Qantas Airlines First Class Review
When we happened upon a first class reward ticket on Qantas Airlines, we immediately jumped on the chance to fly with them. We even changed our original trip itinerary just so we could fly with Qantas. One of the things we’ve come to appreciate that being able to fly first class is an experience in and of itself and something we equally look forward too. For those who aren’t familiar, Qantas does not often have reward ticket availability, so we couldn’t pass this opportunity.
Qantas First Class Check-in
Our check-in experience began approximately 24 hours prior to our take off. A Qantas representative called us to see if there was anything we needed and welcoming us for the flight. This may seem like a trivial point, but to my knowledge no other airline called us 24 hours in advance to check on us. Unfortunately, this is about were the superior customer service ended during our experience. After arriving at the Airport and finding the first class check-in lounge, we were greeted by a representative, our bags tagged, and sent on our way. This was fine, the representative nice enough, I just expected a touch more. For example, having never traveled through Melbourne airport before asking if we know how to get to the lounge or pointing out that we were given a express security pass would have been nice.
I think I’ve become a bit of a customer service snob, but that’s part of the first class experience and what people are paying to receive (or in our case points). Check-in was otherwise unremarkable, the express passes didn’t really come in handy as the security lines were short. It took us a little bit to find the first class lounge, but check out our review! The last hiccup of our check-in process was boarding the plane, when Jeff scanned his ticket, he was greeted with loud beep. The attendant pulled Jeff to the side to get him a new ticket. When I asked Jeff what happened, he said he didn’t know and was given a new ticket/seat assignment. It turns out that Jeff’s original seat assignment was having issues with power resulting in the seat change. In my opinion, that’s fine, but this should have been handled at the lounge prior to us boarding.
Qantas First Class A380 Layout
Qantas’ Airbus A380 first class product seats are in a 1-1-1 configuration and seats up to 14 people. The seat itself is very nice and comfortable albeit a bit towards the end of its life cycle. When sitting in the seat, you can tell it’s been around the block and getting a bit old. Again, the seat is very comfortable and Jeff even commented that he liked it better than Singapore Airline’s First class 777 product. The entertainment system is also a bit dated, but still works great. One of the features I really liked about the seat is it swivels around to recline or change into the bed configuration. Additionally, you have the ability to control the privacy screen between yourself and the seat in front of you and the window shades to look outside.
Overall, the seat is very spacious and offers multiple places to store items. There is one side panel to store items for the flight (there is a second side panel which stores your in-flight headphones). Additionally there is a tiny foot cubby to store items and additional seat cushion to place items. The first class seat is so spacious, it can be configured to sit two people for the in-flight meal.
Prior to take off the flight attendant handed out the amenity kit. The case designed by Martin Grant, aesthetically is simple (compared to Singapore Airlines), but packed with a lot of great items. The kit included: eye mask, ear plugs, toothbrush/paste, antiperspirant, floss, and relax/hydrate travel essentials. We weren’t offered pajamas as it was a day flight. The lavatories in first class offered soap and hand/body lotion. The bathrooms have a window which open when you lock the door. It’s a bit strange at first to be looking down when you use the restroom, but pretty cool!
As mentioned above, the entertainment system is a bit dated, but works great. You can control the TV from a side panel in the seat and a pull out remote located in a side compartment. The TV is on a swivel, so it can swing open and closed (being able to swing close is handy if you want to sit two people for in-flight dining)
Qantas First Class Food & Drink
One funny note about the wine served by Qantas, they rotate the sparkling wine they serve. I checked the menu before ordering, when the flight attendant came around and asked what I’d like to drink and replied “Tattinger”. The flight attendant insisted that they weren’t serving it until I showed her the menu. I think what happened was the bottles says “Comtes” and didn’t realize that it’s made by Tattinger. But the Tattinger Comtes is quite nice and definitely appreciate that they serve this higher end champagne. I’m not going to comment on the food too much as I thought it was unremarkable. I did order the steak and mac & cheese, something about the greens served with it left a funny texture in my mouth which I didn’t appreciate. On a positive note, we setup my seat to dine for two and it was quite comfortable. The flight attendants seeminglessly coordinated our meals together making for an enjoyable lunch.
Qantas First ClassService
Bottom line up front, we were both disappointed by the service provided by Qantas Airlines. Qantas is known internationally for it’s superior customer service and it just did not deliver. After boarding, the flight attendant greeted me as Mr. Young. I had to double check my ticket to make sure I was in the right seat before responding. I know this is a knit-picky thing to ding Qantas for, but if you’re going to greet me without asking for my name, make sure you have my name right. The service manager did try and do some recovery as she apologized for Jeff’s seat being re-assigned. She explained that often times the ground crew doesn’t know why seats have to get re-assigned only that it needs to happen. Again, in my opinion this should have been done at the lounge.
To be honest, the rest of my experience flying on Qantas was really unremarkable. In my opinion the Asian carriers (Singapore Airlines, JAL, ANA, Cathay Pacific) have set the standard for what customer service should be. I didn’t have a bad experience with Qantas either, it was just unremarkable for a first class product. The Qantas A380 product is very nice and I would gladly fly that any day! We’re both glad that we got to try Qantas and would recommend it to others.