Sunstate Airlines is a regional Australian airline that flies passenger flights under the QantasLink name. The airline is a subsidiary of Qantas and was created to contribute towards its domestic flight network. Sunstate mainly flies throughout Queensland but it does fly to other states within the country as well.
Sunstate Airlines only flies under the QantasLink brand and name. This means that its planes are branded as QantasLink and its cabin crew are all in QantasLink uniform. It also means that when buying a Sunstate Airlines flight through Alternative Airlines, it will be listed as a QantasLink flight as the service is exactly the same and passengers aren't able to tell the difference.
The airline launched flights in the early 1980s as 'Sunstate'. It was set up to fly various routes throughout Queensland that were previously flown by Australian Airlines (Trans Australia Airlines at the time). For a time, the airline also operated flights in Victoria and had two separate networks — its airline in Victoria was also called Sunstate Airlines before changing its name to Southern Australia Airlines. Although, even after the name change, the two airlines were connected and run by the same people.
In the 1990s, Sunstate Airlines was acquired by Qantas and in 2001 Qantas rebranded Sunstate Airlines, Southern Australia Airlines and various other regional Australian airlines that it owned into one airline — QantasLink, which is what the airline still flies as today.
The airline's primary hub is at Brisbane Airport, although, it does fly a larger number of flights from Cairns, Townsville, Melbourne and Sydney too.
Sunstate Airlines has different baggage policies for carry-on and checked baggage.
Passengers are given a free carry-on baggage allowance of 7 kg (15.5 lbs). This is limited to one bag per person and must fit within the overall dimensions of 105 cm (41").
Passengers are given a free checked baggage allowance of 23 kg (50 lbs). This is limited to one bag per person. Unfortunately, any frequent flyer extra baggage benefits are not applicable to Sunstate flights as the aircraft it uses has a weight restriction that only allows for 23 kg per passenger.
Economy Class is the only cabin class that QantasLink offer on its Sunstate Airlines operated flights.
The cabin is perfect for a relaxed flight, travelling short distances around Australia.
All passengers in Economy Class with have access to online check-in, some form of in-flight entertainment and food and drink.
Seats are set out in a 2 x 2 formation. Each seat has 31" of seat pitch and 17" of width.
There's no in-flight entertainment system on Sunstate Airlines. However, passengers are each give a copy of Qantas' award-winning magazine, which has a range of different articles and features, including the latest route news, destination guides and much more.
Due to the planes that it uses, WIFI isn't available on Sunstate Airlines operated flights.
Food and drink are served on all flights. The airline offers meal boxes and various other snacks during the flight. Passengers can also enjoy a range of beverages, including soft, alcoholic, hot and cold options.
The airline serves complimentary wine and beer at certain times of the day. Depending on the route of the flight, complimentary wine and beer are served either from 12 pm or 4 pm each day or Monday to Friday.
Sunstate Airlines allows passengers to check in online prior to the flight departure. However, if your unable to check in online, you can check in at the airport.
Passengers can check-in online through the Qantas online check-in page. Online check-in opens 24 hours before flight departure time. Passengers need their booking reference and last name in order to complete check-in.
Passengers can also check-in at the airport for their flight. Airport check-in closes 30 minutes before scheduled flight departure time. To check-in at the airport, passengers must present the relevant travel documents to one of the airline check-in agents.
Sunstate Airlines' frequent flyer programme is called 'Qantas Frequent Flyer'.
Qantas Frequent Flyer is the frequent flyer program for Sunstate Airlines, which operates under the QantasLink brand. Through Qantas Frequent Flyer, passengers can earn Qantas points any time that they fly on Sunstate or any airline that is a subsidiary of Qantas. These points can be used to pay for future flights or at other places where Qantas points are accepted, such as partner hotels and for other travel experiences.
The more Qantas Points that passengers earn, the higher status they will be. Qantas Frequent Flyer has four different status' — Silver, Gold, Platinum and Platinum One. With each status, passengers unlock a variety of rewards, such as extra baggage allowances, VIP airport lounge access, priority check-in and more.
Sunstate Airlines is currently part of Oneworld.
As an airline operating under the QantasLink and Qantas brand, Sunstate Airlines is an affiliate member of the Oneworld alliance, through Qantas.
Sunstate Airlines flies to more than 25 destinations across Australia. Most of its flights depart from either Brisbane, Cairns, Melbourne, Townsville or Sydney and fly to destinations throughout Queensland. Although, it does offer flights to other Australian states too.
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Brisbane Airport (BNE) is the main airport in South East Queensland and the hub for Sunstate Airlines. The airline has flown from Brisbane Airport for the majority of its time as a passenger airline. Although, it does have secondary hubs in Cairns and Adelaide. The airport has two runways and two terminals — an international and a domestic terminal. As a domestic airline, Sunstate Airlines flies from the domestic terminal. The airport regularly serves over 20 million passengers each year.