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Qantas Business Class Review, Los Angeles-Sydney

Ben Hall

The Australia-LA route remains one of the most competitive across the Pacific, and to the delight of frequent fliers, some of the Qantas fleet of 12 A380s are still found 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:


I can remember when Qantas took delivery of its first A380, just on a decade ago 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 Airbus has recently admitted that the future of the A380 is in doubt, Qantas has committed to a fleet wide upgrade of the popular aircraft starting in 2019. New features will 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, this recently upgraded 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 usual Los Angeles airport craziness, its interiors and dining inspired by contemporary Californian culture, and 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, organised in a 2-2-2 configuration, and located on the upper deck. These Marc Newson-designed, second generation Skybeds have a number of drawcards for such 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 are 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 at 1030pm we’d opted to eat dinner in the lounge with the aim of sleeping as much of the journey across the Pacific as possible. It worked for me to a point, but I found myself needing a snack in what appeared to be the middle of the night, so I opted 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 I was greeted with plenty of friendly smiles, and courteously shown to my seat. As we’ve always found, the Qantas flight attendants were 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. Loves 

  • The fully lie-fat Skybed which is long and extremely comfortable.
  • The A380 aircraft which is 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.


360 - Qantas A380 Exterior 01:51

Welcome to the Qantas A380. 484 seats, 4 cabins and 2 full decks. Take a look around our aircraft

  • 360 - Qantas A380 Exterior
    360 - Qantas A...
    Welcome to the Qantas A380. 484 seats, 4 cabins and 2 full dec...

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  1. Posted by on 8th Oct 2018 Verified Customer

    Still Love Qantas 5 Star Review

    Everyone's been knocking Qantas for years, but I travel back and forth to the US and still rate the service, the flat beds and the planes. My only complaint would be using the frequent flyer miles is tough!

  2. Posted by on 24th Sep 2018 Verified Customer

    Not A Great Airline Anymore 3 Star Review

    I used to fly Qantas all the time but reckon they are not the force they once were. I usually go Virgin now, or United as they are cheaper. Qantas is expensive for what it is these days.

  3. Posted by on 17th Sep 2018 Verified Customer

    Still A Great Airline 5 Star Review

    I travel to the USA on business about 4 times a year and I always try to fly business class and with spite of the knocks they are still a great airline and I never have a problem with them. Long may the kangaroo fly!

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