We recently travelled back to Mount Beauty via Albury to visit family. You may not know but Qantas offers direct flights between Brisbane and Albury.

We booked our flight with points which was super handy.

This was our first time flying with our son Gideon who is just under 6 months old.

Brisbane Airport

We arrived at Brisbane Airport and I dropped Gideon and Danielle off. I had pre booked airport parking long term. It was super hard to find – it’s actually called AirPark and is located a good 5-6 minute drive from the domestic terminal – the bus ride took about 15 minutes all up to get back to the terminal. It is nice that they came up with a cool name, bur I think calling it Long Term Parking would be more practical and make it easier to find!

When I got back to the terminal I met up with Danielle and we lined up at the service counter where we waited about 10 mins. The lady was super helpful. We had Qantas lounge passes so we didn’t have to go through the regular security line, instead, they have a Qantas lounge security entry area which is much faster.

I hadn’t realised I needed to link the lounge passes to our booking, so we had to take about 10 minutes to set that up before they would let us through.

The Brisbane Qantas Lounge

Once inside we were able to find a quiet seat and relax. I got some food while Danielle did some work. The food options were far more basic than I remember experiencing in the Qantas Lounge. Once upon a time, I remember a whole range of breakfast options, from scrambled eggs, to sausages and bacon, through to cereals and yoghurt. Now, the only thing they really had was a toasted cheese sandwich that you had to make yourself. I have definitely experienced much better options in the Virgin Lounge lately. Thankfully our lounge passes were complimentary, but I think if I was forking out in excess of $500 for a lounge membership, I’d be pretty disappointed. It might be just me, but in an airport lounge, I want to grab a quick bight to eat and relax, not wait around a crowded sandwich press waiting for something to cook.

That said, it was still a nice place to relax before going to board our plane. Airports can be a stressful environment if you are travelling with kids, so having a lounge pass certainly makes it that little bit more relaxing.

QantasLink Flight to Albury

Our flight was with QantasLink which is a subsidiary of Qantas that serves many of the more regional locations. They fly smaller aircraft, so we had to get on a bus from the terminal out to the aircraft. They gave us a tag to check our pram and some of our hand luggage at the stairs before getting on the plane.

The staff onboard were super helpful and showed us how to put on the baby harness. As Gideon was under two years old, he travelled free, but had to sit on our lap.

We had a bottle of milk ready for him as we were taking off. This helped reduce the pressure on his ears and made take off pretty seamless, although we had to top up with water because he guzzled it down pretty quickly.

Danielle and Gideon onboard Qantas flight to Albury
Danielle and Gideon onboard Qantas flight to Albury

QantasLink Aircraft

The plane itself was a Dash 8 – a large twin prop aircraft, with two seats on either side of the aisle. It was comfortable enough but these planes are pretty old, so no in flight entertainment or wifi. We were pretty busy tending to Gideon or getting some shut eye anyway. The nice thing about this aircraft is the body of the plane sits below the wing, so you get a nice view no matter where you are sitting.

It was roughly a 2 hour flight and they fed us some light snacks onboard. Again, on previous QantasLink flights, I remember we used to get generous snack boxes, but now, it is a much smaller snack. That said, the steward made time to find me some extra snacks to match my dietary requirements.

Arriving in Albury

Landing was pretty bumpy coming in to Albury Airport as it was a rainy afternoon, but the flight crew did a great job, and Gideon pretty much slept until we were on the ground.

We weren’t in a rush to get off the plane so we waited until everyone else was off before trying to move Gideon. The only downside was that the baggage crew had left our tagged carry on luggage and pram sitting on the tarmac in the rain.

We quickly raced inside to dry off. The airport in Albury is small and regional, so it is pretty quiet inside and easy to collect luggage. 

Inside the Albury Airport Terminal
Inside the Albury Airport Terminal

Final Thoughts on Flying with Qantas

Overall it was a good trip, the staff were all really helpful, and went out of their way to help us with Gideon, but I think the food options and quality lets Qantas down compared to what it used to be. Especially when you consider it is Australia’s premium airline, the food is really the main differentiator from Virgin Australia. If Qantas can up their game with inflight food and in their lounge, then I think they can still command that higher price they charge over other airlines.

Have you flown into Albury Airport? What was your journey like?