The last flight of the outbound part of my trip to New Zealand was a relatively short hop across the Tasman sea from Sydney to Auckland. After my time in the Qantas First Class Lounge in Sydney, I headed to my gate where I boarded the Qantas A330 bound for Auckland. There are multiple flights between these cities, but I was fortunate to have a long haul configured Qantas A330 for this sector. I’ve flown this same cabin on an even shorter flight, between Sydney and Melbourne, but even on this ~3 hour flight, this is a comfortable configuration with good meals and service.
Qantas A330 Business Class
There are Thompson Vantage XL staggered seats in business class, configured 1-2-1 across the A330 cabin. This is the new Qantas long haul business class product, currently installed on A330s (both international and domestic) and the new long-range 787s in their fleet. This a fully flat seat with direct aisle access, not innovative, but nice and private, even in the middle section. See James’ review of his flights Qantas Business Class for a more thorough tour of this cabin.
I assigned myself seat 2K, at a window on the right hand side of the plane. In the staggered configuration, this seat is close to the window, and the wide armrest with storage and the tray table is on the aisle side. This is a very private seat, and ideal since I prefer the views at the window. All seats in the configuration are private, but some more so than others. There aren’t any seats that are ideal for people sitting together, since even in the middle section, seats are staggered with a fixed divider between seats. The foot well is somewhat narrow, but even when fully reclined, it doesn’t seem as claustrophobic as some other staggered products.
The side of the seat is wide, with various storage areas and USB, power and headphone ports. There is a water bottle holder and a hook for headphones. Headphones are provided, but as usual, I just used my own. Seat adjustment is intuitive using the buttons near the seat. Under the folding armrest is a IFE remote and a small vanity mirror.
Qantas Business Class Lunch service Sydney – Auckland
Waiting at my seat was a menu for the lunch service on this flight. Despite a breakfast on my flight inbound flight from Dallas to Sydney, and more in the lounge, I did have a little more food on this flight. That’s what I do when flying in premium cabins. Let’s call it blog research…
Shortly after takeoff, a cocktail service was offered, including a bag of almonds and pretzels.
Then the main meal service began, and here are the menus from this flight:
The place setting was made, with a small green salad, and the a selection from a bread basket. I went with a slice of fresh sourdough.
Soon the appetizer was brought out. After dining in the lounge, I didn’t need a lot of food, and I didn’t even eat all of this. The buffalo mozzarella was fresh and tasty.
The main course was pretty light too, these pork dumplings and pickled cucumbers. This was nothing amazing, but it was a decent meal to hold me over after the all of the eating I did in the lounge and until I’d settle in Auckland.
For the last course, I opted for the cheese plate. It came with a few cheeses, a selection of crackers, figs and almonds. Like the rest of the meal, this was light but hit the spot.
Qantas Business Class – in flight
The route across the Tasman was mostly unremarkable, at least in terms of views, with lots of clouds for most of the way. For most of the flight I watched some TV shows on the IFE, and occasionally watched the moving map. I noticed we were approaching New Zealand, and I peeked out the window, at least it was clear enough to spot the coastline.
The flight to Auckland was under 3 hours. The experience in business class is certainly nicer than a flight of a similar distance in the US. A nice flat seat with all aisle access, and excellent catering. Of course this is an international flight, but still for a flight of this distance, this was very pleasant. I’ve had similar experiences on even shorter domestic flights within Australia. On all of my flights, Qantas flight attendants always shine.
Qantas Business Class – Final thoughts
This was a great way to get to Auckland, which is the first stop on my trip. I was fortunate to have a nice wide body plane for the relatively short flight. Qantas Business class is a good experience, especially on the A330. The seats aren’t my favorite business class seat, but are pleasant enough, and nice for a solo traveler, especially on the flights they are typically used on, for regional flights and Australia domestic.
Have you flown Qantas Business Class on an A330? Did you enjoy it as much as I did?
This report is part of my long weekend trip to New Zealand.