Thursday, January 30, 2014

Qantas First Class to London on the A380 : Part 2 QF9 Dubai to London

This is the continuation of my trip from Melbourne to London on Qantas' flagship Airbus A380, flight QF9. For part 1 go HERE.

After landing in Dubai on schedule with 13.5 hours of flight behind me it was time to head to the Emirates First Class Lounge in terminal 3. This is the lounge which features direct boarding  to the aircraft, but more on that later. As I was among the first off the flight there was nobody waiting at transit security so I was through and up to the lounge in no time.  First up it's time for a shower since Qantas don't have them onboard like Emirates do!


Monday, January 27, 2014

Qantaslink's New Business Class Equipped Boeing 717's

Qantaslink have recently acquired some used Boeing 717's that they have reconfigured into a 98 economy and 12 business class layout. They are going to be replacing the Boeing 737-400's used on flights between Canberra and Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. In addition they will also operate all Qantas services between Hobart and both Sydney (daily) and Melbourne (4 daily). This is the first time that Qantaslink have operated a business class.

I had an opportunity this week to sample the service on a short evening flight between Sydney and Canberra on VH-YQS, a 10 year old Boeing 717 which originally was delivered new to Midwest Airlines in the USA back in 2004. In 2009 it went to Mexico for service with Click Mexicana, a low cost division of Mexicana. But they went bust in 2010 and the aircraft was stored. When it came time for Qantaslink to source some new B717's they found this one and did a full refurb.  So let's have a look what it's like:

VH-YQS at the gate

Sunday, January 26, 2014

A Hot Breakfast on a 25 minute Flight

Is the Qantas service from Canberra to Sydney the world's shortest flight that still serves a full hot breakfast? It's only a hot breakfast in business class but I am still impressed that they have maintained it even in these days of cost cutting. It is 147 miles or just 236 kilometres as the bird flies between the two airports:



In economy a light refreshment is available but in business here is what I was served this month on the QF560 departing at 06.45am:


It's a couple of poached eggs,spinach, tomato with feta and sausages. The juice which on longer sectors would normally be poured by the crew comes in a bottle on the tray, and there is a banana on the side. Perfectly adequate and a good start to the day.

The crew on this Boeing 737-400 flight have to work VERY hard to get this  meal out to up to 20 business class passengers in a flight that can be as short as 25 minutes in the air, which leaves about 10-12 minutes to have the meal served, eaten and cleared away before seat belt signs are on for landing. During this time a full tea and coffee service is offered as well!

It's worth mentioning that these Boeing 737-400 services are currently being replaced by the Qantaslink Boeing 717-200 with 12 business class seats. After around 24 years in Australian service the B737-400 is about to be retired next month. It will be interesting to see how they compare with the Qantaslink operated flights at breakfast time. I assume the hot breakfast will remain but the Qantaslink crews may take a bit longer to become as experienced and polished as the fabulous Qantas mainline flight attendants that have been operating this route for many many years.

Farewell to the Boeing 737-400! Hello Boeing 717!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Qantas First Class to London on the A380 : Part 1 QF9 Melbourne to Dubai

This past Christmas I gave myself a gift. It was a first class ticket to London on Qantas and flying on Christmas day too! It was to be my first First Class experience on the Qantas A380 and I was looking forward to it for months. Did it live up to my expecations? Let's see....