REVIEW: QF2422, Newcastle to Brisbane (Dash 8 Q400)

Qantas Dash 8 Q400 (VH-QOP)

Flight Review, Qantas Airways (QF2422), Newcastle (NTL) to Brisbane (BNE).
Date Flown: 13/08/2018

Qantas currently operates daily flights out of Newcastle Airport, travelling between Newcastle and Brisbane. Qantas share these flights with their low cost carrier, Jetstar. Jetstar operates a more frequent schedule out of Newcastle, offering passengers a choice of 21 flights each week, with Qantas only operating 11 flights each week. Both Qantas Group carriers offer a combined total of 32 flights each week between these two cities. Qantas utilise their fleet of De Havilland Dash 8 Q400 aircraft and the Jetstar operated flights rely upon their Airbus A320-200 fleet.

Qantas De Havilland Dash 8 Q400 Aircraft

The choice of choosing which carrier you travel with is all up to personal preference, the departure time, comfort and pricing are all the main deciding factors. For this flight I was flying on a Qantas Link flight, flying up to Brisbane with the flight number of QF2422.

The aircraft that operated this sector was VH-QOP it was delivered to Qantas back in 2009 and is still painted in the ‘New Roo’ livery and it is yet to be re-painted into the current ‘Silver Roo’ livery. The Q400 aircraft is also powered by two Pratt and Whitney 150A propellers.

Qantas Dash 8 Q400 Seat Map

On this flight I was fortunate enough to be seated in Row 2 at the front of the cabin, in Seat 2A. The cabin has a total passenger capacity of 74 seats in an all economy cabin, configured into a 2-2 configuration.
Click here for the aircraft seat map.

Check-In
Newcastle Airport is a flash modern terminal offering passengers everything they need prior to boarding the aircraft. The check-in area is huge with a vast amount of check-in desks on offer, it’s simple and straightforward to navigate around with the Qantas check-in area was extremely well signposted. Unfortunately, there is no priority queue as it is a regional airport, but there is really no need for one as there would never be a huge line. At the time when I was checking in there was no one else in the queue and I was able to walk straight up to the counter.

Newcastle Airport Terminal

The check-in assistant at the Qantas desk was extremely helpful and checked my bags through to my final destination, as I was connecting onto another flight after arriving into Brisbane that evening. My checked in luggage was also tagged as ‘priority’ which was awesome.

Getting through security was easy as there was no one else in the queue at the time, and I just had to put my items on the x-ray belt and walk through the scanner.

Due to the lack of Qantas operated flights operating in and out of Newcastle Airport, there is no airport lounge on offer to passengers, not that it is an issue as it isn’t needed anyway. The airport departure area offers an immense amount of seating options, food retailers and souvenir shops. The airport was quiet while I was waiting for my flight and there were more than enough seating options to choose from, perfect if you needed to grab a quick bite to eat prior to departure.

Boarding and Departure
Boarding commenced at 11:30am at Gate 3, the airport terminal faces out towards the runway and departure gates, allowing for some impressive views while you’re waiting for your flight, perfect for any AvGeek! There was a slight queue at the gate waiting to board the flight, but it moved quickly and I didn’t have to wait at all, as the ground crew processed everyone promptly and efficiently.

Boarding Commences at Gate 3

The gentleman at the gate scanned my Qantas Frequent Flyer membership card and handed me over a copy of the paper boarding pass, Qantas Ground Crew use a boarding ramp to make it easier to board the aircraft, instead of using stairs. The Customer Service Manager (CSM) on board was polite at welcoming everyone on board as they stepped onto the aircraft, she directed everyone to their seat and acknowledged every passengers individual loyalty status.

Departing Newcastle Airport from Runway 30 (RWY30)

The flight pushed back from the gate at 11:50am and we had a short taxi to Runway 30 (RWY30). As the plane departed Newcastle we flew out over Balickera, and headed north-east en route to Brisbane.

The flight had a cruising altitude of 23,000ft along with a flight time of just over one hour.

Inflight and Arrival
When you are seated in the front section of the cabin you are able to get some impressive views from the window as there is no propeller or wing in the way of the view. The flight was full, with only a few spare seats at the front of the cabin.

For a one hour flight the meal on board was far more than I expected to receive. The refreshment that was handed out during the flight was a smoked ham and Dijon mustard sandwich, it was delicious! Accompanying the refreshment was a full drinks service, offering various juices, tea, coffee, soft drink and water. I decided to have a can of coke, a bottle of water and a cup of tea.

In Flight Refreshment Service

The flight was relatively smooth, and I didn’t have any major bumps at any point during the flight, I guess the clear blue skies helped out with this.

As the descent into Brisbane commenced the cabin was prepared for landing and the seatbelt sign was turned on. Within 15 minutes we landed on Runway 01 (RWY01) at Brisbane Airport and taxied around to Gate 6, which is home to all of the turbo-prop flights into Brisbane. We arrived slightly behind schedule at 1:02pm, 27 minutes late.

Beginning the descent into Brisbane

There was a short wait to get off the aircraft, as the ground crew worked quickly to get the plane ready for disembarkation, as the seat belt sign was turned off everyone immediately jumped out of their seats. As we had arrived at a stand-off bay a far distance away from the terminal, Qantas relies upon Carbridge to collect disembarking passengers from the aircraft and take us back to the terminal. The best part about getting on the bus after we landed was getting to see a behind the scenes view of Brisbane Airport on the way back to the terminal, seeing parts of the terminal that I have never seen before.

As I was continuing onto another Qantas operated flight later that evening I made sure that I stayed on the secure side of the airport as it saves me having to go through security all over again. As soon as you enter the terminal from where the bus drops you off there are two walkways you can take.

One takes you all the way to baggage claim, and the other which I took, keeps you airside and will take you directly to the departures area. After getting back into the departure area of the terminal I headed straight towards the Qantas Lounge Precinct before getting on my next flight later that evening.

Qantas Lounge Precinct

Summary
Overall, the flight was great. All of the Qantas crew that I encountered said hello and made me feel welcome, right from check-in at Newcastle Airport all the way to arriving into the Qantas lounge at Brisbane Airport. The CSM on board was extremely nice to everyone throughout the flight and made sure that everyone was looked after.

The food offerings on this flight really impressed me the most I would have to say, offering more food and drink that I had pictured in my head. The views while flying over the land were breathtaking, offering views that I had never seen before.

Thankfully, Qantas are currently in the process of upgrading their fleet of De Havilland Dash 8 fleet which will see new cabin interiors, floors and seats being installed, while all being incorporated with a brand new colour scheme. The regional propeller propelled aircraft are comfortable to fly in and allow you to sit back and enjoy the journey.


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.

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