Australia’s skies are heating up with fierce competition as Rex enters the fray with new links from Adelaide and Melbourne to Perth. Rex’s charter arm, National Jet Express (NJE), runs the Perth-Adelaide return leg, which relies on the Embraer E190 jet for the 2.5-hour hop.

For all intents and purposes, this is still a Rex flight. Passengers enjoy a 23kg luggage allowance, snacks, and the ability to earn or burn Rex Flyer points. But how does it compare to its closest competitor, Virgin Australia?

Check-in and boarding

Rex operates from Terminal 2 in Perth, the home of regional and charter/FIFO carriers (and, from 2 September 2024, Jetstar domestic services). There’s a Business Class check-in line for the carrier’s Perth-Melbourne journey. But as the E190s to Adelaide only have Economy, it isn’t in use for this flight.

Nevertheless, check-in and security are very efficient here. The scanners have been upgraded, so you don’t have to separate out your liquids or laptops.

Once I’m in the terminal, there’s not much else to do. Rex doesn’t operate a lounge in Perth at the moment. There’s nothing to access with my Priority Pass membership, either – the Aspire Lounge here has shut down. Instead, just aim to arrive here around an hour before departure, and you should be fine.

Boarding starts on time without any particular seat order, but that’s perfectly normal for flights out of T2.

Seating and cabin

The Embraer E190 seats 104 passengers across 26 rows in a 2-2 layout. The obvious upside is there’s no middle seat to contend with, making this a great pick for travellers.

While NJE hasn’t published the exact seat dimensions, I find that there’s enough width to avoid nudging elbows with my seatmate. There’s also sufficient pitch between rows, so my knees don’t touch the seat in front. That’s two ticks for comfort. The downside is that there is no adjustable headrest, so I need to slouch for more support.

Standard seats in the back half of the plane are free to select unless you book an Economy Promo or Ultimate Reward fare. Rows 1 and 12 are the extra legroom rows and cost a reasonable $15 to select. My pick is Row 12 if you want to stretch your legs out fully.

A note on seating: avoid Row 26 if possible. Whilst it doesn’t carry the same fee as above, it’s still marked as ‘Rextra Legroom’ on the seat map without actually having more legroom. It also can’t recline against the bulkhead behind it. I’ve learned my lesson from this flight!

Rex Perth-Adelaide seat map
I chose Row 26 on this flight, but I would pay $15 for Row 12 in the future.

Amenities, snacks and service

Passengers flying on Rex enjoy a complimentary snack as well as tea, coffee, and water. You can choose between a sweet or savoury option, such as Arnott’s biscuits or a multigrain soy mix. It’s enough to tide me over for the flight, but Rex could be more competitive if they also sold a range of snacks and more substantial meals onboard.

However, you can buy beer, wine, and soft drinks onboard. Alcoholic drinks are reasonably priced at around $7-11 each, while soft drinks are $4 for a full-size can. The bar seems quite popular with flyers – a few passengers around me buy something to sip on.

You’ll need to keep yourself occupied for 2.5 hours. The Embraer E190s don’t have inflight entertainment or charging outlets, so it’s entirely BYO. However, Rex’s TrulyAus magazine catches my eye, and its travel stories keep me busy for the next hour or so. Paired with offline music streaming from my phone, the flight doesn’t feel like a drag.

Service from this crew of four is generally quite friendly – more so than I usually encounter on domestic flights.

How to book this flight with points

As explained in our Ultimate Guide to Rex Flyer, Rex’s reward flights are priced based on the underlying cash fare. Currently, you’ll need 16,900 Rex Flyer points + $37 to book a one-way reward. That’s just a tad lower than what both Qantas and Virgin Australia charge in their respective points programs.

You can opt to pay more for a Getaway or Anytime award, which grants more flexibility.

Rex Perth-Adelaide rex-flyer points
Reward seats start from 16,900 Rex Flyer points.

Cash fares normally start from $249 one-way throughout the year, but they have dipped as low as $99 and $149 one-way during sale periods.

Our verdict

Rex and NJE’s service to Adelaide is simple and competitive, with a friendly smile. The luggage allowance is 23 kg (over multiple bags if needed, rather than a single bag), and a snack is included. Rex Flyer members can also earn and use points on this flight, though Rex Flyer elite status benefits are limited on this route.

If elite frequent flyer perks such as free lounge access are important to you, Rex falls short here compared to what Gold members and higher get with Qantas and Virgin Australia. But Rex is here to compete with a compelling product at a lower price, so there’s some good value to be found if you’re just after a sharp fare with luggage included.

Rex Perth-Adelaide scenery
Adelaide is one of the most scenic cities to fly through.

Photography by Brandon Loo, who travelled as a guest of Rex. All opinions remain his own.

Rex NJE Embraer E190 Economy (Perth – Adelaide) was last modified: July 11th, 2024 by Brandon Loo