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- Review: Qantas A380 First Class LAX-SYD on QF12
- Smart Gate in Australia for Global Entry-Approved Travelers
- Radisson Blu Sydney Review
- Park Hyatt Sydney Review
- Qantas Domestic Business Class Lounge SYD
- Qantas Domestic Business Class Lounge CNS
- Air New Zealand (Star Alliance) Lounge BNE
- Thai Business Class BNE-BKK on TG474
- Aloft Bangkok Sukhumvit 11
- Etihad Regional Business Class CMB-AUH (mistake fare redemption)
- Etihad First Class AUH-JFK (Jet Airways Plane)
- Hyatt Regency DFW
I headed to my gate after a somewhat disappointing lounge experience (the new lounges will be much better) and was extremely excited to fly one of the hardest award flights to book. Boarding started on time and I got onto the plane very quickly. Surprisingly, a flight attendant didn’t walk me to my seat as is normal on many other airlines’ Fist Class cabins. I actually prefer to not be walked to my seat since I usually have lots of pictures to take anyway.
The Qantas A380 First Class cabin has 12 seats in a 1-1-1 configuration, which allows for plenty of space to stretch out. The cabin itself isn’t the most attractive cabin in the world with its off-white and gray colors, but don’t let the first look deceive you. I was seated in 3A, and you’ll want a seat in the A column to maximize privacy because seats in the middle section face the opposite direction.
Qantas A380 First Class Seat
I started exploring the seat and it was very spacious and comfortable. It’s reminiscent of the Cathay Pacific First Class seat if that’s something you’ve flown, but this seat had a bit more technology built in. The tray table and a couple of storage compartments were to my left while the TV could fold open/closed around the foot rest area. To my right was the middle row of seats, and you can see the privacy screens that are raised after takeoff in the image.
I loved the seat controls on this plane. Nearly everything could be controlled through the touch screen panel to the left of my seat. It controlled everything from seat position to lighting to windows to IFE to massage controls. Yup…the seat is a massage chair, and it’s wonderful!
The seat was extremely functional and could be adjusted however you wanted to ensure you’d be comfortable. The massage feature really was top notch and not just a novelty; it was very enjoyable. There was also the customary power and other outlets.
I was quickly approached by a flight attendant that asked if I wanted anything to drink and also offered me a cracker/dip snack (listed on the menu below). I asked only for water, and I wasn’t a huge fan of the snack but I appreciated having something more substantial than warm nuts.
I was also brought a very large amenity kit by SK-II and the comfortable First Class pajamas. I loved the amenity kit and the pajamas were comfortable, but unfortunately they didn’t have any pockets. It was a night flight and I just wanted to relax so I changed into my pajamas before boarding was even completed.
Full size images of the Menu:
My order was taken and the food was served about 20 minute after that. I went with the Zuchini and Basil Soup, Herb Crusted Lamb Rack, and a side salad. For dessert I asked for the seasonal fruit and I ordered the salted caramel éclair from the Petits Fours menu. The service was efficient and friendly as the dishes were brought and picked up quickly.
I thought the soup was very good, but that’s probably because I like basil. It came out extremely hot though so I had to wait for it to cool down.
The lamb was tender and very good for airplane food but I wouldn’t say it was restaurant-like. Still I like that there was something other than the usual beef/steak option. The asparagus was good but I didn’t care for the other accompaniments.
The salad is as you would expect. The fruit plate was good and everything seemed very fresh, as tends to be the case on flights leaving from LAX.
The éclair was pretty disappointing but I’m not exactly a connoisseur so I won’t pass judgment on Qantas for it.
Dinner was completed very quickly and I never had to ask for a refill. The service wasn’t as claustrophobic as it was in the Asiana A380 First cabin and not quite as friendly and warm as on Singapore Airlines’ First Class or Suites Class, but I would still rate it excellent as I never felt I wasn’t being taken care of. It was more similar to Cathay Pacific First Class than any other airline. People that prefer not to be disturbed might actually prefer this level of service over Singapore’s.
In-Flight Entertainment (IFE)
After dinner I decided to just relax in my seat and watch The Internship, which wasn’t as funny as the people on my Turkish Airlines Business Class flight led me to believe it might be. I also watched the first two episodes of House of Cards and really loved it (and can say I’m now a full addict as I watched the rest of the season continuously on a subsequent return flight on Etihad). The IFE options were excellent in terms of variety of both TV shows and movies. I thought the TV was bit small for First Class, but again Asiana’s A380 First Class puts every other airline to shame in that regard.
I turned off the TV after I was finished with the IFE, and within seconds a flight attendant came over to ask if I wanted my bed made. I said yes and went off to the lavatory and my bad was made when I got back.
Qantas A380 First Class Bed
This bed is amazingly comfortable and really huge. The bedding and pillows are top notch and it really might be the most comfortable bed I’ve flown, right up there with Cathay Pacific’s bed. I was able to set a personal record and sleep 7.5 continuous hours on this flight!
I eventually got up and saw that my time was winding down on this flight, which I was really enjoying so far. The service, food, bedding, and IFE options were all top-notch. I decided to test out the food once more and ordered the famous Qantas Steak Sandwich that comes with a tomato and chili relish. I’ve heard amazing things about it and was curious to try it.
Put simply, this sandwich didn’t disappoint. The steak was extremely tender, the bread was soft and warm, and the sauce was good. It was a simple sandwich that was very well done and it was easy to see why so many have said to try it.
I finished off my meal with another plate of fruit and a warm croissant that was warm and delicious.
The flight was soon coming to an end so I decided to make use of the massage function until landing. We were all handed an immigration card and an Express Path ticket to exit the airport, which ended up not really helping so much. Note that I wrote about my experience using Smart Gate as a Global Entry traveler.
The lavatory wasn’t anything special, but I did think the staircase had some cool lighting.
The windows were kind of cool because the window shades were electronic. You can see one up and one down in the image below.
I also received a chauffeur to take me to my hotel in Sydney – all I had to do was look for a guy holding a paper with my name on it. I was traveling with three friends (one in Business and two in Economy) and we were successfully able to convince him to take all four of us in exchange for a larger-than-usual tip. He was hesitant at first because of insurance/safety issues but it worked out well for us. Thankfully he happened to have a large van as well!
Qantas A380 First Class Summary
Even though the flight is 15 hours long, it felt like it was extremely short given how long I slept and the excellent IFE selections. Everything about this flight was excellent, from the seat to the bed, food, service, and IFE. It reminded me very much of Cathay Pacific’s First Class, both in the seating arrangement (1-1-1) and service. I wish it was a true suite with closing doors for that extra bit of privacy, because if it had that I might be inclined to call it the best hard product there is. Regardless it’s still an exceptional experience throughout and by far the best way to get to Sydney.
In fact, I was so impressed with this flight that I booked another leg on Qantas A380 First Class from Dubai (DXB) to London (LHR) after this flight. That review will be coming soon as well (I have quite a few other reviews to finish before).
Have you flown this flight? How do you think it compares with other First Class experiences?