The QantasLink Boeing 717 is being phased out, so this was almost certainly my last flight on one in Australia. Not only that, it is likely my very last flight on this aircraft type, as there are not many left in service.

After a few nights in Launceston, we arrived at the airport and spent some time in the Qantas Regional Lounge before the flight. Boarding was called and it was down to the gate to get on the plane.

Boarding By Steps

It’s always a treat to fly out of smaller airports and have to use the steps to board the plane. Of course, this only works when the weather is nice, otherwise it’s very uncomfortable when it’s windy and raining.

No problem with that kind of thing in Australia for most of the year, as it’s generally very sunny. For a change I was not one of the first on board, which meant waiting in the queue, but that was totally fine with me.

QF1562 – Launceston to Sydney (LST-SYD)
14 February 2024
Boeing 717-200 – VH-YQT
Seat: Business Class 1C
Departure: 12:15 Arrival: 13:55

Business class on the aircraft is arranged two by two, which you can see on the seat map here. It’s all quite comfortable really, and fine for a flight lasting less than two hours.

After sitting down, it was time to relax a little while the remaining passengers boarded. That didn’t take long, as the plane only has 110 seats.

Safety On Board

While waiting, I had a look at the safety card, which will be the final version for this type. It’s different to one I happen to have at home somewhere, so it has been updated at some point.

You might be surprised to know that these cards change more often than you think. Some airlines keep the issue number on their cards, and I’ve seen the number as high as five. It makes me wonder what changes so much that it needs a total redesign every once in a while.

Lunch on the QantasLink Boeing 717

Qantas have the dubious distinction in my head of having some of the worst domestic business class food in the sky. I’ve never had more crappy meals than when flying with them, and it makes me wonder how they get away with charging so much. This time around the choices were beef or a pork stir-fry and I went with the beef, which was a terrible choice.

The beef was tough to cut, unbelievably rubbery to chew and all round crap. Total caca and really very disappointing. I caught the attention of our crew member and asked if I could have the pork stir-fry and had that delivered. I’m happy to report that was really delicious. Even so, there is no excuse to serve almost inedible food in business class and Qantas wins in that category.

Overall Thoughts

My final flight on a QantasLink Boeing 717 was a mixed bag. I live for the food served on board a flight and I am usually not disappointed. In fact, every time I have been, it’s been flying Qantas and this is an airline based in a country that has excellent food. It just boggles my mind how they manage to get it wrong, which also happened on the flight down to Launceston.

I’ll miss the Boeing 717 as it was the very last passenger jet McDonnell Douglas produced. The end of an era is nigh for this jet, though you can still find it in service for a while longer in Australia and maybe a little longer again at Delta Air Lines and Hawaiian Airlines in the USA.

Have you flown QantasLink in business class before? What do you think of the on board catering? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

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