I hated to leave the superb Qantas first class lounge in Sydney, but I had been looking forward to this flight for months.
Just to note, this review is from March 2015. I publish older reviews because they have never been previously published, changes are actually minimal (and noted) between then and now, and because they provide a better context for how I evaluate more recent flights.
Qantas first class award space was rare sighting then and is even rarer now. I can count on one hand the number of times the last year I have found space. I was fortunate to find space on Qantas’ premiere QF001 Sydney to London route, stopping in Dubai to change crews.
Boarding was almost finished by the time I left the lounge: with no internet onboard and a 14.5hr journey to Dubai, I had a lot to squeeze in prior to the flight.
Sydney (SYD) – Dubai (DXB)
Monday, March 16
Depart: 3:50 PM
Arrive: 12:25 AM+1
Duration: 14hr, 35min
Qantas First Class Service
I need to start with service, because I was blown away at how GREAT it was. The cabin was staffed by two very young FAs, Ally and Craig. Both were simply amazing. Passengers were addressed by name throughout the flight, every cup, plate, and utensil was carefully placed in the right position facing the right direction, and they were absolutely friendly. Kylie (on the right) worked in the galley and the trio made a wonderful team.
Every other time I have flown Qantas I have experienced more middle-aged crews. I figured like the U.S. flight attendant business, this was much more a career than a first job out of school. In fact, even my connection to London had the more “typical” crew. I’m not sure if crews are hand-selected to work first class on longhaul flights, but I could not have been more pleased.
Qantas First Class Seat
The Qantas first class seat/suite (I’d call it a suite even though it is not fully enclosed) has a rotating seat. In the takeoff/landing position it faces forward, but it rotates about 45º in-flight in order to align it to the foot rest when you begin to recline it. American Airlines has a similar first class seat.
The seat is wide and very comfortable. There are buttons built into the console as well as a passenger service unit that controls lighting and seat position. Windows are controlled by button and there are many small personal storage containers plus room for a small suitcase under the console. Best of all, individual air vents above each seat.
After the first meal service I went to the lavatory to brush my teeth. On the way in, Craig asked if I would like my bed made and I said yes. When I returned, the bed was finished with a bottle of water and empty glass with lemon wedge added to my console. I loved that the empty glass—many carriers, even in first class, leave you only a bottle.
The bedding was great. High quality with two large pillows: it felt like being at home.
Qantas First Class Meal Service
First Class dining on Qantas is à la carte and on-demand, with a tasting menu available. Like the lounge menu, the onboard menu is inspired by Neil Perry. Every passenger was offered almonds and olives prior to takeoff with choice of beverage.
I had tried the champagne, a Pol Roger “Sir Winston Churchill” champagne from 2000, which sells for over $400/bottle…
I opted for the tasting menu, which. began with a caviar tartlet and Chinese lamb dumpling.
The table was set for dinner. I loved the local butter: very delicious. Next came a creamy broccoli soup which included wonderful parmesan croutons. I had a glass of Shiraz with it. The bread on Qantas was tremendous: particularly the crusty olive roll.
A salad course followed, though not a traditional green salad but a roast duck and egg noodle salad with mushrooms and cucumbers. It sounded heavy but was surprisingly refreshing.
I opted for beef filet with artichoke gratin and garlic mushrooms for the main course. On the side I ordered a green salad. Unfortunately, the steak was overdone. It was clearly a high-quality steak and I still had no trouble eating it, yet a steak is ruined when it is cooked anything beyond medium rare (in my humble opinion). The artichoke gratin was the best part of the meal. Hopefully healthier than potatoes au gratin (yeah right…), they certainly tasted just as nice.
But wait, there’s more. Next up a wonderful cheese course.
Finally, ice cream. Not a very first class presentation, but this was amazing ice cream from Maggie Beer.
Cappuccino and a chocolate truffle to finish:
Oh what a meal. I was so stuffed that I slept for 10 hours and was still so full upon waking up that I just had a small bowl of pasta (pumpkin tortellini, again delicious) with some fruit before landing in Dubai.
Qantas First Class Pajamas and Amenity Kit
Pajamas and an amenity kit were distributed after boarding. I apologize I don’t have a picture of the amenity contents. I was in a phase were I hoarded amenity kits and did not want to open mine!
Qantas First Class IFE
Qantas has a great IFE selection, though (even two years later) still no Wi-Fi on its lonahgul jets. You’ll have more than enough movies and TV shows to keep you occupied, though I find it very uncompetitive that in 2017 there is still no wi-fi on a 14.5hour flight.
Qantas First Class Lavatory
The A380 first class lavatory is spacious with white countertops and a window over the lavatory.
This flight flew by because I spent so much of it sleeping. Who could resist in such a comfortable seat with comfortable bedding. Service in Qantas First Class truly impressed me and though I’ve had better airline meals, the food was delicious and of high quality. I don’t think you can go wrong with Qantas First, especially if you can find space using your miles.