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Flight Review: Qantas Business Class Los Angeles To Sydney

By:
Ben Hall
 

Routes between Australia and the USA are among the most competitive in the world, and to the delight of frequent fliers in the know, Qantas A380s are still flying from Los Angeles to Sydney. Here's why we love them. 

The Flight/Route: QF12, Sydney to Los Angeles.

Duration: 15 mins, dep 22.30, arrive 0730.

The Aircraft: A380-800.

Cabin/Seat: Business Class, seats 21A & B (upper deck).

Baggage Allowance: 2 x 23kgs bags.

Frequent Flyer Program: Qantas Frequent Flyer Program.

More Information: www.qantas.com.au.

 

Overview:

I can remember when Qantas took delivery of its first A380 at Airbus headquarters in Toulouse, France. The aircraft flew to Sydney via Singapore, touching down in at Kingsford Smith Airport on the morning of September 21, 2008, and besides turning heads, the huge beast offered passengers a lineup of perks, including more personal space, a quieter environment onboard, and a smoother flight turbulence wise. Although the future of the A380 is in doubt, Qantas committed to a fleet wide upgrade of the popular aircraft starting in 2019. New features include the introduction of the next generation Business Suite, an all-premium upper deck, and expanded Premium Economy cabin, and aisle access for all Business Class passengers. In the meantime, travellers will have to make do with the old setup, but as we discovered, that’s not too shabby.

Check In/Lounge:

Qantas operates a smooth, quick and efficient separate check-in for Business Class guests, and after the usual immigration and security clearance, we headed for the Tom Bradley International Business Lounge. Located airside on Level 5, the lounge offers entry to anyone with an international Business Class ticket for their next or onward flight that day with Qantas, along with one guest if they are travelling on the same flight. The stylish lounge offers welcome respite from the persistent Los Angeles airport craziness. It interiors and dining are inspired by contemporary Californian culture, and it has cool features including a communal fireplace, a central glass atrium, and Neil Perry-designed menus.

The Seat/Entertainment:

The A380 aircraft operating between Los Angeles and Sydney are usually configured with 64 fully lie-flat, award-winning Business Class Skybeds. On our flight they were organised in a 2-2-2 configuration, and located on the upper deck. The Marc Newson-designed, second generation Skybeds have many draw cards for a long flight, including extensive storage space, massage options, and when you’re ready to sleep, it converts into a two-metre fully-flat bed. Other perks include the option to watch the latest premiere movie or TV shows from an expansive catalogue of entertainment on a large private screen, or you can head off to the special onboard lounge on the upper deck which has long, comfy leather sofas, a self-service bar, a large video monitor and additional magazines. The amenity kits were his and hers by Kate Spade and Jack Spade. There's an electronic privacy divider between the two business class seats which adds to the comfort level if you need it. I very rarely manage a lot of sleep on flights, even in business, but this time around I slept a full eight hours, which left enough time to try out the inflight entertainment system and the lounge.

The Food:

With a contemporary menu of small and main dishes designed by Rockpool's Neil Perry, the food service promises to at least match the best of any land-based restaurant. In Qantas Business Class you can also dine when it suits you, giving you the option to eat something light or a three course meal. You can also choose when you eat, so you can maximise your sleep onboard, and pre order your meals using Menu Select. As our flight departed late at night, we’d opted to eat dinner in the lounge beforehand with the aim of sleeping as much as possible across the Pacific. It worked for me to a point, but I found myself needing a snack in what was the middle of the night; I was able to help myself to a toasted snack in the bar, which was empty at the time. Breakfast which takes place around an hour and a half from touch down is ordered as a "room service" style of option and featured the usual fresh fruit, cereals, yoghurts, and several cooked options, along with a good selection of teas, and decent filter coffee. 

The Service:

When boarding the A380 we were greeted with plenty of friendly smiles, and courteously shown to our seats. As we’ve always found, the Qantas flight attendants are polite and efficient, with welcome drinks and newspapers offered as soon as you sit down. As ever it was a busy flight and the crew were checking on passengers regularly and bringing bottled water without you needing to ask.

UltimateTravelMagazine.com Loves 

  • The fully lie-fat Skybed which is long and extremely comfortable.
  • The A380 aircraft which is super quiet.
  • The entire Business Class section is located on the upper deck.
  • The bar, which offered a welcome change of scenery on a 15-hour flight. 

Insider Tips  

  • If you want to sleep for the first part of the long flight, make use of the delectable food offerings in the Tom Bradley Lounge before you board, and have the crew convert your seat into bed as soon as you can after takeoff.

 

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  1. Posted by on 23rd Sep 2019 Verified Customer

    Grumpy Staff 4 Star Review

    Just recently flew Qantas business class back to Asia and while the flight was great, including the food and seat, the staff were quite grumpy. I have flown the A380 with other airlines and agree its a great aircraft.

  2. Posted by on 23rd Sep 2019 Verified Customer

    Loyalty Doesn't Count 4 Star Review

    I have been a loyal Qantas customer for years, flying exclusively with them for all my business trips and family holidays. I am not happy about the recent changes to the frequent flier program - I have a lot of miles accrued and I reckon it will be harder than ever to redeem them. Otherwise always a top airline.

  3. Posted by on 23rd Sep 2019 Verified Customer

    What A Way To Travel 5 Star Review

    I've never flown Qantas biz class but have heard nothing but good reviews from others. It is a bucket list dream and I can only imagine going to LA would be so much fun!

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