Trip Report: Qantas 93: Melbourne to Los Angeles

Booking 8 out of 10

I actually started my flight in Auckland, New Zealand. The fare for Auckland-Melbourne-Los Angeles-Melbourne-Los Angeles was actually $A1000 less than the  fare for Melbourne-Los Angeles-Melbourne. Combining two New Zealand trips in was easy for me.

The Qantas website easily worked out the multi city fare and came up with  a better fare than Expedia.com or Webjet or Kayak could find. Sometimes looking at the airline’s website can be a bonus. Trying the same search with Virgin Australia online was  not possible.

Seat selection was easy. All the preferred seats were gone, These included the exit row seats which you pay $180 for with Qantas  and the bulkhead seats which could not be selected online.

Check in: 8 out of 10

I attempted to check in online four times over 20 hours. Each time, I finished the whole process before the Qantas website told me that check in was not possible at this time.  Grrrr.  When I arrived at Auckland airport I tired to use the “Q Reader” kiosk system. The same thing happened. I ended up checking in at the Premium Check in at Auckland airport. The woman said that there had been a lot of trouble with online check in with this flight. She also told me that there were a number of seats available in the Bulkhead but she could not access them. They could only be unblocked in Melbourne (something which she did not offer to d0). She did block the seat next to me, though.

Melbourne Lounge: 10 out of 10

Boarding 10 out of 10

To get into the boarding area, meant presenting your boarding pass and passport to security. I can never understand how anyone can get through with the wrong documentation. After all, you have to show them to get into the international departure area. Then it is checked at customs.

Anyway,  I then joined the priority boarding line for Business, First, Gold and Platinum customers.  Cabin crew at the door were very welcoming. I always love stepping onto an A380. It brings a rush of excitement for me.

On Board: 9 out of 10

The plane was almost completely full. True to her word, however, was an empty seat next to mine. This airbus had four classes on board:

  1. First Class: 14 suites of 83.5″ pitch and  29.0″ width
  2. Business Class: 72 seats  80.0″ pitch 21.5″ width (seats convert into fully flat beds)
  3. Premium Economy Class:  32 seats of 38 to 42″ pitch and 19.5″ width
  4. Economy Class: 332 seats with 31.0″ pitch and 18.1″ width

From my vantage point I had a glimpse into the hallowed sanctum of First Class!

 

Take off: 10 out of 10

The other guy in my row had never witnessed an A380 takeoff. He was amazed. The plane is just made to fly. It never seems to have gathered enough speed on the runway before it lifts effortlessly into the air. Watching the take off out the window and simultaneously via the tail mounted camera broadcast on the entertainment system TV Screen was very cool.

Meals 8 out of 10

There were a choice of three dishes for the lunch and two (continental or cooked) for the breakfast. The lunch tray contained salad, a roll, peppermints, a small chocolate bar and a mousse. The crew brought through an ice cream, a small pizza in a box and apple through the night. There were also apples, biscotti and other snacks left on a serve yourself basis in the economy galley. I did not find the quantity sufficient. I raided the snack area few times.

Entertainment: 10 out of 10

The Qantas interactive system has one of the best ranges of any carrier I have been on. If not, the best. They claim to have 100 movies, 500 plus TV  programs,  a thousand CDs, 20 radio channels and 80 games. You also have access to  Lonely Planet destination guides. The seatback screen is  approximately ten inches.

The system responded well. Channels changed quickly. Sound and visual quality were good. I would like more Dr Who episodes please, Qantas.

Landing 10 out of 10

We landed early into a very foggy LA morning. The landing was magic and the view from tail camera and through the window super.  I made my way to immigration as quickly as possible (being close to the front of economy really helped) and was through the whole process and outside in the LA sunshine in 25 minutes.

The Verdict

My rating: Overall 93% (4.6 out of 5)- my overall rating of Qantas based on my 260 previous flights is: 4.7 put of 5.

Skytrax Rating of Qantas: 4 star

Positives:   Almost everything especially the Entertainment system

Negatives: Not enough food

Would I fly them again?  Yes!

 

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