A business class product that Qantas should be proud of
It’s been a while since I have flown Qantas business class and there has been a good reason why. With so many amazing products from other airlines, having a dated product with a dated layout has turned me off my home country’s airline.
Ive never been a fan of the 2-2-2 layout, or even worse the 2-3-2 layout. Selling this layout as a premium product for one of the best airlines in the world is embarrassing.
But i’m not here to whinge and complain about what was. I’m here to give credit where credit is due. This leads us today. Flying on the Qantas Business Suite between Sydney and Osaka to see what all the hype was about…it was amazing!
The Fleet and Routes
Currently the Qantas Business Suite product is offered on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and also across most of the A330 routes. At the time of writing, there are still a few A330-200s that haven’t been updated but hopefully this will come in the not so distant future.
Qantas currently fly directly from Sydney to Osaka 3-4 times per week on their Airbus A330-300. The flight leaves Sydney mid morning, arriving into Osaka (KIX) 10 hours later just before dinner, meaning there is still time to enjoy the evening and the unlimited amount of food options.
Qantas currently offer their new business class product to the following destinations with hopefully more to come.
- Sydney – Osaka
- Sydney – Shanghai
- Sydney – Bangkok*
- Sydney – Beijing
- Sydney – Hong Kong
- Sydney – Manila
- Sydney – Jakarta
- Sydney – Melbourne
- Sydney – Brisbane
- Sydney – Perth
- Sydney – Auckland
- Melbourne – Perth
- Brisbane – Perth
- Sydney – Singapore
- Melbourne – Singapore
- Brisbane – Singapore
- Melbourne – Perth – London
- Melbourne – San Francisco
- Melbourne – Hong Kong
- Brisbane – Los Angeles
- Brisbane – Hong Kong
Qantas have finally released news that they will be upgrading their A380 planes this year to include the Business Suite which is a much needed product release.
The Cabin And Where To Sit
The Business Suites are located in the front sections of the plane. The number of rows slightly differs between aircraft type but on my flight, the A330-300 to Osaka, the Suites are in the very front section from Rows 1-7. The configuration is in a 1-2-1 layout which is a much needed upgrade compared to the A380 which has 2-2-2 or even worse, the 747 which is 2-3-2.
Compared to the older business class, Qantas have completely redesigned the seat and the standard of luxury definitely shows from the moment you step on board. The seat was designed “with a focus on practicality, comfort, privacy and style“.
All of the Business Suites recline to fully-flat beds and one of the best changes is that all of the seats have direct aisle access. It means you don’t have to squeeze past your neighbour, which for me, is a big turn off for business class.
A major upgrade to the Business Class seat is the amount of personal space you have. Previously where you had to share a middle console, every traveller has their own side table which is part of the seat console. This allows room for your phone, magazines, laptops, etc. Each suite also has it’s own water bottle holder, noise-cancelling headphones and also power sockets for USB and power.
Being tall, the biggest change and noticeable upgrade is the length of the bed, converting to 2 metre long fully-flat. It didn’t disappoint. I was able to stretch out with large amounts of foot room and it was a great new space.
Right after meal service we were offered for the seat to be fitted with a mattress and even though it was a day flight, I took up this offer so I could lay down, relax and enjoy the flight.
Choosing your seat when you book your ticket is always a good option for this flight. With a layout of 1-2-1, if you are a solo passenger then choosing a window seat will be your best option. If travelling as a couple then the middle section would be the way to go.
Try to avoid rows 1 and 7 if possible. The seats are the same and in all honesty there is nothing wrong with these rows but they are closer to the lavatory and galleys so you will experience a little bit more noise and movement around the cabin.
What’s On The Menu
One of the areas that I thought was great on this flight was the dining options. Before take off, the crew talked to us about the menu, where we had choices of light dining through to full main meals.
All of the meals are Rockpool designed so knowing that you are going to get a high quality meal is definitely an advantage. You are also able to choose when you dine, so if you feel like having a nap or watching a movie before you eat, the staff will accomodate the meal to work around your schedule.
On my flight I chose a two course option. For entre I had the mezze plate, which included brined roast vegetables, dips and lavash bread. For my main meal I opted for the seared salmon fillet with broccoli and rice. Both meals were incredibly tasty and also light. The crew helped match wines for both courses which showcased some of Australia’s best boutique and iconic wineries.
I always find the staff with Qantas a bit hit and miss. On previous flights (both domestic and international), some staff absolutely love their job and it shows, but other times you do get staff who seem a bit unfriendly and then the service lacks.
Luckily on this flight, service was incredible and I have only praise. Stepping on board, the crew, a mix of local Australian and Japanese staff were attentive, extremely friendly and exceptional on every level.
Drinks were offered when we got to our seat before take off and then once we were in the air, the crew checked in with us to see what else they could offer before meal service. Throughout the flight the staff were there and maintained presence, but without being in your face or trying too hard.
Before landing, they came around to all of us to thank us for flying and also a brief chat on their favourite things to do in Osaka. It was a very refreshing change from other flights I had taken.
The Qantas Business Suite on the A330 to Osaka was the perfect flight to arrive relaxed and stress free. The upgrade compared to the older product is a much needed one and Qantas have been quick in rolling this out onto the other A330 routes.
The seat is very comfortable with a level of privacy that you will not get on the other Qantas business class products. Being able to recline my seat to a fully flat bed and also being able to extend my long legs right out made a huge difference. I was comfortable without feeling cramped and it made resting and getting a short sleep on this day flight nice and easy.
If you are like me, my impression of Qantas wasn’t always the best as you never knew what you were going to get, but having flown on the new product on this newish route has change my perception of what our national airline should be like. I was very impressed.
If you are flying business class on Qantas, make sure you check the aircraft type and seating arrangement to ensure that you are choosing the new Business Suite.
Ben Wilson flew on the Business Suite using Qantas frequent flyer points. If you wish to get a quote with Qantas or any other airline, please contact us.
*feature image supplied by Qantas