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Review: Qantas A380 First Class, Dubai to London

Reviews : Transport

In this trip report, I review our flight on Qantas A380 Airbus in First Class from Dubai Airport (DXB) to London Heathrow Airport (LHR) in November 2016. This was the last leg of a Seychelles holiday (the previous flight was from Mahe to Dubai was on an Emirates B777).

Qantas has a reputation for being the safest airline in the world. Qantas hasn’t had a fatal crash. This reputation was glorified in the 1988 blockbuster Rain Man when Dustin Hoffman’s character refused to get on a flight unless it was Qantas because “Qantas Never Crash”.

Currently, Qantas has 12 A380s in its fleet and mainly deploys them on the London, Dubai, Hong Kong, and USA routes. Our experience onboard the Qantas A380 was brilliant, but the hard product is slightly inferior to the Middle East A380 First Class cabins.

Review Of Emirates First Class Lounge At Dubai International Airport

Qantas does not have its own lounge at Dubai International Airport Its premium passengers have access to the excellent lounges of its partner Emirates at Terminal 3. This terminal comprises two concourses: Concourse A and Concourse B. Both concourses feature Business and First Class lounges. The flight departed from Concourse A. I have previously reported on the Emirates First Class lounge in Dubai.

When it was time to board, I took the elevator down to the jet bridge, which offered some terrific views of the A380 (see above).

First Class Cabin

The Qantas A380 has 484 seats in total: 14 First Class, 64 Business Class, 35 Premium Economy Class, and 371 Economy Class seats, spread over the two decks.

The First Class cabin is located on the plane’s forward lower deck, immediately behind the cockpit. The airy cabin features a design of understated luxury with 14 open suites in a 1-1-1 configuration, all of them having direct aisle access. There are 10 window seats (5 on each side) and 4 seats in the center of the cabin. The latter share the same aisle as the right-sided window seats, so I would suggest choosing a seat on the plane’s left side (row A) for more privacy. Although they are not fully enclosed, all suites have high seat walls and enjoy total privacy, See seat map of the Qantas A380.

First Class Seat

I had chosen window seat 4K for the flight. During takeoff and landing, the seat – which is located at some distance from the window – faces forward, but during cruise, the seat can be swiveled around to line up with the ottoman (and form a flat-bed). Besides the seat – at eye-level – is a small touch screen that controls all of the seat and suite’s functions, such as the programmable seat positions, the multi-zone massage function, the suite’s lighting, privacy screens, and dual-layer window shades. Below that screen is the remote control for the entertainment system. In front of the seat is a small fold-out table.

The leather ottoman can be used as an extension of the flat-bed, as well as an extra seat to host a companion (for dinner) in your suite with its own seat belt. Above the ottoman is the electronically deployed 17 inch LCD widescreen video monitor. There’s no seat wall behind the monitor, although a screen can be raised here for complete privacy.

The seat converts into a 212 cm (6’11”) fully flat-bed complemented by a foam mattress, sheepskin overlay, and fitted cotton sheeting.

What are the best First Class seats on Qantas’ Airbus A380?
The middle seats and right-sided window seats share the same aisle, so I would suggest choosing a seat on the plane’s left side (row A) for more privacy and overhead bin storage space.

What are the worst First Class seats on Qantas’ Airbus A380?
Passengers seated in the first row may be bothered by noise from the lavatories. Passengers seated in the last row (row 5) may be bothered by noise from the galley and the more crowded Economy Class cabin behind them.

Amenities

Martin Grant designed sleepwear, and amenity kits are offered to customers traveling in First Class. This includes a unisex navy and black trim Qantas First pajamas that are 100 percent cotton with matching slippers. The amenity kit comes in the same navy hues and features a range of bespoke hydrating ASPAR by Aurora Spa products, travel socks, dental kit, earplugs, eye mask, and deodorant.

Food

While food was very good, I was not overly impressed with the tastes nor presentation of the onboard meals created by Neil Perry. The menu read as follows:

  • Canapés: caviar tartlet with crème fraîche + sesame lavish with labne, carrot and dill
  • Spicy lentil soup with herbed crème fraîche
  • Small plate: Qantas signature steak sandwich with tomato and chilli relish
  • Main plate: Rockpool Bar & Grill style lamb rack with rosemary potatoes, peas and mustard
  • Dessert: fresh fruit
  • Before landing, I was hungry again (despite this being only a 7:30 hour flight) so I ordered the seared hamour with tamarind chickpeas, cauliflower, and coriander

Entertainment

Qantas’ First Class A380 inflight entertainment system features a 17-inch touch screen, with noise-canceling headsets and on-demand control so you can watch what you want when you want with high-quality audio. The selection includes a wide range of movies, TV programs, CD albums, moving maps, interactive games, and a selection of radio channels. Personal telephones are also available in every seat, as well as the option to reply text message and 110v AC power outlets. The fin tail camera also offers some fun moments.

Qantas is known for its super-friendly crew; the cabin crew was extraordinary. They almost made me forget I was flying (although I am a nervous flyer), and genuinely talked about how they loved working for Qantas.

The Qantas A380 does not have a proper onboard bar, contrary to Emirates, Etihad and Qatar which I have compared describing which is best. However, the front upper deck features a small and cozy lounge, where you can stretch your legs and interact with other passengers.

For a comparison, you can read our other Qantas First Class flight reviews and view our list of top 10 best airlines for longhaul Business Class.

Review by our friends at Luxury Travel Expert

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