Review: Qantas Darwin to Adelaide QF1951

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On my trip around Australia, I used the Qantas Explorer multi-city ticket to save on my internal Australian flights. This flight report is about the leg from Darwin to Adelaide via Qantas QF1951. (This route originally had the flight code QF757, which is now being used for flights between Townsville and Cairns, while this route is handled by QF1951/1953).

I spent too little time in Darwin exploring the city and Kakadu National Park, but I had plans in Adelaide. A good reason to return to Darwin again!

Patrick Hughes in a lift at the Rydges Darwin Central hotel.

I travel solo of the time. In the picture above, you’ll see what I travel with when there the entire flight itinerary includes a free checked bag: one manageable rollie bag, a rucksack and a hat (you’ve got to stave off the sunshine Down Under). Usually, I travel only with hand luggage.

Darwin Airport Transfers

There are quite a few transfer options to the airport in Darwin. Darwin Airport is about 8km from Darwin city centre and is the only passenger airport serving Darwin, and the busiest airport in the Northern Territory. On this occasion, I needed to be at the airport very early and organised a cab via the concierge at Rydges Darwin Central. At Darwin Airport, there was a remarkably short queue at check-in and security, and I breezed through in less than 10 minutes.

Darwin Airport Pre-Boarding

The airport is quite open and airy, and the best views of the tarmac and apron are from the Dome, a French-style bistro serving up what looked like a decent breakfast (given this is an airport).

Tables and a bar at Dome Restaurant at Darwin Airport

The price of breakfast feels very expensive, particularly if someone was travelling on a tight budget. However, I didn’t have access to a lounge at Darwin Airport, and I wasn’t sure there would be a snack on the Qantas flight, so I decided to get something filling.

Restaurant at Darwin Airport

The ‘big sky’ that you get familiar with in the Northern Territories was putting on quite a show this early morning.

Trucks and trailers at Darwin Airport

Dôme serves tea from Tea Pigs, which I really like.

A teapot, cup and jug at Darwin Airport

Before long my healthy (*cough) breakfast wrap came along: bacon, egg, cheese and spinach in a wrap.  It had HP sauce already in it. Perfection.

A Dome Restaurant breakfast wrap with bacon, egg and spinach

Qantas QF1951: Boarding

QF757 was bang on time. I’m a fan of how Qantas manages boarding on domestic flights. They just let people board when they were ready to board. It’s a bit of a change from European low-fare airlines which use the boarding opportunity as a way to make additional fees from classifying paying groups as ‘priority’. At least on this flight to Adelaide, there was plenty of space for everyone and their bags.

Qantas QF1951 Food & Amenities

For an economy passenger on a Qantas domestic flight, there are no specific amenities. To my surprise, on this 3.5 hour flight, there was a meal.

Qantas 1951 meal of chicken curry and a can of Coke Zero

The offering was a slightly off-kilter chicken curry. The flavour was more fruity than spicy. Perhaps as I’d already had breakfast, the desire was low!

Qantas 1951 meal of chicken curry and a can of Coke Zero - mainly rice

Qantas QF1951: The Flight

When I visit Australia, I have to keep reminding myself that distances are huge. This flight from Darwin to Adelaide was 3.5 hours and I have to say this Embraer E190 was remarkably smooth as we flew over the Red Centre.

I don’t know if the horizon is altered by the clarity of the ozone, a filter on the window or the height of the aircraft, but this picture is one of my favourites from the flight.

Qantas 1951 - view of the horizon

Before landing (and in case our calorific intake was slumping) some chocolate caramels were handed out.  I can’t say I complained!

Some chocolates served on Qantas 1951

And then, when you think you’re all set… some crackers showed up! Yes, I tasted them and then pocketed them as a snack to enjoy in Adelaide!

Soy rice crackers on Qantas 1951

Conclusion

I could get used to the fact that, almost without exception, Qantas flights use air bridges for domestic flights. I’m aware of the many other issues with flying Qantas since the pandemic. However, that air bridge means no delay or faffing around waiting for a bus or transfer to the terminal building that has become the norm for so many European flights.

Booking individual flights with Qantas, Jetstar or Virgin within Australia will soon rack up the costs of a trip to Australia. It makes a lot of sense to be organised enough before visiting Australia to use the Qantas Explorer ticket, or at least compare it to individual bookings. This flight from Darwin to Adelaide was smooth, well-catered and as comfortable as you could wish for from a mid-length domestic flight. Many other airlines could take note.

Qantas 1951 at Adelaide Airport in 2019

QF757 was a smooth and easy flight – highly recommended!

I'm Patrick, your Irish guide to the skies and beyond. With 58 countries visited, my journeys have taken me from busy economy to fabulous first-class.

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