We had originally planned to fly to Cairns with Qantas in August 2021 but had to delay our travel plans due to a Covid lockdown. Thankfully Qantas and Flight Centre made it pretty easy to reschedule.

Brisbane Airport Accommodation

Our flight was early out of Brisbane Airport so we arranged to stay at the Ibis Budget. We initially had thought we’d booked the nicer Ibis Brisbane Airport – these hotels are in different locations and the Ibis Budget doesn’t have a shuttle to the airport (something to remember for next time). The rooms at the Ibis Budget are very small. We struggled to fit our luggage in the room, but if you want to save some money and just need something basic, you could make this work.

Brisbane Airport Parking

Brisbane Airport has plenty of on-site parking. But to save some money we went with one of the private providers near our hotel. We checked our car into Andrew’s Airport Parking the night before. Therefore, we needed to take an Uber to airport in the morning. It was super quick and less than a $15 fare.

When we arrived at the airport we had to wear masks as at this point in time masks were required at every airport and in every flight in Australia.

Checking In With Qantas

I had checked in via the Qantas app before we got to the airport so we just needed to print luggage tags. At Brisbane airport this is done through electronic kiosks. We had some trouble with the automated luggage checkin. It wanted to charge us for additional bags. Apparently the issue was because my electronic Qantas tag was clashing with the regular bag tag – your normally don’t need both apparently.  

Once through security we grabbed some breaky. It doesn’t hurt to look around at different food places at Brisbane Airport. There is one cafe that seems to get most of the business. This is the one we went to, it wasn’t until after we placed our order that we realised there were a bunch of other options further in.

Getting ready to board our Qantas flight
Getting ready to board our Qantas flight

We then headed to the gate for boarding. Boarding was pretty seemless. I had my boarding pass on my Qantas app, but also had a paper version which I scanned.  We made our way to our seats – it seemed like a full flight.

The Flight

The plane we flew in was a Boeing 737-800. Although we had been on a plane this size with Qantas previously, the seats seemed smaller than usual. It may have been because there were three of us with broad shoulders in a row. 

Onboard our Qantas flight home from Cairns
Onboard our Qantas flight home from Cairns

On this flight there weren’t any personal entertainment screens, but there was free wifi and we could connect to the Qantas Entertainment app via our own devices. This allowed us to watch a movie during our journey. Make sure you download the app prior to your flight with Qantas. Our flight back to Brisbane did have entertainment screens provided, which I find easier than using my phone.

Once in the air, the flight attendants came through the cabin and served a breakfast snack of Quiche Lorraine.

Arriving at Cairns Airport

Flying into Cairns is quite interesting if you have a window seat as the city and airport are surrounded b6 steep mountains. Cairns airport was pretty quiet due to Covid 19 border closures. It has a really interesting layout, with all the lounges in a centralised area.

On the tarmac in Cairns
On the tarmac in Cairns

Once we had our bags we ordered an Uber to our hotel which was quick and easy. Our Uber driver was more than happy to give us a quick your of the town along the way. 

We were at our hotel nice and early with plenty of time to explore Cairns. Check out our other posts on Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef.

Have you flown to Cairns? What airline did you fly with and what was your experience?