Inside the Qantas A380: Photos Advertisement Close Flight test Qantas Los Angeles to Sydney THE ROUTE Los Angeles to Sydney THE PLANE Economy class on the Qantas Airbus A380. Photo: Jim Rice Airbus A380-800 THE LOYALTY SCHEME You will now receive updates from Traveller Newsletter Traveller Newsletter Get the latest news and updates emailed straight to your inbox. Qantas Frequent Flyer/Oneworld Alliance CLASS Economy.
For an extra $180 I have purchased an Upper Deck Emergency Exit, seat 35D DURATION We arrive 15 minutes early after a 14 hour, 40 minute flight. FREQUENCY Qantas operates one daily A380 flight linking Sydney and Los Angeles, returning from LA at 22.10 and arriving at 6.10am two days later. An additional direct return flight uses a Boeing 747 aircraft. THE SEAT While $180 buys an ocean of legroom, the armrests on my central aisle seat are immovable.
But its 44cm width is sufficient. Economy upstairs, located at the back behind Premium Economy, has only 16 seats. In the last two rows, where I sit, there are no seats to one side where the toilet is situated, making for a 0-3-2 layout. BAGGAGE Two checked bags up to 23kgs, one carry-on up to 7kgs plus one garment bag. COMFORT A large gap in front of row 35 allows me to fully extend my legs while sleeping.
I'm located beside the toilet and two rows in front of the galley which means extra noise and at first other passengers passing in front of me to reach the washroom. The proximity to the galley fridges means that, even though I am wearing three layers, I still feel cold. ENTERTAINMENT As it's an emergency exit seat my entertainment system is stowed in the armrest for take-off and landing and can only be operated using the touch screen.
On the A380, the Q system has more than 1500 entertainment options and includes a smattering of new release movies. I watch Alex Gibney's fascinating doco We Steal Secrets about Wikileaks founder Julian Assange on either side of a decent sleep and find the system easy to navigate. An older fellow passenger complains, however, "that you need a PHD to drive the thing". SERVICE With only 16 Upper Deck Economy seats to manage, the two principal cabin staff we encounter are unimpressive.
One is super garrulous, loud and borderline over-familiar and the other grumpy and short on people skills. FOOD The hot supper served an hour into the flight (close to midnight, local time) is adequate but my Massaman curry main is bland. An overnight goodies bag including pretzels, a fig bar and honeycomb crunch is welcome though and the breakfast omelette decent enough. ONE MORE THING This is my first flight on an A380 and I feel the benefit of the reduced cabin pressure on board, arriving more refreshed than usual after the long flight.
However, on a walk-through of both decks, cabin temperatures seem to vary wildly and it is most chilly at the back, upstairs. VERDICT No better than average despite the extra outlay on an emergency exit seat. Some cabin staff on this flight need to behave more professionally. Tested by Daniel Scott who flew courtesy of the Canadian Tourism Commission. Daniel Scott Oct 17 2014
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Qantas Dreamliner 787 interior photos Advertisement Close It might be Christmas, but that's not the reason there's a festival feel on this Qantas flight – it's their first Dreamliner's maiden voyage to Los Angeles. Rollerskate-wearing staff give every passenger Mickey Mouse ears, mobile phone covers courtesy Visit California, LA caps and chocolate, plus they get a chance to win a shopping trip to Los Angeles.
The plane gets a water salute before take-off, which is running a little late. The plane Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner Play Video Don't Play Inside the Qantas Dreamliner cockpit As the inaugural Qantas Dreamliner long-haul flight from Melbourne to Los Angeles lands, Fairfax joins First Officer Andrew Stead in the cockpit. The route Melbourne to Los Angeles You will now receive updates from Traveller Newsletter Traveller Newsletter Get the latest news and updates emailed straight to your inbox.
Duration 13 hours and 10 minutes. Frequency Daily Seat I'm in business class, or the Business Suite as Qantas have named it, seat 6F, close to the front of the plane. We have a 1-2-1 configuration, so the best seats are window where storage and seats are alternated giving those who really want privacy to cocoon themselves away by a window. Seats through the middle are less private while you have a neighbour, but the newly installed privacy divider can be moved up and down to suit.
The seat offers a large 46-inch (117 cm) pitch which fully reclines to an 80-inch (203 cm) bed. Comfort The suites on this new aircraft feel sleek and modern, a refurbished version of what's in their A330 models. There are a couple of new features – the aforementioned privacy screen, and the exterior armrests can be moved down for a quick getaway without having to retract your tray table, which conveniently slides away into the side.
Some great features include a water bottle holder, with new bottle of water on take-off, a holder for the headphones, which are excellent, noise-cancelling darlings, plus space for your laptop and magazines or newspapers. There are two lights – one for reading, one for general "oh I've lost my iPhone charger" situations, plus an international electricity socket, and a USB port. Two pillows and a blanket are provided and within the first hour passengers receive an amenity kit and pyjamas, both specially designed for the new Dreamliner flight.
The Oroton kit includes a 10 per cent voucher of Oroton products plus an eye mask, socks, earplugs, ASPAR beauty kit and a toothbrush. The seats are so comfortable I manage to sleep most of the flight and do not suffer from jet lag when arriving in LA in the morning. Qantas has worked with the Charles Perkins centre at Sydney University to better understand the effects of long-haul flights and lighting – and something seems to be working.
You'll notice bigger windows that are dimmable; the cabin air has improved, and perhaps most noticeable of all is just how smooth and quiet the plane is. Baggage Three pieces of checked-in luggage up to 32 kg each in business class. Entertainment The entertainment unit is the most modern I've seen on a flight. Easy to manoeuvre, it automatically alerts you to the button for service. It's a huge 16-inch scrollable touchscreen with plenty of movie and TV options.
Service As to be expected of Qantas, the service is faultless. Food For once you can board a flight knowing you're going to get a decent meal and despite them running out of my first selection due to the launch of a new menu (which the cabin manager promptly apologised for). The dinner service starts with signature cocktail of botanical lemon juice with tequila, followed by grilled prawns with Mexican rice as an entree.
The main was a curry with ling with turmeric, tamarind, basmati rice and sambal and if I could have fitted in dessert, fellow passengers were in raptures over the vanilla pannacotta. The meals were substantial, and if you were super hungry snacks were available mid-flight. The little touches like choices of fresh bread from Brasserie Bread in Melbourne, Pepe Saya butter (served soft) are the cherry on top.
The wine selection is also excellent, particularly the Adelaide Hills chardonnay – you are offered tastings of the two whites and reds available. One More Thing Look out for the crockery and silver designed from David Caon which has been redesigned to weigh less, therefore saving on fuel. The lighting before breakfast service has been designed to simulate sunrise thus gently waking passengers in the morning, rather than alarming them with harsh white lighting.
The Verdict To get a decent night's sleep on a flight is such a rare thing, but Qantas seem to have made this possible with their excellent Business Suite. If you're going to be on a plane any longer than 14 hours, this is the way you want to do it. The writer travelled as a guest of Qantas and Visit California See also: Qantas reveals second Dreamliner and new US route See also: On board the Qantas Dreamliner - how the 787's seats stack up Dec 18 2017