My quick trip down under was over, and after another visit to the Qantas First Class Lounge and Spa for (too much) food and a massage, I headed to my gate for the return flight to the US.
I was back in the lovely Qantas A380 First Class Cabin. I even had seat 1A again, and since I spent a lot of time here only a few days ago, it was familiar. This review is intentionally not as detailed as my outbound flight, but I’ll try to cover the basics of the experience. As a reminder, this was a solo trip based around some availability in Qantas First Class I booked using American miles.
Before departure in Sydney
As nice as the Qantas First Class lounge in Sydney is, there is no escort to the plane. Not that I need help finding the gate which was close to the lounge anyway, but do keep that in mind. Some First Class products don’t leave you alone in the terminal.
Once on board, I was warmly welcomed by the flight attendants. I boarded somewhat late in the process. Considering the 15+ hours of flight time I didn’t rush to board first. The cabin ended up being full, but in row 1, I hardly noticed. I did notice a very tan familiar face seated a few rows behind me. Former Speaker of the US House John Boehner was on my flight. Yay.
Once again, Martin Grant branded pajamas and amenity kits were offered, as well as a drink before departure. My champagne (Le Grande Dame 2006) was served with some olives. Nice way to start the long flight.
Qantas A380 First Class Sydney to Dallas Fort Worth
Aircraft: Airbus A380-800
Sydney (SYD) to Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) )
Depart: 12:52 PM Monday
Arrive: 12:53 PM Monday
Duration: 15hr 1min
Seat: 1A First Class
This seat is a great way to fly. I’ll just repeat what I said when describing it last time: The seat itself is wide and comfortable. It faces directly forward for take off and landing. Once underway, there is a touchscreen controller that allows myriad of seating positions. The seat rotates towards the footrest on the window side, and I kept the seat rotated like this away from the aisle for the entire flight. Next to the seat is a small touchscreen controller that controls seat and windows in the suite. There is a power port, plus USB for charging, but it is oddly located near the base of the seat in front. Not the most convenient. Please read James’ review of his time in Qantas First class for even more photos of the seat and amenities.
Soon the flight attendants came around taking drink orders, and then later meal requests. After the drink was presented, some small bites were also offered, including some caviar. The menu lists these items as Caviar vol au vent with crème fraîche and Korean beef tartare.
Qantas First Class lunch tasting menu Sydney to Dallas Fort Worth
With the early afternoon departure, and already having eaten on my flight from Wellington, plus in the lounge, I didn’t need or want a giant meal. This tasting menu was perfect. Here are the menus from the meal service:
An alternative to the tasting menu is the more standard lunch menu. Not drastically different in terms of content.
And the drink lists. These options were the same as on my outbound flight:
As mentioned, I went with the tasting menu which began with the tuna poke salad. A little fancier than a poke in the countless little shops popping up all over, but tasty enough, and a nice light way to start the meal.
The giant table gets filled up with a large tablecloth, and lots of utensils, but with the multiple small courses, I suppose it is appropriate.
There is also an extensive break basket. I went for some garlic bread, and this was amazing. Crusty on the outside, but soft and chewy, and loaded with garlic inside. wow.
Then I had some soup, this Moroccan spiced carrot was excellent. Spicy food, and especially soup seems to work at altitude.
For the main course, I went with lamb, and this came with some macaroni and a small green salad. At this point, I was getting pretty full. I picked at most of this… …but of course had to try the cheese plate too… …and some Australian red wine…
In all, a solid meal. It was a pretty long dining experience, probably somewhat intentional plus the cabin was full. Service was certainly not rushed, but given the long flight time I didn’t mind. After the meal, I explored the IFE options, and eventually reclined my seat and slept for a while.
Qantas First Class Suite comfort
The Qantas first class seat is really comfortable and private. As mentioned, the cabin was fully booked, but from seat 1A there was minimal foot traffic, and it almost seemed like I had the plane to myself much of the time. When reclined, there is a thick mattress pad, and the wide seat is great for sleeping. The duvet is pretty thick, but there are air vents which help it stay pretty cool in there. This is one of my favorite seats I’ve experienced. It is great for sleeping, and comfortable in various lounging positions.
Qantas First Class Breakfast
Snacks were available, but I didn’t have the space. After a great restful sleep, I woke up, and eventually ordered some breakfast which is the meal before arrival. The flight arrives into Dallas during the early afternoon, so while not breakfast time, it isn’t too far off.
Here is the menu:
I started with some muesli and yogurt, which was served with a bowl of fresh fruit and I had some cold pressed juice.
For my main course, I had scrambled eggs with bacon and hash browns. I believe the eggs were made fresh on board, or they were the best reheated eggs I’ve ever had.
After the meal, I had some tea. I like the tea service on a silver tray.
Arriving into Dallas
Soon it was going to be time for this trip to end. We were approaching Dallas. I changed back into my street clothes, put my seat back to face forward. Landing on the A380 while watching the tail camera was fun:
Once we landed, we taxied to gate D11, and I made my way to Global Entry. I’ve never had a wait to get to a kiosk at DFW. Always make time for a Global Entry Selfie:
This fun weekend trip was nearly over. A great use of miles, and I was fortunate to have such a good experience in Qantas First Class. It is difficult to find award space, but not impossible. I certainly hope to do it again sometime, and ideally with family. Due to lack of award availability for American flights back home to Milwaukee, I had a long layover in Dallas.
Normally these flights are mainline, but the afternoon flight I wanted was on a regional jet that never had any award space. I put myself on standby and was lucky to clear at the last minute. Going for Qantas First Class to economy on an E-175 was a step down, but I was glad to be back home several hours earlier than planned. In all it was a really fun trip.
This report is part of my long weekend trip to New Zealand.