Asia Aviation Travel

Traveling to Australia – Qantas A380 First Class

Traveling to Australia – Qantas A380
Park Hyatt Sydney
Sydney – Spice I Am, Watsons Bay, Manly Beach, Cafe Paci
Sydney – The Opera House Black Star Bakery, The Rocks, Sake
Emirates Wolgan Valley – Part One

Emirates Wolgan Valley – Part Two
Kangaroo Island – Southern Ocean Lodge, Part One

Kangaroo Island – Southern Ocean Lodge, Part Two

This was both me and Mr. Feather’s first time ever in Australia – we both love to travel, but the sheer distance to the country had kept us both away for years. We finally decided to make the trip – about 16 hours in the air, each way. It is a testament to my true love for my husband that I agreed to do a SFO-LAX-SYD connection instead of a simple SFO-SYD direct (I have a near absolute rule to always fly the shortest route, and non-stop whenever possible). However, Mr. Feather loves planes and really wanted to fly the Qantas A380, which only flies out of LAX. So in the early evening, we made our way over to LAX!

LAX

I hadn’t been in LAX for years but was impressed by the new improvements and shopping area. Both oneworld and Star Alliance have new lounges there as well – we were in oneworld’s business lounge which I’d rate as fair. Qantas will apparently open a dedicated lounge later in 2015.

We didn’t have too much time in the lounge anyway, as it was soon time to board the plane! I’ve only flown the A380 a few times before and always forget just how huge the planes are.

Qantas A380

A first look at the seats where we’d be spending the next 16 hours of our lives. A nice amount of space in each “suite”,and the large seat essentially would twist to the left when you started to recline, in order to fully extend.

Qantas A380 First Class Seat

The entire first class cabin was on the first floor of the plane. The long staircase (seen below, right) led to the second floor of the plane, where some of business class was, as well as the business class “lounge”. Unfortunately, the staircase was the coolest part – the so-called “lounge” wasn’t much of anything at all, with very little food and a few chairs. Another couple we met later on at one of our hotel’s was on another Qantas A380 flight and agreed – the husband was much more impressed with their Virgin America flight than the lounge!

Inside Stairs A380 Qantas

Some of the toiletries that were provided in the women’s kit (the men had a slightly different one). Not pictured were the pajamas, which were a simple top and drawstring bottom.

More unusual items of note were the deodorant stick, as well as the “First” labeling on the slippers and PJ’s.

Qantas A380 First Class Toiletries

And then of course, the SK-II toiletries! Teeny tiny but these are definitely ones that I’ll be using on a later trip. You can get the same types of samples at the SK-II counter, just FYI.

Qantas A380 First Class SK-II

Soon after takeoff, it was dinner time. The dining table set up was quite big – big enough for two, and you’d probably have the option to dine as a couple (though we didn’t). The duck salad (bottom left corner) was one of my favorite courses – I only had appetizers. I never eat very heavily on planes – I can’t sleep well for some reason.

Qantas A380 First Class Food

After dinner, I watched a few movies (some good, some very bad). Then while I was in the bathroom freshening up, the seat was prepared for turndown.

Qantas A380 First Class Turndown

I can say with full confidence that so far, the best sleep I’ve ever had was on this Qantas flight. It was some kind of combination of the bed, the particular seat, and maybe even the air. I woke up in the middle of the night and my throat was absolutely parched – I also noticed throughout the flight that my skin was drier. However, I think it made for a better night’s sleep. I have noticed that when I’ve flown Lufthansa – which humidifies its air – I’ve always had less dry skin but my sleep has been slightly worse.

After a good night’s sleep, we woke up for our next meal – breakfast! The hot chocolate and pancakes were my favorite – it was the start of a very gluttonous few weeks.

Qantas A380 First Class Breakfast

After breakfast, and as we got closer to Sydney, I peeked outside the window. Sydney looked so beautiful and it was the perfect view of the city. Actually when I was looking at this photo later, it reminded me of those perfect “Sim City” cities. Anyone? Anyone?

Qantas A380 First Class Sydney View

And thus concludes the first part of my Australia trip series, and my review of Qantas First Class! Verdict? Qantas First on the A380 definitely belongs up there in the top tier of airline first class experiences, along with Cathay, Singapore. Lufthansa and the like. I would rate the food, hard product and plane as top notch. The service on Qantas I would rank as a tad below its Asian and European rivals such as Cathay and Lufthansa – there wasn’t the same level of overall care for the customer I felt, and a lot of the service felt more perfunctory and mechanical.

If you are going to splurge on an airline business or first seat, going to Australia would be one of the places to do so – the long flight definitely makes it worth it. And Qantas would be a great carrier to choose.

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  • Emily
    September 10, 2014 at 11:06 am

    I love that LAX now has some great food options in their international terminal. Nothing like indulging in a truffle burger from Umami before a long flight!

    • Katherine
      September 10, 2014 at 9:11 pm

      I didn’t know there was an Umami! I am going there next time for sure!

  • Ang
    September 10, 2014 at 11:52 am

    Hi Feather Factor! Just curious, I notice you fly a lot in business and first, for this trip did you use miles for the flight?

    • Katherine
      September 10, 2014 at 9:52 pm

      We did on our way back, Qantas unfortunately I believe is very difficult to book on points but does have great promotions from time to time!

  • Sarah
    September 11, 2014 at 6:13 am

    Have you ever tried british airways? They are amazing for long haul flights. Our flight felt like a really high class hotel. (Short haul not so much)

    • Katherine
      September 11, 2014 at 12:40 pm

      I did a long time ago but lately whenever we check flights are so expensive. We usually fly star alliance but with our spending lately on one world we hope to have points at least to try out BA soon! Nice to hear your review!

  • Trey
    September 20, 2014 at 3:38 pm

    Love Mr Feather as I love planes too and this blog is my chance to see 1st class. Can’t wait to try the A380. As to service I never expect any, even when I splurge on an upgrade, a nice hotel. Instead I engage the person from their point of view, anything from: the “fun” (at work) never dies to: I need a gallon of Clicquot STAT! All people are people and a few seconds connecting with them always pays rewards! Somehow I seem to get great service everywhere….

    • Katherine
      September 21, 2014 at 2:58 pm

      Great advice, Trey!

  • Vivian
    September 21, 2014 at 5:05 pm

    I think Qantas first class experience looks very promising!!! We just took 1st class from BA and I swear the food quality was so bad (champagne is good though) and I would prefer SKII over Aromatherapy Associates for my toiletries bag.

  • ZC
    December 23, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    Thought you might find the article below interesting.

    http://mobile.businessweek.com/articles/2014-12-18/airbus-a380-big-plane-small-sales

    • Katherine
      December 28, 2014 at 10:11 am

      Thank you! 🙂