Trip Reports

QantasLink Boeing 717 to Hobart

Flying on the last of the Maddogs back home

After flying up the morning prior on a Rex Saab 340, and a day of sightseeing & planespotting it was time for me to fly back home, this time on board a QantasLink Boeing 717-200. My first time in many years on a 717, having previously flown from Sydney on one back in 2017, and a few times on Jetstar birds as a baby.

Flight Details
Aircraft TypeBoeing 717-200
RouteHobart to Melbourne Tullamarine
Flight NumberQF1550
My ride home last time I saw it, VH-YQX in February 2020

I arrived at the airport 4 hours early, to have some time for planespotting form the Terminal 4 carpark, however I failed to consider the position of the sun, so most of the photos came out awfully backlit. Nonetheless, here are some the highlights from my first time planespotting outside of Tasmania with a proper camera!

After a fantastic hour and a half of planespotting I walked round to Qantas check-in at Terminal 1, where I spent a good 15 minutes trying to work out how to use the self check-in machines. Having finally discovered how to select my destination I printed my boarding pass and headed through security to the virtually empty terminal.

Boeing 717s galore at MEL T1

The only shops open at the time were a wine bar, Hungry Jack’s, a newsagents, Krispy Kreme, and an Asian restaurant that closed about 10 minutes before I got through. Hungry Jacks for dinner, yay…

Manual focus really isn’t my forte

Rather unsurprisingly boarding for my flight was delayed 40 minutes, to ten past eight, as the inbound aircraft, from Maroochydore, had accumulated delays throughout the day. The gate lounge ended up remained pretty empty right up till we were called for boarding. I had specifically booked 19F for a good view of the Roles Royce BR700s, so I got my hopes up for an empty row, only to have my seat reassigned at check-in to 14A, presumably to fill up the exit rows as no one had booked them. I was a little disappointed, but I suppose I got a free upgrade worth $12, and my first time in an exit row, so it wasn’t too bad.

Don’t go stealing my identity

To my disappointment, it was a runway 27 takeoff for us, so no taxi past the international terminal, although it was pretty dark by then so I wouldn’t have seen anything anyway. With just 24 passengers on board it was an impressively early and steep takeoff, and after a wide turn south over the western suburbs we were above the clouds and into the dark sky.

Melbourne by night

The rather meagre inflight service of bottled water and a snack began before we reached cruising altitude, and took the rather weary cabin crew less than five minutes to complete. The avocado dip wasn’t too bad, and the carrots were still crunchy, and after a quick look at the safety cards I started reading some Sherlock Holmes, although the stumpy little armrest on the left was a little annoying.

I really want to try out that tail exit, anyone up to stealing a 717 with me?
The snack…

Around 20 minutes into the flight we began experiencing some rather annoying turbulence, that only got worse the closer we got to Hobart, leading to a bit of a nerve-wracking runway 30 landing in the dark. After the heaviest Hobart landing of my life, we parked at Bay 8, up near the international Gate 6, only to have to walk all the way to Gate 1 in the cold and dark. There was a bit of confusion, as many of the passengers had not registered for arrival beforehand, and had to do so before getting through. I already had my QR code though, so with it scanned, and a few standard covid questions answered I was through and on my way home.

I’ll get round to embedding the full flight video above at some point, so I highly recommend you subscribe to my YouTube channel to make sure you don’t miss it! Overall a pretty good flight, not exactly worth the extra hundred dollars or so over a Jetstar fare, but a 717 is always a novelty! I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this, and don’t forget to check back next Sunday for another post!

One reply on “QantasLink Boeing 717 to Hobart”

Brings back memories of an aborted landing at HBA due to cross winds, much to the cabin crew’s surprise.
A good read.

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