My first flight in Qantas business class was a great one: the overnight journey from Hong Kong to Sydney was comfortable. Although I still prefer Cathay Pacific, Qantas offers a solid product in business class.
Just to note, this review is from March 2015. I publish older reviews because they have never been previously published, changes are actually minimal (and noted) between then and now, and because they provide a better context for how I evaluate more recent flights.
After a very nice visit to the Qantas Hong Kong Lounge, I boarded my flight from Gate 31.
Hong Kong (HKG) – Sydney (SYD)
Sunday, March 15
Depart: 7:45 PM
Arrive: 8:10 AM+1
Duration: 9hr, 25min
Seat: 12K (Business Class)
Upstairs, I found most passengers already seated. I took the cabin pictures below after landing in Sydney.
Qantas 747 Business Class Seat
Business class upstairs is in a 2-2 configuration with a hard shell pod around each seat. Seats do recline into a fully lie-flat mode. I found the seat comfortable in both the sleeping and lounging mode. Choose a window seat if you can. Even though you have to step over your seatmate to get to the aisle, you have wonderful additional storage bins along the window.
Bedding is simple, perhaps even disappointing, in the form of a fairly thick red cotton blanket and single pillow:
Qantas 747 Business Amenities
Upon boarding, a FA asked me what size pajamas I would prefer. I chose large and they were delivered with a menu card and amenity kit:
I never opened the pajamas: I had my Emirates pajamas along and far prefer those.
The upstairs lavatories on the 747 are fairly tight, but I appreciated that Qantas had real towels–
Qantas 747 Business Class IFE
Noise-cancelling headphones (poor quality) are provided at each seat. The IFE selection is on-demand with movies, TV shows, games, and a flight map. No wi-fi onboard.
Qantas 747 Business Class Food
I was a bit surprised that a full dinner was not offered on a 7:45p departure. Thankfully, I had a nice dinner a few hours earlier in the Qantas Hong Kong Lounge, so the lighter meal was satisfactory.
Here’s the menu:
I ordered a green salad, toasted chicken cibiatta sandwich with pine nuts, celery, and goat cheese, and gingerbread cake. The sandwich honestly was not wonderful, not so much because the ingredients were bad, but because it was not warmed up enough. Had the bread really been toasted and cheese melted, it would have been an amazing sandwich.
Present on each coat hook was a breakfast menu and pen. You indicate your breakfast selection and return it to the FA. Breakfast is served 90 minutes or so prior to landing.
Qantas 747 Business Class Service
Service was warm and collegial by the two gentlemen working the upper deck. I was greeted by first name, which seems to happen only when flying in Australia or on an Australian airline. FAs were all smiles and yet also prompt and efficient with service on a relatively short overnight flight. I appreciated that we were not woken up 2 to 2.5 hours earlier for breakfast.
The seat is not industry-leading (for example, even Delta has a 1-1 config in business class on its 747 upper deck), but I slept well…that’s the most important thing in business class. Food and service were great and although I’d probably take Cathay Pacific over Qantas all-else equal, I very much enjoyed my first flight in Qantas business class.