Qantas announced its Perth to Rome route late last year, with the inaugural flight being marked as a “points plane”, a flight entirely reserved for frequent flyers with every seat bookable with points. So, of course, I quickly snapped up a seat for the 16h25 minute flight to Rome!
In this post:
How I booked
Since this was a points plane, every seat was up for sale using Classic Rewards, the most cost-effective Qantas Frequent Flyer redemption. I paid 108,400 Qantas Frequent Flyer Points + $435 in taxes for a one-way flight from Perth to Rome in business.
Qantas Perth to Rome flight schedule: Monday, Wednesday & Saturday with a 10:20 PM departure. These flights are seasonal and will end in October.
Tip: How to get lots of points quick? Check out our best Qantas card sign-up bonuses here.
Checking In Perth – Rome
Travel these days isn’t as smooth as it used to be, so when I saw a giant traffic jam leading up to the Qantas T3/T4 terminal in Perth, I feared for the worst. Once inside the terminal building, however, things were surprisingly quiet! Most likely due to the fact I was the second person to check-in.
A few minutes later, boarding pass in hand, I was on my way to the Qantas Transit lounge, which is located after immigration. It’s an interesting concept because this lounge only gets used for the Rome, London, and now Singapore flights (since Qantas closed its lounge at T1, which is the international terminal). The Qantas International Terminal is technically T4, but it’s located within the domestic T3 so expect 2 sets of security screenings to get there.
Qantas International Transit Lounge Perth
The Qantas Transit Lounge in Perth is a beautiful space I’ve never visited before, but the space is very much in line with the new Qantas Business lounge brand we find around the world and locally in (most) domestic airports. There are plenty of seating options, a semi-enclosed outdoor space, as well as a yoga studio where classes are run before flights (none were offered on the Perth to Rome flight).
The lounge also has spacious shower suites with light therapy to prepare you for the journey.
In terms of food, there’s a simple menu of a-la-carte items being offered by the kitchen. For our flight, we’re offered a sausage roll, (which hits the spot) and prawn skewers.
I was expecting more festivities considering this was the inaugural flight. Instead, the official launch appears reserved for McGowan and the traditional media entourage in a few days. Expect to hear “mini first-class” here and there.
A few drinks and bites later, it was time to board!
Qantas Boeing 787-9 Business Cabin
Having flown the A330 multiple times, the cabin of the 787 is a very familiar space, with a few twists! In terms of design, I much prefer the 787 business cabin with cloth seat covers and slightly darker faux wood detailing. Another notable difference is that the seats are staggered in a different order.
This means 1A & 1K start as the window seats, with each second seat being an aisle seat. Personally, I prefer the window as it offers much more privacy and direct access to the enormous windows on the 787.
The 787 has a main cabin with a second mini business cabin behind the galley and toilets. This is followed by Premium Economy and Economy.
The seats are comfortable, and on long-haul flights, Qantas provides a mattress pad which is more like a seat cover as it doesn’t offer much/if any padding.
When in bed mode, there’s plenty of space to stretch your legs, but the width of the seat isn’t anything to get excited about. I’m not a large person, but I can’t imagine how anyone bigger than me would be comfortable on such a long flight.
Once we’re in the air, everyone gets the same idea and changes into their classic Qantas pyjamas. I join in; it’s a pyjama party.
Food & Beverage: Dinner
Qantas offers a light dinner service followed by breakfast on this flight which departs at 10:20 PM. On today’s flight, I opted for the soup as a starter and the beef fillet as a main.
For drinks, I went for a few glasses of the Jacquart Brut champagne followed by a “Qantas Sky Spritz”; because why not!
The soup was tasty, and Qantas always scores a home run with the bread and Pepe Saya butter; even the Olson salt was a nice detail. The steak, on the other hand, although well presented, was dry as leather.
To finish, I opted for the tiramisu, which was specially added to the menu for this flight. It was “OK”, but nothing Neil Perry could ever present to an Italian nonna.
How do you spend 15+ hours on a plane?
Since it’s such a long flight, the nighttime departure really makes sense. It’s pretty cool to leave in the evening and wake up in Europe! This means most of the flight is spent sleeping (or trying to), followed by binge-watching an entire season of Succession on HBO.
The Qantas IFE is pretty good, and complete box sets of many TV shows are on offer to keep you entertained.
If dinner doesn’t cut it, Qantas offers snacks cooked to order throughout the flight, and there’s also a snack station in the galley.
Amenity kits are also handed out; they contain the usual suspects: lip balm, face/hand cream, toothbrush, eye mask and earbuds; luckily, the 787-9 is pretty quiet!
Crew & Service
I always find that the Qantas crew on International flights are much better and more enthusiastic than the domestic crew. This flight was no different; everyone was excited to be there, which really added to the experience. Everyone was friendly and professional; nothing seemed like a big ask. The cabin manager came and talked to everyone individually while handing out our “inaugural certificates”, which was a nice touch.
Food & Beverage: Breakfast
After a solid few hours of sleep, despite the narrow seat configuration, I felt pretty refreshed. Thankfully the cabin wasn’t running too hot, and the 787 has 2 powerful vents to keep you cool.
After a few coffees, a bit of work and a surprisingly delicious macchiato, it’s time for breakfast.
For breakfast, I opted for some more coffee, black, no sugar and yoghurt with fruit to start. This was followed by an egg and bacon roll, which was crunchy and delicious. Just what I needed!
Finally, the crew unlocks the dimming feature on the windows, and I look out to see the Italian alps roll past.
Summing Up – Qantas Perth to Rome
Some 15h 57 minutes later, we start our descent into Rome ahead of schedule, and I’m feeling surprisingly good after such a long flight! The duration meant I got adequate sleep and of course, flying a modern jet helps with jetlag too. Overall, the flight was flawless (not something Qantas is particularly known for these days!). The Perth to Rome route offers a quick and efficient way for Australians to get to the European continent without any stopovers in Asia or the Middle East, so I can see the appeal.
Is this the best product, though? Definitely not; Qantas always plays catch up with its competitors, and considering the cash price of this ticket is in excess of $10,000, I’d argue you can find better value when adding in a stop somewhere. However, in terms of convenience, you can’t beat it!