Airlines Reviews

Review: Qantas First Class A380 Los Angeles to Melbourne

a stuffed animal on a seat

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Qantas First Class A380 Los Angeles to Melbourne

For so many of my travels I’m one of the lucky ones, but this was a very cool redemption. I was not only able to experience Qantas First Class using points, but I did it with a loved one. Scoring one Qantas First Class award ticket is rare, but locking down two is down right extraordinary. In fact, it’s sort of an award booking unicorn.  As you can imagine, when we locked down the seats we were unbelievably excited to experience the flight together.  In an economy of words: it was simply fantastic and highly under-rated.

a bed with a stuffed animal on it

Booking the tickets and finding the avail with Alaska Miles – 70k + $45.

Qantas doesn’t really have any pattern of releasing seats, even when a cabin is wide open they won’t release, so there isn’t a pattern you can rely upon.  We just got really lucky. If you want to read in greater detail how did it, and flew back in a combo of Cathay Biz/First with a stopover in Hong Kong, I’d recommend reading the following three articles where I go in far greater detail.

The Deets:

  • When: April 2018
  • Where: Los Angeles to Melbourne
  • Flight: QF 94
  • Flight Time: 15h 30m
  • Seat: 1A
  • Loyalty: Alaska Miles
  • Cost: 70k Alaska + $45

Check-In

Qantas has a dedicated First Class check in desk that is accessible to One World Emerald members as well as those flying in First. Quick and easy as we were the only ones there

Qantas First Class lounge LAX

After security you’ll want to veer left and head up a level to the Qantas First Class lounge – a nice refuge for One World Emeralds and First Class passengers featuring sit down a la carte meals, great champagne, and full waitstaff service.

a stuffed bear sitting on a counter

I’ve reviewed the lounge before so I won’t go into a ton of detail, but the food was too good to pass up.

Boarding and first Impression.

We were first to board the plane and I was immediately struck with how big it felt. The A380 is a wide plane, especially on the ground floor and Qantas places its first class right up front. Like other First Class cabins, it’s removed the overhead space in the center F-line which means at 6′ tall you could stand up and not hit your head. Something passengers in the A or K line don’t enjoy as they are fitted with overheads.

The cabin is 3 across in a 1-1-1 configuration with two aisles and serves 14 passengers.   While at first glance it appears the center F line is exposed, there is actually a screen that raises after meal service that acts as a privacy wall.

a stuffed animal on a seat

If you want maximum privacy pick the A – line as we did ( 1a and 2a). You’ll not only get a window seat, but the aisle is only utilized by passengers in that line whereas the other aisle serves both the F and K lines. Check out the details on seatguru:

The Seat:

Look at the square footage. There aren’t doors that close like you’d find on Etihad Apartments, Emirates First Class, Singapore Suites, etc…but Qantas suites are incredibly private and the sheer volume of space alotted to each passenger is incredible.

a seat in an airplane

The seat pivots also pivots to watch tv and angle away for privacy.

a teddy bear sitting on a window seat in an airplane

The suite has its own control panel, and the IFE its own remote.

There are a couple of drawers for storage

The Amenity kit and Pajamas from Martin Grant.

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Service

I couldn’t rave enough about the service that we received on board. Starting from pre-departure drinks, the entire crew was extremely attentive and playful. Traveling with Miles gets widely varied reactions. This crew was just plane amazing 😉

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And Miles even got to experience the flight deck.

a stuffed animal in the cockpit of an airplane

Food

Qantas is known for their food, both in the lounge and in flight. This did not disappoint. Once airborne the champagne also shifts from the Duval to Veuve Le Grande Dame. I hopped over to 2A and sat opposite my gf for dinner. I love the dine together feature as you can really enjoy the experience together.

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Together we had

  • Tuna tartare with a creme fraiche and caviar tartlet
  • Sweetcorn and basil soup
  • I had the biryani and my gf had the salmon
    • of the two I’d go with the Salmon
  • We had both desserts
    • I preferred the cake to the crostada

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Upstairs to check out the “bar”

After dinner, full and PJ’d up, we ventured upstairs to peek in at business class and check out the upstairs bar. Not so much a bar, and quite dark, we spent but a few minutes there before hopping back downstairs to our luxurious suites.

You can see here how the divider raises between the A line and the F line.

a room with cubicles and a light in the background

Off to bed.

While we were upstairs our beds were made up. I found them to be extremely comfortable and only woke up because they were serving breakfast. I slept somewhere between 6.5 and 7 hours.

Breakfast

Kid you not..the smoked salmon and eggs were DELICIOUS and hands down, by far, the best I’ve ever had on a plane. I thought I was taking a big risk ordering it, but I was blown away. Very cool to enjoy breakfast together as well, although I was super stuffed. I mean I had a croissant, a bowl of granola, and then all those eggs and salmon.

We landed into Sydney with fast track.

a piece of paper with text on it

Overall:

Qantas First Class should be in the conversation for top 5 best First Class products in the world. Granted, I haven’t flown all of them, but I have flown my fair share and it was outstanding, and the seat/cabin is nicer than you’ll get on Lufthansa.  I found the service to on point and far more accessible than say Etihad which I find to be cold and snooty. The entire crew was superb, the food was delicious, the seats/bedding and amenities were great, and I’d love to fly it again as soon as possible.

We ended this entire trip to Australia/Hong Kong with a flight back in Cathay First – and I would say it’s worth debating which was better ( I’d give probably give it to Cathay purely because of a smaller cabin and better champagne ), but I wasn’t prepared to think they’d be in the same league.

I loved Qantas First.

a tv on a chair in an airplane

Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

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