Qantas 717-200 CNS-BNE in J Class | Australian Frequent Flyer
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Qantas 717-200 CNS-BNE in J Class

kurtislee09

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This flight was originally booked as Y (flex) then Qantas sent me an invitation to upgrade about 2 weeks prior to the flight for 8000 points, so I decided to go for it because I've always wanted to try their J product on the 717 anyway. One day prior to departure I got a message saying that my upgrade was successful so here it is. Qantas has revamped their 717 fleet for quite a while and the interior is now more sleek and comfortable, both Y and J.

Departing from CNS I had access to the QP and the food options was okay but not great, I was still able to make some decent breakfast for myself.

There are 3 rows of seat in J, like what they have on their 737s. There is no IFE in the seats but WiFi is available so you can stream movies on the Qantas entertainment app.

The meal tasted nice. There were 2 choices (I forgot about the other one) and I went for the roasted duck with rice, served with sourdough and a coconut cake. The crew forgot about my coffee but I was full so I didn't bother asking for one.

USB charging is provided.

The flight departed late but arrived not too long after ETA

Overall a comfortable 2-hour flight with a bonus gorgeous approach into BNE.
 

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esseeeayeenn

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I thought so too. 2 hours in J with nice food, comfy seats and lounge access (well its QP but still better than wandering around the terminal in CNS)
Anything is better than wandering around the terminal in CNS.
Basically a food hall with departure gates.
 

esseeeayeenn

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Not to mention the real food hall. OOL. 😀

That takes some beating.
I used to live at Mermaid Beach but I haven't been to OOL as an adult.
Never had a reason to land there rather than BNE.
Never felt tempted either.
 

ovtraveller

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Dec 6, 2018
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Any upgrade is a gift, especially at a lower than expected rate. I recall the pleasure of receiving a confirmative email from QF in Seattle to say that my upgrade request for three of us from EP to J from LA to Melb. had been successful. Not surprisingly my daughter reported that she was ruined for life following her first long range flight in J. Guess I know now how to use my QFFs for future family outings.
 

Bundy Bear

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I am flying J up to Cairns in a few weeks, so will be seeing how good the 717 is on this route, 1:25pm hopefully lunch flight with alcohol.
 

kgreenuq

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Oct 10, 2018
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And I just reckon there isn't enough seats
Cairns's terminal is a disaster -- not enough seats, gate queues that snake through the terminal and obstruct foot traffic, and with Jetstar's insistence that carry-on luggage be weighed meaning you lose your place in the queue, the best thing about the terminal is leaving it. If there was an emergency, it would end in tragedy.
 

ovtraveller

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Dec 6, 2018
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I must agree with Kgreenuq’s assessment of the Cairns terminal. It is a food hall, lacking signage after security. First time users are given no hint where the Q lounge is. The gate areas are too small to accommodate a full load of pax on either the B737 or A 330 flights to Melb. International arrivals must wonder what planet they have landed on if transferring to a domestic flight.
 

Fruitloop

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Nov 9, 2019
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Nice write-up OP.

The domestic terminal in Cairns is being revamped. It was poor as noted above for lack of seats and signage, but also a lot of wasted space away from the gates that could be utilised. I have no confidence the revamp will make things better for passengers but we can hope!
 

2infinity

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Most airports don't have much past security other than some seats, food and shopping outlets. Cairns airport isn't overly bad in that respect. Just the same as most other major airports. I agree with the line-up for boarding at gates comments above though. It is pretty bad.

The big thing I don't like about Cairns airport is...……...you can't see any planes!!!!!! It's an airport for crying out loud, you should be able to see a plane. You're stuck in a windowless building. If you have lounge access, you get the only views to the outside world, so it isn't too bad from the lounges. There is only 1 window in the whole terminal with outside views and that is at the top where the elevator opens for lounge access. There is 3-4 seater chair if you want to sit and stare out the window. It seems a bit out of place though and because the lounges are a bit aways from the rest of the terminal, you'd never even know it was there unless you are going to the lounges.

I'm sure there are other airports around the world where you can't see any planes or have natural lighting, but none that I've ever been too. I'm not aware of any others in Australia, especially large airports. Shame on you Cairns Airport Ltd.

Oh and i'll be taking the Qantas 717 in J in February. Looking forward to it.
 

DC3

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I’ve been through CNS many times. I find it to be a very tired-looking place. Poor layout and a tad depressing. Maybe gutting it or a total rebuild is needed. Waiting upstairs in the gate area is woeful. The airport is a poor reflection on the Tropical North.

The Qantas Pub is good and has a great view across the tarmac/runway and rainforest hills.
 

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