Considered one of the busiest routes in the world, Sydney to Melbourne has been serviced by the “main” airlines of Qantas, Virgin Australia and with a few attempts from start-up airlines who have been swallowed up or moved out. The latest entrant is the popular regional express airline, REX, https://www.rex.com.au/ who was established in 2002 from of the collapse of the Ansett Group when two of its regional airlines, Hazelton and Kendell Airlines merged to create REX.
REX has created a strong regional base business and solid reputation and will hopefully give the “big” airlines a good push. Based on this review and their efforts and value for money the signs are looking very positive.
REX departs from Sydney’s Kingsford Smith airport at Terminal 2 along with Virgin & JetStar. It’s a busy terminal with a constant flow of domestic travelers, but the REX staff are warm and friendly. Check-in is completed quickly and the hostess smiles and offers some advice on where to get coffee and the gate is located.
I make my way through security, which is efficient even with the new Covid rules in play. Despite Covid times the airport is a buzz with travelers escaping the Sydney winter in the south to the warmer skies of Queensland or off on business trips.
Boarding & Seating:
Boarding is completed well in advance from gate-58 with little effort and staff are on hand to help any travelers who require extra support. There is a totally different feel I notice as the REX staff are very genuine in their total approach.
Even as I enter the Boeing 737-800 the smiling & well dress hostesses’ welcome guests with a warm “country” smile and are ready to assist. My seat of 3F turns out to be comfortable, located just behind the two rows of business class so a wee bit of extra legroom. The planes are the “old” Virgin Australia 737’s with the interior remaining the same, but service levels have for sure gone a notch up.
Overall the seat is fine for a relative short trip of 80-minuets. The general seating configuration is 3+3 and actually even though the seats are not for natural reasons as smart as the new B787 or A350, there is ok space. Measurement wise the a seat pitch of 30 inches, and width of 17.2 inches.
As we take off, service gets underway. Mid-morning tea or coffee service begins shortly after takeoff with economy passengers being offered; water, tea, filter-coffee and baked choc chip & honey cookies that actually taste fine.
Each economy class passenger is permitted 23 kilos of baggage plus one carry on weighing up to 7kg. Flyers in Business class are permitted two carry on’s weighing up to 10kg per bag.
I travelled with a small suitcase case that weighed 8kg, but as the size was compact the airport staff saw little issue with my case and briefcase.
Boeing 737-800 with a total seating of 176 seats.
Frequent Flyer Program: The Rex Lounge
According to the Rex website “the Rex Lounge is a haven away from the noise and bustle of the terminal. Members can relax and unwind, or catch up on some work before their flight”. The program reads well and can be joined paying an annual fee of AUD$329. Membership provides access to the Rex Lounges in Sydney, Adelaide and Melbourne.
The service team were well dressed and friendly. The uniforms are smart reflecting the country feel and style and the crew were always looking to serve you. There seems to be a strong service vision and clearly great training. Even the announcements from the flight deck has a different and much friendlier feel.
The Airline Reviewers view
Overall a really pleasant flight with the Boeing 737 workhorse performing well and arriving 10-minuets ahead of schedule into Melbourne. At the grand total of AUD$55 / US$43 / EUR35, which includes one-way ticket, seat reservation it is brilliant value……Having traveled on a few low-cost carriers, REX is a full-service airline and delivers a great product, but at low-cost fares! The current “promotions” offer huge value for money and service with a BIG smile ☺
The crew were attentive and forthcoming and I would be happy to return. The cabin was clean and seat fairly comfortable, proving that even in economy it’s possible to actually sit well and not feel like you are squashed up in a sardine box.
The Airline Review was undertaken by John Nielsen and was NOT paid for by REX Airlines, but by www.theairlinereviewer.com team to ensure a fair review.
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