First class on long international flights is a definite luxury. I’ve been able to enjoy this on occasion, but it has become less frequent for me due to higher pricing for awards and limited availability. Plus, most of my award travel is now for 3 people, so I’m happy just to be able to book trips for 3 in business class long haul. A while back, I was made aware of some very limited first class availability on Qantas flights 7/8, between Dallas and Sydney. This routing is now their second longest flight, since Qantas launched flights between Perth and London, but this trip made for the longest flights I’ve ever taken.
This is my first trip in Qantas First class, and while the product isn’t as modern as some newer products, I think the seat has held up well. This trip was also my first time sitting on the lower deck of the Airbus A380. While not as spacious as Etihad First Apartments, Qantas has only 3 seats across the lower deck of the A380. A full review of my trip is coming, but first, some initial thoughts.
Lounges make a huge difference
American has done a nice job with lounge renovations. I reviewed the nice new Flagship Lounge in Chicago. The situation in Dallas is poor. The main Admirals Club on the D terminal in DFW closed for renovations possibly well into 2019. As of mid-2018, there is a temporary lounge called “The Premium Lounge”. This is accessible for those who meet the requirements to use Flagship lounges, but it is pretty sad. A lot of space, but poor food selection. The (now closed) tiny International First Class Dining room was better at least to me. One nice perk is free alcohol, I suppose.
Once I landed in Sydney, I accessed the lovely Qantas First Class Lounge, which is among my favorites worldwide. Beyond just a nice lounge, there is made to order chef prepared food and a nice spa.
Inflight Wifi is more than a nice to have
Even though I slept a lot on both of the long legs between Dallas and Sydney and this was not a work trip, it was a long time to be offline. A work trip this far without wifi would not be ideal. It was nice to disconnect, but for such a long flight wifi is almost a necessity. Thankfully Qantas is adding wifi on their A380s in 2019.
Inflight service ranged from very good to just okay.
I’ve always enjoyed Qantas and their very Australian service. Not formal, but typically very friendly. On this trip, the flight attendants I experienced were good for the most part, but on my return leg to Dallas, the full cabin made for somewhat less personalized service. Still, the seat was very comfortable, and although the seat is without doors it remains very private.
Last leg in economy was worth it
Thanks to American’s (lack of) award availability. Who knew that Qantas First class availability would be easier than any seat on American domestically? My last leg was scheduled to have a 7+ hour layover in Dallas. Thankfully I cleared standby into the last seat on an earlier flight home. While going from Qantas First Class to economy on American Eagle was a big step down, I was glad to be home many hours sooner.
I really enjoyed my quick trip to New Zealand. I’m grateful to my family for letting me get away for a fun trip, and I hope to return down under with them next time around for a longer time. Qantas First Class is a great way to fly across the Pacific, or anywhere else for that matter.