Flight Review, Qantas Airways (QF2142/QF2143), Adelaide (ADL) to Kingscote (KGC) Return
Date Flown: 04/08/2018
Qantas has restarted flights between Adelaide and Kingscote, commencing back in December 2017, utilizing the airline’s fleet of De Havilland Dash 8 Q300 aircraft, the mid-sized regional jet in the airline’s fleet.
The flights depart each week on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday from Adelaide Airport, around mid-morning and arrive into Kingscote Airport just before lunch time.
Flights depart Kingscote Airport on the same day as they arrive, flights can be seen leaving Kingscote at mid-day and arrive back into Adelaide after lunch. The approximate flight time for this segment is only 40 minutes, but quite often you will get a tail wind and flights can only take as little as 20 minutes.
The Qantas De Havilland Dash 8 Q300 aircrafts are configured into an all economy cabin offering 50 seats in a 2-2 cabin layout with the aircraft having twelve rows. At the front of the aircraft in Row 1, seats E and F face backwards and look in the opposite direction of travel. Rows 1 and 10 are both exit rows.
Click here for the seat map.
VH-TQY was the aircraft that operated this return service. The aircraft was delivered to Qantas back in November 2000, with the aircraft being almost 18 years old, at present the cabin interior looks outdated and that it has seen better days. Thankfully earlier this year Qantas announced a full reconfiguration of the interior, seeing new seats, flooring and a new colour scheme incorporated in to the cabin. Unlike a majority of the Qantas fleet, these aircraft are powered by two propellers. The Q300 aircraft has two Pratt and Whitney 123E propellers.
On my flight over to Kingscote I was seated in Row3, Seat 3A and for the return flight back to Adelaide I was seated in Row 1, Seat 1D.
My Journey started at Adelaide Airport in the morning at around 8am, the check in area inside the terminal was empty at the time, but the security screening line was large. I used the priority security screening queue to fast track through security, which is reserved for status passengers as well as passengers travelling in Business, regardless of which airline they are travelling on.
To get onto my flight, I need to check in and get a boarding pass. Qantas Platinum One, Platinum, Gold and Qantas Club members are able to check in for their flight at the Qantas Club situated across from Gate 21. Simply let the lounge attendant know at the desk that you need to check in. As long as you have your frequent flyer membership card or booking reference number handy they can check you in for your flight and will also present you with your boarding pass or in this case passes.
The lounge staff are extremely friendly and welcoming throughout the whole lounge experience. I made my way into the lounge after checking in, the usual breakfast spread was on offer with fruit salad, baked beans, eggs, porridge and toast along with many more dishes to choose from. Freshly made barista coffee is also available in the lounge, the perfect way to wake up in the morning.
Boarding and Departure
Boarding commenced soon after 10:20am from Gate 50, a long walk from the lounge as it is right down the end of the terminal. There is no dedicated premium boarding line as there aren’t many people travelling on regional flights, compared to longer domestic flights. My boarding pass was scanned, with little to no wait at the gate. Once your boarding pass has been scanned follow the stairs down to ground level, there is also a lift provided.
If you are travelling with large carry on items a Qantas Ground staff member will ticket your bags with a ‘premium hand luggage’ bag tag, it will then be placed in the baggage compartment as the overhead storage bins in the Q300 are on the small side. There is no way large carry-on items would fit into the overhead locker.
Boarding the aircraft was a friendly experience with Nikita checking everyone’s boarding pass and welcoming them on-board, she was always smiling and made sure that she acknowledged every passenger that boarded the aircraft, as well as acknowledging everyone’s individual status.
Prior to departure the Customer Service Manager (CSM) on board gave everyone a bottle of water. The plane pushed back at 10:45am and taxied around for a Runway 05 (RWY05) departure, taking off over the Adelaide CBD. The views overlooking the city were amazing and looking out to the coast was picturesque. The flight to Kingscote was only 28 minutes.
Inflight and Arrival
When sitting in Row 3 you are right next to the propeller, allowing for some impressive views from the window.
On such a short flight there isn’t any time for a meal on-board, instead you are offered a small snack, on this flight it was a packet of biscuits. The flight over was extremely smooth, only having a few bumps when coming into land at Kingscote Airport, the skies were clear all the way over which allowed for some great views, especially once we started to descend into Kingscote.
The aircraft landed on Runway 01 (RWY01) at and taxied around to Gate 1, we had an altitude of 10,000ft on the flight over, which was just below the clouds.
Once the seatbelt sign was turned off everyone immediately jumped out of their seats and began to form a line down the aisle of the aircraft, the door opened soon after and it didn’t take too long to disembark. Nikita thanked every passenger for flying with Qantas as they disembarked the aircraft.
As I was getting straight back on the return flight to Adelaide, as soon as I disembarked the aircraft I made my way through the terminal and back to the boarding gate all set for my flight back.
For a regional airport Kingscote is extremely modern, the check-in area is set up for only Qantas and Regional Express flights. There is a couple of car hire companies with desks situated in the airport terminal, perfect if you are looking for an easy way to navigate around Kangaroo Island. The terminal has four boarding gates in total, with the outbound flight departing from Gate 1. I already had my boarding pass as I had checked in for the return flight in Adelaide, so there was no need to check in again.
Boarding and Departure
Boarding commenced at Gate 1 at 11:30am, there is a small seating area at the gate with large windows overlooking the runway and departure gates. The ground crew at Kingscote Airport were extremely friendly and every airport personnel that you encountered made sure they said hello.
The same crew that operated the flight to Kingscote were operating the back to Adelaide for the return leg. Nikita was shocked to see that I was heading straight back to Adelaide so soon, once again upon boarding the aircraft she welcomed everyone on-board and acknowledged every passengers status.
For this flight I was seated in Row 1, Seat 1D, this row is an emergency exit row with passengers needing to meet the required specifications to sit in this row. The load factor on the return sector was low with a huge amount of seats on-board left empty, making for a more comfortable journey.
As the forward aircraft door was closed and the safety demonstration had been conducted we pushed back and made our way down to the end of Runway 01 (RWY01) for departure. The first officer on-board made a cabin announcement that we have to wait for Air Traffic Control to assign us a timeslot.
Inflight and Arrival
As soon as the seatbelt sign was turned off the CSM brought around a bottle of water for everyone with the snack service following behind, this time it was a small packet of rice crackers. We flew at an altitude of 9,000ft which at times was just going through the bottom of some low clouds. Once the clouds lifted the view was just as amazing as the flight over, especially now since the sun had decided to come out. As the forward aircraft door was closed and the safety demonstration had been conducted we pushed back and made our way down to the end of Runway 01 (RWY01) for departure. The first officer on-board made a cabin announcement that we have to wait for Air Traffic Control to assign us a timeslot.
The plane took off at 11:50am, 22 minutes behind schedule, with the flight taking off over the north of Kangaroo Island.
Inflight and Arrival
As soon as the seatbelt sign was turned off the CSM brought around a bottle of water for everyone with the snack service following behind, this time it was a small packet of rice crackers. We flew at an altitude of 9,000ft which at times was just going through the bottom of some low clouds. Once the clouds lifted the view was just as amazing as the flight over, especially now since the sun had decided to come out.
Row 1 is the only row on-board the aircraft that has two backwards facing seats, seats 1E and 1F face the opposite direction of travel. If you are the only passenger in this row it is a huge bonus as here is an immense amount of legroom, although it could become a bit squishy if all those seats were occupied.
The plane landed on Runway 05 (RWY05) at Adelaide Airport, taxiing back around to Gate 50. The seat belt sign was soon turned off after the propellers stopped turning. Once again Nikita wished everyone a pleasant journey and thanked everyone for flying with Qantas as they disembarked the aircraft.
As we didn’t go through security in Kingscote Airport we had to go through screening once we arrive at Adelaide Airport. There is a separate security screening area at the end of the walkway after getting off the aircraft. Once you have cleared through security you will need to get the lift back up to the departure level of the terminal, from there if you have checked in bags that you need to collect you can make your way down to the baggage claim area or make your way to a departure gate if you are flying to an onwards destination.
Doing a quick rotation of a sector is a good way of starting a conversation with the crew on-board, especially on regional flights when it is the same crew flying you back to your home port. Nikita did an amazing job at welcoming everyone on-board and made everyone feel as comfortable as possible during the flight.
The views from the Dash 8 Q300 were amazing, as you are flying at a lower altitude you can see a lot more of the scenery outside. One thing that did amaze me on-board the aircraft was the generous legroom that was on offer, offering so much more than many of the other aircraft in the Qantas fleet.
Disclaimer: All the reviews are simply a summary of my experience and opinions from my own point of view. Unless stated, all of the flights and experiences are paid for by myself as a self-funded frequent flyer. No articles or reviews are influenced in any way by a third party or company.