Review: Qantas First Class on the way to Australia with the A380
(Link zum Artikel in DEUTSCH) After travelling westbound by Swiss Air (german) or First Class Lufthansa in the last weeks and months and going east by Air Berlin Business Class, it will now be both ways. First towards west in order to catch the feeder to London (LHR) by British Airways, then east, particularly with a stopover in Singapore (SIN), continuing to Melbourne (MEL), Australia.
As usual, our flight starts in Berlin Tegel. I like this airport in particular, also, if not because it will not be there forever. Of course not everything runs like clockwork, but according to location, size and gate system the airport is quickly attainable and you can even make it when arriving < 60 minutes.
Since British Airways usually dispatches all flights at gate A04, uncommonly Check-In took place at Gate A05. The process itself was pleasant as always. After luggage is being tagged it disappears, and we set off to British Airways Lounge, which is filled but not completely packed.
After having a little snack it’s time to head to the gate. Security check, and we’re on to the machine, taking into account that this is the first time I see Business and Economy Class boarding separated. Scarcely three months before shutdown, separate boarding seems implemented, like just lately in London. I am writing these lines on seat 1D, my favorite in this Airbus A319 with the identification EUPD that I took so many times. A hot cloth, small salad and two Cokes later I close my eyes and listen to some music. Thereupon speakers blow out the announcement to begin final descent to London Heathrow, which is being reached by Terminal 5.
We then follow the yellow “Flight Connection” signs and endorse to Terminal 3 by bus. Not going too far, the info screen shows a moving bus on the lower edge in order to let one know how long the drive takes. Arriving at Terminal 3 of London Heathrow, the commonly second security check follows, which means unwrapping again. This time the Macbook needs to be unboxed and checked. Since there are only a few people, fast lane is not opened, which doesn’t really matter. As generally known, airports and waiting areas are not too comfortable. So we spend some time in one of the lounges, which can be entered with a Qantas First Class ticket. First, we decide in favor of the British Airways Galleries First Lounge.
A warm welcome is followed by an advice for an available pre flight dinner, which takes place at 6.30 pm in a separate area. While our boarding tickets are scanned, we talk in German about me having a massage recently. Having said that, the young lady from the lounge personnel asked: “You said massage? Try our SPA and get a complimentary Massage here.” We find a quite attentive spot right here and so I make an appointment for a massage and go to the lounge. I will write a little more about the facility and suchlike in another article. The pre flight dinner begins at 6.30 pm.
The dish is fine, but nothing special. The tomato soup is quite spicy, but moreover good. The shrimp salad is nice to look at, even though the certain something is missing, which is continuing throughout the dinner. So is the fish – so is the beef. After dinner is finished, I decide for a quick shower. There are a lot of shower cabins here that rather equal bathrooms. Thus guests can take a quick shower, shave and continue their travel refreshed. Later we choose to have a look at the First Class Lounge of Cathay Pacific.
Because the airline is a partner of One World, using the Qantas ticket is absolutely no problem. The lounge is located on the first floor and attractively designed. In the First Class area one can enjoy a drink and wait for the flight while looking at the runway. When the boarding time has come, it is time to leave for the gate. Today, boarding is split in two halves. One half is for Business and Premium Economy Class, which travel in the upper floor of the plane, and the other one for First and Economy Class passengers.
We are being told and asked, if we would like to wait back in the lounge, since the way for the 400 Economy passengers leads through First Class. We choose not to and enter the plane as first ones. All the other ones passing by our seats 2A and 3A make something like a zoo, while the question is who sits in the cage.
First Class cabin of the A380: First impression on the cabin is just “wow”!
Warm colors support my impression and make the cabin look of high quality. Seats, or to put it another way chairs, are spacious. One is protected on- and rearwards by a visual cover, so I feel like being in a world of my own. Immediately my jacket is hung up and I’m asked for my drink request. There is an outstanding Champaign that every traveler should try: “Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Blané de Bancs.” It will be my favorite drink during the flight and there is Appletiser, the best apple spritzer in the world, as well.
Once you drank it, you don’t want any other. Unfortunately it’s a little complicated to get it in Germany. After the first sip follows the question, whether I’d like to have an Amenitie Kit and pajamas. The kit is available in brown for gents and white for ladies. Beneath sock and sleep mask, the kit contains cosmetics, toothbrush and -paste and suchlike. What else is inside and what the difference to the Business Class kit is, can best be seen on the pictures.[pe2-gallery] [/pe2-gallery]
Business Class Kit: Also kids are thought of. They receive a special kit with some toys, some stuff to draw with and some kind of diary, which can be filled with holiday memories and adequate pictures.
The seat in Qantas First Class is one of the best I ever had. Compared to new Lufthansa First Class seats, the arrangement at Qantas is rather close to British Airways. For take off and landing, the seat has to be adjusted vertically and in flight direction. Right after that, you can choose between different justifications, which are controlled via touch screen remote or by touch.
The settings offer many different positions and can be saved individually, so you can reset it to your preferred position. Presets include “sleep”, “eat” and “tariff”, but also interesting ones like “reading in bed” or “entertainment”.
After having a little snack of olives before take off, the menu is delivered. For the first part of flight LHR to SIN, my decision fell on “Parsnip and Apple Soup”, followed by delicious fish, known as “Gilt-Head Bream”, dished up with sautéed potatoes, carrots and mash of white onion.
For desert there was a mouth-watering selection of cheese and “Buffalo Milk Organic Ice Cream Tub” coming in two different flavors. This was more than tasty, even though it could have been presented in a different way. The menu for the first part (London – Singapore) can be reviewed here. You also find a selection of wines there, including a well tasting dessert wine: Mount Horrocks Corden Riesling 2009. Short before lading in Singapore we got a little breakfast. My choice was pancakes, garnished with fruit and yogurt, which was very delicious.
But also the second half was fortified with enough food. Considering the daytime (about 8 pm), a dinner was served. The only disadvantage was compromised by a waiting time of 2 hours until the dish was served, which is a lot for First Class – Especially on a 7 hours flight to Melbourne. Of course you want to sleep as much as possible, but first the menu.
Canapés consisting of tuna and “Tarnet of Chicken Mayonnaise with Parmesan”. I decided for a quite delicious “Thai Tom Yum” soup, followed by “Pumpkin and Mozzarella Arancini”. Not only did they look tasty, they were.
[pe2-gallery] [/pe2-gallery]For dessert we got something sweet this time. Pear and vanilla cake – as tasty as can be seen on the picture. After dinner, one should rest after dinner, the seat was transformed into a full-fledged bed, with help of the stewardess. It only took a short moment. The seat receives a table in order to equalize surface irregularities and sheets. The high quality bedding, used as covering for the blanket and the two thick pillows, could have been taken out of a hotel.
The size of the suite and seat is gigantic. There are two big drawers on the pillar between the windows accommodating all my penny-ante stuff. On top of that is a compartment for water bottle, which suits perfectly for my stuff: iPhone, headset, etc. Regarding the headset, a knickknack is striking. Right beneath the extensible touch remote, there is a little snag for the headset. Also Qantas uses headsets by the brand BOSE, provided with a Qantas branding.
The A380 The flight experience itself is outstanding. The volume compared to other planes is clearly lower and also the humidity seems to be more comfortable. At least I haven’t had the feeling of a dried out nose, as every now and then. Qantas uses a four-class seating. There are quite comfortable and good Business Class seats on the upper deck that can be converted to a bed. The kitchen is located right behind the curtain. During the flight you can sustain yourself with snacks and drinks, if you like self-service. The same opportunity can be found in the area of Premium Economy and Economy Class, just with fewer items.
Above the Business Class you can find some kind of lounge and another area of self-service. There are snacks, fruit, chocolate, and drinks. Nobody has to starve or die of thirst on this flight. Conclusion:
As opposed to products at Lufthansa, Swiss First or BA First, Qantas offers a lot of space. Seats are extremely big, due to the flippable position and the bed is more than comfortable and leaves nothing to be desired. Little details, such as the hook for headsets or a small extra table in front of the seat, make the construction seem to be elaborate. Purely and simply a compartment for Macbooks is missing, but the notebook can be stored under the ottoman, which is a perfect solution, if you like to dine two by two. The big table leaves the possibility to stand up, even when it’s folded out. This is not possible at every airline and of course restricts the mobility drastically.
For me in total one of the best flights, by plane A380 as well as seat and superb service. Once again, thank you to the super kind team on the first part of the flight and for the tour through the aircraft and insight into the cockpit.
Date of travel: 02/17 – 02/19 BA 985, QF 10,
Ticket: paid First Class Ticket In the end, a few more pictures: