Review: Qantas First Class A380, Sydney – Dallas
This post is one chapter on our trip to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, Melbourne with The Great Ocean Road, exploring The Yarra Valley and the beaches of The Gold Coast via Qantas First Class. This trip was booked using Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.
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Read More From This Trip
- Introduction: Melbourne & Whitsunday Islands, Australia via Qantas First Class
- Alaska Airlines First Class: Vancouver – Seattle
- Alaska Airlines Premium Class: Seattle – Los Angeles
- Marriott LAX, Los Angeles, USA
- To Malibu for Lunch, California, USA
- Qantas First Class Lounge: Tom Bradley International Terminal Los Angeles, USA
- Qantas First Class: Los Angeles – Melbourne
- Westin Melbourne, Australia
- City Visit: Melbourne, Australia – Part I
- City Visit: Melbourne, Australia – Part II
- The Yarra Valley, Victoria, Australia
- The Great Ocean Road and the 12 Apostles, Victoria, Australia
- Qantas Business Lounge: Melbourne
- Qantas Business: Melbourne – Hamilton Island
- Qualia Luxury Resort, Hamilton Island, Australia
- Pebble Beach at Qualia Luxury Resort, Hamilton Island, Australia
- Cruise to The Great Barrier Reef, Hardy’s Reef, Australia
- The Great Barrier Reef via Hamilton Island Air Helicopter
- Whitehaven Beach and Hill Inlet, Australia
- Virgin Australia: Prosperine – Brisbane
- Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort and Spa (Gold Coast), Australia
- Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast, Australia – Part I
- Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast, Australia – Part II
- Qantas Business Lounge: Brisbane
- Qantas Business Class: Brisbane – Sydney
- Pier One Sydney by Autograph Collection, Sydney, Australia
- Qantas First Class Lounge: Sydney Kingford Smith, Sydney, Australia
- Qantas First Class: Sydney – Dallas
- American Express Centurion Lounge: Dallas Fort Worth, Texas, USA
- Alaska Airlines First Class: Dallas – Seattle
- Alaska Airlines Flagship Lounge: North Satellite – Sea Tac, Seattle, USA
- Alaska Airlines: Seattle – Vancouver
Review: Qantas First Class, Airbus 380, Sydney – Dallas Forth Worth
I was looking forward to this flight as it was the longest flight in our personal history book by distance travelled. The flight was to cover 8,577 miles (13,804 km) and about 14.5 hours of flight time. It beat our past personal record of Dubai to Los Angeles on Emirates at 8,309 miles and 13,420 km. At the time we travelled, it was the 7th longest flight in the world by distance, just ahead of Philippines Airlines PR 127 New York JFK to Manila, but behind United Airlines UA 101 Houston – Sydney. It was a bit amazing that there was Alaska Mileage Plan reward space on it, but sometimes you just have to take what you can book. This particular flight was several thousand miles out of the way inland into the Americas and we would need to back track towards the coast, eventually heading toward Vancouver.
We left the lounge at about T-65 and headed down to the main concourse. We stocked up on a bottle of Wirra Wirra Sauvingon Blanc Duty Free Wine and headed to Gate 9.
QF 7 – First Class (P)
SYD – DFW (Sydney Kingford Smith International Airport – Dallas Forth Worth)
July 21, 2019
12:35 PM – 1:00 PM
Booked: Airbus 380-800
Flown: Airbus 380-800
Gate 7 – 9 appeared to be set up for US Departures as an extra screening gate. As with most USA overseas flights, there was an army of additional security screening staff. MrsWT73 was unlucky enough to be pulled into secondary for a 3rd time by security “because she had too many carry on’s and looked irritated”. LOL, that’s a good one, although I wouldn’t want to be the screener that provided that information as a reason for her security check. As a result of the secondary, secondary, security screening, we missed the first boarding call. The gate area was pretty full of people blocking the aisles anyway with no easy way to get over to the first lane.
Once on the jet bridge, we had a proper 3rd jet bridge dedicated to First Class. As we headed down the jet bridge, we were met halfway down by a Qantas host who escorted us to our seats.
On Board Qantas First Class Airbus 380:
The Suite was the same comfortable seat we had on the way down. It was all the better to be arriving to the suite in the day time as opposed to the 10:30 PM time we had departing Los Angeles.
We had a steward introduction “Stu” and a Cabin Manager introduction (who would be upstairs for most of the flight). Our steward “Stu” had a strong likeness to actor Jason Stratham, of the Transporter movie series. As a result MrsWT73 very much welcomed his “attention(s)” throughout the flight for the 14 ½ hrs. I was immediately placed on hiatus for most of the first half of the flight.
“Are you serving the good stuff?”
Qantas opens the “good” champagne on the ground, so a Tattinger Comtes be Blanc 2007 champagne was the pre-departure beverage of choice. We also had some almond and olives dropped off as an amuse bouche.
The seats and entertainment were controlled by the same dated controllers and wired remote.
The seat had in suite power, although rather inconveniently tucked on the floor of the entry and exit of the suite. This meant the potential for kicking out your plugs as you entered and exited the area.
The amenity kits were dropped off, along with another pair of Martin Grant L / XL pajamas.
While we were waiting to get underway, I played with the in flight map and the cameras. Eventually, we would get underway and taxi out.
A take off roll and away we went. We had a nice gentle rise to cruising altitude; Airbus A380 is such a super pleasant way to fly.
While I was waiting for the action to get going, I settled into Australian “Classics” movies. The Crocodile Dundee movie still isn’t boring after all these years… that is, if you don’t get a regular dose of it like you probably would have in Australia.
Food and Beverage: A Neil Perry Tasting Menu for Dinner
“Qantas First Class still offers a delicious Neil Perry Tasting Menu based on highlights from his restaurants”
The menus were also presented for the flight. Qantas has re-instated the tasting menu concept departing Australia. It is a light version as it is not specifically paired with any wines, but rather a sequence of meals that are recommended courtesy of celebrity chef Neil Perry.
There was the rest of the regular menu, which was decent as well.
There was also a very respectable wine list, with some Australian regional favorites.
Getting underway, I enjoyed another glass of the Taittinger Comtes de Champagne, along with a Caviar tarlet with cauliflower puree. It’s smart of Qantas to offer caviar in a smaller portion, instead of a traditional caviar serving. This way, they can say that they’ve served it, instead of likely all the expense of a full portion. It was nice and tasty. Along with the caviar was ocean trout tataki with soy, jalapeno and cucumber. Both exceptional and super tasty.
After that, the table was set for the tasting menu experience…
Roast pumpkin soup with garlic and thyme croutons and herbed crème fraiche.
I deviated from the tasting menu since I wasn’t able to have my favorite dumplings at the Opera Kitchen at the Sydney Opera House. I went with the Pork and Shitake dumplings with pickled cucumber, and spicy black vinegar dressing. It was absolutely sensational! This was paired with the Jim Barry The Florita Riesling 2012, Clare Valley, Australia.
In almost an identical replication of our Rockpool dinner in Melbourne, the main was a Rockpool Bar and Grill style Cape Grim beef filet with potato and cabbage gratin, broccolini and fresh horseradish. This was paired with the fantastic Hollick “Ravenswood” Cabernet Sauvingon 2015 from Coonawarra, South Australia.
Unfortunately, the steak was terribly overcooked through and not really of restaurant quality. Although branded as such, I wouldn’t have ever missed out on the Rockpool restaurant experience in lieu of trying it on the plane.
Desert was chocolate mousse with sour cherries and toasted almonds. This was paired with Lillypilly Noble Blend 2015, Riverina New South Wales. It was pretty tasty, a solid eight out of ten on the dessert scale.
Dinner service was complete about 4 hours into the flight or at about 4:30PM Sydney Time. We were just approaching Tonga by this point.
I went upstairs to the lounge area with MrsWT73 while I finished off my desert wine. I also took a look at the business class “bar”, which offered some bottles available for self pour. There were an ample selection of magazines and snacks. Stu made up our bedding for the evening in the First Class suite while we were up there.
Qantas Sleep Set in First Class:
“There’s nothing like a spectacular sleep on an Airbus 380”
Like on our way down, the sleep bedding was exceptional. Qantas does an exceptional job with its bedding and it really shows. The quality of the sheets and bed set are strong and are among the best of any carrier in the world.
We had some turbulence and when it was safe to do so, we came back down to our seats. Having had an early 6 AM wake up, I had a sleep. I must have been tired from all the traveling as I slept for almost 7 hours.
I woke up as we approached the Baja California peninsula, at about 3 hours left in flight time.
The Second Service: A Full Breakfast
I ended up deciding this would be a good time to take breakfast. It started with Neil’s Health Bircher Musli with apple, almond and hazelnut with Meredit Dairy Sheep’s milk yoghurt, along with more of that excellent champagne.
An interesting poached egg with pearl barley, kale and spinach salad, toasted nuts, seeds, pomegranate and yoghurt dressing, along with orange juice, sourdough toast with marmalade, and a Vittoria Cinque Stelle Coffee. That was an interesting dish but a different breakfast. Ohh, and a little bit more of that Tattinger Comte de Blancs champagne.
Our cabin representative “Stu” came over to thank us for flying with them today. MrsWT73 was sad to see him go (laughing).
We had an approach to Dallas from the north, which I followed with the SkyCam so that I would watch the big bird touch down. We had several cabin announcements relating to domestic passengers having to retrieve checked bags, whereas international connecting passengers to Canada and Mexico did not have to retrieve bags.
We arrived to the D concourse at D16 on one of the only A380’s in town. With the new re-fined Global Entry, we did not even have to submit fingerprints or passport and we were straight through without so much as a question asked.
My Thoughts on Qantas First Class:
“Qantas First Class Sydney to Dallas is one of the world’s longest and greatest First Class airline experiences, and priced accordingly”
A great Qantas flight and a new favorite of MrsWT73 for the no nonsense food, great wines and very spacious seat. Qantas First was easily among the new favourites for us. It is highly recommended if you can get your hands on some of it.
So glad you had a great trip. Qantas was very brilliant in the 1980s when still owned by the Australian government. I have been a Qantas frequent flyer since 1993 and have seen economical changes not to the better. You used to have a three course hot meal in economy for example. I have thought about buying points on Alaska but the AUD is always so low against the USD. Now they are formally part of one world you do not get the point per mile when not flying Alaskan. After more 20 years now have enough points for first class! Thanks again for your great reviews.
We’ve all seen lots of cuts in flying over the years. My own experiences have been on Cathay Pacific where amenity kits, printed menus and socks were provided for all economy class travellers.
It’s difficult to find award availability on Qantas using Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan. If you’re prepared to book a year in advance and fly Fiji Airways, then it’s possible to find some value there when redeeming against travel to and from the United States.
Thanks for reading.
There has been a steady decline in the quality of the F product on Qantas under AJ who is very shareholder focused and places very little emphasis on the consistency of service delivery and a customer focused approach
He relies on the slavish loyalty of frequent flyers and Australian A listers who are unlikely to comment on the massive decline in soft product and cabin crew service, the latter 100% because the crew are unhappy with their workplace arrangements
Now rated the 7th safest airline in the world, a fact unknown to the “Rainman”
I agree with you that there has been quite a marked decline in the International First Class Cabin’s worldwide to the point that it is marked solely by a larger seat.
Many of the wonderful food, beverage and wine experiences found on Cathay Pacific and Lufthansa have shrunk into non existence. Unfortunately, I don’t see this trend changing much in the near future as premium economy becomes the top seller.
Thanks for reading.