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Topic: Fevered Booking? To Aus With Qantas A380 In F/J
Username: palmjet
Posted 2012-06-16 15:02:00 and read 26260 times.

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Early in 2011, I came to realise it was a bad idea to be sitting at home ill and not at work, bored and with a laptop in close proximity.

My thoughts had turned to flying back to Australia to see family at Christmas, something I’ve not done since the Christmas of 2006. I think I was scarred by that experience flying EK via DXB and SIN – very full flights with lots of agitated and over tired young children, old(er) pre ICE IFE, and mediocre onboard service on all of the sectors. It had been a real disappointment. That pretty much summed up the experience in both directions. I was keen to avoid a repeat experience at the end of 2011.

In my fevered state (it was a nasty cold), I started perusing a number of airline websites, and found myself ending up at www.qantas.com.au. Not really sure why. Without much effort, I seem to have landed on a page which gave me a number of choices back to Brisbane, including A380 sectors, with a combination First/Business fare because there was no F cabin availability on one sector (as the A330 operating the SIN-BNE does not have F installed). On the outbound flight, I could fly First to Singapore on the A380 and then Business on the A330 to Brisbane. The fare was the same for flying J the whole way. Why go J when you can go F for part of the journey? The return however would all be in J via SYD, and it allowed me to sample the QF A380 all the way from Sydney to London. The fare was not cheap, at over £3500 and I would be nuts to book it. At the same time, I found myself heading over to virginaustralia.com.au to see whether it would be possible to sample their new ATR72.

Alas, somehow I found myself booking the QF and DJ tickets; I can only put it down to my love of flying, trying something new and having a fever at the time. Would it be a worthwhile decision? My credit card certainly did not think so, but I was all set to experience F for the first time, and my first time flying Qantas out of London back to Australia, so there was a flutter of excitement about the upcoming flights.

A report of the Virgin flights can be found at:

1 Long Day, 3 Short Virgins: Virgin's New ATR72 (by palmjet Feb 9 2012 in Trip Reports)

This report will feature 2 A380 sectors: LHR-SIN and the daylight return SYD-SIN sector.


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DEPARTURE DAY ARRIVES AND SO DOES A COLD

Fastforward to the end of 2011 and Qantas had been in the news quite a bit in the preceeding months, but mostly for all the wrong reasons: maintenance scares, industrial disputes, strikes and of course, everyone knows about the airline’s total shutdown which caused enormous damage to the airline’s reputation and affected thousands of passengers, including A.net’s Planehunter: see

QF A380 Grounded, Bags Lost - LHR-SIN, TK A330/340 (by PlaneHunter Jan 30 2012 in Trip Reports)

Having said that, by the time mid December came around, things back in Sydney for Qantas seemed to have settled down to the extent that at least there did not seem to be any threat of my flight being cancelled.

Departure day finally arrived and unfortunately, I was not feeling well. I think it was the stress of work and the usual mid winter germs flying around on the Underground. Nevertheless, by mid afternoon, I was on my way to Heathrow Terminal 3. I’ve always treasured escaping Britain in mid winter for summer in the southern hemisphere. It’s amazing that you can be wearing coats and scarves and seeing it get dark at 4pm and 22 hours later, you can be in shorts and flip flops under a blazing sun. The wonders of modern aviation. I love it. I hoped it would do wonders for the cold I was developing.

Darkness had arrived by the time I got to Terminal 3.

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Check in at the combined BA/QF area was relatively peaceful with only one travelling group in front of me at the QF First counter. Yes, an entire family were travelling on F today - wish I had been that lucky when I was younger. My bag was tagged through to Brisbane by the friendly agent, and it was off through the dedicated fast track for premium passengers.

All checked in!



I was expecting it to be manic, given it was the weekend before Christmas but there was only a very short security line this evening, so just over 5 mins later, I was through to the airside shopping centre. Here the crowds were gathered - very few seats left, lots of people milling about eating or shopping. Choosing to avoid the crowds, I headed for the BA Galleries Lounge - my first time in the F section.

I was welcomed into the lounge and found a nice peaceful atmosphere inside with plenty of places to relax until it was time to head for the gate. There were a number of staff on hand offering assistance and whether I wanted to order something from the menu (which would be brought to my seat). I am a real sucker for anything aviation history related. Nice to see a flashback to the past with this design on the cover of the menu.

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The menu was divided into breakfast on the left hand side, and the rest of the day on the other. This was in addition to the well stocked hot and cold buffet. No chance of starving here.

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Something to prepare for the long flight to Australia. If some flyers describe transatlantic flights as “long haul” then the flights to Australia can only be described as ultra long haul!



I won’t linger with this part of the report other than to say that I spent a couple of enjoyable hours relaxing here, using the free wifi and doing a bit of reading. I wanted to head over to the gate area before it got too crowded to see whether I could get a snap of my A380 operating the flight this evening.

Heading toward the gate, first stop was the EK A380 at the gate next door getting ready for Dubai.

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A few steps away at the gate was the distinctive bulbous shape of another A380. This one was mine. Named after one of Australia’s most famous aviators of the pioneer age - Charles Kingsford Smith was the first person to fly transpacific from the US to Australia. Sadly he disappeared over the Bay of Bengal in the mid 1930s and was never heard from again. Slightly unnerving to think we would be flying over the Bay of Bengal in 10 or so hours time.

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LEAVING THE EUROPEAN WINTER BEHIND

Date: December 2011
Airline: Qantas Airways QF10
Flight: QF10 - Heathrow (LHR) -Singapore (SIN)
Aircraft: A380-800 VH-OQF, delivered January 2010, MSN029
Name:“Charles Kingsford Smith”
Seat: 2A (F)

I managed to get to the gate far too early (well, it surprised the gate agent when I went to register to enter the holding pen and saw my allocated seat). I was more than happy to wait and just people watch. It’s definitely one of my favourite things to do at airports. This flight would be going on to Melbourne after its stop in Singapore. As I waited, there seemed to be some confusion for some passengers who were not continuing to Melbourne. They were worried that they might be at the wrong gate - clearly not aware of Singapore being a major transit point for QF flights where you can pretty much connect in SIN through to most Australian capital cities.

The gate area quickly filled up; not unexpected for a flight going to Australia the weekend before Christmas.

Boarding was an orderly affair - well organised although some of the signage for the various cabins could have been clearer.

I entered the cabin through the L1 door and was immediately greeted by a smiling cabin crew member and directed to my seat.

Soft tones, clean lines

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Seats were all arranged in a 1 - 1 - 1 configuration. The window seats had at least 3 windows each. Some people have said that the F cabins on Qantas look like telephone call centre work stations - which is unkind (and in my view, untrue!). I did not feel they were like this at all. First impressions were “wow”-like. I was really looking forward to spending 12 or so hours in this cabin. I’ve never had this much personal space on an aircraft. period. This was going to be fun.

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My seat, looking aft from 1A

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Shortly afterwards, while I was taking pictures, one of the flight attendants appeared and after introducing himself, asked me a) whether I would like a drink and b) whether I wanted my picture taken in my seat. I gladly said yes to both! Here’s the canapes which consisted of parmesan shortbread with eggplant (aubergine) puree and kalamata olives, which was accompanied by a glass of Tattinger champagne.

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He said that many people liked taking pictures onboard the aircraft and they had no problem with passengers doing this. Quite a refreshing attitude. Thank you Qantas.

No through traffic in the F cabin apart from other F passengers. Seemed to be quite a mix of young and old – the spritely gentleman in front of me was heading to Darwin, and I overheard him saying to one flight attendant that he needed assistance in transferring at Singapore to a Jetstar flight. Quite a contrast from QF F to Jetstar was my first thought!

Drinks were collected, seconds offered. Welcome announcements were made by the flight attendants as passengers drifted aboard. The ambience onboard created by the crew was one of order, but very relaxed. Nobody was overly formal or robotic – they all had a very pleasant manner and nothing was too much trouble. They all seemed genuinely pleased to be there, which is a good sign.

While on the ground, I was presented with the amenity kit and PJs



...and then settled into my very comfy seat, which Qantas simply describes as “Suites” and watched the action from the aircraft’s tail camera while we were still at the gate.

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The seat actually swivels around align with the foot stool and for when it folds down to the bed. For take off, it’s locked into a forward facing position which still allows plenty of legroom.

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There is a control panel next to you which allows easy access to pretty much all functions – from seat reclines, to lighting, to closing the blinds on the window shades.

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Retro but funky looking personal air vent



Looking forward to the steps that lead up to the cockpit, which is on a slightly higher level than the F cabin



Final preparations seemed to take a little longer than expected, and we were approximately 10 minutes late pushing back. By this time, I was strapped – and I mean that literally – into my seat. It has a double seatbelt - a lapbelt and a sashbelt which goes across your shoulder, as shown on the emergency safety card. The cockpit crew provided their own nice welcome message.

While sipping champagne - feeling moderately indulged by this point, one of the senior flight attendants of the London based crew walked through the cabin and introduced herself to everyone. She spent quite some time with everyone introducing herself and asking if anyone had any questions or needed any help with anything. It was a very personalised touch and one I very much appreciated. We chatted about how nice it was to escape the winter for Australia, how amazing the A380 was and what our Christmas plans were. She was lovely.

Safety card - yes, it’s an A380-800



The Qantas safety demonstration has been updated (again) and Mr Travolta is nowhere to be seen. Many people might lament the ditching of the JT featured demonstration but I am not one of those people. I thought it was corny and crass. Mind you, the replacement is not that inspiring either. However, all the core messages are given so I guess that is really the main point.

Jetbridges disconnected - time to go.

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Departures were using 27L this evening and we headed to the runway behind a number of other aircraft all getting ready to go as well. By the time it was our turn, we were nearly 30 mins behind schedule. Not a problem as we would likely make up the time enroute. Departure was a very quiet and smooth affair – as the A380 is known for although as we gained height, there were a few bumps. A sharp left turn was initiated soon after departure. All the time, you could barely hear any noise of the engines. Everything was super quiet.

The lights of London outside as we depart Heathrow.

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Just over 12 hours to Singapore this evening

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One of the slightly more problematic issues (and it’s a nice problem to have from most peoples’ perspective) is that the seat is so far away from the windows that you cannot see much from your seat when strapped in. You actually need to get out of the seat and walk to the window! Sounds crazy but it certainly played havoc with any photo taking I had planned!

Still climbing

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Soon there were no views down below other than the lights of towns and cities, so I closed the blinds. Mood lighting had been set at this point which accounts for the reddish glow.

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MID FLIGHT DINING

Before we had crossed into continental Europe, the crew had busied themselves by offering more drinks, and the menu was presented to everyone. Most people seemed to be awake and wanted to eat. It was still only approximately 10pm local time. There would be plenty of time for sleep. I liked the menu design with an atmospheric picture of the Rocks in Sydney on the cover with the “Coathanger” in the background and it made me strangely homesick for a few seconds!

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There seemed to be choices everywhere on the menu and plenty of explanations from the crew for those who needed more explanation. Unfortunately the developing cold meant I did not have much of an appetite, especially as I had eaten a light snack in the lounge, I was not famished when the menu choices were being considered. Everything was brought to the large table (which also allows 2 people to eat at the same seat if necessary) individually – no trolleys in sight at all.

The starters consisted of a choice between roasted parsnip and apple soup or salad of cornish ham, manchego, cos and red mustard with a sherry vinegar dressing.

I ended up not opting for a salad or starter and just went for the main course, and I decided to try the master stock chicken with lemon sauce, rice and choy sum. It was tasty – I wouldn’t describe it as anything amazing. Bread and olive oil was on hand and repeatedly offered throughout. The other supper options were wild mushroom linguini or bream with white onion puree, sauteed potatoes, and buttered carrots.

Alternatively, you could choose a light meal, which consisted of either a moroccan lamb pot pie, prawn wontons or the steak sandwich with tomato and chilli relish.

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During the middle of the dinner service – right over the top of Belgium. I raised a glass to our A.netter friends in Belgium at this point from the comfort of my seat.

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To go with the chicken, I tried the Gembrook Hill (Yarra Valley) Sauvignon Blanc as reference to the Yarra Valley brought back memories for me from when I lived in Melbourne, and I made several trips to that beautiful part of Victoria.

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While dinner was being prepared, I leafed through the entertainment options on the fold out 17 inch screen. My favourite channel was of course the in flight map (gosh A.netters are such easy people to please when it comes to IFE!). A pair of nice noise cancelling headphones completed the IFE picture.

A wide variety of things to watch

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But given that I was going back to Australia, what better way to get in the mood than to watch something Australian. Thankfully Qantas have an entire section dedicated to Australian films.

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I ended up settling on a new movie called “33 Postcards” (not to be confused with the film “32 Postcards”!), which was joint venture Australia – China production written by Pauline Chan and starred Guy Pearce. The film was in a mix of Mandarin and English – my favourite type of movie! Apparently it was one of the first movies co-produced between China and New South Wales.

I did not feel like anything fancy for dessert so settled on the passionfruit ice cream, which unfortunately was rock hard. It also wasn’t the brand advertised on the menu although there was no explanation from the crew why it was different. Other dessert options consisted of vanilla brulee with hazlenut praline, seasonal fruit or quince clafoutis with chestnut icecream. Petit fours and cheese were available for those still hungry.

My dessert, with a ginger ale (cheers PlaneHunter!)

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The meal choices I ended up with seemed rather plain (although these were indeed my choices) and overall it was certainly not better in terms of quantity or quality from what I have received on J class services (on both QF and other airlines in the past). I certainly did not feel paying extra to fly F would be worth it for the food alone but then again, I did not sample all of the courses. If I had, Qantas would have needed to wheel me off the aircraft in Singapore due to me being the size of a house!

Having said that, I really enjoyed the film and the time was passing quickly – by the end of it, I was feeling ready for a nap.

After dinner and the movie as we track eastwards over Ukraine

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SNOOZING AT 36,000FT

The seat, when folded down to the bed, is 212 cm long (83 inches) and 73cm (29 inches wide) – plenty of space even for those of us who are above average in height (and sadly perhaps weight?). The seat controls allow for a number of different lumbar controls, and there is a 5 point massage system which you can activate from the control panel. I tried all of these out as I could not decide which one I liked more!

The Suite is very private without feeling claustrophobic. There are a couple of privacy dividers which can be raised if you want more privacy. All beds have a large pillow and a sheepskin covered mattress with a cotton sheet on the outside. A duvet and blanket were also provided. Once I had changed into my PJs, the bed was ready and made. I felt very spoilt (and fortunate!) at this point.

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Water was also placed in one of the storage cabinets in case of thirst during the night. Most people by now had started to settle down into their beds or were quietly watching TV. Again cabin noise was almost non existent.

I managed about 6 hours or so of sleep which was a personal record for me as I can never sleep on aircraft. The bed was very spacious and comfortable. No complaints or criticisms of the duvet or pillow either.

ONBOARD WANDER

I decided to stretch my legs a bit – although the cabin was still dark. I did not wander upstairs into J as I would be travelling in business on the way home from Brisbane and would get to experience what that was like in a couple of weeks time. The staircase to the upper deck looks good.



The area just behind the cockpit and infront of the forward stairs is very spacious. It feels like you’re in a large room and not an aircraft. It was a strange sensation. There are a couple of toilets here for F passengers too. I decided to check the facilities out –seeing that I was wandering around anyway. The door to the toilet was huge and opened outwards (not folding inwards like most commonly seen on aircraft).

For Jonas - the lavatorial facilities with (faux) leather loo seat and certainly a loo with a view



Payot Accoutrements



I did not wander back into Y or Y + as the Qantas cabins have been well documented by other trip reporters. Here’s where we were during my wander - making good progress.

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Approaching the Bay of Bengal

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GETTING CLOSE TO SINGAPORE

While not too far out of Singapore, and cabin crew made a round or two of the cabin to see who was awake and if they were, asked whether they would like anything for breakfast.

I was up and feeling slightly dehydrated so I asked for some juice which was promptly brought over to me. Juice options were orange, apple, mango, tomato, pear and an energiser drink.

Breakfast options consisted of both continental and a hot selection. I ended up having some muesli and fresh fruit salad, along with a warmed croissant and some toast. Interestingly, in addition to jam and marmalade, Vegemite was also offered. I’ve never been offered it before on a flight, and it felt slightly surreal to be asked in a Welsh voice flying over Malaysia on an Australian airline whether I wanted Vegemite with my toast!

The hot options consisted of a eggs, trout and tomato relish, or pancakes with fruit compote and cinnamon yoghurt.

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I also asked for a coffee and decided on a cappucino along with more juice. This finished breakfast off nicely.



Most of the other passengers were now stirring or eating breakfast, so I raised my window shades.

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Before descent commenced, the cockpit crew made another announcement, hoping that passengers had managed to get some sleep (yes thanks!) and that we would be landing in Singapore soon. The weather was expected to be showery and overcast which is how Singapore often is every time I transit through there (and they say London has the monopoly on bad weather!)

Here’s the view outside - having had to get out of the seat and walk to one of my 3 windows! Quite a struggle  
And from the tail camera

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Sufficient storage place for everything too which was good - although I seem to have developed a habit of leaving things behind on aircraft in the past few months so too many compartments for me, is likely to be dangerous!

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It was difficult to know which direction we were approaching SIN due to the dull conditions and cloud cover. I just prepared my seat area for landing, although I did not have to do much as the cabin crew came around and secured each Suite. Getting ready for landing, instructions inside the suite required the seat to be rotated back to its forward position and the sashbelt to be fastened in addition to the lapbelt.

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There was little to see outside, as we made our final approach into SIN.

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Touchdown was smooth, although as promised, the weather was pretty awful. This was the tailcam view as we slowed down along the wet runway. It was after 6pm local time when we arrived.

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A short taxi later, and we were docked at the gate. F passengers were given priority to leave the aircraft with the crew thanking everyone at the door as they exited. I managed to get a couple of water logged pictures of “Charles” at the gate. The aircraft would be refuelled and replenished before going on to Melbourne that evening. I had a connecting flight to Brisbane, on QF52, which would be operated by a QF A330-300... but that’s another trip report!

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END OF PART ONE

Topic: RE: Fevered Booking? To Aus With Qantas A380 In F/J
Username: palmjet
Posted 2012-06-16 15:03:34 and read 26346 times.

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Christmas was spent near the beach in Queensland and it was just what I needed to relax and unwind. It was also great to catch up with family and friends.

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After a fabulous trip, it was time to return back to London (and sadly to work). I could have elected to fly directly to Singapore from Brisbane on a QF A330, or I could fly down to Sydney and connect with the A380 service going all the way to London. It was a no brainer really, even with the transit in Sydney, which can sometimes be a hassle.

Getting to Sydney was easy - a Qantas 737-800 and just over an hour’s flying time, and I was there. Enroute, there were some amazing views of this most gorgeous of cities.

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and then views of SYD itself as we flew right past it - domestic terminals are on the left and the international terminal is on the right.

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We approached the airport from the south and landed over Botany Bay on the far left runway (in the picture above)

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and on the way to the gate, passed by the Qantas hangers - where the Yananyi Dreaming B737-800 was getting some TLC. Sadly now the only QF aircraft to wear special Aboriginal colours.

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My aircraft after arriving from Brisbane with the Qantas Freight B767-300F in the background

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The transit at SYD from the domestic to the international terminal was very smooth - a complementary shuttle bus operates for Qantas passengers. The added plus is that the journey takes you on a nice airside tour of a large part of the airport. Great for spotters!

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Before heading to the Qantas First lounge in Sydney, I had a quick wander around the terminal to see what the views were like.

Airside at SYD

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A row of longhauls

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Virgin Australia B777-300ER in interim colours

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An albino A340-300 on a government charter operated by HiFly

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The live wall near the entrance to the Qantas First lounge

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Relaxing in the lounge - which was wonderful. In my view, the Qantas First lounge in Sydney is nicer than BA’s First lounge(s) at LHR T5.

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Looking out from the lounge across SYD and the city of Sydney in the background

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A fellow Qantas A380 leaving for Los Angeles

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My aircraft being towed to its departure gate

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LEAVING SUNNY SYDNEY

Date: January 2012
Airline: Qantas Airways
Flight: QF31 - Sydney (SYD) - Singapore (SIN)
Aircraft: A380-800 VH-OQJ
Name: “Bert Hinkler”
Seat: 13K

Time seemed to fly and before long, I was at the gate getting ready to board. Gate agents announced that it was a completely full flight this afternoon and so were asking people to be patient and ensure that they boarded only when called. This was the view from the jet bridge. Two other passengers also stopped to grab a picture. What a great view although the A380 is far from an attractive aircraft in my opinion.

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After passengers needing special assistance were boarded, First and Business passengers were invited to board and I soon found myself heading upstairs to my seat - 13K.

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I really came to like this seat. It was the last row in the very front section of the upper deck.

This was the view from 13K - a JetStar A330 was getting ready for departure next door.

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Lots of storage space beside me

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and lots of room in front to stretch out



Not surprisingly given the size of the aircraft, boarding took some time. Gradually the J class cabin around me started to fill up and before too long, I had a seatmate. By the time the doors were closed, all seats in my section were filled.

Pre departure drinks were offered by the cabin crew, who seemed relaxed and were also helping passengers with storing their things. A welcome from the cockpit followed before we pushed back on time for departure.

Heading out to the runway - waiting for the aircraft in front to go first

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After a long-ish and very quiet take off roll we launched into the late afternoon sunshine, passing the domestic terminals

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...and a row of domestic ‘roos and a few international ones, including the now repainted special colours 747-400ER

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.
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Climb out seemed painfully slow, but this afforded great views of Sydney

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Central Sydney for the second time from the air today!


.
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Still climbing and leaving Sydney behind

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and making a left turn to head west

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Tail camera view

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The crew were soon busy offering drinks which came with some nuts. I had another ginger ale.

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The fading light of the day as we made our way further north and west

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Cabin view while waiting for dinner to be served

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I spent the time reading and looking out of the window. The Sydney based crew on this sector were very friendly and cheerful so there was a nice ambience onboard. My table was soon set.

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Unfortunately, I lost the menu after I got back to London. I decided on the beef for my main course and some very nice South Australian red wine. The main course was very tasty - it was certainly just as good as the meal I had in First on the way over. The wine glass was always kept topped up without having to ask.

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Dinner views



Dessert consisted of a creamy vanilla and strawberry slice of icecream with a rasberry sauce. It was very refreshing.

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The sun was now setting and I reclined my seat to a comfortable TV watching position. I really liked the latest generation J class seat that Qantas has on its A380s. They are super comfortable. The TV screen is also of a decent size.

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Some nice light outside

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The remainder of the flight passed uneventfully. I went for a little wander around to see what the J class cabin looked like. I tried out the small lounge area at the front of the upper deck and then had a little snooze as we were over the Northern Territory. The snooze was short lived unfortunately and I was woken up by a few bumps as we hit some mild turbulence.

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Our path into Singapore took us over the southern tip of Borneo, where there were a few more bumps.

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Just before starting our descent

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Getting closer now - and by this time, it was dark

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The cabin was secured for landing - the crew doing a check to ensure everyone was strapped in. Landing was smooth - no pictures because it was pitch black outside. We parked next to the Qantas 747-400 that had left Sydney before us and was heading to Frankfurt. The first sector of my flight home to London was over - but there was still another 12 hour flight coming up. The joys of ultra long haul flying!

FINAL THOUGHTS

Although this wasn’t my first A380 flight, it was the first time experiencing First Class. The amount of personal space on Qantas’ A380s in First is amazing. The seat was extremely comfortable and passengers in First really want for nothing. I could not think of a better place to spend a long flight although for the price, and having compared it with my business class flight a couple of weeks later, I thought there wasn’t a substantial difference between J and F other than the size of the seat. On both of the reported sectors, the cabin crew were excellent. They made the flight enjoyable and seemed to be enjoying their jobs. The First experience was much more personal, which is to be expected, given the smaller number of seats when compared to J (which pretty much takes up almost the entire Upper Deck). The food in First was not appreciably better than what was on offer in J. In sum, I would probably be just as happy flying in J with Qantas rather than spending extra money to fly First.

Qantas has remained in the news in Australia as its International operations continue to suffer heavy losses. Who knows what this means for the future of the A380 in Qantas colours? Nevertheless, whatever the future holds, I was certainly glad to have experienced the service aboard one of these whale jets between London to Australia (and back again).

Thanks for reading!

Other trip reports:

A Shiny City Debut: Alitalia's New E-Jet To Milan (by palmjet Jun 12 2012 in Trip Reports)

Going Retro, Chasing The Sun: BA B763 To Cyprus (by palmjet May 21 2012 in Trip Reports)

1 Long Day, 3 Short Virgins: Virgin's New ATR72 (by palmjet Feb 9 2012 in Trip Reports)

The Reindeer Route To Australia In J (by palmjet Dec 15 2011 in Trip Reports)

Arctic "Dash" With Wideroe: 2 Days, 7 Stops (pics (by Palmjet Jun 22 2011 in Trip Reports)

"888": 8hrs, 8 Segments On An Aussie Dash 8 (pics) (by Palmjet Apr 3 2011 in Trip Reports)

Keep Climbing & Don't Stop - 48hr DL Marathon (by Palmjet Dec 15 2010 in Trip Reports)

Snow-2-Sun: BA J To Tampa And Beyond (pics) (by Palmjet Dec 22 2010 in Trip Reports)

Iceland Yes, Volcano No, FI451 LHR-KEF (pics) (by Palmjet Oct 9 2010 in Trip Reports)

Ballina Boomerang: Coastal Flying With REX (pics) (by Palmjet Apr 10 2011 in Trip Reports)

Almost AF ATR72: Skyteam Skip LHR-TLS (w/pics) (by Palmjet Nov 6 2010 in Trip Reports)

The Return: KL E190 TLS-AMS (w/pics) (by Palmjet Nov 28 2010 in Trip Reports)

Baby 737 To Dresden And Back - W/pics (by Palmjet Sep 4 2010 in Trip Reports)

Short Haul Austrian 738(w) VIE-LHR W/pics (by Palmjet Sep 3 2010 in Trip Reports)

Cayo Coco - Havana, Aero Caribbean W/pics (by Palmjet Jul 16 2010 in Trip Reports)

Topic: RE: Fevered Booking? To Aus With Qantas A380 In F/J
Username: fabianbrimfield
Posted 2012-06-16 19:07:37 and read 25282 times.

Awesome trip report and great photos.

I'm taking a QF J and QF F flight in August, so it'll be interesting to compare the two products. Needless to say this trip report has got me very excited!

Topic: RE: Fevered Booking? To Aus With Qantas A380 In F/J
Username: Quokkas
Posted 2012-06-16 21:12:31 and read 24877 times.

Hi Palmjet,

An excellent trip report with some good photos.

I like the way that you have enabled us to compare the offerings in both F and J on the same aircraft type.

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
one of the flight attendants appeared and after introducing himself, asked me a) whether I would like a drink and b) whether I wanted my picture taken in my seat.

Good to see the the QF crew were at their best, being friendly and proactive. Some people have commented that QF crews sometimes let the team down by being off-hand or aloof. That certainly doesn't appear to have been the case here.

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
You actually need to get out of the seat and walk to the window!

It helps prevent DVT.   At least the seats look toward the window, unlike some configurations where they look into the cabin and you have to twist your next backwards to see out! But I suppose it allows an extra row of seats to fit and make up for the smaller number of seats per row. Call me old-fashioned but I like a window that you can look through.

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
which unfortunately was rock hard.

Funny that it is served in the tub, unlike the Business Class serving on a plate with a garnish of sauce. I might have expected it the other way around.

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
I thought there wasn’t a substantial difference between J and F other than the size of the seat.

I suppose that is mainly what you are paying for: the extra space. The difference in food and wines would account for only a minor part of the fare, although the passenger-crew ratio may come into it.
Thanks for sharing your experience.
Roy / Quokka

Topic: RE: Fevered Booking? To Aus With Qantas A380 In F/J
Username: airkas1
Posted 2012-06-17 00:04:35 and read 24478 times.

Those SYD overviews, the city and the airport, WOWOWOWOWOW! Those photos are AMAZING! I liked reading your trip report, gave a good sense if what one can expect, well done!

Topic: RE: Fevered Booking? To Aus With Qantas A380 In F/J
Username: palmjet
Posted 2012-06-17 04:17:32 and read 23891 times.

Hi fabianbrimfield

Quote:
Awesome trip report and great photos.

I'm taking a QF J and QF F flight in August, so it'll be interesting to compare the two products. Needless to say this trip report has got me very excited!

Thanks for your comments - glad yo enjoyed. Looking forward to hearing about your experiences as well. Where are you flying to?

Hi Quokkas

Quote:
An excellent trip report with some good photos.

Thanks very much.

Quote:
I like the way that you have enabled us to compare the offerings in both F and J on the same aircraft type.

It was an interesting flight combo. Not sure when I will be able to travel in style like that again for a while...!

Quote:
Good to see the the QF crew were at their best, being friendly and proactive. Some people have commented that QF crews sometimes let the team down by being off-hand or aloof. That certainly doesn't appear to have been the case here.

On the outbound flight, I found the London based crews to be very nice and on the return, it was the Sydney based crew who was generally more friendly and proactive. Quite a mix which I guess is pretty much the norm these days.

Quote:
It helps prevent DVT. At least the seats look toward the window, unlike some configurations where they look into the cabin and you have to twist your next backwards to see out! But I suppose it allows an extra row of seats to fit and make up for the smaller number of seats per row. Call me old-fashioned but I like a window that you can look through.

I am just as old fashioned! I like a window as well that I can see out of.

Quote:
I suppose that is mainly what you are paying for: the extra space. The difference in food and wines would account for only a minor part of the fare, although the passenger-crew ratio may come into it.

Agreed. And to be honest, having that much space was surreal. I found that the space in J was more than enough for me. Still, it was nice to experience F to be able to make some comparisons.

Thanks again

Hi airkas

Quote:
Those SYD overviews, the city and the airport, WOWOWOWOWOW! Those photos are AMAZING! I liked reading your trip report, gave a good sense if what one can expect, well done!

Thanks for your comments. Yes, the approach into SYD was one of the best I've ever had in over 20 years of flying in and out of there. Very lucky indeed. Glad you enjoyed the report.

Cheers Palmjet

Topic: RE: Fevered Booking? To Aus With Qantas A380 In F/J
Username: jwhite9185
Posted 2012-06-17 04:56:17 and read 23755 times.

Great read! QF looks like it has a good product, its just a shame all the other external issues seem to be dragging them down.

Topic: RE: Fevered Booking? To Aus With Qantas A380 In F/J
Username: gabrielchew
Posted 2012-06-17 05:50:37 and read 23618 times.

Nice report Palmjet...great that you used your time sick in bed to booked a nice flight home for the holidays! The flights looked pretty good. I'd love to try QF one day

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
Seats were all arranged in a 1 - 1 - 1 configuration. The window seats had at least 3 windows each. Some people have said that the F cabins on Qantas look like telephone call centre work stations - which is unkind (and in my view, untrue!). I did not feel they were like this at all. First impressions were “wow”-like. I was really looking forward to spending 12 or so hours in this cabin. I’ve never had this much personal space on an aircraft. period. This was going to be fun.

It loks very open to me...not terribly private. Do the side raise up betwene the seats and aisle?

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
Getting to Sydney was easy - a Qantas 737-800 and just over an hour’s flying time, and I was there. Enroute, there were some amazing views of this most gorgeous of cities.

Brilliant photo

Topic: RE: Fevered Booking? To Aus With Qantas A380 In F/J
Username: OA260
Posted 2012-06-17 06:01:48 and read 23570 times.

Hi great report QF look really good. Always wanted to fly them . I agree the QF F class lounge looks amazing .

Hopefully QF can recover from their financial issues .

Thanks for the report.

OA260  

Topic: RE: Fevered Booking? To Aus With Qantas A380 In F/J
Username: ba319-131
Posted 2012-06-17 07:11:24 and read 23362 times.

Great report PJ, brought back nice memories for my QF A380 flight some years back, most enjoyable!

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
The fare was the same for flying J the whole way. Why go J when you can go F for part of the journey?

- Indeed, why not?!

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
people watch. It’s definitely one of my favourite things to do at airports

- Agreed, people are so interesting to watch, I find myself doing the same with my dog, he is funny  
Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
He said that many people liked taking pictures onboard the aircraft and they had no problem with passengers doing this. Quite a refreshing attitude. Thank you Qantas.

- What a refreshing view, well done QF!

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
overheard him saying to one flight attendant that he needed assistance in transferring at Singapore to a Jetstar flight. Quite a contrast from QF F to Jetstar was my first thought!

- Well, that will be a wake up call if I ever heard one!

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
While sipping champagne - feeling moderately indulged by this point, one of the senior flight attendants of the London based crew walked through the cabin and introduced herself to everyone. She spent quite some time with everyone introducing herself and asking if anyone had any questions or needed any help with anything. It was a very personalised touch and one I very much appreciated

- Great touch, good customer service.

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
One of the slightly more problematic issues (and it’s a nice problem to have from most peoples’ perspective) is that the seat is so far away from the windows that you cannot see much from your seat when strapped in. You actually need to get out of the seat and walk to the window! Sounds crazy but it certainly played havoc with any photo taking I had planned!

- Ha, a nice issue so to speak, I had a similar issue with LAN's JCL seat, the windows closest to me were so badly scratched I had to loosen the seat belt to the biggest setting to stretch to a decent window.

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
I liked the menu design with an atmospheric picture of the Rocks in Sydney on the cover with the “Coathanger” in the background

- Fantastic picture"! - The Rocks is my favourite part of Sydney, love the feeling of history there.

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
The live wall near the entrance to the Qantas First lounge

- This live wall is so cool, hats off to QF and whoever thought it up.

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
the A380 is far from an attractive aircraft in my opinion.

- Agreed, she needs a 'nose' job.

Cheers

Mark

Topic: RE: Fevered Booking? To Aus With Qantas A380 In F/J
Username: MSS658
Posted 2012-06-17 13:02:02 and read 22913 times.

HI PJ

Thanks for sharing, this one really brings me into a flying mood! QF's F looks very interesting and the design is very appealing. IFE options and meals are superb as well. J class looks interesting as well

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
During the middle of the dinner service – right over the top of Belgium. I raised a glass to our A.netter friends in Belgium at this point from the comfort of my seat.

Cheers, I waved back at that A380  

Greetings
Marc

Topic: RE: Fevered Booking? To Aus With Qantas A380 In F/J
Username: palmjet
Posted 2012-06-17 13:13:35 and read 22864 times.

Hi J

Quote:
Great read! QF looks like it has a good product, its just a shame all the other external issues seem to be dragging them down.

Thanks very much for your comments. Let's hope things at Qantas get sorted, although I think they have a long road ahead.

Hi Gab

Quote:
Nice report Palmjet...great that you used your time sick in bed to booked a nice flight home for the holidays! The flights looked pretty good. I'd love to try QF one day

Great to hear from you. Thanks for your comments. I've been subsequently more careful about booking premium tickets when sick at home! Having said that, I am glad I got to experience F on the A380.

Quote:
It loks very open to me...not terribly private. Do the side raise up betwene the seats and aisle?

Yes, the sides raise up to make the suite more private.

Thanks again!

Hi P

Quote:
Hi great report QF look really good. Always wanted to fly them . I agree the QF F class lounge looks amazing .

Hopefully QF can recover from their financial issues .

Thanks for the report.

Thanks for your comments. Glad you enjoyed the report. I hope things get sorted there too - they have a great brand, even now. QF do have a good product out there and it competes well with any of the other One World carriers for sure in the premium cabins. I really enjoyed my flights with Qantas - it was the first time I had flown Qantas out of London.

Hi Mark

Quote:
Great report PJ, brought back nice memories for my QF A380 flight some years back, most enjoyable!

Thanks for your comments -yes, I remember your QF380 flight a few years back.

Quote:
Agreed, people are so interesting to watch, I find myself doing the same with my dog, he is funny

I find this is one of the best parts of travelling through airports. Your dog looks super cute!

Quote:
What a refreshing view, well done QF!

Certainly makes a change!

Quote:
Well, that will be a wake up call if I ever heard one!

Yes, the shock would have been quite considerable.

Quote:
Ha, a nice issue so to speak, I had a similar issue with LAN's JCL seat, the windows closest to me were so badly scratched I had to loosen the seat belt to the biggest setting to stretch to a decent window.

The things we do for A.net trip reporting!!

Quote:
Fantastic picture"! - The Rocks is my favourite part of Sydney, love the feeling of history there.

Me too - one of my favourite places in Sydney as well. I love the markets there on a Sunday.

Quote:
Agreed, she needs a 'nose' job.

 

Hi M

Quote:
Thanks for sharing, this one really brings me into a flying mood! QF's F looks very interesting and the design is very appealing. IFE options and meals are superb as well. J class looks interesting as well

Thanks for your comments. Glad you enjoyed. It was certainly a great experience for me and one I am probably not likely to repeat any time soon!

Quote:
Cheers, I waved back at that A380

 

Thanks again - Pjet

Topic: RE: Fevered Booking? To Aus With Qantas A380 In F/J
Username: allrite
Posted 2012-06-17 19:10:43 and read 22455 times.

Great trip report as usual, but ENVY!

Qantas' A380 first class looks like such a comfortable way to travel "ultra long haul", but the lack of easy window vision is a bit of a downer. Did you feel a bit better after being "forced" to relax for so long?

Topic: RE: Fevered Booking? To Aus With Qantas A380 In F/J
Username: lukeyboy95
Posted 2012-06-18 00:00:22 and read 22002 times.

Hi Palmjet,

Superb report and well done for splashing out and treating yourself. I think my whole 14 month trip in Africa didn't even come to the total of those flights! Ha.

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
It’s amazing that you can be wearing coats and scarves and seeing it get dark at 4pm and 22 hours later, you can be in shorts and flip flops under a blazing sun.

Yes, it is a funny wardrobe you have to wear when flying from the UK. And strange to believe a land of sun is out there during the darkest midwinter...

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
clearly not aware of Singapore being a major transit point for QF flights where you can pretty much connect in SIN through to most Australian capital cities.

No, I didn't realise this was so big. I am dully impressed, and it is an interesting strategy.

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
He said that many people liked taking pictures onboard the aircraft and they had no problem with passengers doing this. Quite a refreshing attitude. Thank you Qantas.

It is great to have this positive attitude, and if an airline has nothing to hide then this should be the case always. I can't stand having to take photos on the fly.

Anyway, many thanks on an epic report. It felt very suave and relaxed, and excellent photography.

Luke!

Topic: RE: Fevered Booking? To Aus With Qantas A380 In F/J
Username: sultanils
Posted 2012-06-19 04:22:09 and read 20920 times.

Hello palmjet,

Many thanks for this nice and detailed story on QF’s First Class service ultra long haul. I’m glad your impulsive booking resulted in a delightful journey in both directions. Probably the most important reason for me to choose 1st class on this kind of very long flights - if I am willing to pay for it   - is the amount of seating comfort it has. Not for the meals - apparently your meal on the return flight in business class was slightly better.

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
Alas, somehow I found myself booking the QF and DJ tickets; I can only put it down to my love of flying, trying something new and having a fever at the time. Would it be a worthwhile decision? My credit card certainly did not think so, but I was all set to experience F for the first time, and my first time flying Qantas out of London back to Australia, so there was a flutter of excitement about the upcoming flights.

Don’t we all need a million dollar excuse to do what we like to do   Indeed perhaps the only ‘thing’ not being too happy was your cc. The charged amount is quite hefty.

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
Slightly unnerving to think we would be flying over the Bay of Bengal in 10 or so hours time.

And this region is known to be quite prone to turbulence.

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
He said that many people liked taking pictures onboard the aircraft and they had no problem with passengers doing this. Quite a refreshing attitude. Thank you Qantas.

That’s a great crew attitude. Did your see other fellow passengers taking pics as well? And where’s then one with you in your seat  

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
It has a double seatbelt - a lapbelt and a sashbelt which goes across your shoulder, as shown on the emergency safety card.

This sashbelt sure is only used in your travel class, no? I can’t imagine people in Y being strapped in such a harness for +12 hrs.

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
I raised a glass to our A.netter friends in Belgium at this point from the comfort of my seat.

Cheers!

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
Enroute, there were some amazing views of this most gorgeous of cities.

Wow, those are really breathtaking!

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
In my view, the Qantas First lounge in Sydney is nicer than BA’s First lounge(s) at LHR T5.

That lounge actually looks very nice: not too sterile but rather ‘happy’ with the colours used and the black and white floor tiles.

Sultanils

Topic: RE: Fevered Booking? To Aus With Qantas A380 In F/J
Username: photoshooter
Posted 2012-06-19 05:30:44 and read 20812 times.

Once again, hello Palmjet

I really, really enjoyed this trip report. You pleasantly surprised me with Qantas. Didn't know their Business/First product was that good. Personally I'm not a real fan of the configuration in First class, I prefer seats with the feet heading to the front and not to the windows but that's just my opinion.

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
The fare was not cheap, at over £3500 and I would be nuts to book it

Hmm, what a bargain!...Not   

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
Darkness had arrived by the time I got to Terminal 3.

Looks good, I love it.

Quoting palmjet (Reply 1):
Getting to Sydney was easy - a Qantas 737-800 and just over an hour’s flying time, and I was there. Enroute, there were some amazing views of this most gorgeous of cities.

Amazing, didn't know Sydney was surrounded by so much water, I know... sounds stupid.

Quoting palmjet (Reply 1):
The live wall near the entrance to the Qantas First lounge

What a nice idea of Qantas.

Thanks again for this wonderful trip report and I do hope you hade a nice time in Australia. Keep them coming!

Best regards

Niek   

Topic: RE: Fevered Booking? To Aus With Qantas A380 In F/J
Username: signol
Posted 2012-06-20 05:15:46 and read 20134 times.

Excellent report Palmjet, and one to note: hide credit cards when ill   A nice idea, as always, visiting family over Christmas. Excellent service, indeed even offering to take photos for / of you. Food looks lovely on both legs. The space available is amazing. But that's what you pay for I guess. And some excellent shots of Sydney in the sunshine!

Thanks again!

signol

Topic: RE: Fevered Booking? To Aus With Qantas A380 In F/J
Username: FLIEGER67
Posted 2012-06-21 14:29:31 and read 19540 times.

Hey, PJ,

really great pictures around SYD. And also you´re story about the QF F experience, well done.
That´s the way it should be, definitely.
Looking for more, you know.

Greetings,
Markus(FLIEGER67)

Topic: RE: Fevered Booking? To Aus With Qantas A380 In F/J
Username: LH4116
Posted 2012-06-22 07:14:21 and read 19225 times.

Hey Palmjet, great report! Really been looking forward to this one  
Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
The fare was not cheap, at over £3500 and I would be nuts to book it

While 3500 GBP is a substantial amount of money, given the fact that most Biz tickets to Oz cost way more than that (at least ex Sweden), I must say that fare was quite a bargain.

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
The wonders of modern aviation. I love it. I hoped it would do wonders for the cold I was developing.

Well there are other medical wonders to help with that. Ever considered cold tablets for instance? They worked magic for me!

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
Choosing to avoid the crowds, I headed for the BA Galleries Lounge - my first time in the F section.

Slightly surprised to hear that, but then again I suppose this was in the pre-BA Gold days  
Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
Quite a contrast from QF F to Jetstar was my first thought!

Hmm maybe he was traveling Premium on JetStar, looks like a nice product to me.

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
Retro but funky looking personal air vent

Wow they look identical to the air vents found on the Beech. Did they have butterfly valves as well?

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
My dessert, with a ginger ale (cheers PlaneHunter!)

Looks delicious, although that Ginger Ale looked a bit pale. Sure it wasn't Cointreau?  
Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
For Jonas - the lavatorial facilities with (faux) leather loo seat and certainly a loo with a view

Haha, while it may not have looked to be par with the F lavatorial standard of e.g CX it does look rather nice. I suppose they didn't have fabric towels?

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
An albino A340-300 on a government charter operated by HiFly

Interesting, it wouldn'd surprise me if that's the leased SAS example. Never pictured it being so far from home.

"Wheels Up!"
//Jonas

Topic: RE: Fevered Booking? To Aus With Qantas A380 In F/J
Username: roberts87
Posted 2012-06-23 01:56:49 and read 18784 times.

Nice report, thanks for sharing. It seems QF offers some great service in F and J!

Topic: RE: Fevered Booking? To Aus With Qantas A380 In F/J
Username: BNE
Posted 2012-06-23 03:31:09 and read 18701 times.

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):

at over £3500 and I would be nuts NOT to book it.

Exactly, booking those premium tickets ex LHR or FRA are a bargain compared to buying the same fare ex Australia.

I just flew BNE-SYD-SIN-LHR/FRA-SIN-BNE on 2 separate tickets and the price was over half what the passenger next to me paid.

Topic: RE: Fevered Booking? To Aus With Qantas A380 In F/J
Username: abrelosojos
Posted 2012-06-24 09:52:01 and read 18205 times.

Thanks a lot for sharing these reports. QF seems to have a solid product in both F and J. I am not won over by the food - but I am glad you enjoyed.

Saludos,
A.

Topic: RE: Fevered Booking? To Aus With Qantas A380 In F/J
Username: infodesk
Posted 2012-06-25 09:06:30 and read 17835 times.

Hi Palmjet,

Well, you see, being ill can have its advantages   I don't blame you for snapping up F for the same price as J. On top of that, I'm sure the Aussie sunshine did the world of good.

Reading your report makes me a little sad we didn't choose QF for our recent trip, although I suppose now I have an excuse to go again! Your photos on approach into SYD are just stunning. I have to pinch myself to remind me that I have really been there!

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
It’s amazing that you can be wearing coats and scarves and seeing it get dark at 4pm and 22 hours later, you can be in shorts and flip flops under a blazing sun.

Isn't it just? I remember the first time we went to the Canaries, leaving behind snow in Switzerland and sitting on the beach a few hours later.

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
All the time, you could barely hear any noise of the engines. Everything was super quiet.

They're just too quiet aren't they?!

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
I liked the menu design with an atmospheric picture of the Rocks in Sydney on the cover with the “Coathanger” in the background and it made me strangely homesick for a few seconds!

What a beautiful hommage to a fantastic city.

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
I managed about 6 hours or so of sleep which was a personal record for me as I can never sleep on aircraft. The bed was very spacious and comfortable. No complaints or criticisms of the duvet or pillow either.

Well done! Although I'm sure the lovely F bed was to thank for that!

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
J as I would be travelling in business on the way home from Brisbane and would get to experience what that was like in a couple of weeks time. The staircase to the upper deck looks good.

Such a funky staircase! You'd never think you were in a plane, would you?

Happy flying
Infodesk   

Topic: RE: Fevered Booking? To Aus With Qantas A380 In F/J
Username: akhmad
Posted 2012-06-30 07:57:41 and read 16953 times.

Hello Palmjet,

Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful journey of yours in First and Business on board of Qantas A380. What a deIightful longhaul indulgence!

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
Yes, an entire family were travelling on F today - wish I had been that lucky when I was younger.

Well, I tend to put it this way. You will appreciate traveling on F even more if you never had any chance to try it when you’re younger.

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
Charles Kingsford Smith was the first person to fly transpacific from the US to Australia. Sadly he disappeared over the Bay of Bengal in the mid 1930s and was never heard from again. Slightly unnerving to think we would be flying over the Bay of Bengal in 10 or so hours time.

History facts can be unexpectedly confronting.

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
Seats were all arranged in a 1 - 1 - 1 configuration. The window seats had at least 3 windows each. Some people have said that the F cabins on Qantas look like telephone call centre work stations - which is unkind (and in my view, untrue!).

I agree with you. I would say it’s your own private compartment.

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
b) whether I wanted my picture taken in my seat
Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
He said that many people liked taking pictures onboard the aircraft and they had no problem with passengers doing this. Quite a refreshing attitude. Thank you Qantas.

I truly applaud this laid back attitude.

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
It was tasty – I wouldn’t describe it as anything amazing.

Pity. They all look very delicious. Could your cold have affected your taste bud?

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
Vegemite was also offered

What an appropriate place to taste Vegemite.

Quoting palmjet (Reply 1):
The added plus is that the journey takes you on a nice airside tour of a large part of the airport. Great for spotters!

Beauty! Good to know!  


Quoting palmjet (Reply 1):
The TV screen is also of a decent size.

Very good. Pity, you cannot view it during takeoff and landing.


Thanks again.

Best regards,
Suryo

Topic: RE: Fevered Booking? To Aus With Qantas A380 In F/J
Username: adamspotter
Posted 2012-07-07 03:49:53 and read 16137 times.

Hi there Palmjet,

Fantastic report with nice and clear pictures as always   Qantas service looks good, seems like they took good care of you. The food in J looks even a little better then what you got in F!

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
Darkness had arrived by the time I got to Terminal 3.

Love the lighting

Quoting palmjet (Reply 1):
near the beach in Queensland

beautiful pictures of the beach

Quoting palmjet (Reply 1):
Enroute, there were some amazing views of this most gorgeous of cities.

wow, amazing shot!

Quoting palmjet (Reply 1):
and then views of SYD itself as we flew right past it

anothing great catch!

Quoting palmjet (Reply 1):
The live wall near the entrance to the Qantas First lounge

That wall looks nice  

cheers,
Brendan // adamspotter

Topic: RE: Fevered Booking? To Aus With Qantas A380 In F/J
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2012-07-20 03:40:06 and read 14869 times.

Hi Palmjet,

excellent report with great pictures! I had had a look a while ago, but now I finally read it all. It's too bad you didn't feel well on the F Class flight. I turned sick while at SIN in May and couldn't take the flights back to Europe as planned.

As for the QF F Class - of course I'd love to try it, but the cabin and the seat design are not as as nice as on other carriers.

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
My thoughts had turned to flying back to Australia to see family at Christmas, something I’ve not done since the Christmas of 2006. I think I was scarred by that experience flying EK via DXB and SIN – very full flights with lots of agitated and over tired young children, old(er) pre ICE IFE, and mediocre onboard service on all of the sectors. It had been a real disappointment. That pretty much summed up the experience in both directions. I was keen to avoid a repeat experience at the end of 2011.

That's really bad. I'd still prefer EK's A380 over QF's A380, no doubt about that.

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
Fastforward to the end of 2011 and Qantas had been in the news quite a bit in the preceeding months, but mostly for all the wrong reasons: maintenance scares, industrial disputes, strikes and of course, everyone knows about the airline’s total shutdown which caused enormous damage to the airline’s reputation and affected thousands of passengers, including A.net’s Planehunter: see

Thanks for the link!

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
Departure day finally arrived and unfortunately, I was not feeling well.

Getting sick shortly before or on departure day is indeed a nightmare.

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
A few steps away at the gate was the distinctive bulbous shape of another A380. This one was mine. Named after one of Australia’s most famous aviators of the pioneer age - Charles Kingsford Smith was the first person to fly transpacific from the US to Australia.

Nice, you got a "famous" one.

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
...and then settled into my very comfy seat, which Qantas simply describes as “Suites” and watched the action from the aircraft’s tail camera while we were still at the gate.

That's what I did as well.

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
I did not feel like anything fancy for dessert so settled on the passionfruit ice cream, which unfortunately was rock hard. It also wasn’t the brand advertised on the menu although there was no explanation from the crew why it was different.

Ice cream served in a paper cup in F Class? That's not appropriate IMO.

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
My dessert, with a ginger ale (cheers PlaneHunter!)

Cheers!   

Quoting palmjet (Thread starter):
What a great view although the A380 is far from an attractive aircraft in my opinion.

Its size alone makes it attractive in my opinion - and depending on the perspective, it can look really nice.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 18):
Well there are other medical wonders to help with that.

There aren't pills against everything. Nothing could stop me from being grounded at SIN in May.


PH

Topic: RE: Fevered Booking? To Aus With Qantas A380 In F/J
Username: palmjet
Posted 2012-07-25 06:39:11 and read 13912 times.

Hi allrite

Quote:
Great trip report as usual, but ENVY!

Thanks for your comments. I am just getting round to completing your latest TR to Japan. So far, it's been great!

Quote:
Qantas' A380 first class looks like such a comfortable way to travel "ultra long haul", but the lack of easy window vision is a bit of a downer. Did you feel a bit better after being "forced" to relax for so long?

It was a very nice flight and I've never been so spoilt to have so much personal space on an aircraft before. I felt much more relaxed but sadly, it still took me 2 - 3 days to get over the jetlag when I arrived back into Brisbane!

Hi Luke

Quote:
Superb report and well done for splashing out and treating yourself. I think my whole 14 month trip in Africa didn't even come to the total of those flights! Ha.

I am still paying for it - looks like I am going to remember that trip for a while yet, at least financially! Thanks very much for your comments. Glad you enjoyed the report.

Quote:
No, I didn't realise this was so big. I am dully impressed, and it is an interesting strategy.

Yes, for some time now, QF have been one of the biggest foreign users of SIN - lots of quick connections from LHR arriving flights to nearly all capital cities in Australia.

Quote:
It is great to have this positive attitude, and if an airline has nothing to hide then this should be the case always. I can't stand having to take photos on the fly.

Me too - it was a refreshing change. I hate having to be very discreet either.

Quote:
Anyway, many thanks on an epic report. It felt very suave and relaxed, and excellent photography.

Cheers!

Hi Nils

Quote:
Many thanks for this nice and detailed story on QF’s First Class service ultra long haul. I’m glad your impulsive booking resulted in a delightful journey in both directions. Probably the most important reason for me to choose 1st class on this kind of very long flights - if I am willing to pay for it - is the amount of seating comfort it has. Not for the meals - apparently your meal on the return flight in business class was slightly better.

Agree - the extra space was noticeable but the difference in meal quality was negligible. It was a bit difficult to compare because on the outbound F flight, the meal was classed as "supper" whereas on the way back, it was "dinner".

Quote:
Don’t we all need a million dollar excuse to do what we like to do Indeed perhaps the only ‘thing’ not being too happy was your cc. The charged amount is quite hefty.

Tell me about it! Still paying for that flight....

Quote:
That’s a great crew attitude. Did your see other fellow passengers taking pics as well? And where’s then one with you in your seat

Yes, a couple of other people were taking photos and the crew were offering passengers the choice of going on a walkabout tour of the aircraft once we were airborne, if they wanted it. Ha - that photo is in a private collection!

Quote:
This sashbelt sure is only used in your travel class, no? I can’t imagine people in Y being strapped in such a harness for +12 hrs.

Yes, the sashbelt was for F passengers only. Y passengers have a normal type seatbelt.

Quote:
Wow, those are really breathtaking!

Thanks!

Quote:
That lounge actually looks very nice: not too sterile but rather ‘happy’ with the colours used and the black and white floor tiles.

They've done really well - it is a superb lounge by world standards.

Thanks again!

Hi photoshooter

Quote:
I really, really enjoyed this trip report. You pleasantly surprised me with Qantas. Didn't know their Business/First product was that good. Personally I'm not a real fan of the configuration in First class, I prefer seats with the feet heading to the front and not to the windows but that's just my opinion.

Thanks for that. Me too - although for take off, the seat is positioned front on.

Quote:
Looks good, I love it.

Slow improvements over at LHR T3 - the lighting outside now looks quite funky. Much better than before.

Quote:
Amazing, didn't know Sydney was surrounded by so much water, I know... sounds stupid.

Yep - there is water everywhere in Sydney!

Quote:
Thanks again for this wonderful trip report and I do hope you hade a nice time in Australia. Keep them coming!

Thank you again - will try. Seem to struggle these days to be able to complete trip reports!

Hi signol

Quote:
Excellent report Palmjet, and one to note: hide credit cards when ill A nice idea, as always, visiting family over Christmas. Excellent service, indeed even offering to take photos for / of you. Food looks lovely on both legs. The space available is amazing. But that's what you pay for I guess. And some excellent shots of Sydney in the sunshine!

Thanks for your comments. Glad you enjoyed too. Yes, credit cards have stayed beyond arm's length for the past few months, although I seem to have booked some crazy flights for September, which means the CC company is still happy to have me as a revolving balance card holder!

Good afternoon Markus

Quote:
really great pictures around SYD. And also you´re story about the QF F experience, well done.
That´s the way it should be, definitely.
Looking for more, you know.

Thanks! Glad you enjoyed the Sydney snaps as well. I had a great trip back to Australia. The flights were a lot of fun.

Hi Jonas

Quote:
Hey Palmjet, great report! Really been looking forward to this one

Thanks for that. Yes, you've been asking me to accelerate the completion of this report. Thanks for the motivation!

Quote:
Well there are other medical wonders to help with that. Ever considered cold tablets for instance? They worked magic for me!

I was already on medication but they can only do so much!

Quote:
Slightly surprised to hear that, but then again I suppose this was in the pre-BA Gold days

Indeed it was.

Quote:
Wow they look identical to the air vents found on the Beech. Did they have butterfly valves as well?

They sure did. Very similar to the Beech - how quaint!

Thanks again for your comments.

Hi roberts87

Quote:
Nice report, thanks for sharing. It seems QF offers some great service in F and J!

They do indeed offer a high standard of service. I wish they could capitalise on this more than they seem to be able to do these days. Thanks for your comments.

Hi BNE

Quote:
Exactly, booking those premium tickets ex LHR or FRA are a bargain compared to buying the same fare ex Australia.

True, I've become quite immune to the cost of premium airfares ex Australia until recently when my mum told me she had been quoted AUD$9000 to fly SQ in J from BNE - LHR return!

Hi Alex

Quote:
Thanks a lot for sharing these reports. QF seems to have a solid product in both F and J. I am not won over by the food - but I am glad you enjoyed.

Thanks for your comments. The food in J was definitely better on my flights although it was perhaps a bit unfair comparing what was billed as a late night supper menu in F with a full dinner menu (in J).

Hello infodesk!

Quote:
Well, you see, being ill can have its advantages I don't blame you for snapping up F for the same price as J. On top of that, I'm sure the Aussie sunshine did the world of good.

Thanks for your comments too - yes, the sunshine was much needed and I felt quite a bit better in only a couple of days.

Quote:
Reading your report makes me a little sad we didn't choose QF for our recent trip, although I suppose now I have an excuse to go again! Your photos on approach into SYD are just stunning. I have to pinch myself to remind me that I have really been there!

Glad you enjoyed - yes, those views of SYD were amazing. I've been flying between Brisbane and Sydney for the past 10 years or so and have never had views so good. Good thing you have an excuse to go back down under - you can compare QF with SQ! I hear that the QF Prem Y product is very good on the A380.

Quote:
Isn't it just? I remember the first time we went to the Canaries, leaving behind snow in Switzerland and sitting on the beach a few hours later.

Bliss!

Quote:
They're just too quiet aren't they?!

Super quiet for sure!

Quote:
Well done! Although I'm sure the lovely F bed was to thank for that!

Absolutely true. I felt like I was in bed at home and not at 39,000ft!

Thanks again.

Hi Suryo

Quote:
Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful journey of yours in First and Business on board of Qantas A380. What a deIightful longhaul indulgence!

You got it - it was such an indulgence. Thanks for your comments. Glad you enjoyed.

Quote:
Well, I tend to put it this way. You will appreciate traveling on F even more if you never had any chance to try it when you’re younger.

Yes, I imagine if you did it regularly when young, it would all be very blase by now. I am glad I am not that jaded yet when I fly!

Quote:
I truly applaud this laid back attitude.

It was so nice for a change...

Quote:
Pity. They all look very delicious. Could your cold have affected your taste bud?

That was definitely possible.

Quote:
Very good. Pity, you cannot view it during takeoff and landing.

Although, from memory, I did have the TV out for the take off at LHR ! Naughty?

Hi B

Quote:
Fantastic report with nice and clear pictures as always Qantas service looks good, seems like they took good care of you. The food in J looks even a little better then what you got in F!

Thanks for that. Yes, it was a nice couple of flights and they looked after me well. Agree, the meal I had in J was better than the F one for sure.

Quote:
beautiful pictures of the beach

Thanks - it's a lovely part of the world.

Quote:
That wall looks nice

It's very unusual - especially as it's alive!

Hi PlaneHunter

Quote:
excellent report with great pictures! I had had a look a while ago, but now I finally read it all. It's too bad you didn't feel well on the F Class flight. I turned sick while at SIN in May and couldn't take the flights back to Europe as planned.

Thanks for your comments, glad you liked the pics too. Yes, hopefully my next F experience will not co-incide with any illness. Ugh. I know you had a rough time in SIN earlier this year so I can sympathise.

Quote:
As for the QF F Class - of course I'd love to try it, but the cabin and the seat design are not as as nice as on other carriers.

I don't completely agree. I tried out the AF A380 F seat when AF were operating it between LHR and CDG and although I did not spend much time in the seat, it was far less private or comfortable than the QF one. I also think the CZ premium cabins on their A380s look plastic and uninspiring.

Quote:
That's really bad. I'd still prefer EK's A380 over QF's A380, no doubt about that.

I've not travelled on an EK A380 but again, their premium cabins look totally over the top to me. I am not a fan of all that tacky bling!

Quote:
Ice cream served in a paper cup in F Class? That's not appropriate IMO.

I wasn't really expecting it to come in any form, considering it was a late night supper service. It worked OK for me.

Thanks again! Palmjet

Topic: RE: Fevered Booking? To Aus With Qantas A380 In F/J
Username: akhmad
Posted 2012-10-20 10:00:23 and read 10171 times.

Quoting palmjet (Reply 26):
Naughty?

Naughty, naughty! Though I fully understand. 


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