Qantas 747 Business Class review (with children) – QF127 Sydney to Hong Kong – on the 747 Upper Deck with two kids

I’ve flown Qantas QF127 to Hong Kong for work several times over the last couple of years, but travelling with my other half, new baby and 3-year-old was quite a different experience – I was still working on the flight, but in a completely different way – and far more intense!

Reviews of QF127 flying solo are here (A380 Business Class) and here (747 Premium Economy).

But booking and flying with kids is a whole different ballgame. Continue reading…

Qantas 747 (old) First Class Review – QF128 Hong Kong to Sydney

Returning from Hong Kong recently, my travel was booked into Business Class but I was travelling on one of the once or twice weekly services operated by an old configuration 747 rather than an A380.

Qantas have slowly upgraded the majority (if not all) of their 747-400ER fleet, leaving a handful of 747’s which will operate for another few years, tops, with a 4 class configuration Qantas’ First Class product on their 747’s is significantly different, and much older, than that in the A380, but I will still interested to try what was at one point the flagship experience of Qantas’ international operations.
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 747 Premium Economy Review- QF127 Sydney to Hong Kong

My flight up to Hong Kong was on QF127, the daytime departure from Sydney at 11.50am. Although Qantas have recently started flying the A380 on this route, 3 days out of 7 are still operated by a 747 which was the case for this journey.

As this work trip was booked only 10 days before I was due to leave, the choice of seats was pretty minimal. I’d settled on a middle aisle seat, but the day before the flight I noticed that the seatmap had changed, and we had an aircraft swap to the 3 class 747 (with no First class) from the regular 4 class type that usually runs this route. This meant some seats opened up at the front of the cabin, but I struggled to find decent info about this particular configuration, and in the end I made a bad decision and got lumped with a bulkhead seat with no footroom. 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.
Continue reading…

Qantas Premium Economy & Business Class Review – QF11 & QF107 Sydney to New York via Los Angeles

The first and second legs on our around the world trip were from Sydney to New York, via a 23 hour stopover at LAX. Qantas treated us admirably in Premium Economy, and we scored an Economy -> Business points upgrade about 22 hours prior to departure for LAX-JFK – win!

So, I bought these tickets outright. When it comes to points, maybe that’s cheating… but it wouldn’t have been possible without a healthy points balance. Points availability between the USA and Australia is some of the toughest to grab out there, so if there was going to be a leg on this trip where I needed to buy a fare outright, this was going to be it.
Continue reading…