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ClassicLover
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Hello A380! Qantas Premium Economy SYD-LHR (pix!)

Thu Jun 25, 2009 6:56 pm

Date: 9 June 2009
Route: Sydney-Singapore-London
Flight: QF31, departure 16:25, arrival 06:40.
Aircraft: Airbus A380-800 VH-OQB - "Hudson Fysh"
Seat: 35B
Class: Premium Economy
Cost: £1,549 return

The initial part of my trip, London to Sydney via Bangkok can be viewed here - http://www.airliners.net/aviation-fo...ums/trip_reports/read.main/150487/. You can compare the A380 and 747-400 by checking that report also.

It was once again time to leave Sydney, so I arrived at the airport and took myself off to the Business Class check-in counters. There was only one agent on duty, so it took some time (10 minutes plus) to get through to the agent. The agent was able to check my bags through to Dublin, which was great as I could just transfer in Heathrow rather than having to exit and go back in. Once again, my hoped for upgrade wasn't to be, and I was handed a boarding pass for Premium Economy. I didn't mind  Smile

I decided to change a lot of my unused Australian Dollars back to Euros at the Travelex counter, and got over 150 frequent flyer points for the transaction, which is always nice. I headed through immigration, security and into the Business Class lounge where I had a drink or two and a little food.

Soon enough, it was time to board. Happily there are duel aerobridges in use, so I boarded through the Business Class / Premium Economy one. On the way, I got a view of our steed...

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d55/ClassicLover/P1020060.jpg

After negotiating the upwards slanting slope, I came to the door of our aircraft, boarded and turned right to go right down the back. The Upper Deck on the Qantas A380 is configured with Business Class forward and Premium Economy aft.

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d55/ClassicLover/P1020061.jpg

Business Class features fully flat Skybeds (the angled one is still the best sleep in the sky in my opinion) and they look like this.

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d55/ClassicLover/P1020063.jpg

Premium Economy on the Qantas A380 looks like this...

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d55/ClassicLover/P1020062.jpg

While no-one else was on board, I hurried around taking some other snapshots from around the cabin such as the A380 door...



A flight attendants seat...



Along with the galley. The seats you can see are the crew rest seats, which are covered in a completely different coloured fabric to passenger seats so no-one gets confused. The "Push Push" sign at right is one of the dedicated Premium Economy loos.

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d55/ClassicLover/P1020068.jpg

The upper deck also has the lovely bins beside the seats, which are very similar to the ones on the upper deck of the Boeing 747-400 in Business Class. Of course, Premium Economy gets these too, as Qantas pitch the class as a Business Class "Lite" product as opposed to Economy "Plus".

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d55/ClassicLover/P1020069.jpg

As I was in an aisle seat, I took a couple of shots out the window... such as this other Qantas bird next to us (with a BA 777 on climbout!) -

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d55/ClassicLover/P1020066.jpg

... and of course the giant wing of our A380.



Seat pitch is listed on the Qantas web site as 38" to 40" - basically this means that the window/aisle seats on both sides have 40", while the three seats in the middle have 38". Hence why I chose a seat on the side.



The flight was completely full in Premium Economy, and from what I saw, all the other cabins were quite full as well. It seems people are actively choosing the A380 over other aircraft. My seatmate was a lovely lady from New Zealand called Wendy, who was flying AKL-SYD-SIN-LHR. As she was pleasant, I said she could come to the lounge with me in Singapore for a shower if she wanted to - and she accepted. We had a pre-take off drink and it was fun watching the Flight Attendants do the "avoid the boarding passengers while holding a tray full of drinks" dance!

Soon enough, we had the safety demonstration, pushed back and then taxiied to the runway. The aircraft seems to taxi very slowly, and it seems to take ages to complete a turn, which was interesting.

We lined up and began our take-off run. I was immediately entranced! The Rolls Royce Trent 900s sounded like a whisper! It was obvious we were taking off, but the noisy sound of other aircraft was extremely muted. After a long run, we were in the air, and the heavily laden Airbus climbed like a wet sponge... which was nice as I got to see most of Sydney passing by out the window next to the person next to me!

After take-off, we were given hot towels and then we were served dinner. The starter was Green Leaf Salad with Asparagus and Feta, followed by a choice of mains. Mine was Stir Fried Lamb with Hoisin Sauce served with Fragrant Rice. The other choice was Grilled Chicken with a Basil and Parmesan Sauce. It was gorgeous! Really top notch!

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d55/ClassicLover/P1020071.jpg

Cheese and Biscuits were also on the side to have after. Dessert was an ice cream.

The seat belts for the A380 are like in a car, with a push button latch as you can see here...

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d55/ClassicLover/P1020073.jpg

I watched some movies on the great AVOD system. The first one I watched was Borat which had me almost screaming with laughter, but I had to keep quiet as it was quite silent inside the aircraft. After 7 or so hours, we started our descent - and if I thought the A380 was quiet before, it was almost silent during descent. Really very quiet - like being in a glider almost. We landed in Singapore and deplaned. Myself and my new friend Wendy went to the lounge and had a shower, before hitting the Internet and then going back to the gate and boarding once more.

The flight to London is quite long, and once in the air, we were served supper. This was Green Leaf Salad with Olives and Beans with a choice of either Beef in a Rich Tomato Sauce, Potato Mash and Steamed Vegetables or Jalfrezi Style Fish with Rice and Spinach Daal. I had the Fish and once again the meal was superb! Dessert was Passionfruit Brulee with Chocolate Ganache.

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d55/ClassicLover/P1020074.jpg

I watched some more movies and tried to get some sleep. I basically only got a cat nap or seven and the thirteen or so hours passed slowly. During the flight you can choose to have extra food made for you if you like. Some other passengers got a baguette and I could smell it and got hungry. So I ordered the Toasted Baguette with Smoked Salmon, Cream Cheese, Dill Creame Fraiche, and Spinach. Another win for the food!

I went for a little walk and took this picture of the rear stairs...



Soon the mood lighting began to brighten (a bit like dawn) and people began to wake up and refresh themselves. Hot towels were handed out again, and then breakfast was served. This time it was an Omelette with Bacon, Sausage and Tomato Ragout, which was really nice. Breakfasts on flights are generally sad (apart from Aer Lingus!) and this one was quite the opposite.

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d55/ClassicLover/P1020077.jpg

The danish was lovely and the Seasonal Sliced Fresh Fruit was some of the best food I've ever had on board an aircraft!

We began the descent and once again I marvelled at how quiet the aircraft was. We landed and began our slow taxi around Heathrow before arriving on the gate. We deplaned and I followed the signs to flight transfers, got the bus to T1, went through Passport control, another security check and finally to the Aer Lingus transfer desk where I got my boarding pass. To the Aer Lingus lounge, then I flew to Dublin - my bag arrived safely also!

The A380 - what can I say? Very good! Quiet! Slow climber, slow taxiier, but lovely on board. You notice the lower cabin altitude, I felt great when I arrived. The mood lighting throughout makes a marked difference from the 747-400 which only has it in F and J. AVOD worked perfectly and it was all good! The Flight Attendants were attentive to everyone's needs and very happy.

Great fun, can't wait to do it again! Hope you all enjoyed the report  Smile Any questions or comments, let me know!
I do quite enjoy a spot of flying - more so when it's not in Economy!
 
pawsleykat
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RE: Hello A380! Qantas Premium Economy SYD-LHR (pix!)

Thu Jun 25, 2009 7:06 pm

Great report boyo! It's actually nice to see the photos in the report as you detailed this one so much better than your somewhat hurried description of the photos in Dublin.

The food looks incredibly nice tbh, and the seats are better than what I expected when I first saw them on the a.net database et al.

I still wish you'd kept to your word and flown it with me for the first time, but I'm glad you had a good flight on board. I'm looking forward to my trip on the EK ones in November! Big grin

JG  Yeah sure
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OA260
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RE: Hello A380! Qantas Premium Economy SYD-LHR (pix!)

Thu Jun 25, 2009 7:15 pm

Hey Trent , I was waiting for this one !! Excellent report and great pics. The food looks fab. You have sold QF to me , would love to go on it .

Interesting to see the door by the exit row means you can still stretch out in a window seat and not have legs blocked by the door. ( thats how it looks ) anyway.

Nice of you to offer that lady to take a shower with you  Wink  Big grin Joking aside if I have a nice seat mate I always offer to get them into the lounge whilst in transit. Its nice to do and costs nothing.

Thanks for the great report.

Philip
 
DunaA320
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RE: Hello A380! Qantas Premium Economy SYD-LHR (pix!)

Thu Jun 25, 2009 7:28 pm

Looks impressive Trent!

As always an excellent read!
 
directorguy
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RE: Hello A380! Qantas Premium Economy SYD-LHR (pix!)

Thu Jun 25, 2009 8:35 pm

Well done!

QF continues to surprise me, by how successful their J- product is. If only this was regular Y.....ah, but I wish !

Food looks good, but the seats look slightly drab. In terms of appearance, Air NZ has the edge.
 
ba319-131
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RE: Hello A380! Qantas Premium Economy SYD-LHR (pix!)

Thu Jun 25, 2009 9:45 pm

Hi Trent,

Nice follow up report, thanks for sharing.

Flown OQB myself, though in J, must say I find the BA J seats are better for sleeping, or at least for me.

Sure seems the Y+ product on QF is excellent, think I'd have no problem selecting this over BA or the VS product.

Cheers

Mark
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akhmad
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RE: Hello A380! Qantas Premium Economy SYD-LHR (pix!)

Fri Jun 26, 2009 5:55 pm

Another great TR with QF Premium Economy!

Quoting ClassicLover (Thread starter):
As she was pleasant, I said she could come to the lounge with me in Singapore for a shower if she wanted to - and she accepted.

How is it ended?  wink 

Cheers,
Suryo
Friends forever
 
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CrimsonNL
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RE: Hello A380! Qantas Premium Economy SYD-LHR (pix!)

Fri Jun 26, 2009 7:20 pm

Great report! The legroom looks real good! Did you get the same seat on the second leg? And did many people leave for SIN or were most of them going LHR as well?

Greetings Martijn
Always comparing your flown types list with mine
 
BlatantEcho
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RE: Hello A380! Qantas Premium Economy SYD-LHR (pix!)

Sat Jun 27, 2009 4:31 am

great report. I am looking forward to my LAX-SYD A380 trip this fall!
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shamrock604
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RE: Hello A380! Qantas Premium Economy SYD-LHR (pix!)

Sat Jun 27, 2009 11:41 am



Quoting ClassicLover (Thread starter):
You notice the lower cabin altitude, I felt great when I arrived.

I noticed that also. Stepping off in SIN felt like i'd been a on Dublin-London hop as opposed to an 8 hour flight. I wasnt even tired.

Fantastic aircraft, and I would definitely still make a special effort to choose to fly on it as opposed to even the 747.
 
khi747
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RE: Hello A380! Qantas Premium Economy SYD-LHR (pix!)

Sat Jun 27, 2009 12:33 pm

That Y+ product really is fantastic.I mean it must cannibalise J class passengers as well.

If you the see the seats and the presentation of food,it really is miles ahead of regular Y but not that far behind J class if you factor in the incremental price you will pay for J.

As someone who travels J class (now with wife and kids) and as someone who pays for it myself rather then my company paying for it,i would be extremely tempted to use a Y+ product like this which offers a noticeable difference from Y class but at the same time substantially cheaper then J class.

Can you tell me how much was the J fare for the same flights?

Great TR by the way.
 
AY104
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RE: Hello A380! Qantas Premium Economy SYD-LHR (pix!)

Sat Jun 27, 2009 9:03 pm

Excellent TR, and many thanks!
I read also your TR on the outbound LHR-SYD, and have to say "Good going Qantas!". It really sounds and looks as though they have perfected the Premium Economy experience, and made the 747 flights every bit as good as the A380. There would be no reason to believe that the same holds true for the other classes of service as well.
Very rarely that one reads a TR with the experience of both directions of travel on the same carrier having been excellent, and for that length of journey.
I went to Australia a couple of years ago, both ways on AC YVR-SYD-YVR via HNL in Y class. Must say, the AC service was excellent. However, I did find that the catering out of SYD, ie between SYD and HNL was some of the very best I have ever had. Even the purser on the flight said that the crew feels SYD is one of the best caterers on the system.
Thanks again for the great TR!
Cheers,
Carl
The only thing a customer should expect for his/her loyalty is good service
 
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ClassicLover
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RE: Hello A380! Qantas Premium Economy SYD-LHR (pix!)

Sun Jul 05, 2009 6:05 pm



Quoting OA260 (Reply 2):
Hey Trent , I was waiting for this one !! Excellent report and great pics. The food looks fab. You have sold QF to me , would love to go on it .

Thanks very much - you need to get yourself down to Singapore or Sydney and give it a whirl  Smile

Quoting Directorguy (Reply 4):
Food looks good, but the seats look slightly drab. In terms of appearance,

The design philosophy on the interior was to bring back a feeling of the romance of travel, so the cabins were designed to bring back the memory of how cabins were presented back in the 1960s for example.

This picture -

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d55/ClassicLover/vh-eba-20.jpg

... is of the Qantas Boeing 707-138 First Class cabin, taken in Vancouver in 1960. The colour of the seats is quite similar to that in Premium Economy nowadays.

Source: http://www.707.adastron.com/

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 5):
must say I find the BA J seats are better for sleeping,

Of course, a lie flat seat is going to beat a non-flat seat any day of the week for sleeping. Couldn't disagree with you there!

Quoting Akhmad (Reply 6):
How is it ended?

We left the aircraft in London and she was off to meet her husband  Smile

Quoting CrimsonNL (Reply 7):
Great report! The legroom looks real good! Did you get the same seat on the second leg? And did many people leave for SIN or were most of them going LHR as well?

Yes, usually you'll have the same seat all the way through. Some people got off in SIN, and they were all replaced - but many people were going all the way to LHR.

Quoting KHI747 (Reply 10):
That Y product really is fantastic.I mean it must cannibalise J class passengers as well.

It does, the Qantas CEO has stated that they wish they had larger Premium Economy sections in the aircraft and smaller Business Class cabins thanks to the downturn in passengers up front.

Quoting KHI747 (Reply 10):
Can you tell me how much was the J fare for the same flights?

Yes, the J fare on Qantas is usually around about £2,800.
I do quite enjoy a spot of flying - more so when it's not in Economy!
 
APYu
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RE: Hello A380! Qantas Premium Economy SYD-LHR (pix!)

Mon Jul 06, 2009 2:34 pm



Quoting KHI747 (Reply 10):

Can you tell me how much was the J fare for the same flights?



Quoting ClassicLover (Reply 12):
Yes, the J fare on Qantas is usually around about £2,800.

There were some good deals on last month though. I got LHR-SIN-SYD for £1978 return on the A380 travelling in November
We'd like to welcome in particular our Executive Club members and those joining us from our Oneworld alliance partners.
 
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ClassicLover
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RE: Hello A380! Qantas Premium Economy SYD-LHR (pix!)

Wed Jul 15, 2009 9:16 pm



Quoting APYu (Reply 13):
There were some good deals on last month though. I got LHR-SIN-SYD for £1978 return on the A380 travelling in November

That's great actually - November is usually a slow month. Good deal - glad I didn't see it, I would have been sorely tempted  Smile
I do quite enjoy a spot of flying - more so when it's not in Economy!
 
a1ring23
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RE: Hello A380! Qantas Premium Economy SYD-LHR (pix!)

Thu Jul 16, 2009 8:43 am

Looks fantastic. Can't wait to get on the QF A380.

Thanks for the report + pics, was a great read!

Regards,
Pete
Where's the accelerometer on this thing?
 
EC001
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RE: Hello A380! Qantas Premium Economy SYD-LHR (pix!)

Tue Jul 28, 2009 12:16 am

Great TR ClassicLover!

I was really waiting to see one depicting QF's premium economy.  Smile

Although I love QF's seats design on the A380, they always seem "hard". Were they comfortable enough?

cheers,

orian
 
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allrite
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RE: Hello A380! Qantas Premium Economy SYD-LHR (pix!)

Tue Jul 28, 2009 12:33 am



Quoting EC001 (Reply 16):
Although I love QF's seats design on the A380, they always seem "hard". Were they comfortable enough?

I can't speak for the premium economy, but I found the normal economy seats in the A380 very comfortable with excellent lumbar support.
I like artificial banana essence!
 
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ClassicLover
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RE: Hello A380! Qantas Premium Economy SYD-LHR (pix!)

Mon Aug 10, 2009 8:20 pm



Quoting EC001 (Reply 16):
Although I love QF's seats design on the A380, they always seem "hard". Were they comfortable enough?

They were quite comfortable actually... not for sleeping in though! While all signs pointed to "yes" in the sleeping stakes, you are still sitting up, so no sleep for me.

Quoting Allrite (Reply 17):
I can't speak for the premium economy, but I found the normal economy seats in the A380 very comfortable with excellent lumbar support.

I'm trying this in September, so I will also write a report on it with some comparisons  Smile
I do quite enjoy a spot of flying - more so when it's not in Economy!

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