Qantas Airbus A330-200 aircraft now feature the upgraded business class cabin â€“ Photo: Jacob Pfleger | AirlineReporter
Over the last 18 months, QantasÂ has been progressively upgrading their business class product on their Airbus A330-200 aircraft. The new business suites bring the product in line with the ever-increasing trend of direct aisle access for all business class passengers, as well lie flat beds — a first for Qantas on the domestic market. The upgraded A330-200 cabins are configured with 28 lie-flat seats in a 1-2-1 configuration that can remain in the recline position during takeoff and landing.
It has been quite some time since I last had the opportunity to fly domestically in business class with Qantas, and with my annual trip to Australia, I thought I would burn some Qantas frequent flyer points to check out their new business suitesÂ on the popular Sydney-Melbourne route, a very short 95-minute flight.
Ground crews at LAX prep an American 777-300ER for its flight to SYD
Previously, I discussed the process and reasoning for using miles for an economy ticket on an American Airlines Boeing 777-300ER from Los Angeles to Sydney. In this story, I am going to share the actual flight experience, and discuss if this was the right call… or a huge mistake.
FLYING AMERICAN DOWN UNDER: Before the Flight
American Airlines Flight 73
Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to Sydney Airport (SYD)
Equipment: Boeing 777-323ER
Scheduled Departure Time: 9:50pm (actual 10:21pm)
Scheduled Arrival Time: 7:55am+2 (actual 7:31am+2)
Scheduled Flight Time: 15 hours, 5 minutes (actual 14 hours, 9 minutes)
The day came, and we headed out to dinner before going to LAX to catch our eveningÂ flight. While taking our dinner at a leisurely pace, I checked on our flight status and realized thatÂ I had confused the departure time as being 10:50pm instead of 9:50pm; fortunately I caught my mistake with enough time to rush through our mealÂ and still make it to the airportÂ comfortably.
The departure lounge for Gate 41 at LAX, for American’s inaugural flight to SYD. #AvGeeks cringe at this banner…
UpdatedÂ 12/22/2015 @ 4:38pm PT
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With critters, music, food, gifts, and didgeridoos on hand, American Airlines celebratedÂ its inaugural flight from Los Angeles to Sydney last Thursday, marking the first time the airlineÂ has directly flownÂ to Australia from the contiguous 48 states with its own aircraft, this route featuring itsÂ flagship Boeing 777-300ER.
But even hard-core AvGeeks would be hard pressed Â to focus on the 777 on the other side of the windows when there was a baby kangarooÂ (WHAT?!)…
A Qantas 747-400ER and an American 777 on the ground at Dallas-Fort Worth… Soon a sight for Australian airports?
Traveling down under to Australia is one of the most heavily-restricted air travel markets. However, yesterday Qantas and American Airlines make some changes to their services over the Pacific to increase opportunities. As of the middle of December 2015, both American (AA) and Qantas (QF) are going re-add services that were previouslyÂ cut.