I recently flew to the US on the Qantas A380.
It was part of a bigger trip from Melbourne to West Palm Beach flying via Sydney, Los Angeles and Newark – a big day to say the least.
I won’t spend too much time talking about the different classes available on the Qantas A380, as we covered that in an earlier post flying from Dallas to Sydney. It is important to note that Qantas has a scheduled comfort upgrade this year for this aircraft so we are excited to see how that goes!
Transferring from Domestic to International in Sydney
If you are flying from another destination in Australia with Qantas, you’ll come into the domestic Qantas terminal and will need to transfer to international. Usually they will check your luggage through to your international flight so you’ll just need to get yourself to the transfer gate and catch the bus across.
The downside is you have to go through customs then through security again. Just before you board the Qantas flight you’ll also have to show your passport again (this is an extra measure of security for flights going to the US.
The other challenge with flying the A380 is that it’s the world’s largest passenger jet so it takes a decent amount of time to board. I prefer to remain seated as long as possible rather than standing in line. There’s typically no need to rush on board to reserve an overhead luggage space line you have to do on other aircraft.
I flew in seat 63H this trip, an aisle economy seat and had a spare seat next to me. Score!!! Actually I have had a lot of luck getting empty seats when I fly internationally but it’s best not to come with the expectation to avoid disappointment. Prior to the flight I had requested via Facebook Messenger an aisle seat for medical reasons. They initially told me I’d have to pay another $30, which I didn’t think was appropriate. I didn’t hear back from them but they still gave me an aisle seat without fee which I was appreciative of.
It is a long flight (12-13 hours) so you are going to want to make the most of the comfort that Qantas provides.
The head rest moves up and down and its sides fold in to support your head. That said if you have neck problems you’ll probably want to bring more neck support.
The chair reclines but be courteous as the person behind you may have their tray table down.
There is also a foot hammock that you can put your feet in.
You’ll also find all the usual features of an aircraft seat – a pocket for your items, air conditioning vent, reading light, and a USB plug in the arm rest.
When you arrive at your seat there will be a blanket and a pillow waiting for you!
You’ll also receive a little comfort pack from Qantas. It contains ear plugs, tooth brush and tooth paste and an eye mask.
You’ll also find the controls for the entertainment screen in the arm rest. Qantas has a decent amount of entertainment including a variety of movies, TV series, games, music, and radio. You’ll also be able to track the flight path and check out the view from the tail of the aircraft with Skycam.
They provide headphones. If you prefer to use your own headphones for sound quality (I do) you’ll need a special connector to get stereo sound, as Qantas uses a 3 pronged connector. I recommend headphones that will block out a baby’s scream. You’ll also find this plug in your arm rest.
On international flights, Qantas gives you a menu of what’s coming during the flight, so you can wait with anticipation for your meal.
The meals are generally pretty good as far as airline food goes. They usually give you a choice from 2-3 items. You’ll be served lunch (or lunner as I call it) and breakfast. If you have dietary requirements you can let Qantas know prior to your flight.
Hot tip: people with dietary requirements get their meal first!
For Lunch I had the Beef Brisket with spicy roast carrots and couscous…and Bundaberg Ginger Beer of course!
For Breakfast I had the Zucchini frittata with braised beans, pork sausage, bacon and creamed spinach. I think my favorite is the yoghurt though.
Both meals were pretty good considering it is airline food cooked in bulk.
You’ll also receive snacks throughout the flight. My highlight is the Weiss ice cream bar – but you have to be alert as they often bring them out while people are asleep so you might miss out.
If you do miss out, there are snacks and beverages available in the galley at the rear of the aircraft. Maybe grab some of the Tim Tams before coffee is served so you can do one last Tim Tam Slam as a salute to Australia as you zoom over the Pacific.
The flight itself is pretty smooth generally. I’m typically able to get 6 hours rest, but I know others who struggle if they have long legs or find it tough sleeping sitting up. If that’s you, you might find Premium Economy or Business Class more to your liking.
Have you flown the long haul across the Pacific with a different airline? What was your experience?