Today’s entry for the TLFL reader review competition is about Qantas QF1 First class Sydney to Singapore by reader H. If you enjoyed it let us know. We don’t encourage criticism of reader reviews as these are not professional writers and you may not like everyone’s style of writing. I don’t edit them to the same degree as I would a professional writer TLFL uses.
But to gauge which people enjoyed most, let us know in the comments below if you enjoyed it. It’s good to see a review of Qantas A380 in first since its recent refurbishment – I really enjoyed my flight with Paul a few years ago before they updated it.
After over a two-year hiatus, it was wonderful to see the Qantas superjumbo back in the skies, which at one point we thought we may never see again.
This review chronicles our flight from Qantas’ hub airport, Sydney International, to Singapore, aboard the flagship A380, which was recently refurbished. The flight continues to London. However, this review covers Sydney to Singapore only.
Date: 18 July 2022
Route: Sydney to Singapore
Aircraft: Qantas A380-842 (VH-OQK)
Departure Time: Scheduled: 15:55 – Actual: 17:12
Flight Time: 7 hrs 56 mins
Qantas is notorious for making it very difficult to book first class seats using award points; however, whilst still in the midst of the Covid pandemic, I was able to very luckily one day find a seat flying from Sydney to London Heathrow via Singapore using Qantas frequent flyer points.
I paid 216,900 points + AUD $418 in taxes and fees for a Sydney to London flight in first.
Check-In, Security and Immigration
The check-in experience for Qantas first class passengers in Sydney is easy and smooth; however, getting through security can be an annoying and frustrating procedure. There is a fast-track lane at Sydney International but security often send passengers from the regular lanes over there when it is busy, and therefore the lines are extremely long.
For people that have Australian passports, the immigration process is fairly straightforward through e-gates.
It took approximately 35 minutes from the time I left the check in to get through past security and immigration.
For passengers travelling in first class on Qantas, they use the Qantas First Class Lounge, which in my opinion continues to rank as one of the very best lounges globally. The lounge has amazing food, a spa, great amenities, beautiful décor and fantastic runway views for those who love aviation. I have a separate review to cover the lounge as this review is purely focused on the flight from Sydney to Singapore.
The boarding announcement was made in the lounge, which prompted me to head towards Gate No.8 for boarding. Boarding was a mess, and this seems to be a problem that Qantas refuses to fix. There appears to be four lanes for boarding – First, Business + Premium Economy and two Economy lanes, however, there is no enforcement of these lanes and staff don’t care who boards from where. Boarding took me 20 minutes from when I arrived to the gate to get to my seat.
Seat and Cabin
The Qantas A380 First Class cabin is located at the front of the bottom deck of the aircraft. It is configured in a 1-1-1 layout, with no seat in the first row, with a total of 14 seats. As you can see in the images below, the seat is beautiful, spacious and very comfortable.
I was seated in seat 2A – on the left hand-side of the aircraft. These seats are not suites however, they remain one of the most popular in the sky. Even though these seats don’t have doors, there is plenty of privacy thanks to the angled shape of the seats and the high-walled seats that almost ‘cocoon’ around.
This aircraft was refurbished within the last 18 months, and it is disappointing that the TV screens remain considerably smaller when compared to the likes of Emirates, Qatar, Singapore Airlines and others.
Another disappointing aspect is that the windows are a fair distance away from the seat, and it is very hard to get any decent views outside the aircraft. Furthermore, the seats must be angled forward during take-off and landing, making it even harder to enjoy window views.
Shortly after taking my seat, I was given some nuts, a drink and canapes. I was then presented with a pair of Martin Grant pyjamas, slippers and an amenity kit. The male and female amenity kits are identical apart from the colour.
Just before 5 pm local time, we began the short taxi before departing from Runway 19R heading for Singapore. There were some beautiful sunset views as we climbed out of Sydney, however, as mentioned previously, you’re seated quite far from the window which makes it difficult for one to get great views out of the aircraft.
The upgraded Qantas A380s sport a new lounge area in on the upper deck where people from business and first can meet and mingle.
There is a good selection of entertainment available, but once again this falls short compared to what Emirates, Qatar Airways or Singapore Airlines offers. The screen, at 18 inches wide is also smaller than major competitors, which is disappointing when you consider this aircraft has been recently refurbished.
The headphones offered are low quality, and once again, this is really disappointing when you consider that the major competitors offer high-quality, upmarket branded headphones in premium cabins.
There is no internet or Wi-Fi as Qantas A380s are not equipped with this. To some people this is not an issue as it is nice to have a break from being connected on the flight, while others possibly would prefer that connectivity in the sky.
Orders for dinner were taken shortly after take-off. As you can see in the menu below, the food options were quite nice. I struggled to choose what to eat as there were so many amazing choices, however, I settled for the signature steak sandwich and the beef fillet for dinner.
Qantas is notorious for doing two things well: lounges and food, and today’s flight was not different. The food in the lounge was amazing, however, I was able to make space for a good dinner onboard. The signature steak sandwich is quite simply amazing. I was lucky enough to be allowed to order a second one on the flight – I highly recommend the steak sandwich for anyone, it definitely doesn’t disappoint.
While I thought I have had too much steak already, I just couldn’t avoid having the steak as a main, and once again, it was cooked to perfection. It was served with a choice of mustards, I chose hot English and seeded. It is difficult to get a good steak on a plane, however, this steak compares to steaks I’ve had at some great restaurants.
While Qantas First Class onboard their A380s don’t have WiFi, fancy amenity kits, large widescreen TVs or sliding doors, it is still easy to see why this product is one of the most sought after. While the seats aren’t fully enclosed suites, there is still plenty of privacy. Furthermore, the seat and bed are incredibly comfortable. When it comes to food, I can’t imagine many other airlines do it better than Qantas in premium cabins.
The main aspect that Qantas can and really needs to work on is the ground experience, especially at their hub airport. Boarding is a mess and this needs to be fixed as it can dampen the experience somewhat.
All in all, I do believe that Qantas First Class remains one of the best overall experiences out there.
Like our Qantas First Class review? You can read more flight reviews here.
A very well written review.
Good review, clearly written by someone in the know. I would have loved to hear more about the delivery by the cabin crew. What about the desserts, drink services , the catering in the on board lounge. This review is good if not a bit succinct.
Good review – thank you. Nice to see someone commenting on the seat angle – always frustrating to find one’s face – and camera – so far away from the window!
A useful summary of most of the basics. I also become irked when I arrive at the gate and encounter an unmanaged rabble. I wonder if it is due to ground staff laziness, or an unwillingness to draw attention to the sensitivity of class divisions whilst on Australian terra firma.
I would like to have read a discussion on a few other points. What was the on-board service like. Cleanliness of plane. Depth and breadth of entertainment service. Toilet facilities. Luggage space. Was the cabin busy. These would have fleshed out what was an informative piece.
I was certainly able to ascertain the writer is a not a vegetarian…and one with a good appetite!
Thanks for the review. Interesting concept of the on board lounge?
Thanks for taking time to review. I’d now avoid this service simply based on the boarding experience. I recall the days when being a First passenger one was escorted to the plane from the lounge and given priority at both security and boarding. I’m not going to pay all that money to be treated like cattle. Enjoyed report of food although I have to say I think I’d need to dislocate my jaw to eat that steak sandwich ????
I think you could make a Titanic-reboot film using that staircase – never seen anything like it on a plane before.
Actually, not Titanic – too much sinking. Just keep the staircase.
While the seats and IFE on Qantas might not equal Singapore, Emirates or Etihad (if they bring the A380 back), nor does the price. Qantas in F LHR-SYD for hard cash is about 65% of the cost of Singapore most of the time and it’s still an excellent product and certainly the food is as good – though obviously different and Singapore lounges are always underwhelming.
Great review, thanks.
What I cannot fathom is why, in 2022, QANTAS still does not offer wifi on long haul flights? Especially as some of the sector lengths are so long.
It isn’t a nice to have for me when I travel, especially if I was to be on say the non stop PER – LHR flight which is around the 18hr mark.
Yes it seems quite crazy. I’d guess that given Australia’s stance on travel during Covid everything got delayed.
Nice balanced review pleasure to read
Hello, you usually write excellent reviews but this cannot be called a review. It still amazes me why travel reviewers either skip the meal or in this case order twice the same thing. Steak+???? steak? If reviewing flights including service and details of all amenities is part of the job spec then this one fails to meet standards. BTW I believe you are one the best travel writer. So you set the bar high:-)
Hi Bill. This was a reader review by a non professional writer. So they may not have set out on the flight with the intention of reviewing it. I usually try to try different things when I review if I can.
It’s made clearly by the reviewer who must travel First with many carriers, that QF is not a market leader but has its own unique way of delivering. With no mention of service, having enjoyed QF for almost two decades, we can presume it will have been good. Food looked delicious, with no fuss and the seat looks incredibly spacious and very comfortable. I wonder if we will hear about the onward journey to London. I most certainly would fly QF in First but will possibly board last to avoid the scrum at Sydney – we’ve been warned.
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