THIS IS A CONTINUATION OF PART 1 OF FLYING IN QATAS FIRST CLASS ON AN AIRBUS A380…
After leaving the Qantas Lounge, I headed back downstairs into the terminal in Melbourne and boarded directly through the lower airbridge to the Airbus A380 heading to Los Angeles. It was hard for me to realize that this was really happening. 2.5 years of waiting and the moment was here; flying in first class on a Qantas A380.
I was greeted at door 2L and then turned left. Left into happiness, left into exclusivity, left into REAL First Class. Qantas has its First Class Suites on the lower deck of the A380 unlike Emirates, Lufthansa or Thai Airways which all have them on the upper deck.
The First Class only contained 14 suites which gave me plenty of personal space. The suite itself was amazing; Open yet private at the same time. It doesn’t have closing doors like Emirates or Singapore Airlines but then it didn’t need to have them. It was as if Qantas had made the suite just for me.
With a 1:1:1 layout, you have quite a good chance of getting a window seat. If you are travelling with someone else you would want a K seat with the middle, as the middle opens to the right hand side not to the A (or left side of the aircraft). Want some privacy? A seats are the ones to choose! I was sitting in 2A (which was recommended to me by a number of people).
It was easy to get settled into my seat. The crew was not only there to greet me, but also help me stow away my things and get comfortable. During boarding I was offered top end champagne (yes the real stuff from France) like Tattinger or Pol Roger Winston Churchill. The drinks were served with some almonds and some olives making me feel special before even leaving the ground.
Then came all the goodies: An amenity kit filled with Payot Skin Care products (though these will soon be SK-II products as Qantas just announced days earlier of changes to the First Class amenities) and even some some pajamas and slippers. There was no need for me to get my street clothes dirty and they are even willing to hang up any clothes so that they are ready to go when you arrive to your destination.
I looked around at my seat. At that point it was in the “take off/landing” position. However once airborne, the seat rotates allowing you to stretch out. Once rotated, the set can turn recline into a flat bed almost 7ft long! With a 17” high definition screen, lots of storage space for all of your bits and pieces, I was excited this was my home for the next 14 hours (it should have been 15 but unfortunately we got tailwinds across the pacific).
As the A380 pushed back and started its taxi towards the runway, I switched on the skycam [camera in the tail of the A380]. It was at that moment I realized the one and only complaint I had about the suite and flying first class with Qantas. As an AvGeek, one of my joys of flying is looking out the window, seeing all the amazing aircraft around you. Spotting that one special livery or that airline you have never seen before. Even though each suite has 2 very large windows on the A380, you are just too far away from them to actually see out of. But that’s where the Skycam comes in handy. Sure you can’t see out the window, but you can see the entire A380 as it lifts you into the sky!
Once airborne and with my seat in “relax mode” I was ready to enjoy the longest A380 flight in the world, almost 8000 miles was ahead of me and 95% of it, open ocean. I was in heaven! Part 3 will be shared shortly. Stay tuned.
NOTE: These stories were written on a flight that I set up myself using my own personal Qantas Frequent Flyer Rewards Points. All opinions are my own.
|This story written by…Malcolm Muir, Lead Correspondent. Mal is an Australian Avgeek now living and working in Seattle. With a passion for aircraft photography, traveling and the fun that combining the two can bring. Insights into the aviation world with a bit of a perspective thanks to working in the travel industry.@BigMalX | BigMal’s World | Photos|