Emirates A380 Business Class between New Zealand & Australia – Flight Overview

Amongst frequent flyers between Australia and New Zealand it’s well known that Emirates A380 flights are the ones to aim for if you’re looking for comfort, service and amenities, whilst earning or redeeming Qantas Points.

With Emirates now upgrading all of their flights between the two countries to Airbus A380s, their appeal to those using Qantas Points remains. For the same 36,000 Qantas Points as you’d pay to sit in Business Class on a small Qantas 737, instead you can enjoy lie-flat comfort and the infamous onboard bar – this is one of the funnest uses of a smaller Qantas Point balance out there, in my book.

In this guide, we look at the various flights that Emirates offer between Australia and New Zealand, how much they cost for a Business Class redemption, and any drawbacks of choosing to use your Qantas Points for Emirates First or Business Class. Continue reading…

Korean Air First Class Overview – Sydney to San Francisco via Seoul

Korean Air First Class has some of the least full First Class cabins out there, meaning you are more likely than not to be sharing this comfortable and private cabin with a minimal number of fellow passengers.

This is a great choice for those who can earn Starpoints, such as having an Amex card, or purchase them from Starwood Preferred Guest and have enough time to endure a longer transit time by going through Seoul (compared to Singapore or Hong Kong, for example). Continue reading…

Emirates upgrade to A380 on Auckland – Dubai direct service from October 30

Emirates commenced their Auckland – Dubai direct service on 1st March 2016, initially using one of their 266 seat 777-200LR aircraft.

From 30th October this year having 4 Emirates A380’s parked up at the Auckland International terminal will become a daily event, as the airline upgrades operational aircraft on the route to a 3 class 489 seat Airbus A380-800.

With reward seat availability in all cabin classes open for booking the opportunity is there to experience the best of Emirates A380 business and first service on the longest flight in the world. Continue reading…

Emirates Business Class A380 and Emirates Melbourne Business Class Lounge Review – EK406 Melbourne to Auckland

I have always loved to travel but had never really aspired to achieve status with any one airline, rather preferring to grab the cheapest flight available.

That all changed in the last year from having a number of paid trips planned mostly with Qantas and reading Point Hacks in Australia. Along with the chance to purchase a reduced price Qantas club membership in the middle of 2015 I have been intent on achieving Silver status this membership year.

In the second half of last year my partner and I decided to spend Christmas & New Years with her family in Perth. We planned on returning via Melbourne for 3 nights from 3rd January to catch up with friends and thanks to a great Business Class sale fare, scored Emirates’ A380 back to New Zealand. Continue reading…

Singapore Airlines A380 Business Class Review – SQ232 Sydney – Singapore

Singapore Airlines A380 Sydney | Point Hacks

Just a couple of weeks ago now I picked up a relatively last minute award booking on Singapore Airlines to head up to the Singapore Grand Prix with my 4 year old daughter, Zoe, tagging along to see family.

Using KrisFlyer miles on this route for their excellent A380 Business Class cabin was a deal at 46,750 KrisFlyer miles per person plus ~AU$290 in taxes and fees.

This was done by transferring over Velocity points to KrisFlyer which credit immediately – so 63,115 Velocity points used for this transfer. Given I had the Velocity points in my account, and didn’t want to wait for credit card points to transfer, this was a great use of my Velocity balance.
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Qantas A380 First Class Review – QF127 Sydney to Hong Kong

Qantas has now stopped operating First Class to and from Hong Kong as of September last year, but I had reason to head up for a few days.

It happened to be in the last week of A380 operations and found myself sitting in First Class on the way up, thanks to an aggressive promotion which had Business fares with one-way in First priced more aggressively than Business in both directions. Go figure.

I chose to fly First on the way up to Hong Kong to make the most of the Sydney First Class lounge and the daylight flight – and it was a great experience. Read on for my thoughts on the lounge, food, service and the A380 generally. Continue reading…

Qantas A380 Business Class Review – QF127 Sydney to Hong Kong

A lot of my travel in the last 18 months has been up to Hong Kong, and another trip earlier this year was no different with a couple of days only in the city. I flew up on a Monday on Qantas’ A380 service, and was scheduled to return on the return overnight flight on Wednesday on an old Qantas 747.

For hotels, I was out at the Novotel Citygate a short bus transfer from the airport for the first night, and then had a night at Easts Hotel in Taikoo Shing.

I’ll post some pictures and brief thoughts about all but the return flight where I was exhausted and managed a solid 6 hour sleep, even with the sloping Skybed mk1 on Qantas unrefurbished 747s.

I had managed to secure a forward cabin seat on the A380 which I definitely prefer to the larger, rear cabin. I had selected a corner/window seat in row 13, the last of the three rows, in front of the galley, bathrooms and whatnot. The aisle seats here are a bit exposed to foot traffic but the windows are pretty quiet with noone behind you.

It was one of those flights where the boarding process was a bit odd – a couple with two young kids had occupied most of the left hand side of the cabin, and I had requested a window seat, was all set for where I thought I would be, only to find someone sitting there when I boarded (one of the last to do so). A Hong Kong or Chinese late-teenage son and mother were seated in the pair near my seat was, and insisted (politely) that I should move so that they could sit together. I’m not one to quibble, so did and as the seat-switch logistics were underway one of them knocked over water on their intended seat. All in all, a mess of a first 10 minutes.

Once settled I took this quick panorama of the Qantas A380 forward business cabin:

Sydney - Hong Kong Qantas A380 Business Class review

Sydney - Hong Kong Qantas A380 Business Class review

One of the more interesting things about this flight to me as the first time I’d flown with Qantas since the change to their new sleeper service, which adds a mattress pad and some different bedding options.

Sydney - Hong Kong Qantas A380 Business Class review

The mattress pad was a good improvement to the comfort of the seat, it smoothed out some of the cracks and was worth fitting, even for a day flight.

Dining

The menu on offer was as follows:

Now, I’ve since flown QF127 with Qantas (this week, actually) and they have restructured the way the menu and service works compared to this particular flight. On offer now is a range of canapés, entrées and mains which can be mixed and match in one main meal service, with some of them then available to order ad-hoc later in the flight for a light dinner.

For this previous flight, it was a standard menu for lunch, with then a choice of a couple of dishes for dinner.

Sydney - Hong Kong Qantas A380 Business Class review

I started with the Tuna, which was tasted very high quality.

Sydney - Hong Kong Qantas A380 Business Class review

Then moved onto the Chicken Tagine.

Sydney - Hong Kong Qantas A380 Business Class review

Washed down with frozen yoghurt ice cream with Rhubarb.

Sydney - Hong Kong Qantas A380 Business Class review

For dinner, I went for a shepherds pie. The dinner wasn’t great, but lunch was excellent. Given my experience this week, I think Qantas have made the right move with recent service changes.

Conclusion

This flight was typical Qantas Business Class on the A380. Friendly but not over the top service, generally good food, and a comfortable seat. However, Cathay still blows Qantas out of the water with their new Business Class seat, and given the option, I’d fly with them any time up to HK.

Qantas A380 First Class Review – QF9 Melbourne to Singapore

I was researching my plans on how to get up to Malaysia from Sydney, and when this opportunity presented itself I couldn’t pass it up. I was yet to fly Qantas First Class on the A380, hadn’t been to the Melbourne First Class lounge, and the 90,000 points needed for this flight were sitting in my account. I booked this as an Any Seat Award, paying an extra $100 or so to accrue around 10,000 points and some status credits.

Wandering off from the lounge about as late as possible before boarding (I was enjoying the food and drink too much), I was one of the last 2 or 3 First Class passengers to board, after a long queue on the air bridge with Economy passengers – both First and Economy use the same forward door. Continue reading…

Qantas A380 Premium Economy Review – QF32 Singapore to Sydney

This was booked as a paid Economy fare, one way Singapore to Sydney. Qantas tickets departing Singapore are usually more flexible and cheaper than one-way’s departing from Australia. They book into a more permissive booking class, allowing upgrades using points, and changes and refunds too.

As such, we applied for upgrades to Premium Economy using points as soon as the ticket was booked. They both cleared at a cost of 25,000 points each.
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