Qantas offers a great first class product on-board their Airbus A380 aircraft. The seat is spacious, beautifully designed and fitting for a true first class product. The catering is delicious; service is attentive both on the ground and in the air; and the overall experiences is worth the premium over business class. That being said, Qantas First Class award space can be difficult to find but it’s not impossible to book using miles. You just have to book far out in advance. On this trip, I booked 8 months in advance and was able to snag an award seat from Sydney to Los Angeles.
I should note this trip report is a little late. Due to work and school, I wasn’t able to push this out in a timely manner and a couple of things have changed since this flight was taken. Qantas now offers a memory-foam, mattress topper; pillow menu and a redesigned amenity kit and pajama set. Other than that, everything else remains the same. Qantas hasn’t made many changes to their first class product but it’s due for a refresh come next year when their entire A380 fleet gets gutted and replaced with updated seats.
Qantas First Class Ground Services
At Sydney International Airport, Qantas operates the First Lounge for Qantas First Class passengers. The lounge is spacious and elegant and offers a host of wonderful amenities such as private offices, complimentary spa services and a la carte dining. I don’t know which company caters the food here but it’s really top notch. From breakfast to lunch and dinner, you will enjoy a fantastic meal any time of the day.
Qantas A380 First Class, Sydney to Los Angeles
Aircraft: Airbus A380-800
Sydney (SYD) to Los Angeles (LAX)
Depart: 9:47 AM on Wednesday
Arrive: 6:20 AM same day
Duration: 13hr 33mn
Seat: 5K First Class
On this trip, I was seated in seat 5K, a window seat on the right side of the aircraft.
On their Airbus A380 fleet, the first class cabin is located in the forward cabin of the lower deck. The cabin is configured with 14 open suites in a 1-1-1 layout. The individual suites are not the most private but they are very spacious. Each first class seat measures 22 inches wide and converts to a fully-flat bed 79 inches long (6 feet 7 inches). The cabin itself is elegant but is very plain. A splash of color or some artwork would really make this space more special.
In my opinion, the two most private suites are 5A and 5K. These are the two window seats located in the last row. Due to the staggered configuration of the cabin, the two window seats are slightly set back from the center seat. More so 5A than 5K, these seats give you the most privacy in the very open cabin. Seat Guru does warn that these seats may be bothersome due to the proximity to the galley but I didn’t have a problem with the noise.
Each Qantas First Class Suite is equipped with a personal entertainment system, several overhead reading lamps, universal power outlet, USB ports and electronic window shades. However, I should critique that the placement of the electrical outlet is rather poor. The outlet and USB ports are located at your feet in front of your seat. This is such an awkward place for them and I accidentally kicked my cord a couple of times during flight.
The footrest/ottoman doubles as a guest seat and can accommodate another passenger during flight. The tray table swings out from the center and is large enough for two persons to dine comfortably.
The IFE remote and suite controller are located along the interior wall of the suite. The controllers are intuitive and easy to use with custom pre-sets and manual controllers for the individual functions. The suite controller controls the seat, lighting, entertainment and window shades.
There are no overhead bins above the center seats so passengers in the center seats will have to put their larger carry-ons in the overhead bins above the window seats. However, there are plenty of storage spaces at the seat to keep all your personal items handy during flight.
Waiting at my seat was a full-size pillow, blanket and a pair of non-branded noise-cancelling headphones. As I settled into my seat, the lovely flight attendant came by to introduce herself and welcome me on-board with a warm towel. Afterwards, she offered me a glass of champagne and a ramekin of almonds/olives as another flight attendant came by with an amenity kit and set of pajamas. Printed menus were then distributed.
Once all the passengers were boarded, the captain came on the PA to welcome us on-board and advised us of our flight path and time. We then taxied to the runway and departed for our journey to Los Angeles. The departure views out of Sydney are pretty amazing.
As we hit our cruising altitude, the seatbelt signs were turned off and the flight attendants prepared for our lunch service. Service started with a caviar tartlet/duck toast amuse bouche and another glass of champagne.
For my starter, I ordered the trout confit salad and the Arabic Mezze plate.
As for my main meal, I went with the seared blue-eye with shaved fennel and snow peas.
My main meal was followed by a fruit plate, dessert and chocolates.
If you couldn’t tell by my pictures, the food was plentiful and absolutely delicious. Everything I ordered tasted fresh flavorful. The service was impeccable. My glass was refilled constantly and nothing stayed on my tray longer than it needed to be. The meal service felt appropriately paced and at no time did I feel rushed or anxious for my next course.
After my plates were removed, the flight attendant offered to make my bed any time I wanted. I wasn’t exactly tired yet so I went exploring the aircraft.
There are two lavatories located downstairs for first class passengers. The lavatories are slightly larger than regular lavatories and stocked with ASPAR body products.
I went upstairs to check out the bar area but was pretty disappointed. There was just a small seating area with some reading materials here. Nothing special.
But this stairway though, I just love.
I then went back to my seat, watched a couple of movies and got some work done. When my eyelids started to get heavy, I asked for my bed to be made. Turn-down service included a mattress pad, sheet, comforter and a second pillow.
The bed was super comfortable and I got a few hours of sleep. When I woke up, I was hungry again and asked for some food from their “dine anytime” menu. I got another fruit plate and a crab pasta, which was freaking amazing!
I then stayed up, got some more work done and enjoyed this sunrise view.
Approximately 90 minutes outside of Los Angeles, breakfast was served. I wasn’t all that hungry but ordered some food anyways for the sake of this review. 🙂 For breakfast, I got a fruit smoothie, side of fruit and the blueberry waffles. They were so good.
Qantas First Class bottom line
Overall, I’m a fan of Qantas First Class. It’s not the newest product and thus lacks some of the competitive advantages such as sliding doors, showers and such but it’s still a great product. The seat is wide, spacious and comfortable and the service is attentive and personable. I’m a fan and would recommend them to anyone.
Have you flown Qantas First Class? If so, please share your thoughts with us in the comments section below. Thanks for reading!