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....
Well, the trip actually started out up in Brisbane on Christmas morning. I had been visiting family there for the festive season and since the demise of Qantas services to London from Brisbane via Singapore it meant a domestic flight down to Melbourne to meet up with the QF9 Airbus A380 to London via Dubai. This didn't bother me since I like flying anyway but it may be a major detractor for some other people. As my booking was all on one ticket Qantas sent out a chaffeur driven car to pick me up. It was a Chrysler 300C.
|Being Chaffeur driven to the airport is lovely|
The vehicle arrived a few minutes early and the friendly driver took me (and my friend who was flying on the same flight but finishing in Melbourne) to the airport. It is about a 50km trip so it was quite handy to have it included. I did feel slightly sorry for the driver since it was Christmas morning... so I gave him a tip upon arrival at the Brisbane domestic Qantas terminal.
My bags were tagged through to London and boarding passes handed to me for both the business class sector to Melbourne and the first class flight onwards to London. It was then through security and direct to the Qantas Club. Over Christmas the business class lounges are closed and everybody is directed to the club instead. My flight to Melbourne was being operated by one of Qantas' older aircraft, a Boeing 737-400. It had originally been scheduled a B737-800 but was swapped a couple of months prior to travel.
|My aircraft being loaded for the flight to Melbourne|
Upon arrival in Melbourne it's a short walk over to the international terminal to clear passport control and security again.
|Departures display for Christmas Day at Melbourne|
|International Departures this way please|
|Nice departures board with world weather forecasts. London is the coldest !|
|VH-OQH is waiting to send me to London|
I was greeted in the lounge and offered to have my hand luggage stored if I wished. I declined and headed for the restaurant section to get lunch.
|Spiced Lamb Flatbread|
|The treatment room after my massage|
First Class on the Qantas A380 is located in the forward lower deck. The lower deck is wider and as such airlines with the wider suites like Qantas and Singapore locate their first class product there. Airlines with narrower first class seats or suites like Emirates and Thai have their first class cabins upstairs.
Upon boarding I was escorted to suite 2K by the crew and offered champagne, of course I accepted! While that was being prepared I explored the suite:
|Suite 2K - the seats face forward for takeoff and landing then swivel to the side in flight for bed and lounging|
|The suites are very large with plenty of space for a second person to share a meal with|
|The TV screen is available at all times but is perhaps a little small|
|Looking at the seat from the window area - there is an LCD touchscreen which shows the moving map display, time to destination and also the seat controls.|
|Amenity kit and pyjamas|
|Champagne, olives, almonds|
|Inflight entertainment screen showing flight path|
|LCD touchscreen for seat controls and also moving map display and time to destination - very handy|
|The same LCD display showing suite controls|
Whilst the boarding process was underway there was time for a top up of the champagne while I sent my last remaining christmas messages to friends and family and updated my facebook status before the 13.5 hour sector to Dubai. After the 350 passengers were on board it was time to close the doors and get this Christmas Day flight underway. The weather was beautiful outside as we taxi'ed to runway 16 and made our departure.
|Amenity kit contents by SKII|
This started off with champagne and canapes. The canapes were served on a small plate and included Tea Smoked Duck with Pickled Cabbage in a spoon and a Spanner Crab Tartlet with Lemon and Cumin.
Next up was the Asian Chicken Broth, and it came in a big bowl with plenty of mushrooms. Really tasty!
I ate the whole bowl of soup and eagerly awaited the next course. The game terrine! I was expecting quite a small serve but I was impressed to find a very large serving arrive. It was just delicious with the crostini and mustard fruits.
|Close up of the Game Terrine|
It was time for the main course and I had selected the Lamb Rack with asparagus and mint jelly, served along side a Potato and Silverbeet Gratin. It also came with a side salad with palm sugar vinaigrette. I was glad that the lamb was not too large otherwise I couldn't have fit it in.
|Main course with the gratin served in a separate bowl|
|Close up of lamb rack|
|Potato and silverbeet gratin - delicious!|
|And a salad as well|
There was a cheese course mentioned on the menu but this was not offered to me. I actually would have had to decline it anyway as I was full to exploding at this point. The meal was incredibly good overall and the team at Qantas' catering division in Melbourne should be very proud.
With my tray table cleared away it was time to start relaxing. During the meal I had been watching Elysium and that was finished around the same time the meal ended. At this point we were over Western Australia with a further 11 hours of flying ahead of us:
I took off my shoes and replaced them with my first class slippers which kind of camouflage with the carpet:
And settled down to my favourite, Downton Abbey:
I decided to get comfortable and have the crew convert my seat into a bed. A mattress is placed over the seat and a nice comfy duvet and big pillow are set up. Looks comfy right?
At some point I ordered a peppermint tea which came on a lovely silver tray in a pot with a packet of biscuits. I liked the presentation:
|Yes I am still watching Downton Abbey. It's dark outside at this point|
I was very comfortable and fortunately the flying conditions remained smooth throughout. With about 2 hours 25 minutes remaining it was time to consider eating again and I had the crew take away my bedding. I ordered a tagliatelle bolognaise and the cheese plate from the menu.
|Here was the pasta - quite nice and I am back on that lovely Chardonnay|
|Cheese plate with accompaniments|
Both the pasta and the cheese were really nice! It was enough food for me as I was going to have a snack in the lounge in Dubai as well. With the meal service completed the crew came around with a large box of caramel truffles for each passenger and the customer service manager came around to shake hands and thank me for flying with Qantas. I believe the chocolates aren't normally given out but were a gift for Christmas.
With almost 13 hours of flight behind us it was time to descend and commence the approach into Dubai where it was close to midnight. I watched from the tailcam:
|The lights of Dubai outside|
Stay tuned for the final leg from Dubai to London in my next post....