In this trip report I review my 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 my 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. My 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. My flight departed from Concourse A. I have previously reported on this fabulous lounge in my Emirates First Class Review DXB-AMS trip report, so this is mostly a repeat.
The Emirates First Class lounge in DubaiThe Emirates First Class lounge in Dubai is one of the most spacious, unique and innovative lounges in the world. In fact’s, it’s not a defined space but rather an ultra-luxe concourse floating above the terminal’s ground floor. The lounge spreads the length of the entire terminal, offering direct access to most gates with multi-level boarding. Chandeliers, space, far to many seats make First Class passengers feel very privileged. Every seating area in the First Class lounge comes with its own food station, with food varying from light snacks, sandwiches and sushi, to desserts, coffee tables and cheese spreads. The main restaurant is located halfway the lounge, and offers both a la carte dining and an extensive buffet. The Timeless Spa is located adjacent to the First Class lounge and offers complimentary treatments. The lounge also features a business centre, a stylish decorated cigar room, a wine cellar, and two sleeping rooms (each featuring a loads of day beds).
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.
Martin Grant designed sleepwear and amenity kits are offered to customers travelling in First Class. This includes a unisex navy and black trim Qantas First pyjamas that are 100 per cent cotton with matching slippers. The amenity kit comes in the same navy hues and feature a range of bespoke hydrating ASPAR by Aurora Spa products, travel socks, dental kit, ear plugs eye mask and deodorant.
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 (which was not exactly my cup of cake).
Qantas’ First Class A380 inflight entertainment system features a 17 inch touch screen, with noise-cancelling 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 messageand 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.
Qantas does not feature in my top 10 best airlines for longhaul Business Class as this is the first time I have flown Qantas, but I have flown Emirates on a number of occasions including Emirates business class on the Boeing 777 and on the Emirates A380 previously along with Emirates in First Class. Qantas will now fly non-stop Perth to London.
Review by my friends at Luxury Travel Expert