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Qantas Airways Business Class Flight Review London to Singapore

CABIN FLOWN

Business Class

ROUTE FLOWN

London to Singapore

DATE

14th June 2009

REVIEWER

George Scholes

FLIGHT RATING

Qantas Airways Qantas Airways customer 2010
4.0 Star Rating: Good

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Qantas Airways Business Class Flight Review London to Singapore


 

PASSENGER REVIEW



This was my first flight with Qantas and also my first on the new A380. Both scored high marks. You do not notice the size of the aircraft either before or during the flight.

Boarding at London Heathrow is via a long tunnel-like bridge to a door in the side of a hull that could have been almost any aircraft and the business class cabin is spacious but not outstandingly large.

Seating is two plus two plus two across and each seat is only an average width, the sort that will leave those passengers with an extra wide beam quite squashed. One nice feature of my window seat was the storage bin beneath the window. It was large enough to hold all the junk that accumulates to make most seat surrounds look like the aftermath of a recent hurricane strike by the end of a long flight.

The cabin is decorated in subdued tones of gray and the only colour was in the exit signs and the indicators if the wash rooms were free or occupied.

The seats are contained in a shell and the seat in front is far enough forward to allow a window seat passenger adequate access to the aisle when the seats are flat. They recline to the fully flat position and are comfortable there. Some airlines have business seats that are far from pleasant. Qantas also supplies a decent pillow and a thick duvet/blanket unlike the Emirates Business class blanket which is flimsy enough to spit through.

Push back was delayed some twenty minutes due to air-traffic congestion and we subsequently arrived in Singapore fifteen minutes late.

Cabin service was unobtrusive but efficient and during the night the cabin was patrolled by a crew member with a torch. The meal service was brisk. White table cloths were in place with good steel implements apart from two plastic knives. Courses were served individually but otherwise the service was reminiscent of the better economy services in the past. Some downgrading in these hard times for airlines is apparent.

One noticeable and pleasant feature was the silence in the cabin. Not only that engine noise on the upper deck seems quieter but there was no boarding music and absolutely no chatter on the PA. The Captain came on to say who he was, where we were going and how long it would take, then the crew demonstrated the safety features. After than there was almost twelve hour's silence until the crew said it was time wake up and get ready for arrival. Bliss!

The in-flight mapping available on our individual screens was the best I have come across. Every airline has its own and some are plain awful. Emirates has one of the worst with a sequence of maps most of which are meaningless and even then are interrupted every few minutes by an irritating advertisement that seems to last forever. Qantas has a short sequence of useful maps with nothing to interrupt. One day we might be able to choose the map format that seems most suitable and leave that on permanently.

Of course there were a few 'could do better' points. Boarding was economy class budget airline standard. Business Class and Premium Economy occupy the upper deck and board through one gate. First and economy passengers on the lower deck board through a gate somewhere else. The upper deck gate was staffed by one person who checked each passenger against passport and boarding card. When boarding was called a long and orderly single line formed and as most of the seats on that deck are allocated to premium economy and the total number to board though this gate would outnumber a couple of 737s it took a good thirty minutes to clear the line. Business Class passengers might reasonably expect a dedicated line for their boarding.

Qantas links its catering to Rockpool, a well known restaurant on Sydney where I have had more than one excellent meal. My order for lunch was for the Argentinean Beef Filet and before accepting it the FA advised me that it was served rare to very rare. Just right. It was actually served very well done. If you had asked for it like this in Rockpool I think the chef might have come out personally and told you where you might take your business.

In each seat pocket is a booklet about Qantas and Australian wine, with a few NZ wines as well.. There is a very long list of approved wines that may be served on individual flights and to different classes. The provided menu did not list which ones were actually served on this flight and so I picked one I knew and liked. A NZ Sauvignon Blanc. When the drinks order was taken it was carefully noted but the wine served with no comment was an indifferent Chardonnay. During the lunch service I switched to a red and asked which were carried. Only two reds were available in Business Class, neither was well known nor remarkable but would be perfectly adequate if they had not been served as cold as a well chilled white wine. It is a pity that Qantas go to the trouble of writing about Australian wines then not being proud enough to name the served wine and serve it correctly.

Come on Qantas, Australia makes some good wines - wave them about a bit and serve them properly.

These could do better points noted, it was still a good flight and one I would be more than happy to repeat.



 





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