Qantas Melbourne-San Francisco Boeing 787 business class

Review: Qantas Melbourne-San Francisco Boeing 787 business class

Airline:
QF (Qantas)
Cabin Class:
Business
Aircraft Type:
Boeing 787-9
Flight:
QF49
Seat:
5K

service:

meals:

seating:

overall:

What's Hot

  • Direct flight from Melbourne to San Francisco
  • Boeing 787 makes for a smooth, quiet and restful ride
  • Superb business class seat and service

What's Not

  • No inflight Internet
  • Sub-par Melbourne business lounge

X-Factor

  • The best way to fly to San Francisco

Introduction

Fuelled by record profits, the arrival of advanced Boeing 787 jetliners and a general sense of rediscovered mojo, Qantas is slowly updating and expanding its international network.

The latest addition to the route map is Melbourne-San Francisco, with the new QF49/QF50 service taking wing this past weekend.

It’s a welcome move for Melbournians who’ve previously had to make an early-morning dash to Sydney to connect with Qantas’ Sydney-San Francisco service, and links two cities with similarities in both tech startups and lifestyle sensibilities.

But it’s not just the flight itself which is new: the schedule is almost entirely opposite that of most flights from Australia’s east coast capitals to the US west coast.

Instead of leaving Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane mid-morning, QF49 is wheels up from Melbourne around 10pm.

As a result, rather than reaching Los Angeles or San Francisco in the morning as we’ve become accustomed to, QF49 touches down at 7pm.

Instead of having to defeat jet lag by pushing through a long day, the challenge becomes a matter of getting to sleep in San Francisco when you’ve already been sleeping most of the flight from Melbourne.

Australian Business Traveller stepped onto Qantas’ inaugural Melbourne-San Francisco service to take its measure.

Lounge

Before setting out on this long trans-Pacific hop, business class travellers, Qantas Gold frequent flyers (and their Oneworld Sapphire equivalents, such as Cathay Pacific Marco Polo Gold) and Qantas Club members can relax in Qantas’ international business lounge.

An all-day salad bar included the likes of potato salad,  pasta salad, tomato salad and 'Asian slaw' with fried noodles, while there was also a creamy pasta and meat dish plus ready-made focaccia sandwiches.

While this lounge ticks the boxes for the business traveller, the bunker-like location and uninspiring design makes this one of Qantas’ most underwhelming international lounges.

Review: Qantas international business class lounge, Melbourne Airport

The outlook is must brighter if you hold Qantas Platinum or Platinum One status (or the equivalent Oneworld Emerald status, such as Cathay Pacific Marco Polo Diamond) or belong to the elite invitation-only Chairman’s Lounge

Those shiny cards open the doors at Qantas’ first class lounge, where you can enjoy a seasonal à la carte menu at the dining room…

... and tackle some last-minute work in one of the private office suites...

… before or after booking a treatment at the spa (I suggest the hydrating facial), which is open from 6pm to 10pm to cater for evening flights, and has a view that must be seen to be believed.

Review: Qantas first class lounge, Melbourne

Flight

Qantas’ Melbourne-San Francisco flight currently runs four days a week (Saturday, Sunday, Wednesday and Thursday).

The outbound QF49 depart Melbourne at 9.40pm (this will toggle to 10.40pm in summer), although a solid tailwind saw our flight reach San Francisco at 6.15pm, some 45 minutes ahead of the scheduled 7pm touchdown.

The QF50 return leg leaves San Francisco at 10pm and arrives into Melbourne at 6.30am (7.30am in summer).

It’s a smooth 13 hour ride, thanks in large part to the Boeing 787, with the aircraft’s advanced technology – lower effective cabin altitude, higher humidity levels and cleaner air circulating – helping to mitigate the effects of jetlag so you’ll feel less zombie and more human at the end of the journey.

So how do you handle sleeping on the overnight flight from Melbourne and then reaching San Francisco in time for more sleep? I found this far easier than a morning arrival.

Sleep for as long as you need on the Melbourne-San Francisco flight: it probably won’t be more than six hours, so there’s plenty of time to enjoy a light meal, a movie, some reading or work.

Then check into your San Francisco hotel (no need to book the room from the night before or cross your fingers for early check-in, as is the case with the Sydney-San Francisco flight) – head out for a light meal and drink at a late-night haunt, or grab a club sandwich from room service – there’s still plenty of time to sleep fitfully until breakfast (sleeping pill optional but recommended) and voila, you’re in sync with SF time.

Seat

We’ve covered Qantas’ Boeing 787 business class seat – or Business Suite, to give its proper name – in plenty of detail, especially in our report of the delivery flight of the first red-tailed Dreamliner from Seattle to Sydney in October 2017.

Review: Qantas Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner business class seat

For newcomers to the Qantas Business Suite, here’s a snap summary.

Qantas’ Boeing 787 Business Suite is a refinement of the airline’s original Airbus A330 Business Suite (and it’ll also be appearing on the Qantas Airbus A380 superjumbos from March 2019).

The 42 business class seats follow a 1-2-1 layout which affords direct aisles access for every passenger, with a screen at the padded middle seats sliding up for privacy or down for seatmate sociability.

Each seat gets a side shelf where you can keep books and magazines, laptops, tablets and smartphones, amenity kits and other travel gear close at hand.

The seats are well-appointed and sport a premium finish in colour and material, with a wrap-around shell offering a degree of individual privacy.

When it comes to work, the Qantas’ Business Suite is almost a perfect office above the clouds.

The tray table is large enough to accomodate even a 17-inch pro-grade laptop and there’s absolutely no wobble or annoying ‘bounce’ even during my ham-fisted hammering of the keyboard, while the shelf next to each seat is wide enough to spread out any work-related documents or even for a cuppa or some snacks while your laptop is front and centre.

AC and USB power sockets are found on the shelf next to the seat.

Their location is equally handy for keeping your laptop juiced up while your work, as for recharging devices while they sit snugly out of your way.

All that’s missing is fast WiFi, and Qantas says this will be coming in 2021.

As you’d expect from any modern business class seat, a fully-flat bed is just one button-press away.

If you’re ready to count some sheep, stabbing the Do Not Disturb button lets the crew know to prioritise your slumber over almost everything else bar in-flight safety.

The seat’s ample width is matched to a 2-metre long bed with a padded mattress and (not shown here) a medium-weight blanket.

My body tends to run warm, so when sleeping on flights I usually skip the blanket and sometimes even a mattress topper, but both of these breathe well and don’t retain much heat, so the net effect is of being cosy without stifling.

Sleeping on my side or back proved very comfortable and the footwell was sufficiently spacious for my size 8½ plods.

Business class passengers receive a pair of lightweight pyjamas and a colourful amenity kit containing Aspar skincare products and a sleep mask, along with the usual items such as a toothbrush and toothpaste, socks and earplugs.

Meal

The unique timing of QF49 also means that travellers see a very different menu compared to the usual flights to San Francisco or Los Angeles, with both of the business class meals leaning towards the lighter end of the scale.

With a departure time around 10pm, most business class passengers will have had dinner in the lounge and be eager to sleep shortly after take-off, so the first meal is more of a supper.

Likewise, the 7pm arrival into San Francisco sees travellers eating their second meal around 5pm SF-time – even though they may have woken up not long before – so the menu is a pick-and-mix hybrid of a cafe-style brunch and a light early dinner.

Supper is served within 45 minutes of take-off from Melbourne, although two dishes marked as a ‘sleep sooner’ option can make their way from the galley to your seat inside of 30 minutes.

The first of these is a modest snack-like cheese platter, although I can’t see why anybody who’s had a decent dinner in the lounge would feel the need to order this as an express meal – surely you’d just board the plane and head straight to sleep.

The second ‘sleep sooner’ option on my flight was a warming green pea and mint soup with a snow pea salad on the side.

The four more conventional main meals were

  • strozzapreti pasta with tomato and eggplant sugo, roast capsicum, basil and pecorino
  • a ciabatta sandwich of chicken, avocado,  rocket and chipotle mayonnaise
  • seared barramundi with box choy, steamed rice, lap cheong, sesame, shrimp and ginger sauce
  • seared beef fillet with shredded fennel and radish salad, grilled asparagus and salmoriglio

These are all served with a green leaf salad with vinaigrette.

I opt for the barramundi – fish is often my first choice on flights out of Australia, especially on any airline which takes pride in its menu and produce.

The rice is steamed to perfection – light, fluffy and with each grain separate from the rest, with no sign of those gluggy stuck-together chunks – while the barra is pull-apart tender and full of flavour.

I skip dessert, but had I indulged there was a choice between chocolate malted tart with creme fraiche (and this looked very temping), ice cream and a plate of seasonal fruit.

With a 13 hour flying time from Melbourne to San Francisco there’s a good chance you will wake partway during the journey, so Qantas also offers a range of mid-flight snacks.

The galley kitchen can prepare 

  • pumpkin empanadas with tomato relish
  • stir-fried eggplant with roasted capsicum, sautéed mushrooms and egg fried rice

Those dishes are complemented by a well-stocked snack bar of chips and dips, biscuits, chocolate, fruit and some pastries (on our flight this is a rhubarb and frangipane Danish).

The menu for the light dinner served prior to arrival at San Francisco is presented as a breakfast-style card which I complete and hand to the crew shortly after take-off.

The selection begins with a croissant or toast to go with your coffee or tea, but extends to

  • mushroom and pecorino quiche with tomato relish and mesclun salad
  • hot-smoked salmon with blanched kale, soy mushrooms, brown rice, nori and sesame yoghurt dressing
  • grilled chermoula chicken with roasted sweet potato, cauliflower tabouleh and pomegranate dressing
  • sweet potato, ginger and turmeric soup with crispy onion and pepitas 

This is served as a single tray which lands at my seat 2½ hours before we reach San Francisco.

I select the hot-smoked salmon and the deliciously warming soup, which are accompanied by a serve of cold-pressed Botanica ‘green juice’ of kale, silverbeet, celery, apple, cucumber and lemon.

I realise this all sounds uber-healthy, and that’s the whole idea. Flying puts your metabolism through a wringer and makes your body clock as accurate as a fake $10 watch from some dodgy Asian street market.

I’ve learned that eating mindfully before and during a flight makes a substantial difference to how I feel at the other end of the trip.

Airlines are now paying more attention to this ‘healthy flying’ philosophy and tailoring their inflight dining to match, using food science to identify and incorporate ingredients which can soothe you into sleep at the start of the trip and pep you up closer to arrival.

This is coming in to sharp focus with the advent of ultra-long non-stop flights such as Qantas’ Perth-London Boeing 787 service (17 hours) and Singapore Airlines’ Singapore-New York Airbus A350 trek (19 hours).

In the case of Qantas’ Melbourne-San Francisco flight, the menu has been shaped by initial work done for the Perth-London Dreamliner flights.

For the pre-arrival meals, for example, there’s a measured mix of protein and carbs, via healthy grains and legumes, with the aim of being easier for your stomach to process, to kick-start your metabolism without weighting you down with traditionally heavy dishes.

This doesn’t mean you will be force-fed kale and quinoa, as there are always a few ‘comfort food’ items on the menu. And it doesn’t mean that I’ve forgone more indulgent pleasures – the most dangerous place in the world is to stand between me and a really good bacon and egg roll dressed with BBQ sauce!

However, the more you travel for work, the more strongly I’d suggest looking at healthier inflight meal options (and asking the crew for their advice).

Entertainment & Service

Each business class seat’s 16 inch HD video screen is your portal to an extensive library of movies, boxed set TV shows, albums and playlists.

The screen pivots down so that you can still enjoy a show while stretched out in the lie-flat bed.

The screen is matched to a pair of noise-cancelling headphones…

… although the more of a frequent flyer you are, the more likely you’ll be packing your own pair of superior noise-cancelling cans.

My personal Bose headphones don’t get much of a workout on this flight, at least not for watching movies or TV shows, although by habit I slip them on when writing or reading to  create my own little cocoon of solitude.

Business class service throughout this flight is impeccable, with an attentive and enthusiastic cabin crew excited about the aircraft and the route.

Summary

Qantas’ new Boeing 787 Melbourne-San Francisco service is a winner. Take a great business class seat on a great aircraft, add great meals and service, throw in a twist with regards to the timing, and it’s a combination that’s almost impossible to fault (except for the sub-par Melbourne business class lounge).

In fact, I’d go so far as to say that Sydney-based business travellers bound for San Francisco should consider flying to Melbourne to catch QF49 rather than catch the direct flight, especially if they have Platinum frequent flyer status:

  • you can put in a decent working day, fly Sydney to Melbourne and still have plenty of time to spare
  • Qantas’ Melbourne first class lounge is wonderfully quiet in the evenings, and there’s little trouble getting a spa appointment
  • the Boeing 787’s business class and overall flying experience (when it comes to abating jet lag) are infinitely better than those of Sydney’s rattly old Boeing 747
  • your San Francisco hotel room will be ready on arrival
  • it’s easier to get to sleep after a 7pm arrival than it is to stay awake all day after a 9am arrival

David Flynn travelled as a guest of Qantas

David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.
 

52 comments

  • Tom Wilson

    tommygun

    3 Sep, 2018 07:17 am

    Another comprehensive and useful review. I've got to say, from the photos the food in the business lounge looks like a dog's breakfast. Anyone who's been in an Emirates lounge will know what I mean.
    Members who gave thanks

    aussiepiper, Jgrae, simulate

  • Blair Coull

    Notso Swift

    3 Sep, 2018 07:24 am

    I agree, that photo does complete justice to the Melbourne lounges' offering!
    Member who gave thanks

    simulate

  • Traveller14

    Traveller14

    3 Sep, 2018 07:58 pm

    Compared to what I can prepare at home, the stodge screams 'avoid.' In spring I don't want a salad at night. Must have been the cheapest option for QF to provide.
    Member who gave thanks

    simulate

  • Nick  Sydney 348

    Nick Sydney 2

    5 Sep, 2018 03:06 pm

    For sure; the QF lounges in HK and SIN also know how to serve it up properly.
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  • Tom Wilson

    tommygun

    3 Sep, 2018 07:19 am

    Best to clarify: I mean that Emirates sets the high standard, against which the Qantas offering looks poor.
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  • Blair Coull

    Notso Swift

    3 Sep, 2018 07:22 am

    Definitely the way to go - anything to avoid LAX

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  • Darren

    DGP

    3 Sep, 2018 07:49 am

    Looking forward to it in December. I snapped up a pair of Business Class award tickets within days of them announcing the route. It will be my first time on the QF B789 and also this Business Class seating.
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  • 346

    346

    3 Sep, 2018 08:35 am

    Maybe I am the odd one out here, but I actually prefer the morning landing.
    Take QF93 for instance leaving MEL at circa 9am - means roughly 2pm LA time stay awake until half way through the flight, roughly 8-9pm LA time, get some good hours sleep on the plane. Wake up relatively fresh for a 6am start in Los Angeles!
    With this MEL-SFO flight, you'd be forced to stay awake the entire flight? Or I guess you could sleep for a bit as soon as you board.
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  • David Flynn

    David

    3 Sep, 2018 08:52 am

    Agreed, 9pm into LAX is great - Qantas used to have a Boeing 747 from Sydney which arrived around 4pm, if memory serves, and that was also a great alternative for travellers. As to MEL-SFO, one is definitely not ‘forced to sleep’, in fact I’d deny anybody staying awake with a 10pm departure and a 13 hour flight ahead. Even if you got a solid 8 hours (and many people can’t get that long a sleep during a flight) there’s still eight hours of being awake ahead of arriving into SF.

    Member who gave thanks

    Ladtsmt

  • Angus  Coventry

    Covo95

    3 Sep, 2018 09:18 am

    i think way back qantas used to have a day flight from LAX to Sydney too.
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  • John Phelan

    John Phelan

    3 Sep, 2018 12:09 pm

    Yes, it used to depart LAX at lunchtime and arrive in SYD in the evening.
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  • Simulate Aero

    simulate

    5 Sep, 2018 05:09 pm

    I loved those flight times. I think the night depart from MEL to SFO is great. Just more options.
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  • silvyvc

    silvyvc

    3 Sep, 2018 09:09 am

    The evening flights to LAX and SFO are great options to the usual morning departures to USA. I usually don't sleep much during AM departures to USA, and even flying to DFW around midday can be troublesome. I find it harder to make my body clock adjust to the new timezone.

    Also the evening departures mean better utilisation of aircraft for QF (usually the 787 that is used for these flights would come from LHR-PER-MEL), in addition quicker turnaround in USA rather than an aircraft sitting all day. Connection-wise, you are still able to get several connecting flights from LAX and SFO to other parts of USA, Mexico and Central America.
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  • russell

    russell

    3 Sep, 2018 09:14 am

    I would be curious to try a PM arrival into the US because anything has to be better than auditioning as an extra on The Walking Dead for a whole day when arriving in the AM.
    Member who gave thanks

    Steve Napier

  • TZB88

    TZB88

    3 Sep, 2018 11:14 am

    Must be fairly focused on traffic that is stopping in SFO. Such a late arrival into SFO doesn't leave great connection options.
    I'm sure it will be a successful route though.
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  • brad2k

    brad2k

    5 Sep, 2018 03:25 pm

    There are still many flights departing throughout the night. Runways are particularly busy between 10pm–midnight with all the red-eye traffic.
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  • Sanjay Prakash

    sanj747

    3 Sep, 2018 12:07 pm

    The timing of this flight is great. Finish a day's work and then fly and arrive into SFO at a good time in the evening. Works well for both leisure and business travellers especially those doing business in Silicon valley and up north in Seattle. And David it sure would be the older 747s flying out of Sydney. Been a big weekend with new Dreamliners into the SFO from MEL and LAX/JFK from BNE. Bring more on.
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  • Mark  Barbeliuk

    Mark B.

    3 Sep, 2018 12:17 pm

    Until Air NZ’s recent messy divorce with VA I’d fly Air NZ stateside just to have a PM arrival. It makes all the difference from hotel room availability to jet lag and even rental car pick up and ease of hitting the LA freeway system. An early arrival only makes sense if you’re heading further east.
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  • elchriss0

    elchriss0

    3 Sep, 2018 01:42 pm

    The food looks surprisingly good for QF but I don't think I could bring myself to try that 'green juice'
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  • David Flynn

    David

    3 Sep, 2018 01:46 pm

    It really is worth trying, it’s delicious!
    Member who gave thanks

    Steve Napier

  • Steve Napier

    Steve Napier

    3 Sep, 2018 06:28 pm

    2 thumbs up for the ‘Green Juice’.
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  • bsb

    bsb

    3 Sep, 2018 07:35 pm

    Good review. Be warned the return flight at 22.00 leaves at ‘bedlam’ time and the security queue is horrendous. QF staff hustle pax through the queue as many don’t have enough time to get to the flight (and annoying many pax on other airlines who don’t have QF hustling for them) . The SFO lounge situation has been covered before, but take that into account. Leaving SFO at 22.00 is not fun.
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  • Traveller14

    Traveller14

    3 Sep, 2018 08:03 pm

    David, airline maintenance such as for QF in LAX may be a consideration, and perhaps slot (un) availability, but is it fear of losing business travellers that has stopped airlines from operating Oz east coast - LAX/SFO (or in time Seattle) as a night departure, arriving early evening?

    And why can't there then be overnight layovers for Australian domiciled carriers' aircraft in the USA, meaning a morning departure from the USA and arrival the next late afternoon in MEL, SYD or BNE?

    Is it also a perception that many connections would not be same day if these schedules were adopted?

    I dislike flights that arrive at say 0600 anywhere. Far better to be able to book into an hotel immediately at say 2030 at night and sleep, or coming back home, do the same in one's one bed.
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  • Agfox

    Agfox

    3 Sep, 2018 08:22 pm

    I wonder if Qantas asked any focus groups about the type of food passengers would like to be offered on this & similar length flights.
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  • StudiodeKadent

    StudiodeKadent

    3 Sep, 2018 09:17 pm

    The review states that there are "comfort food" options and they don't force-feed you kale and quinoa (thankfully). As much as I loathe kale and quinoa and the like, I don't see how one or two "healthy" menu options is anything different from how most airlines offer a vegetarian option currently.

    Plus, if you're really worried about detoxing during your flight, there is self-serve alcohol in the lounge and a large stash of booze onboard.

    That's pretty much the best they can do until McDonalds puts a fly-thru restaurant in the trans-pac air corridors. And even then I'd rather wait until I arrive in San Francisco and then go gorge on some of the higher-quality junk food they have there...
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  • Agfox

    Agfox

    3 Sep, 2018 09:40 pm

    I'm not asking for junk food & I don't drink alcohol when flying so you're wrong on both counts.The range of accompaniments to each main course meal just seems overly 'fussy' to me.

    More ingredients doesn't necessarily equate to a better meal - simply my opinion.
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  • hutch

    hutch

    3 Sep, 2018 10:25 pm

    All true, but I am still not sure what you're after? What makes a good meal?

    And and I think QF did a whole bunch of studies prior to the launch of PER-LHR, which they seem to be rolling out on long haul flights. Whether passengers enjoy them, is like most things, subjective.
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  • eireann78

    eireann78

    5 Sep, 2018 11:31 am

    Have Qantas any plans to improve the SFO lounge experience?
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  • David Flynn

    David

    7 Sep, 2018 07:56 am

    Yes, watch for a story very soon...
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  • Lindsay Wilson

    QF WP

    5 Sep, 2018 03:48 pm

    Good review and I love the timing - a full days work and still able to fly from BNE (because I have no desire to connect in SYD).

    David, the gremlins got to the dinner menu list, it's bok choy ;-)
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  • Peter Gaydon

    Ricky

    5 Sep, 2018 04:14 pm

    David - what chance QF change from 747 to 787 SYD_SFO before my flight in April next year? Although I've secured upstairs seats on the 747, anywhere on the 787 is superior in my view. Any inside info?
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  • David Flynn

    David

    7 Sep, 2018 08:00 am

    Even if I had 'inside info' I'd not share it until confirmed and thus story-worthy – however, beyond that I'd simply note that Qantas has allocated all of its first batch of 787s for now, a second tranche arrives from late 2019 (see https://www.ausbt.com.au/qantas-orders-six-more-boeing-787-9-dreamliners) and I'd not be surprised to see the SYD-SFO jumbo sent out to pasture shortly after, as part of the order's aim is to allow Qantas to retire its remaining ten Boeing 747-400 jumbo jets by the end of 2020.

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  • Peter Gaydon

    Ricky

    7 Sep, 2018 05:35 pm

    David - thanks for taking the time to respond to my question, it's both helpful and appreciated.
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  • Bennelong

    Bennelong

    5 Sep, 2018 07:45 pm

    I was on the QF50 inaugural flight SFO/MEL. The service was underwhelming. If this is the “new face” of QF then extremely disappointing
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  • David Flynn

    David

    7 Sep, 2018 08:35 am

    Bennelong: very interesting to hear you say that. Feel free to share your own notes on the flight in our Community section, I'd like to hear them and am sure many other AusBT readers would also.
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  • Bennelong

    Bennelong

    7 Sep, 2018 04:57 pm

    I will be on the QF49 next week. I’m hoping the QF50 experience was a one off and a less than stellar cabin crew. I’ve flown QF for years, Platinum, and Gold for life. To give benefit to this new service I’ll update with a comparison.
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  • lind26

    lind26

    5 Sep, 2018 07:55 pm

    I wonder if the review would differ if said reviewer was not a guest of Qantas?
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  • Traveller14

    Traveller14

    5 Sep, 2018 08:31 pm

    Many who read these reviews - in various print and online publications, not just this site - are aware that there's subtle pressure on reviewers not to be too critical on any (or perhaps too many) aspect(s), because then they may not receive another freebie.

    And how often do reviewers have a star or other code against their booking, or onboard staff receive 'the whisper' from an airline manager or check in supervisor - that person X is travelling for a publication and hence must receive better service?
    Member who gave thanks

    lind26

  • David Flynn

    David

    7 Sep, 2018 08:08 am

    "Many who read these reviews - in various print and online publications, not just this site - are aware that there's subtle pressure on reviewers not to be too critical on any (or perhaps too many) aspect(s), because then they may not receive another freebie."

    I can't speak for any other publications but we've never had 'subtle pressure' applied by airlines to turn in a positive or uncritical review, and we've never 'pulled any punches' in any review. We're also most definitely not in this job for 'freebies' – trips are part of the job, and an enjoyable part to be sure, but they're also work (not just sitting back sipping champers) and they're also a very small part of the job of being a journalist.
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  • David Flynn

    David

    7 Sep, 2018 08:03 am

    My review wouldn't change one bit if it was self-funded. We've called out sub-par experiences in the past when on media trips, and we'll always do so. What you see in an Australian Business Traveller review is a fair and balanced report of the experience.
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  • Charles Furrows

    OOLflyer

    5 Sep, 2018 08:45 pm

    Actually for every US Mainland destination the best option in terms of jet lag is Air NZ via Auckland.

    You leave the East Coast just before lunch, but your flight out of Auckland departs at around 5 or 6 pm Aussie time and lands at LA or San Francisco around 2 pm.

    So you actually have little trouble sleeping on the Trans Pacific flight, but you arrive with half the day left and can easily sleep that night.

    Coming back is similar: a 10 pm departure from the West Coast allowing a full night’s sleep on board, but a morning arrival into Australia.
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  • comeflywithme

    comeflywithme

    5 Sep, 2018 08:54 pm

    Looks a great deal better than the crusty old 747 that vibrated it’s way from SYD-SFO in J on my last trip. Even the old F seats couldn’t make up for that old bird, and add to that a crew that had adjusted their attitude to that of the old bird too.
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  • Traveller14

    Traveller14

    5 Sep, 2018 10:35 pm

    If I recall, some QF cabin crew declined to transfer to the A380 as pay and other remuneration were better on the Queen of the Skies than under the (then) new EBA or similar for the A380s.
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  • Rob Usher

    Ush

    6 Sep, 2018 06:57 am

    I returned yesterday from our Syd-Sfo-Syd bcl trip on the 747
    Sure the aircraft is dated but the crew were young and friendly , seats good enough to enable sleep both ways and I enjoyed the amazing space the nose offered in both directions... rows 2 both directions
    SFO was a breeze in both directions and the BART leaving/arriving from same terminal made for very easy connections to union square area
    Although offered the KLM/Air France lounge in SFO I decided to try and get access to the Cathay Lounge as per Aust bt previous stories.
    Welcomed in by the staff we spent a very enjoyable few hours including showers and fantastic food that Cathay lounges are known for....bcl Cathay lounge in HKG has to be one of the best
    Look forward now to trying Mel to SFO...
    Anything to stay away from Lax
    No member give thanks

  • bl812

    bl812

    6 Sep, 2018 08:54 am

    that lounge and the food looks like Adelaide's domestic business class facilities the food ditto-disgusting to look at that pasta and whatever stew next to it-you can't call that a decent meal by any standard-so what is the idea that people eat there and not on the plane-I certainly wouldn't touch that slop-you pay a fortune for a business class ticket and you only get a decent service if you hold on an elit card? Ridiculous to say the best!
    Member who gave thanks

    Ladtsmt

  • Roderick Tiernan

    rod jb

    12 Sep, 2018 06:45 pm

    David, you didn't discuss the toilets. My understanding is that on the 787 (which so far I've avoided flying in) there are only 3 toilets for 42 Business passengers - nowhere nearly enough for all to easily change in and out of pyjamas. By comparison, in First there are 2 for 14 passengers, and even then you occasionally have to wait. In Emirates the ratio is the same, the bathrooms are huge, and they seem to get cleaned each time someone uses them (and First is usually not full). I think Qantas should have had at least 5 toilets, and for goodness sake make them big enough to at least swing a large cat while you're changing! (Yes, I know it's a first world problem).
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  • David Flynn

    David

    12 Sep, 2018 10:07 pm

    We've covered the loo issue in previous articles about Qantas' Boeing 787 business class configuration.
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  • Bennelong

    Bennelong

    20 Sep, 2018 12:59 pm

    Now that I’ve completed my SFO/MEL return I am still underwhelmed. The service on ignagural flight was almost non-existent. The crew were too busy adoring the staff on board from “Ellen” show.
    I had to ask for glass of wine with my snack(not offered) and response “what would you like,” finally got her to tell me which varietals they had, and then poured from galley. Not once during the night, light on and reading, did anyone ask if they might get me anything.
    Water glass was never picked up til landing.
    Yes I know there are snacks in second galley. No one asked if they could help in making bed.
    ~3 hours out a FA offered these tiny paper cups of lattes. If you wanted another you’d have to go ask.
    No hot towels offered.
    Loo problem as discussed previously.
    Bassinettes in 1E and 10E-pity the one in 1F or 10F. We had a baby in 1E which cried and slept very little. Guy in 1F had headphones on most of flight.
    On the return, crew a bit more friendly however still lack of service. I did have light snack as not able to get to lounge earlier. They did bring wine with cart.
    During night again it was 2.5 hours before I was asked if they could get me anything and that was last time I saw any FA during next 4 hrs.
    Again paper cups of “red juice;”he was so quick in putting it down I never heard what it was. Cups not picked up for 2hrs and until brekkie.
    Seats comfortable, bed was nice for sleeping. Not sure the service commands staying loyal to QF on this route
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  • elchriss0

    elchriss0

    20 Sep, 2018 07:32 pm

    This non-existent service is what my experience has always been like with QF, which is why I usually use either SQ or JAL for my long haul trips.
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  • Bennelong

    Bennelong

    21 Sep, 2018 07:39 am

    Elchriss0: that’s disappointing as I’ve had great service on the 380. I think United does a better service than this!
    QF needs to realise not everyone sleeps, eats and stays awake at same time.
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  • elchriss0

    elchriss0

    21 Sep, 2018 09:42 am

    I've only used QF for domestic and NZ so never longer than 4-5hrs max and based on my experience on those flights i've come to expect mediocrity and delayed departures. When I lived in CBR i was doing the cbr-mel return twice a month for a year with QF and almost all the flights were an hour or more late. Back then I was a QFF points collector hense why I kept putting up with it but i've since moved to VA and SQ and only use QF if they are substantially cheaper and even then only for sub 4hr flights.
    No member give thanks

  • elchriss0

    elchriss0

    21 Sep, 2018 09:43 am

    hence*
    No member give thanks

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23 Jul, 2019 11:56 pm

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