Qantas: upgraded Airbus A380s will begin flying in August 2019

Qantas: upgraded Airbus A380s will begin flying in August 2019

Qantas has pushed back the long-awaited upgrade to its Airbus A380s, shifting the kick-off from March to July, with the first of the refurb'd birds now expected to take wing in August.

Qantas International CEO Alison Webster confirmed the four-month setback to the program, although that remains within cooee of the original ‘second quarter of 2019’ timeframe specified by Qantas when the refurbishment program was first announced.

“We've been working to make sure that we've got right relationship with our suppliers (so that) our seats are ready for that aircraft," Webster told Australian Business Traveller.

"The first reconfigure will start in July and will be out flying for us throughout October," although a Qantas spokesperson subsequently advised Australian Business Traveller that the first refurb'd A380 was in fact expected to be flying in August.

Webster remains confident that all 12 of the superjumbos will be upgraded by the end of 2020, “which is an important milestone for us in our 100th year."

The A380 makeover will see the superjumbo’s business class and premium economy seats upgraded to those of the Boeing 787, although Webster revealed that the A380’s premium economy seats will retain the same pitch - or distance between the seats - as on the Boeing 787 Dreamliners.

As for as the refreshed first class cabin, Webster considers it paramount to "maintain the high expectation our customers have around privacy in that suite, while still also upgrading the comfort.'

"Some amazing cushioning is going onto those First beds, and (we're) also making sure that all of our interiors reflect the current contemporary design DNA that you'll see flow through to the palette in the Singapore lounge."

Read more: Qantas' new Singapore first class lounge takes shape

PREVIOUS | A decade after the Qantas Airbus A380 took to the skies, the airline’s 12-strong superjumbo fleet will soon head into the hangar for a mid-life makeover.

The first red-tailed A380 will get its revamp in March 2019, with the tip-to-tail upgrade being overseen by Airbus.

It’s expected to take until the end of 2020 for all twelve A380s to be refurbished. Here’s what you’ll see in Qantas’ spruced-up superjumbos. 

Qantas’ new Airbus A380 first class suites

Don’t expect any major changes to the 14 first class suites on the lower deck, although that’s not a bad thing by any stretch: there's basically nothing wrong with Marc Newson's bespoke design, which Australian Business Traveller rates among the best of the ‘open’ first class suites without sliding privacy doors.

Newson is working with Qantas on a modest refresh of the cabin and its materials, including more comfortable contoured cushioning in each suite. A larger HD video screen will replace the current 17 inch panels.

The end result will leave the A380 first class suites looking the same yet different – at once totally familiar but undeniably fresher.

Qantas’ new Airbus A380 business class seats

The best news in Qantas' superjumbo revamp is that the original Skybed II seats will be replaced by the highly-regarded Business Suite of the Boeing 787 Dreamliners.

That seat, in turn, is a tweak of Airbus A330 Business Suite with a movable divider between the middle seats so that travellers can choose between privacy and sociability.

It's a substantial improvement for business travellers, with the Business Suites boasting everything that the Skybed II designs lack: direct aisle access for every passenger thanks to a 1-2-1 layout; a bump-free flat bed; ample inflight storage and workspace, plus a 16-inch HD video screen that's much brighter and sharper than the Skybed II's 12.1-inch panel.

The reconfiguration will also see a slight increase in the number of business class seats, from 64 in the current A380s to 70 in the refurb'd birds.

Qantas’ new Airbus A380 lounges

The narrow and little-used lounge at the front of the upper deck will be replaced by two new business class lounges, located either side of the 'grand staircase' which leads down to first class.

David Caon has reimagined the current lounge as a social cafe-inspired design with two tables fitted with soft LED lighting surrounded by comfortable padded benches.

“Today everybody’s sitting along the bench and facing one direction, and that's not necessarily the best layout and the best arrangement for people to be in" Caon tells Australian Business Traveller.

"Our lounge should be something where people are able to sit and face each other and discuss and talk... the kind of space that if there are two people that are travelling together but not necessarily sitting together, they can go (to the lounge) and spend time together."

On the left side of the stairway, where a small cabin crew office is currently tucked away, a second nook will include a self-serve minibar for drinks and snacks plus what appears to be a large video screen for watching inflight movies.

Qantas is also said to be working on ways to damp the lounge’s sound profile so as not to disturb passengers in the front rows of the business class cabin.

Also read: Six reasons I'll use the new Qantas A380 inflight business lounges 

Qantas’ new Airbus A380 premium economy seats

The A380 overhaul will also extend to premium economy, using the same seats as the Boeing 787.

These will be installed in a 2-3-2 layout in a dedicated cabin behind business class, where a reconfiguration of the upper deck will allow room for 25 more premium economy seats, bringing the tally to 60.

The seats themselves are quite the leap for business travellers on a budget with a comfortable cradle design, some handy storage space, USB and shared AC power sockets, a decent-sized personal video screen and even a natty tablet holder if you belong to the BYO video set.

However, we hope that Qantas allows more distance between each row of seats than on the Dreamliner, where these otherwise excellent seats are squashed too close together. 

Qantas' all-premium Airbus A380 upper deck

Part of the A380 refresh will see the upper deck become an all-premium affair of business class and premium economy – ironically, this is the same as when the Qantas A380 made its debut in 2008 – with the current quiet and cosy economy 'mini-cabin' at the rear of the upper deck taken over by the expanded premium economy cabin.

Qantas’ refreshed Airbus A380 economy seats

There's less change for economy class travellers, who won't even see new seats such as those of the Boeing 787. Instead, they'll need to make do with new seat cushions and what Qantas broadly terms "improved inflight entertainment".

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.
 

116 comments

  • Smith

    RMITLad

    8 Nov, 2018 07:54 am

    Thanks David - any chance you could confirm, QF want to introduce an enclosed F seat, ala EK- but CASA won’t let them. A rumour I’ve heard, but can’t find a source. Given CASAs previously restrictive ETOPS requirements not a surprise if true!

    New lounge looks good, not a fan of the green couches though!!
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  • Tom Wilson

    tommygun

    8 Nov, 2018 08:16 am

    New business seats great. The rest of it is a "Claytons".
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  • Christopher Campbell

    Chris2304

    8 Nov, 2018 08:46 am

    They better give the PE more pitch and (in time) refit the 787 PEs too.
    Member who gave thanks

    ScottB

  • traveller90

    traveller90

    4 Jan, 2019 08:56 pm

    PE pitch - lets get serious and increase it by at least 5 inches to make it functional and comfortable, wanting passengers to come back for the next flight with a smile. After all this aircraft flies for 14 to 15 hrs on some non stop legs, let alone AU to UK in one go. The current arrangement will not sell seats. QF knows the legroom is tight, but relies on its reputation and marketing engine to numb the pain.

    Even the pictures in this editorial make it look uncomfortable and not wanting to pay the asking price. Points upgrade maybe, but actual funds, I don't think so.

    Members who gave thanks

    Peter F Model, andrewcross

  • Peter F Model

    Peter F Model

    5 Jan, 2019 09:02 am

    Totally agree. I fly to the US on a regular basis in economy and United Economy plus seats, which you can easily get if you are GOLD status, are a joy (787) 34in pitch 17in wide. Economy on Qantas is not a joy (A380) 31in pitch 17.5in wide and even if you are GOLD (as i am) its hard and expensive to upgrade to economy plus from standard economy, so that is not an option. I even prefer economy on Singapore air (A380) to Qantas, 32in pitch, 19in wide, so always fly singapore air to asia. But nothing beat 777 emirates economy seat for pain, A380 is ok.
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  • John Goss

    Travelwell

    2 Mar, 2019 02:16 am

    Sorry Chris PE pitch is going from 42 down to 36 inches.Grrrr
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  • rocketship

    rocketship

    8 Nov, 2018 08:46 am

    For those of us not always travelling in the fancy seats, it's a real shame to lose the economy mini-cabin upstairs. Nice and quiet up there, and speedier food and drinks service. Hope QR keep theirs.
  • Emmanuel PEREIRA

    34manu34

    9 Nov, 2018 10:09 pm

    Agreed, very annoying.
    Row 32 is definitely great when travelling to DFW, LAX or SIN...

    United offers PE to its platinum in 787 from MEL to LAX, I might stop QF7 and 93 then (Dallas from Syd and LAX from Mel)
    Member who gave thanks

    MelMackay

  • Ilse Schwarz

    ilseschwarz

    15 Nov, 2018 12:04 pm

    I totally agree. That cosy, although bumpy, little upstairs economy works wonderfully well when not in the fancy seats
    Members who gave thanks

    MelMackay, Dannyk

  • Darren

    DGP

    8 Nov, 2018 08:55 am

    In terms of trying to damper the noise from the mini Business Class Lounge area at the front, Qatar Airways do this on their A380 with a heavy/thick curtain which is quite amazing at blocking noise from their bar area.
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  • Joe

    Joe

    8 Nov, 2018 04:50 pm

    Qatar actually have a double curtain set up with the lavs in between the cabin side curtain and the bar side curtain-so a space of about approx 70cm between both. It's actually Emirates which has the lead heavy noise stopping single curtain between rear J class cabin and bar area. Unfortunately the EK crew are very selfish and always pin this open for their convenience. I have seen some cabin managers shut it and make sure its stays shut however.
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  • Joe

    Joe

    8 Nov, 2018 05:00 pm

    Sorry meant to add the best curtain system I think is a curtain which is essentially one piece with both ends pinned to the wall panel or there is a slight recess in the wall which the ends pin into making it failsafe for light penetration(and noise) and the middle split but attached at the top an inch or two with magnets sewn into the split edges which require a teeny bit of force to open but immediately 'lock's' back up the centre split once someone has walked through. I often find it extremely selfish when cabin crew and other pax simply pay token gesture, if any for that matter, to 'shutting' curtains properly to avoid light and noise disturbing the 1st row or last row-if bar is behind, pax.
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  • Jason Hamilton

    JKH

    8 Nov, 2018 09:40 am

    Heartily agree with the need for increased pitch in PE seating.

    J-class ‘lounge’ concept, I still think looks like a 50’s dowdy jukebox cafe - just too drab.
    Member who gave thanks

    OCA

  • Jason Hamilton

    JKH

    14 Jan, 2019 02:37 pm

    Pardon the predictive typo - Jukebox, that should have read.
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  • Qf41

    Qf41

    8 Nov, 2018 10:37 am

    Ill be interested to see what the loo ratio is. The current ratio is terrible. Id be happy to see two extra loos at the front if it meant smaller lounge areas
    Member who gave thanks

    OCA

  • simon drakeley

    drsimon50

    8 Nov, 2018 10:48 am

    me too - when they lost the 4 midcabin loos and went to 2 at front and the 2 shared at back they lost me
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  • reeves35

    reeves35

    8 Nov, 2018 01:10 pm

    I would guess that the loo at the rear of the top deck becomes the only seat available for W class whilst the loos currently between J & W and shared between both become J only. My experience is very few W class pax currently use the rear toilet and it is only used by those in the soon-to-be-deleted small Y cabin.

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  • Upgrademeplease

    Upgrademeplease

    8 Nov, 2018 11:40 am

    How long does it take to refit an A380? Also the 64 into 70 business seats from 2-2-2 to 1-2-1; does this consume the same amount of area or does it creep into where PE started?
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  • reeves35

    reeves35

    8 Nov, 2018 01:07 pm

    The Business Class area will probably be much the same size. The new seats link in together with the footspace, currently in the open on the existing seat when the seat is upright, tunneled under the table of the seat in front on the Vantage XL.
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  • patrickk

    patrickk

    8 Nov, 2018 02:46 pm

    Upgrademeplease it seems it will take a little under two months to do each one if all 12 are to be done by the end of 2020 and they have full use of the fleet over the busy summer months for the extra HK and elsewhere flights.
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  • Eli

    Eli

    8 Nov, 2018 06:19 pm

    The QF A380's will likely do their C or D checks during this time that can take weeks. I also suspect the one frame that suffered tremendous damage over SIN probably requires extra love. (probably, but who knows, perhaps not).
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  • Traveller14

    Traveller14

    14 Feb, 2019 02:48 pm

    Given that QF has stated that the refurbishment will commence in July 2019, if it is to finish by December 2020 that is roughly 78 weeks, so if we assume that only one is undertaken at a time, that means about six weeks on average, bearing in mind that each aircraft has to be flown to and from the location where the work is occurring. That alone takes a day in each direction.
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  • Anna80

    Anna80

    8 Nov, 2018 11:42 am

    I have flown on the Boeing 787 in premium economy and agree that Qantas needs to give this extra legroom in the A380s. It is better than the original A380 premium economy seat in every respect but if I don't have enough room for my legs, and I am not a tall woman, then I would rather go back to the original premium economy seat.
    Member who gave thanks

    brs132

  • Christopher Campbell

    Chris2304

    8 Nov, 2018 11:48 am

    An extra 2-3 inches is what’s so needed
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  • Peter F Model

    Peter F Model

    5 Jan, 2019 09:06 am

    I agree, compared with singapore air the qantas A380 has less legroom and width. I have not travelled on qantas 787 and i see its the same as singapore air A380 32in pitch 19-width. I may keep an eye out for Qantas 787 flights, they look acceptable.
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  • Jedinak K

    Jedinak K

    14 Feb, 2019 09:32 pm

    Economy seats on the QF 787 are 17.2" wide, not 19.
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  • QFP1

    QFP1

    8 Nov, 2018 12:02 pm

    Great news for business class passengers, much better seats plus two better lounges as well. Very happy with this news!
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  • vitorsyd

    vitorsyd

    8 Nov, 2018 12:23 pm

    Great article, Chris. I will also miss the secluded economy rows in the upper-cabin, even though I was only there once on a DFW-SYD flight.

    In the first paragraph you might want to fix ta small typo, so the word hanger reads hangar.
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  • reeves35

    reeves35

    8 Nov, 2018 01:15 pm

    I'll be interested in how the upstairs lounge area works out. I purposely went up there on a recent flight and really can't see how it is wide enough to fit a table with 2X2 seating and have a decent walkway. It really isn't very wide and can't be made any wider due to the staircase.

    Those sitting closest to the wall will, as well as being a bit squished, have to tilt their heads to allow for the curvature of the wall at that point of the plane.
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  • Jason Hamilton

    JKH

    8 Nov, 2018 01:44 pm

    Re: the photo of the chap in the W-class seat - looks pretty uncomfortable with his knees against the seat in front. Pitch was never going to be enough and yet Joyce was doing his Ryanair type beat up of the product before it was rolled out.
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  • Traveller14

    Traveller14

    14 Feb, 2019 02:51 pm

    W class is a waste of money, as if the seat next to one is vacant, one can't stretch out on it thanks to the equipment being stored in the immovable armrest. Should a seat - or better two - in Y be vacant next to one, there's more room to lie flat or coiled up than there will ever be in W class.
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  • Matt Stevenson

    Madhatter49

    8 Nov, 2018 02:48 pm

    They want to get them all refurbed I'm sure before dumping the 747's.
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  • Tony D

    StarTeam

    8 Nov, 2018 03:56 pm

    It seems there is no need to upgrade from Business to First on QF's A380s anymore - the Business Suite is a comfortable space that as good as it gets. That said, unless accessing First Lounge is important. However, it makes no difference if you are only flying out of Singapore. Then again, Qantas will open a new first class lounge at Singapore by the end of 2019. All in all, I think Qantas values loyalty. It's a rare gesture in the current aviation climate.
    No member give thanks

  • aggie57

    aggie57

    8 Nov, 2018 04:11 pm

    I’m 6’4” and had the opportunity to sit in the premium seat at the 787 launch event in LA. It’s a great seat, but I simply don’t fit. The pitch is too tight.
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  • Jack Ilx

    Jack Ilx

    8 Nov, 2018 04:12 pm

    I do wish they decided to go further with the upgrade of F but clearly their F product must be working just fine for them. Business upgrade is appreciated, likewise with premium economy. The economy product on QF is already good and comparable to other full service carriers.
    The lounges, do people actually use these on flights, from my experience they are always empty?
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  • Alex Moris

    Alex Moris

    8 Nov, 2018 06:25 pm

    I don't think that QF international economy class is comparable to other "full"service airlines. On QF the seat pitch is less, no separate bar service (certain liqueurs are reserved for premium cabins), no meal trays but rather a poorly presented meal with the juggling bread on top and plastic utensils, no hot towels, no kids entertainment packs and no WIFI in any cabin. Yet QF is more expensive then Qatar, Emirates and Singapore. Sorry but QF does not meet the standards or Qatar or Singapore.
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  • AJW

    AJW

    9 Nov, 2018 04:44 pm

    I don’t mind the way the do and present meals in economy.

    As for being cheaper it really depends. I am currently in Europe on holiday with the family (wife and two small kids) and it cost me $4800 return on Qantas ex CBR. On SQ and QR who incidentally fly out of Canberra thy both wanted over $6000 for the same dates.

    Getting back to the A380 upgrades having flown on a Qantas A380 in Y a few months back and the 787 last week it is a shame the A380 isn’t getting the 787 style seat. Shoulder width aside it was far far superior.
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  • rebekkap

    rebekkap

    3 Jan, 2019 01:48 pm

    "On QF the seat pitch is less"

    I had no idea about this, but on checking seatguru, you're right.

    "... no separate bar service (certain liqueurs are reserved for premium cabins), no meal trays but rather a poorly presented meal with the juggling bread on top and plastic utensils, no hot towels, no kids entertainment packs and no WIFI in any cabin."

    It's been a while since I flew Qantas economy, but I did fly with a kid two years ago I think and they definitely had kids entertainment packs then - have they "enhanced" them?


    No member give thanks

  • AJW

    AJW

    3 Jan, 2019 02:59 pm

    My kids got packs on both flights we did with Qantas in November last year. On the PER-LHR sector they got a book with pencils as well as a certificate for being on the longest flight (assume they printed them before others beat them), as well has a magnetic drawing thingy.

    And BKK-SYD they got another entertainment pack with the magnetic drawing thing. That said they were pretty slack in handing them out. BKK-SYD they missed two kids in the row opposite, and they were also shocking in they way they handed out the kids meals. My son's meal was given to one of the other kids. I know because his name and seat number was printed on the label and the parent of the kid in the other row said his name out loud and I turned around and looked and she asked if that was my son. Not sure how they could make such a mess of it when seat numbers (and names) are quite clearly on them.

    Whilst I like Qantas and prefer them over many carriers others prefer, consistancy is still my biggest gripe with them.
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  • Scepticalflyer

    Scepticalflyer

    15 Mar, 2019 05:13 pm

    Devout QF loyalists struggling with their heads in the sand. QF is a sub par product in all classes. Cathay, JAL, even Air Canada beat them all over.
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  • Joe

    Joe

    8 Nov, 2018 04:33 pm

    David are there any indications that, besides seat cushions and TV monitor size, seat covers, walls, panelling may be part of the change? New more sophisticated colour palate?
    What about the lack lustre 'first' lavs...will they be getting a full face lift...they are way below the standard of Emirates, Qatar etc Business class lavs!
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  • Traveller14

    Traveller14

    14 Jan, 2019 01:30 pm

    Good question. Perhaps Chris, David or SId could make some enquiries and answer it?
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  • David Flynn

    David

    14 Jan, 2019 03:05 pm

    Hi Joe – no more indications about the first class refresh at this stage, all we have to go off is what Qantas has shared. We expect to know more as the first refresh approaches in March and will of course report all that we can.
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  • Traveller14

    Traveller14

    14 Feb, 2019 02:53 pm

    Or approaching July 2019, as it's now become.
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  • dm12

    dm12

    8 Nov, 2018 04:48 pm

    I wish they would alternate the inner seats in business, so one row the seats are together and the next apart (like Thai A350), rather than the staggered all apart arrangement. It would make some seats (every second row) more suitable for couples.

    I also think they should do better than just a lounge for the upper deck. QF operate some of the longest A380 flights so having a point of difference to get out of your seat would be excellent. The Emirates bar for example is great, but even a snack bar or something would be useful.
    Members who gave thanks

    rk1, Gilflyer

  • gw

    gw

    8 Nov, 2018 09:10 pm

    "A decade after the Qantas Airbus A380 took to the skies, the airline’s 12-strong superjumbo fleet will soon head into the hanger for a mid-life makeover."

    Hangar, not hanger.
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  • gtaylor20

    gtaylor20

    9 Nov, 2018 06:49 am

    Any ideas what might be the first routes to see the refurbished A380?
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  • Milton Gan

    Milton

    9 Nov, 2018 03:13 pm

    Interested in this too. Flying J to LA in April, would love to have the new business cabin!
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  • Traveller14

    Traveller14

    20 Feb, 2019 03:49 pm

    If QF adopts a similar roster for its A380s as now, the aircraft would rotate between all the offerings, such as MEL - HKG, MEL - LAX, SYD - LAX and MEL - SIN, and so on.

    One aircraft refurbished is insufficient to cover even a shorter route like MEL to SIN daily, because at times the airframe requires maintenance (and at other times unexpected repairs).
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  • Adam T

    AT

    9 Nov, 2018 02:00 pm

    Fantastic!! Can’t wait for new QF A380s. Saying that I flew up to Singapore on A380 with Skybed and cabin service, meals, etc where outstanding. QF at its best.
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  • BevanMcBevan

    BevanMcBevan

    9 Nov, 2018 03:24 pm

    First Class Whinge (I know, uppercut needed), and...

    The First Class seating is really worn and I hate to say it grubby on my recent trips. On two occasions the video screens were really pixilated. The overall seat itself is still not a bad design, but nowhere near up to date or maintained as well as it should be...sorry to say. And, for the coin, that's dissapointing.

    I'll be on the EY First product Sunday and must say, I still prefer this one over QF &EK (haven't tired SQ as of yet). Cheers.
    No member give thanks

  • brs132

    brs132

    9 Nov, 2018 07:40 pm

    No menton of upgrades to the seats in in economy, I fly regularly Sydney to Dallas and the economy seating is last century.

    No member give thanks

  • Traveller14

    Traveller14

    9 Jan, 2019 12:33 pm

    Agree: on my small number of trips, that was apparent even four years ago. So many Asian airlines are way ahead of QF. The colour Qantas chose for its economy seats on the A380 dated very quickly.
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  • Jason Bird

    Speedbird

    9 Nov, 2018 07:56 pm

    I still think Qantas are missing a trick not moving First Class upstairs, as it makes for a much more economical use of the main deck real-estate to have this space PE or Economy. 🤔

    It’s what the smart money at Singapore Airlines did.

    I think the difference is that SQ (like Emirates) see a future for their A380’s and I have a feeling Qantas can’t wait to get rid of theirs!!
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  • AJW

    AJW

    9 Nov, 2018 07:58 pm

    If qantas wanted to get rid of theirs so quickly they wouldn’t be investing money in upgrading them!
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  • Jason Bird

    Speedbird

    10 Nov, 2018 05:58 am

    They are doing the bare minimum. Current Skybed II is awful and can’t go on.
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  • Fonga

    Fonga

    12 Nov, 2018 03:53 pm

    They're not awful. I've had many great and comfortable flights in them and met many interesting people thanks to their more open nature. I'll miss them as I'm not a great fan of the current fad for enclosed suites.
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  • kimshep

    kimshep

    15 Feb, 2019 11:08 am

    Bear in mind that with First being on the lower level, it enable the most profitable customers to be unloaded on arrival as First egress. A great courtesy to your most valuable customers.
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  • traveller99

    traveller99

    9 Nov, 2018 09:06 pm

    Any potential to retrofit WiFi on the A380?

    One thing I really hate about long haul flights is getting home or to my hotel at the other end and having to catch up on 10+ hours of emails. It's much more relaxing to be able to check them every couple of hours like I have on long haul recently on QR and CX. In fact my airline choices are now largely dominated by who has WiFi. Let's be realistic about the soft part: food is pretty average in business class on any flight so that's not really a deciding factor. The seat definitely is so great that the awful Skybed is going away.
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  • Jason Bird

    Speedbird

    10 Nov, 2018 05:59 am

    There definitely is the possibility, however, Qantas is doubtful to take up this opportunity to do so.
    No member give thanks

  • AJW

    AJW

    10 Nov, 2018 06:55 am

    Think it will come. The issue they have faced is getting the right service outside of Australia. Hence why there is a wifi solution for domestic but not overseas.

    No member give thanks

  • David Flynn

    David

    14 Jan, 2019 03:03 pm

    "Any potential to retrofit WiFi on the A380?" Not during this mid-life refresh, Qantas doesn't expect international WiFi for a another few years yet because its desired high-speed satellite infrastructure is not in place. See https://www.ausbt.com.au/qantas-to-launch-high-speed-international-wifi-by-2021 for more.
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  • V Champion

    Vulch

    9 Nov, 2018 10:47 pm

    So economy, the vast majority of qantas’ passengers, treated with contempt as usual. Look elsewhere.
    Members who gave thanks

    good67, JKH

  • Traveller14

    Traveller14

    16 Apr, 2019 07:37 pm

    The majority of Australian travellers as well as overseas-domiciled passengers already 'look elsewhere.' Self funded travellers particularly look to other airlines, and win by saving money yet travelling on aircraft that are more up to date.

    Overpriced QF lives on past glories and seems to survive because so many corporates and government organisations practically mandate it for travel. There's also the national obsession with its FF scheme despite the taxes and charges it levies (if you can find a J seat!) being the highest of any major airline serving multiple Australian ports that I've researched that operates to Oz or Europe.

    Anyone who has travelled on many Asian airlines knows they are by and large superior to QF in so many ways, including the fitout of aircraft, staff attitude and catering and if someone raises 'safety' - lots of Asian airlines operate hundreds of flights a day and thousands every month without serious adverse incidents.
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  • Gary Topping

    Toptravel

    10 Nov, 2018 07:55 am

    The lounge area looks so inviting and comfortable...NOT .
    WHY BOTHER IF IT LOOKS LIKE AN INTERGATION AREA
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  • Daniel Richardson

    danielr

    10 Nov, 2018 03:34 pm

    but the question on everyone’s lips - “like the QF dreamliner, will they be installing all-you-can-eat, RSL style bain-marie’s for J class guests?” 🙊
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  • Muztel

    Muztel

    10 Nov, 2018 06:45 pm

    Sadly I rekcon that Qantas won't be able to resist the temptation to squeeeseee all the PE seats as close as they can,and ruin the current 380 & 747 experience for PE, after all its all about the $$$$$$$$$$ :(
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  • Simon Frost

    SimonFrost

    3 Jan, 2019 02:41 pm

    I’d love the idea of PE at the front of the lower deck. I haven’t travelled the new PE yet, but found the older one quite good. The idea of increased recline, but less legroom worries me. At 6 foot and of a larger size it sounds like even I would struggle. Improved interactive “lounge area” for biz is a good idea, but unless there’s a reason for you to go there (bar, snacks, larger screen) I think it’s still unlikely to be a draw card. As a “not too often” biz class traveller - how often does the current one get used?
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  • GregXL

    GregXL

    3 Jan, 2019 03:47 pm

    The 787 PE doesn't work for taller passengers, unless you can get into the front row. In the 3rd row, I could not sit with my legs straight once the passenger in front reclined. Front row was great (on an upgrade MEL-PER).
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  • aturnbull

    aturnbull

    3 Jan, 2019 08:08 pm

    I think with the Airbus Cabin Flex upgrade removing the need to have access to the emergency exits on the upper deck in Premium will allow QF to give enough space to give an extra 2-3in of legroom on the seat. A seat count of 60 which has been reported is 8 rows of 7 plus two more pairs. With this I would expect that instead of the rear lav on the side, they will put two lavs in the middle with pairs of seats either side. The removal of the bulkhead between the current econ/premium also provides space.
    We will only know once the config is fully released, but based on the QF seat maps it looks very possible as to add an extra 3in per row is only 24in with 60 seats in that area.
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  • Scott Wilson

    Libertyscott

    3 Jan, 2019 09:39 pm

    Last upgrade of the A380s before they are replaced with 777X, or maybe one more to go? Hopefully not, the big driver for this upgrade is more premium seating and to bring the business class up to spec with the A330s/787s. First hangs on, but if the next iteration of business is to have sliding doors ala Qatar/Delta, First will need a leap upwards or out to be anything more than an upgrade to Business.
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  • moa999

    moa999

    3 Jan, 2019 09:55 pm

    I'd see this as a mid-life upgrade, still plenty of life left in the A380s.
    777 or 350 will likely operate in conjunction with the A380s for many years.
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  • PeterBla

    PeterBla

    4 Jan, 2019 04:09 pm

    777X? Hope they are quieter than the 777s now - so noisy! Recently did SYD/NRT/LAX/NRT/SYD J in three 787s and one 777.
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  • aggie57

    aggie57

    4 Jan, 2019 04:30 pm

    I actually prefer the Qantas first setup over say Emirates. The sliding door is all very well but it can make things feel a little claustrophobic. If Qantas just upgrade the IFE system that’d be fine.
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  • AJ007

    AJ007

    4 Jan, 2019 03:56 pm

    The so called 'suite upgrade' is misleading. It benefits the airline as they can squeeze more seats into the plane. It is of no value to the passenger as it means there is less legroom to wriggle in. I travelled on the Dreamliner to/from UK a couple of times in Biz Class and found it very uncomfortable when reclined (fine when upright). The problem is that when reclined your legs are in a narrow coffin like tunnel. I'm 180cms tall & when I went to roll over, I couldn't do this as my knees hit the bulkhead of the seat in front. Most uncomfortable. This seat configuration is now one that I will avoid - which means that I now fly other airlines. Pity really.
    Member who gave thanks

    WendyC

  • Ladtsmt

    Ladtsmt

    4 Jan, 2019 06:46 pm

    I've travelled in all sections of the 787 and had nightmare flights every time. Do these people who "redesign" the cabin actually travel in the sardine section or the PE chairs for 14 - 18+ hours? It's all very fine gussying up the business section with the new chairs, but as AJ007 mentioned. banging one's knees isn't comfort. I'll add, when one faces out to the aisle, one get a face full of minute particles when anyone walks those aisles. Not very healthy.

    As for the business class pods. They're a bit like old soldiers - age has wearied them and the years condemned, but the thought of the low 'flat' beds is not all that welcoming. (See above) The "cafe" style areas at the front? On all the flights on which I've travelled, I've seen very few people actually staying there. I went for the quiet. I don't want to be rude if there's a person facing me, but I don't want to carrying on a conversation. Then again, each to his/her own.
    Member who gave thanks

    WendyC

  • Aidan

    Aidan

    6 Jan, 2019 11:15 am

    Economy seats I’m sure is all about how what can can we get away with at minimal cost. Most economy passengers are price sensitive and not willing to pay for extras (until they experience the torture). Also when doing a price comparison most passengers are not looking at seat pitch and width but the $$$. If this was not true economy would not be in the dire state it has now become.

    PE on the other hand has a healthy profit margin so they should make put more focus on this segment if they want to get more economy passengers on this segment. Done right in the future we may see less Economy and more PE on planes .

    Business the money maker seats. This should have the most focus in hard and soft product getting to this to be world class.

    I agree with the onboard bar concept Emirates and Qatar have. The Qatar one I experienced was a splendid experience way to spend time with a companion or speak to fellow passengers and crew. I got to stretch out and have really awesome chats with the crew. This really added to the flight experience.
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  • Mark_S

    Mark_S

    4 Jan, 2019 08:14 pm

    Never likes the cocoon beds in business on Qantas, they were hot and uncomfortable, especially the window, which missed the airflow. So avoided Qantas A380 business and went first when I had to. Qantas should copy Emirates Business Class bar area, cause what they propose is silly and unworkable.
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  • Joe

    Joe

    7 Jan, 2019 06:06 pm

    Qantas seem to huff and puff but never reach the standards of SQ QR EK etc...always lagging then by the time they 'enhance' they are behind again. So much "research and planning" and certain things still don't meet pax expectations. One wonders what actually happens at QCC. It's clear that every idea/decision is founded on least cost, max profit. It's never really about the pax.
    Member who gave thanks

    JKH

  • Jazzop

    Jazzop

    8 Jan, 2019 03:58 pm

    How does the QF First class product on the 380s compare to VAs The Business on the 773/A330s? They look almost identical.
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  • turbojezz

    turbojezz

    14 Feb, 2019 01:30 pm

    not even close... QF F miles in front!
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  • Joe

    Joe

    11 Jan, 2019 10:48 am

    Qantas first is business deluxe-
    Qantas business when compared to SQ MU etc is already outdated
    Qantas PE is way too uncomfortable at current pitch
    Qantas economy is no better worse than most but definitely not as good as Qatar, Emirates or Singapore Y.

    All up and despite the huff and puff of Qantas, AJ and their marketing machine it's a mediocre product these days in any class charged at a premium price. Qantas are focused on one thing and that's the plonk...it's so over emphasised and valued over almost any other single one aspect of their hard or soft product. Says a lot about priorities.

    Recently did a SYD-BKK....old A330, IFE once again not working, lavs dirty never kept, no hand cream or soaps put out..paper towels, crew decided not to serve dessert because they thought everyone wanted to go to sleep? Food as usual only cafe style rockpool quality-nothing substantial. (Qantas expects everyone to eat in lounge prior and sleep on board-that theme is so shoved down premium pax throats it's not funny). Economy class pax let off with business class pax making deplaning a messy debacle.
    Qantas has ZERO attention to detail. Its all just way too casual and bland. The only good thing/s about QF are the domestic J lounges and SYD/MEL F lounges. Everything else is way overpriced for what is delivered.
    Member who gave thanks

    JKH

  • Traveller14

    Traveller14

    11 Jan, 2019 03:18 pm

    The most annoying thing about Qantas is the way that an uncritical Australia media, including business-related publications, republish all teh publicity and rarely if ever criticise this airline. Agree 100 per cent with your comments.
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  • Mike Freeman

    freebo

    14 Feb, 2019 01:30 pm

    Bit of a fizzer
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  • IntegralMan

    IntegralMan

    14 Feb, 2019 01:46 pm

    Very disappointing. I flew J on a QF A380 last month and the "flat" beds are so saggy they drop more sharply than angled lie flat beds. This refresh can't come soon enough.
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  • reeves35

    reeves35

    14 Feb, 2019 02:14 pm

    Sort of weird given OQA (Nancy Bird-Walton) is already in Abu Dhabi supposedly getting the update as part of a major maintenance check. Something must have gone wrong.
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  • Brenton Thevarakam

    whoppersandwich

    14 Feb, 2019 03:17 pm

    There are rumours of OQA and OQB (possibly others) requiring extended downtime due to wing issues.
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  • moa999

    moa999

    14 Feb, 2019 04:47 pm

    Appears that Abu Dhabi is just regular maintenance, and the refurb will be done in Dresden
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  • QFcrew

    QFcrew

    2 Apr, 2019 10:26 am

    Etihad won a A380 maintenance contract over the previous provider which was Lufthansa Tech in Manila.
    No member give thanks

  • Adam T

    AT

    14 Feb, 2019 02:24 pm

    Ok so it’s pushed back 3 months....yeah? Big deal.
    No member give thanks

  • Dale

    hakkinen5

    14 Feb, 2019 02:51 pm

    Terrible news about the PE seat pitch. I'm out.
    No member give thanks

  • Christopher Campbell

    Chris2304

    14 Feb, 2019 02:58 pm

    Who is Qantas listening to think that the PE seat pitch is close to adequate?
    No member give thanks

  • Phil Young

    Phil Young

    14 Feb, 2019 03:04 pm

    The information on SeatGuru for the pitch for Qantas Premium Economy seats across its fleet is 38". Yet everyone hates the PE seats in the 787. How did Qantas get it so wrong?
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  • hutch

    hutch

    14 Feb, 2019 04:08 pm

    Evidently, Qantas got it wrong with the PE seating and don't care about customers enough to acknowledge it and rectify it for A380. Very disappointing approach from Ms Webster.
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  • jwak

    jwak

    14 Feb, 2019 04:38 pm

    David how does July mean that they will still meet their first half goal?
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  • GregXL

    GregXL

    14 Feb, 2019 06:51 pm

    If Qantas put more legroom in the A380 PE they would be acknowledging that they got it wrong on the 787s. I am not sure how short you have to be for their new PE to be comfortable, but I concluded I was better off with an extra legroom seat in Y and that comes cheaper on other carriers.
    Member who gave thanks

    JKH

  • Balta  Caceres

    Aircraft Lover

    15 Feb, 2019 01:32 am

    In my opinion, all aircraft toilets should be large, comfortable and very clean


    Inside a long-haul plane, the toilets should be updated with state of the art lighting and appliances


    An average A-380 has 10 lavatories for 427 economy class passengers, that means one toilet for every 43 people

    No member give thanks

  • GregXL

    GregXL

    15 Feb, 2019 09:33 am

    I sat in an exit row on an SQ A330 last week, which means having a direct view of the toilets. I was surprised to see cleaning start just an hour into the flight. It would be interesting to see the cleaning policies of the major airlines we use. Does QF even clean the toilets on a PER-SIN flight?
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  • Balta  Caceres

    Aircraft Lover

    15 Feb, 2019 01:39 am

    Reduced seat pitch is a worry for all passengers, but especially for


    Pregnant women

    Elderly people

    Passengers with reduced mobility

    Passengers with any disability

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  • Graham BLAMEX

    BLAMEX

    15 Feb, 2019 08:41 am

    This is why I fly SQ. Last week I did fly CX and QF. The QF was supposed to be be 787. Many of us could not believe they dusted off the old 747 that was sitting at the QF museum to do the HKG MEL flight. I would rather fly via SIN to any destination than travel on QF By the time they do the upgrade the product is already out of date.
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  • Traveller14

    Traveller14

    15 Feb, 2019 08:45 am

    You're right - SQ is way better - but QF may still have had a B787 inoperative that needed repairs after some incident to which I haven't seen the fine details.
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  • Dave

    Grannular

    15 Feb, 2019 11:44 am

    Qantas had an 787 out of action for quite some time for repairs. Something about runaway Virgin stairs hitting it and causing a 30cm hole(or so I have heard). So yes, you got the 747, instead of the flight being cancelled
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  • Scepticalflyer

    Scepticalflyer

    15 Feb, 2019 03:46 pm

    Qantas is too unreliable for international travel and treat customers with increasing disdain. Cascading cancellations across the international network on a daily basis, inadequate response and efforts to make alternative arrangements for impacted flyers and insufficient fleet contingency to comply with consumer law requirements in relation to engineering disruptions. They can do whatever they want to the a380 - not much point if they fail to get you to your destination in reasonable time. I do international with other airlines now.
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  • AJW

    AJW

    15 Feb, 2019 04:01 pm

    Really? Most of those issues apply to ALL airlines.
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  • Traveller14

    Traveller14

    15 Feb, 2019 04:10 pm

    Sorry, but Scepticalflyer is on the money. The issues (s)he highlights do not occur on other international majors to the extent they now sadly apply to Qantas' international arm.

    Passengers delayed overnight - ask those who travel on the Japan routes ex and to Oz (the Brisbane route was recently badly affected on multiple days), London (QF2 a couple of times recently), HKG, JNB and SCL and the BKK and MNL routes are just some affected. Users from LAX and to and from JFK (New York) regularly suffer delays and not all are due to storms in summer or snow/ice in winter.

    Not often the case with major competitors such as CX, JL, NH, PR, SQ and less prominent airlines to/from Australia like BR, KE or TG.

    Sadly, Qantas is a shadow of its former self. If only it excelled as much at timekeeping and reliability as it does at spin doctoring.
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  • Traveller14

    Traveller14

    15 Feb, 2019 04:13 pm

    And I forgot BA, that despite only having one flight into and out of SYD each day (and none elsewhere in Oz using its own planes) manages to be punctual almost all the time.
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  • kimshep

    kimshep

    15 Feb, 2019 11:39 am

    David - it would be interesting to see if the policy on A380 WiFi will change with this push-back schedule. Could you clarify with QF, as a result of this delay ?

    Given that the QF-eagerly awaited ViaSat-3 product will be available in 2019, surely it would make sense to now install in on all A380 refresh aircraft now, rather than have to pull the A380's out of service again at a later date. Sure, ViaSat-3 mightn't be in full operation till early 2020, but the possibility should be to install it on the first 4 frames refreshed and not activate it on-board until early 2020. Those frames refreshed in 2020 would have a working product installed that should be usable by then.

    If this is not done, then surely QF international will be again be WiFi-less until at least 2022, which is untenable, uncompetitive and plainly unacceptable.
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  • cian.moynihan@gmail.com Moynihan

    cian

    15 Feb, 2019 03:27 pm

    Wish they would copy the JAP Premium economy. So much room and reclines within a fixed shell, also has leg support which really helped me get some rest on recent trip back from Tokyo
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  • RyanLphoto

    RyanLphoto

    15 Feb, 2019 04:33 pm

    Any ideas as to what routes the first refurbed A380's will fly on?
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  • Timmy22bc

    Timmy22bc

    15 Feb, 2019 10:20 pm

    Idiots with PE, absolutely a missed opportunity for great improvement.
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  • Funflyer

    Funflyer

    16 Feb, 2019 12:12 pm

    But let's just remember that it's called Premium ECONOMY. Not ' Business Lite'.

    SQ, BA, LH, CX and QF all offer the same 38inch pitch, except QF offers a seat width of 20.5 Vs the standard 19. If they start creating an even more spacious PY cabin they surely cannabilise from J?

    And speaking of the J seat, isn't that the same Vantage XL seat as used by Delta, SAS, Philippines, Malaysian and the new SQ seat is an evolution of it. It's spacious, affords generous privacy and has plenty of stowage/ power options. What more do you want.
    No member give thanks

  • Traveller14

    Traveller14

    16 Feb, 2019 12:30 pm

    Would cannibalisation occur as much as claimed off the record by various airlines?

    One still wouldn't be able to recline to anything close to the lie flat of a J seat, and nor could one spread across - transverse - two or more seats if they were vacant in W, thanks to the fixed armrests, a particularly bad feature of W class that makes it poor value.
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  • M Will

    Plat 1

    14 Mar, 2019 01:14 am

    The qantas ceo and board needs to fly singapore or Cathay or Emirates or ba first class and see what the competition offers. Recent first class trip on qantas the tv hand set did not work, 30 minutes for a glass of water and still have Paper Towels in the very tight toilets. Not first class. The new updates same old offering. Business class beds are uncomfortable and cant get feet under the bulk head. Qantas need to get serious. As rebuild said paying first class for economy
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  • AJ007

    AJ007

    15 Mar, 2019 04:23 pm

    Yes it does make you wonder what the Qantas CEO/Board benchmark themselves against with respect to comfort and service offering - it's almost a race to the bottom.
    No member give thanks

  • Tristan

    nerd8181

    16 Apr, 2019 07:21 pm

    recently flew QF A380 business SIN-MEL, the seat was horrible and I didn't sleep at all. It wouldn't lie completely flat and the foot area drooped down more than the usual with my pretty average 78kg frame, I also found the temperature in the cabin to be too hot and the air was a lot dryer than I've ever experienced on a flight before. The food standard was poor for both dinner and breakfast, the hot breakfast (bacon and egg roll) was stone cold more than a centimeter from the edge. When I asked what economy was having and if I could get some of that they chuckled like I was joking but I wasn't...during the flight when I complained about my seat they referred me to relax in the 'lounge'...ummm yeah...I've seen tram stops that look more appealing than that onboard lounge area. I'd say a refurbishment is well overdue, not just the cabin but the whole product in general.
    No member give thanks

  • Traveller14

    Traveller14

    16 Apr, 2019 07:42 pm

    David, as others elsewhere have suggested, her alleged disagreement with Alan Joyce re future shape of the QF International fleet may have had more to do with Ms Webster's forthcoming resignation as head of that section. Is it possible that published delays with Airbus A380 refurbs also were not helpful to her continued employment?
    No member give thanks

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20 May, 2019 10:56 am

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