in business class in a 1-2 layout, and 84 seats in economy in a 2-2 configuration, with a single exit row and a lavatory at both ends of the aircraft. 

With a total of 94 seats, this also means nobody ends up in a middle seat: everybody is by the aisle or a window.

In 2022, this fleet will become a wholly owned part of the Qantas fleet once Qantas completes a full acquisition of Alliance Airlines.

The largest member of the QantasLink fleet, the Airbus A320 is most often seen flying within Western Australia, such as between Perth and Broome.

Formerly of the Jetstar fleet and later transitioned to QantasLink, these jets retain Jetstar's all-economy layout, offering seating for 180 travellers in a 3-3 configuration. 

Two exit rows can be found a few rows in front of the halfway point, with two lavatories at the rear and one at the front available to all passengers.

Joining the QantasLink fleet from the end of 2023 will be the Airbus A220.

This quiet, modern and comfortable jet will primarily replace the ageing QantasLink Boeing 717 on regional routes, but it will also be darting between capital cities – so Qantas passengers can expect to see a lot of the versatile A220 as the years roll on.

The Airbus A220-300 has an astounding range, almost double that of the Boeing 717 it will replace.
The Airbus A220-300 has an astounding range, almost double that of the Boeing 717 it will replace.

“The A220 is such a versatile aircraft which has become popular with airline customers in the United States and Europe because it has the capability to fly regional routes as well as longer sectors between capital cities,” says Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce.

“For customers, that means having more departures throughout the day on smaller aircraft, or extra capacity at peak time with larger (A320neo-series) aircraft, or the ability to start a new regional route because the economics of the aircraft make it possible.”

The Qantas A220 will accommodate 137 passengers – an uptick of 25% over the Boeing 717 – with ten seats in business class (in rows of 2-2) and 127 in economy (with two seats on one side of the aisle and three on the other).

All QantasLink passengers receive a carry-on baggage allowance, but exactly how much you can bring aboard depends on the aircraft operating your flight.

On Dash 8 services (including 200, 300 and Q400 Series turboprops), the maximum allowance is one, 7kg bag per passenger, with total dimensions of up to 105cm.

This reflects the storage limitations on these Dash 8 flights – and some bags, including most with wheels, will often be tagged as 'Premium Hand Luggage' at the gate: taken from you as you board, and returned to you upon arrival. 

These items are stored separately to checked baggage but aren’t accessible at any point during the flight, so remember to first take out any book or personal entertainment device you might wish to use while in the air.

Consider travelling with a smaller carry-on bag for your reading material and electronic devices, for access during flight.
Consider travelling with a smaller carry-on bag for your reading material and electronic devices, for access during flight.

Unlike checked bags, which are deposited at the check-in counter and retrieved from baggage claim, 'Premium Hand Luggage' bags can remain with you up until boarding, including in the lounge: and you won't need to wait at the carousel to collect the bag afterwards as it is returned to you when disembarking the aircraft.

On all other flights, including QantasLink Fokker 100, Boeing 717, Embraer E190-100 and Airbus A320 flights, Qantas' normal domestic carry-on baggage allowance applies.

This provides for up to two bags at a combined total weight of 14kg, with one of those items being up to 10kg.

As well as a carry-on baggage allowance, all QantasLink passengers receive a complimentary checked baggage allowance.

All Qantas and QantasLink fares include checked baggage.
All Qantas and QantasLink fares include checked baggage.

As well as a carry-on baggage allowance, all QantasLink passengers receive a complimentary checked baggage allowance.

How much you can pack depends upon your cabin, frequent flyer status, and in some cases, the type of plane operating your flight and your destination, as below.

On these flights, all passengers – regardless of frequent flyer status or connecting flights – can pack two checked bags.

The first bag can weigh up to 14kg, with the second weighing up to 9kg: a total of 23kg combined weight.

QantasLink notes that due to aircraft weight restrictions, it's sometimes necessary that the second bag (of up to 9kg) may travel on a later flight, so if travelling with two pieces of luggage, pack any essentials either in your carry-on baggage, or in your first checked bag.

Except on flights to and from Lord Howe Island as above, the baggage allowance on all Dash 8 flights is strictly set at 1x23kg bag per passenger.

As the Dash 8s aren't as big as some other QantasLink aircraft, there's less room for baggage.
As the Dash 8s aren't as big as some other QantasLink aircraft, there's less room for baggage.

This applies regardless of status, Qantas Club membership, or other connecting flights on the same ticket, again due to limited storage space and weight restrictions on Dash 8 flights – including 200 Series, 300 Series and Q400 Series turboprops.

Given most QantasLink planes don't offer business class, it's no secret that almost all QantasLink passengers travel in economy: and unless you're zipping to Lord Howe Island, or taking a Dash 8 flight, the baggage allowance below will apply.

  • Standard allowance: 1x23kg bag
  • Qantas Club members, Qantas Silver frequent flyers: 1x32kg bag
  • Qantas Gold, Platinum and Platinum One: 2x32kg bags
  • Oneworld Sapphire and Oneworld Emerald (other than Qantas): 2x23kg bags

Importantly, the allowances don't 'stack' – so a Qantas Club member who is also a Silver frequent flyer can pack only 1x32kg bag (as opposed to the base allowance of 1x23kg.

Similarly, the allowance noted above for Oneworld Sapphire and Oneworld Emerald cardholders applies only to frequent flyers of programs other than Qantas Frequent Flyer: such as Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, Qatar Airways Privilege Club, and so on.

The checked baggage limits applied to Qantas' equivalent Gold and Platinum frequent flyers, of course, are more generous than for Sapphire and Emerald cardholders from other airline programs.

For those travellers flying business class on a QantasLink Boeing 717 or Embraer E190 flight, the checked baggage allowance is as follows:

  • Standard allowance: 2x32kg bags
  • Qantas Club, Qantas Silver and Gold: 2x32kg bags (no increase)
  • Qantas Platinum, Platinum One and other Oneworld Emerald: 3x32kg bags

As highlighted above, there's no increase in checked baggage allowance for Qantas Club cardholders or for Qantas Silver and Gold frequent flyers when travelling in domestic economy class, nor do other Oneworld Sapphire members receive a boosted baggage allowance.

Relax in business class on selected QantasLink Boeing 717 flights.
Relax in business class on selected QantasLink Boeing 717 flights.

On the other hand, the allowance for Qantas Platinum and 'non-Qantas' Oneworld Emerald members is the same on these flights, with these travellers gaining one additional checked bag, over and above the standard allowance of 2x32kg.

Across Australia, QantasLink operates a broad network of flights, connecting remote destinations to the major capital cities, as well as with each other.

Sometimes, QantasLink also flies between those major cities, including on many Canberra flights, as well as other flights between Brisbane and Cairns.

Lord Howe Island is a tropical paradise just a short QantasLink flight from Sydney.
Lord Howe Island is a tropical paradise just a short QantasLink flight from Sydney.

Here's a snapshot of just some of the routes served by QantasLink. For brevity, most routes listed below operate on a return basis. 

  • Adelaide to Kangaroo Island (Kingscote), Mount Gambier, Port Lincoln, Whyalla
  • Alice Springs to Adelaide, Darwin, Uluru (Ayers Rock).
  • Barcaldine to Brisbane and Longreach.
  • Blackall to Longreach.
  • Brisbane to Barcaldine, Bundaberg, Cairns (some flights) Emerald, Fraser Coast, Gladstone, Hamilton Island, Longreach, Mackay, Moranbah, Newcastle and Rockhampton.
  • Cairns to Horn Island, Townsville and Weipa.
  • Canberra to Brisbane (some flights), Melbourne (some flights) and Sydney (some flights).
  • Lord Howe Island to Sydney.
  • Melbourne to Devonport, Hobart and Mildura.
  • Mount Isa to Cloncurry and Townsville.
  • Perth to Broome (some flights), Darwin (some flights), Geraldton, Kalgoorlie (some flights), Karratha (some flights), Newman, Paraburdoo and Port Hedland.
  • Rockhampton to Mackay.
  • Sydney to Albury, Armidale, Ballina (Byron Bay), Broken Hill, Bendigo, Coffs Harbour, Dubbo, Griffith, Hobart, Merimbula, Mildura, Moree, Orange, Port Macquarie, Sunshine Coast, Tamworth, Toowoomba (Wellcamp) and Wagga Wagga.
  • Townsville to Cloncurry and Mackay.

The list above doesn't include every route served by QantasLink, and some routes listed may run seasonally, in one direction only, or as a charter service on behalf of a state or territory government. 

QantasLink doesn't operate its own network of 'QantasLink Lounges'. However, as a subsidiary of the Qantas Group, eligible QantasLink passengers can access Qantas lounges – including Qantas Regional Lounges – as though they were travelling on a regular Qantas flight.

Passengers on QantasLink flights who are Qantas Club members, Qantas Gold frequent flyers or Oneworld Sapphire frequent flyers of other airlines are welcome to visit domestic Qantas Clubs, where available.

Travelling with QantasLink from Broome? There's a Qantas Club waiting for you.
Travelling with QantasLink from Broome? There's a Qantas Club waiting for you.

Travellers flying in business class, or holding Qantas Platinum, Platinum One or another Oneworld Emerald frequent flyer card, can visit the Qantas Club, or where available, the separate Qantas Business Lounge.

Members of Qantas' invitation-only Chairman's Lounge program can visit all of the above, as well as Chairman's Lounges in available locations.

Access is the same for QantasLink passengers as it is for 'regular' Qantas passengers.

Additionally, holders of single-use lounge passes can use these for lounge access prior to a QantasLink flight, in the same way as they can prior to a Qantas (or Jetstar) flight.

Lounges for Qantas and QantasLink passengers can be found across Australia, as below.

  • Qantas Clubs can be found in Adelaide, Alice Springs, Brisbane, Broome, Cairns, Canberra, Coffs Harbour, Darwin, Devonport, Emerald, Gladstone, Gold Coast, Hobart, Kalgoorlie, Karratha, Launceston, Mackay, Melbourne, Perth, Port Hedland, Rockhampton, Sydney, Tamworth and Townsville.
  • Business Lounges are located in Brisbane, Canberra, Perth, Sydney and Melbourne.
  • Chairman's Lounges are tucked away at Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Perth, Sydney and Melbourne airports.

At the time of writing, Qantas Club lounges in Port Hedland and Rockhampton are closed.

Passengers who have access to a higher-tier lounge can also visit lower-tiered lounges. This also applies at airports where a higher-tier lounge is not available.

The Qantas Club in Karratha, Western Australia.
The Qantas Club in Karratha, Western Australia.

For example, a business class passenger or Platinum frequent flyer would use the Qantas Club in airports that don't have a Business Lounge – and at those that do, they can choose to visit either the Business Lounge or the Qantas Club.

Be mindful that the list above includes all lounges across the Qantas domestic network. 

At airports where a lounge isn't provided – or where a lounge exists, but it remains closed – no alternative is available.

At the time of writing, there are no QantasLink aircraft equipped with inflight Internet access allowing general web browsing.

QantasLink's jet aircraft (Boeing 717, Fokker 100 and Embraer E190) are expected to be fitted with WiFi by the end of 2022, however, this only provides inflight entertainment via the Qantas app: not general web browsing, as is available on many of Qantas' other mainline aircraft.

There are currently no plans to fit smaller QantasLink aircraft, such as its Bombardier turboprop fleet, with inflight WiFi or entertainment.

Depending on the route you're taking, the time of day, the duration of your flight and your cabin of choice, you could be offered anything from a quick drink and snack through to a full inflight meal.

All food, and most beverages, are complimentary on QantasLink flights in economy.
All food, and most beverages, are complimentary on QantasLink flights in economy.

Wine and beer are also often complimentary in economy class on evening flights, although this again will vary by route and by day of the week.

QantasLink Boeing 717 business class review: Brisbane-Canberra

QantasLink Boeing 717 economy class review: Canberra-Brisbane

QantasLink Dash 8 Q400 economy class review: Sydney-Canberra

QantasLink Airbus A320 economy class review: Perth-Broome-Perth

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Jan 2014

Total posts 320

Most of the services Townsville to Brisbane are also Qlink 717’s these days and many are the horrible old 125 seat one class variety, they are a disgrace and should be flown to the desert and left there. I don’t see how QF can justify charging the same price for a ticket to fly on one of these horrible things as they do to fly on a 737.

KW72 Banned
KW72 Banned

17 Jun 2020

Total posts 236

Agreed. Don't understand why people rave about Qantas being full service and flying in Australia compared to Europe and the USA, especially given the prices. On a lot of markets you get aircraft like F100 or the 125 seat one class 717. These are old aircraft with no wifi, no IFE of any form and the food offering is usually something like crackers. Pretty pathetic.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

30 May 2013

Total posts 373

There seem to be a few QantasLink routes missed out in this article, including Melbourne-Launceston, Sydney-Ballina and Sydney-Gold Coast.

24 Apr 2012

Total posts 2438

Hi both, as noted in the article, the route list above is merely a snapshot of the network, not a comprehensive list of flights and routes.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

03 Mar 2014

Total posts 20

Melbourne-Launceston has not been operated by Qantas mainline for close to 15 years and Sydney-Ballina launched this year with QantasLink.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

30 May 2013

Total posts 373

It also shows Melbourne - Hobart. QantasLink hasn't flown into Hobart from Melbourne for years. However, I understand that this will be changing in the coming months with the 717's coming back on the route.

01 Jul 2021

Total posts 39

QantasLink sometimes fly's between Melbourne to Gold Coast


22 Oct 2012

Total posts 317

It's always annoyed me that when flying on Qlink Dash8 services that I can't select my seat, other than a window/aisle preference.   Qantas' MMB gives the false information that I can select my seat from the operating airline's website, but of course Qlink does not have a seperate website.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

15 Jan 2017

Total posts 7

Maybe I am lucky but as a platinum member I have been allowed to check in two bags on a regular basis when flying on the Dash either direct to Sydney or transiting to other centres and booked economy or business. I hope this never stops. Also generally ok with 8- 9kg carry on baggage even when weighed (except for once with a new check in staff but I haven’t seen her again). Premium hand luggage is excellent, I can’t work out why it can’t have a higher weight limit if no check in as it just goes into the luggage hold and is the same amount of handling for baggage staff (or even less in some occasions).

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

13 Jan 2018

Total posts 44

In 25 years of flying on QantasLink (Eastern Australia, Southern Australia Airlines) I have never once been restricted to the baggage allowances either published on the QANTAS website or in this article. I have never, ever had any trouble with 2 bags up to 32kg or even 3 bags up to 32kg when needed transferring to flights to the USA. Even in variants as small as the Dash 8-200.

BTW, because of the often dubious on-time performance of the Dash 8, the local vernacular often calls them the Dash Late.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

14 Sep 2012

Total posts 381

Just flew Sydney - Broken Hill return with QFLink and by all accounts they were great. Maybe the catering could go up a notch it was fairly basic even for this 2.5hr flight, not suggesting heated meals but something more than crisps and sweet biscuits, maybe small package sandwiches? I agree they definitely need wifi and should allow pre-seating beyond aisle/window.

24 Sep 2017

Total posts 7

The author of the article has forgotten to warn readers to NEVER go into the toilet on one of those 717s. Its old and dirty and not properly cleaned. 

The QantasLink 717s really are past their used by date, everyone who has had to travel on them knowns this.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

30 May 2013

Total posts 373

I couldn't agree more. The toilet on the 717 I just flew on was filthy.

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