What do Qantas first class flyers want from the Singapore lounge?

What do Qantas first class flyers want from the Singapore lounge?

TALKING POINT | Qantas' decision to return to Singapore as the stopover for Airbus A380 flights from Sydney to London from March 2018 has left first class flyers feeling decidedly second class.

It's nothing against Singapore – a city which most Australian Business Traveller readers consistently rated well above Dubai as their preferred transit point for flights to London.

(Our 2016 reader poll saw Singapore clock up a staggering 46% of the vote, with Hong Kong at 26% and Dubai at barely 9%.)

The issue is Qantas' Singapore lounge, which the airline positions as a 'premium' lounge shared by all eligible travellers – from Qantas Club members to Gold and Platinum-grade frequent flyers, business class passengers and, as of March 25 2018, first class passengers on the flagship QF1/QF2 Sydney-London superjumbo service and the Melbourne-bound flight QF36, which is also being upgraded to an Airbus A380 from the same date.

Perks for the pointy end

Qantas is expected to extend to first class flyers the same perks as Platinum One frequent flyers (and Chairman's Lounge members) – a 'soft product' package which amounts to real Champagne (usually Veuve Clicquot), priority access to showers, and a shirt pressing and shoe shine service.

But is that enough? There's certainly a substantial disconnect compared to the Emirates first class lounge at Dubai, which currently hosts the superjumbo stopovers of QF1/QF2 and QF9/QF10.

That lounge is admittedly a very different proposition: after all, it is Emirates' flagship first class lounge at the bustling Dubai hub, which is now the world's busiest international airport.

By comparison, Singapore is a just a red dot on Qantas' network map, and will see only three flights with first class cabins departing each day – QF1 en route to London, the return leg of QF2 heading back to Sydney, plus QF36 to Melbourne.

The Sydney-London flights will be on the ground for around 90 minutes, which equates to less than 60 minutes of lounge time – although London-bound passengers connecting from Qantas' Melbourne and  Brisbane flights onto QF1 will have more than five hours up their sleeves.

So what's the fix for first class flyers? 

Qantas has, for the time being, ruled out building a dedicated first class lounge for Singapore, but should the airline look to carve out some space from the Singapore lounge's existing footprint to create a 'First Wing'?

Should there be a first class dining room boasting familiar Rockpool-inspired dishes from the menu of the Sydney and Melbourne first class lounges, plus French Champagne and cocktails made to order?

If you're a regular first class travellers on Qantas' flights to London, what do you feel the airline should do to look after first class flyers at Singapore?

David Flynn

David Flynn (David)

[email protected] / @djsflynn

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.
 

41 Comments

  • Teejay Cal

    Theresnormissin

    10 Oct, 2017 07:44 am

    I may get laughed, but is there any chance Qantas would atttempt do a deal with BA for first class flyers to gain access to their Singapore Concorde Room?
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  • Worldflyer90

    Worldflyer90

    10 Oct, 2017 08:44 am

    I don’t think it’s a bad idea, but logistically it poses a few issues. The Concorde Bar in Singapore has capacity for 41 guests, BA and QF both have 14 seat First cabins.

    The QF1 service will depart at around the same time as BA16, with BA12 departing a short while later. The BA15 service will depart at around the same time as QF2 and QF36.

    So based on full First cabins, the Concorde Bar would be at capacity, plus any Concorde Room Cardholders or BA Premiers.

    Although it’s not beyond the realms of possibility, I’d be surprised if BA did this especially as having a dedicated First facility in Singapore gives them an advantage on the ground.

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  • grumpytravel

    grumpytravel

    10 Oct, 2017 10:41 am

    I've been in BA's Singapore Concorde Room many times.

    There's hardly enough room to swing a cat and there are no windows.It's a dark and depressing place.

    Qantas wouldn't want their First Class passengers there even if BA offered.

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  • Worldflyer90

    Worldflyer90

    10 Oct, 2017 11:06 am

    To each their own I guess. I don’t mind it, it’s a relatively quiet space with a decent bar that’s away from the throng of the main lounge.

    I agree it’s not the most inspired space I’ve been in, but I appreciate having a dedicated area as a First passenger.

    I suppose there must still be some appeal if you’ve chosen to visit the Concorde Bar on multiple occasions?
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  • grumpytravel

    grumpytravel

    11 Oct, 2017 10:18 am

    What you chose and what your company mandates you fly are two different things.

    Fortunately the company will use Qantas between Singapore and London so my lounge problem is solved.

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  • Worldflyer90

    Worldflyer90

    11 Oct, 2017 11:09 am

    My point was that with an F class ticket with BA you could use either the QF Lounge, The primary BA lounge or the Concorde Bar, and you chose to use the latter on multiple occasions.

    Unless you were unaware of this, you’ve recognised that BA’s offering for F pax is superior to what Qantas offers in Singapore.
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  • Packetman21

    Packetman21

    10 Oct, 2017 08:03 am

    I think having a temporary cut off area with a la cart dining like the old Residence area at Etihad Business lounge. That would be fine.
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  • ozzieflyer

    ozzieflyer

    10 Oct, 2017 09:28 am

    ... Nothing says luxury like a piece of rope
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  • Packetman21

    Packetman21

    10 Oct, 2017 01:38 pm

    That is why I said “temporary” until a more permanent solution is built/found.
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  • grumpytravel

    grumpytravel

    11 Oct, 2017 10:22 am

    Exactly,couldn't agree more.Qantas do in fact keep a reserved area in Singapore for Chairman's Lounge and Platinum One members.
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  • Adam T

    AT

    11 Oct, 2017 07:58 pm

    This has got to go down as the ABT 2017 quote of the year!
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  • davar98

    davar98

    10 Oct, 2017 09:34 am

    The question really is about the competition. If you are used to travelling on Singapore Airlines, and using their First Class lounge - then an upgraded section of the Qantas lounge (even if it is one of their best overseas Club Lounges - along with HK) is not really going to cut it.
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  • levelnine

    levelnine

    10 Oct, 2017 09:44 am

    A poster on the Australian Frequent Flyer forums did an excellent graph showing that the lounge will have more people than seats for several hours a day.

    Consequently, getting a seat is likely to be the special perk reserved for P1 & CL members. What luxury!
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  • Graham BLAMEX

    BLAMEX

    10 Oct, 2017 09:48 am

    QF will either need to reflect the lower standard of the overall product in F via the airfare charged or determine a unique space for F class passengers (not staff!) I did fly QF F to LHR via SIN on a number of times with QF and basically the product has not changed in almost 10 years. F is equivalent to others J now with downgrade of the lounge. Not a smart move by QF who should be attempting to bring customers back after the DXB disaster. That is after withdrawal of SIN and moved to DXB I have not flown QF international to Europe since. BA has a stronger product than QF!
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  • derek2015

    derek2015

    10 Oct, 2017 12:00 pm

    QF should resume HKG as a stopover to LHR route to provide one more choice
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  • John Phelan

    John Phelan

    10 Oct, 2017 04:24 pm

    You can, of course, fly QF to HKG and then connect to LHR on either CX or BA.
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  • derek2015

    derek2015

    10 Oct, 2017 11:25 am

    QF should also resume HKG-LHR by extending QF127/128, with A380 used all the times. F pax and WP will be sent to the CX First Lounges then
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  • John Phelan

    John Phelan

    10 Oct, 2017 04:25 pm

    QF doesn't have enough A380s to do that, unless they take a couple off another route.
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  • mviy

    mviy

    11 Oct, 2017 05:23 am

    And it would also need to pay for the additional slots at Heathrow needed. Two A380s + a 787 would probably be too much capacity for LHR except perhaps at seasonal peak times on peak days.
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  • Joe

    Joe

    10 Oct, 2017 11:27 am

    Well in keeping with the on-board F experience QF currently offers a business lounge in SIN and is really all that's needed. The F experience on QF is no longer reflective of price paid, which is premium, other than the sleep/bedding aspect. Food, service polish, lavs, IFE, on board bar and even showers with a proper F lounge direct access to ac from lounge are all aspects that will keep me flying EK metal on QF paper so a win-win of sorts where I get my money's or points worth if I'm in F. I Really hope QF get it right with the A380 upgrades and make ultra long haul flying fun again.....they can do it - they did so in the glam 70's with Captain Cook lounges which were extravagant to say the least. I think Qatar have it down to perfection...a refined & polished F offering, not too blingy like EK but definitely not boring or J on steroids like QF currently is.
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  • anthony watts

    anthony watts

    10 Oct, 2017 11:47 am

    Having got quite used to Emirate first lounge, is there anything Qantas could do?
    The best we could hope for is a OneWorld first lounge with Qantas, BA and CX being major "shareholders".
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  • Joe

    Joe

    10 Oct, 2017 11:52 am

    I'd also like to give credit to QF's F cabin downstairs where it's much quieter than upper deck and the 1-1-1 config. Everything else is J Class standard as above.
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  • Manganese

    Manganese

    10 Oct, 2017 12:18 pm

    Any chance QF could switch to T4 and use CX's new facilities there? Despite both not being the closest of partners.

    On another note, I know it's cute to mention the red dot thing, but don't do it in such a disparaging way. A lot of your readers are in Singapore and I don't think it's appreciated how you used it in this article.
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  • MissBasset

    MissBasset

    10 Oct, 2017 02:12 pm

    A dedicated F lounge for QF F ticketholders primarily. If Qantas was thinking more of a OW lounge to spread out the costs, the other airlines should be made to have very different times of day to use. The LAX OW F lounge becomes awfully crowded at times making it hard to get a shower, or enjoy the lounge generally. Many, many of the natives (US residents) have worked out how to worm their way into that lounge with one or other of the alarming array of cards they all have.
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  • born2fish

    born2fish

    10 Oct, 2017 10:37 pm

    As a regular user of the current QF9/10 MEL-LHR in F, I won't be going via SIN due to:

    (a) already stated lounge concerns - that's going to be a circus. and

    (b) 5+ hours connection time waiting for the QF1 in SIN on the outbound. I assume that timing is to allow the A380 to get back to MEL to operate the outbound LAX QF93?

    I have already booked flights in F MEL-LHR on the codeshares with EK post 24Mar2018, but QF will probably loose me altogether to SQ /EY. Have been burnt a number of times before with significant delays on the QF A380 services to/from LHR, and have run out of patience trying to be a loyal Plat / Lifetime Gold flyer and paying premium First fares for a business class outcome.

    Member who gave thanks

    levelnine

  • moa999

    moa999

    10 Oct, 2017 11:25 pm

    From MEL outbound you can do QF37 (330) / QF1 (380) combination with only a 1-hr layover in SIN, rather than 6-hrs on QF35
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    QFcrew

  • born2fish

    born2fish

    10 Oct, 2017 11:47 pm

    Thanks moa999 - but no First cabin on the A330 unfortunately; as the original article is specific to First Class pax via SIN.
    A330 flight up to SIN is OK if you are in J all the way through to LHR (or terminating in SIN), although the new B787 PER-LHR then becomes a worthy option also.
    Member who gave thanks

    levelnine

  • nix584

    nix584

    12 Oct, 2017 10:13 am

    That's an interesting take... you'd rather do J MEL-PER-LHR on the 789 than A330 J MEL-SIN/A380 F SIN-LHR? You can then do A380 F MEL-SIN-LHR.

    The difference in the J seats on the 789 and A330 is very subtle (I think the divider is the only major difference).
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  • born2fish

    born2fish

    12 Oct, 2017 03:43 pm

    nix584 - No, it is only if heading all the way MEL-LHR in J that the 789 via PER becomes viable in lieu of the current A380 J Skybed Mk2 (before refurbishment) SIN-LHR.
    Sure, there is the F option on the A380 MEL-SIN, but the 5+ hour connection time will not suit everybody; and some don't value some free food and drink in a lounge as much as others apparently do.
    If I wanted busy crowds (and possibly have to stand) to eat my food, I can go to a street vendor......
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  • Scotgoat

    Scotgoat

    11 Oct, 2017 09:07 am

    Again QF is diminishing their standards. Have not used the QF Singapore lounge since they don’t serve champagne and stopped the Singapore Slings. Used to have a good QF/BA First lounge a few years ago. This new route does not tempt me to us QF to London anymore. BA and EK (on QF coded) much better product. I foresee the QF London lounge will not be much better, no First lounge. QF seems to be down grading their lounges. Not been to the Brisbane International QF lounge, but again no First lounge, granted only P, P1 and Chairman card holders will use. Am I seeing a trend, QF reducing the standards?

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  • BevanMcBevan

    BevanMcBevan

    11 Oct, 2017 12:53 pm

    ...I'm just happy we're back in Singapore. Everything else isn't that important.
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    Russjking

  • Russjking

    Russjking

    11 Oct, 2017 11:05 pm

    First World problems!
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  • Adam T

    AT

    12 Oct, 2017 11:32 am

    Yes would be nice to have a F lounge at SG but honestly how would you seriously get a business case approved to fund and build for a few flights. If SG was again the hub for multi flights across UK Europe maybe you’d have a case but today the answer would be no.
    Member who gave thanks

    David

  • Joe

    Joe

    13 Oct, 2017 10:28 am

    Nothing unreasonable about at least a separate area for F, P's and CL's. It comes down to price paid and loyalty at the end of the day. I think for J,QC & Golds QF offer prob the best lounges out there in LHR, SIN, HKG. Just doesn't cut it for F and senior tier pax.
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  • SMM

    SMM

    14 Oct, 2017 09:15 pm

    Having travelled to SIN several times as a P1 I have NEVER been offered anything other than the standard lounge offerings. Basic at best and far from a First Class experience as it gets. The Emiriates first Lounge at Dubai is world class. QF will need to sort this out ASAP
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  • booyeahsydney

    booyeahsydney

    25 Jan, 2018 04:22 pm

    I think that first (and business) passengers would want the chauffeur drive included as was the case when QF1/2 was via dubai. Looking at the qantas website now, its not clear if QF2 singapore to sydney only (ie not originating in London) still gets this service included. Does anyone know?
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  • djw

    djw

    10 Apr, 2018 02:42 pm

    Flying to SIN on QF1 in F tomorrow. No chauffeur for QF1/2 when it's not through to Europe. Disappointing. Watching the comments of others experience in Singapore lounge with interest!
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    booyeahsydney

  • Centurion

    Centurion

    6 Apr, 2018 03:41 pm

    Its utter rubbish that first class passengers don't get access to a FIRST class lounge. I was recently in the Qantas Hong Kong Premium lounge and it was very ordinary. I then went across to the Cathay Wings First lounge using my Platinum FF card and it was a world of difference. Qantas will lose first class passengers if they don't provide a separate tier of lounge at their stopovers. Also the quality of spirits served on board the first class cabin is despicable compared to Emirates and SIA
    Member who gave thanks

    booyeahsydney

  • djw

    djw

    14 Apr, 2018 07:16 pm

    Singapore lounge: a free-for-all on the "reserved" seats. You have to use a some DYKWIA even to get the half decent bubbles. But once you do the staff are lovely (though too polite to ask the reserved space invaders to remove themselves).

    My overall experience of F: Minimal difference from being WP travelling in Business.
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  • Centurion

    Centurion

    15 Apr, 2018 10:32 am

    I am traveling to LHR via Singapore on QF35/1 on first. Have never taken this sector before on QF, only Emirates/ SIA. Do QF offer pajamas on first on Mel- Sin sector? Lounge in Singapore doesn’t sound promising for first class passengers. What about Qantas LHR lounge? Separate first lounge? Any insight from other travelers?
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  • booyeahsydney

    booyeahsydney

    15 Apr, 2018 11:32 am

    Not sure, but I did get PJs between singapore and sydney recently in first.

    The singapore lounge is a fairly good business class lounge, not good enough for first class but they will give you a bit of VIP treatment (escort you to your seat, give you real champagne etc)
    Member who gave thanks

    Centurion

Guest

21 Jul, 2018 12:16 pm

Which Qantas lounges can Air New Zealand Airpoints frequent flyer use?

Which Qantas lounges can Air New Zealand Airpoints frequent flyer use?

Air New Zealand's Airpoints frequent flyers will enjoy have access to Qantas Clubs around Australia under the newly-forged alliance between the two airlines.

As of October 28, 2018, Airpoints Elite and Gold members booked on a codeshare flight with Qantas will find the doors swing open for them at the two dozen Qantas Club lounges in Australia's capital cities and regional centres. They'll also be permitted to bring in one guest.

But it won't be as easy as flashing your shiny Airpoints card, as the following conditions apply:

  1. you have to be travelling on a domestic Qantas flight
  2. it has to be booked under the Air New Zealand codeshare (those flight numbers will be in the NZ7xxx range)
  3. and this must be booked as part of a trans-Tasman booking

This arrangement replaces Airpoints access to Virgin Australia lounges following the dramatic bust-up between the two former allies.

However, there appears to be no Qantas Club lounge access for Koru Club members, nor can AirNZ frequent flyers cool their heels in the more upmarket Qantas Business lounges.

The Qantas / Air New Zealand alliance covers selected flights on the domestic network of each airline, however trans-Tasman and other international flights are excluded from the arrangement.

Read more: Qantas, Air New Zealand alliance will take on Virgin Australia

David Flynn

David Flynn (David)

[email protected] / @djsflynn

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.
 

4 Comments

  • henrus

    henrus

    20 Jul, 2018 05:31 pm

    Doesn't it seem a bit odd that Koru club won't get access (something that the VA deal provided) . I guess there will be no access for QF Club cardholders in NZ either?
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  • aviation

    aviation

    21 Jul, 2018 09:27 am

    Correct, it's reciprocal in that QF Club card holders can't use NZ lounges. The VA deal was very unique as they were the only partner lounges Koru members could access without actually flying Air NZ.
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  • Uqsthom6

    Uqsthom6

    21 Jul, 2018 08:05 am

    Looks like air nz ff get the raw end of the deal
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  • aviation

    aviation

    21 Jul, 2018 08:31 am

    Thanks for the article, however, there are a few errors.
    1. It's not really an alliance, but a straight domestic codeshare agreement. Alliance to me suggests coordination on pricing, schedules, etc, of which is there is none of.
    2. Some codeshare flights on Qantas are in the NZ1xxx range too (namely the triangle routes)
    3. The codeshare flight can be used for any international journey originating in Australia, not just trans-Tasman (i.e. you could fly CBR-SYD-AKL-LAX or MEL-SYD-RAR)
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Guest

21 Jul, 2018 12:16 pm

What you can expect from Cathay's new business class dining concept

What you can expect from Cathay's new business class dining concept

Cathay Pacific will roll out its new 'business class dining concept' this month, with the meal service taking a step closer to a first class experience.

Meals will be individually plated and delivered to passengers by hand rather than by trolley, as the airline adopts more personalised and upmarket approach.

Cathay also expects this will result in a "quieter and calmer cabin environment", especially on late night flights.

Passengers will have a choice between three appetisers and "up to six main course choices" on flights over ten hours in the initial launch of the service to the likes of Chicago (on July 30), London/Gatwick (in August) followed by Frankfurt, Manchester and Washington DC (September); Amsterdam, Paris and Johannesburg (October), Madrid, Brussels and Barcelona (November) and London/Heathrow (December). 

And, being very much on trend, light and healthy 'wellbeing options' feature in every main course.

On flights from Hong Kong the menu will be changed every month, with a quarterly menu refresh for flights to Hong Kong.

Fights from Hong Kong (but not, for now, the return leg) will also see a new range of Hong Kong Favourites inspired by local dishes, such as

  • Hong Kong char siu pork with egg noodles, seasoned soy sauce, spring onion and ginger (shown below)
  • Wok fried seafood in lobster soup with ginger, spring onion, crispy and steamed rice
  • Beef brisket with flat rice noodle soup
  • Mango with pomelo and sago

But before all that eatings starts, business class passengers will notice the new-look menus.

Printed as eight pages on quality paper, they not only detail the meals and drinks available on that flight but include foodie-friendly articles such as 'Anatomy of a Laksa' and feature a local chef revealing their favourite eateries both in Hong Kong and around thr world.

There will also be a breakfast menu card which passengers will complete before hitting the hay, so that they can wake to what the airline described as a "hotel room-service" experience.

However, these are set menus rather than allowing travellers to pick-and-mix from a wide selection of items.

In addition to what's described as 'traditional' Chinese and Western breakfasts, there's also a lighter Continental breakfast plus a minimalist Express breakfast of a piece of pastry and a drink, which can be served 60 minutes before landing for passengers who wish to maximise their sleep.

Refreshments will be revamped as a selection of 'most loved dishes' available throughout the flight as a snack between meals on services to North America and Europe, including the airline's signature burger and popular soup noodles. These will also appear on the main meal menu.

Next year will see Cathay's 'new business class dining concept' extend to medium-distance routes, with plans to include Sydney and Auckland in February 2019 and Melbourne, Brisbane, Cairns, Adelaide and Perth in May 2019.

David Flynn

David Flynn (David)

[email protected] / @djsflynn

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.
 

10 Comments

  • Skipp

    Skipp

    20 Jul, 2018 12:48 pm

    Look forward to the new meal service in business class coming within the next 12 months - it will make a nice change.
    I just hope (for the future) that Cathay Pacific will stop serving the exact same economy class meals in "Premium" economy class.
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  • MissBasset

    MissBasset

    20 Jul, 2018 01:34 pm

    Why bother with the white linen tablecloth if they are serving it on a plastic cafeteria tray? The promo pictures show all set up to eat off the tray. Euww.. I will take it all off the tray and set it up like other airlines J class. FAIL for presentation, CX.
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  • mrj

    mrj

    20 Jul, 2018 02:42 pm

    I recently suggested to Cathay that their business classs food is amongst the worst of all airlines. Interestingly their response failed to mention this planned revamp.
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  • AADFW

    AADFW

    20 Jul, 2018 02:57 pm

    I'm really glad they're going back to classy, glossy paper stock for the menus versus the uncoated groundwood paper they switched to a few years back. Now if they would only bring back that trademark chocolate box at the end of the meal...
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  • David Flynn

    David

    20 Jul, 2018 03:25 pm

    I was on CX a few weeks back and the chocolates made an appearance on every flight...
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  • Manjit Sadhwani

    Manjit Sadhwani

    20 Jul, 2018 03:19 pm

    It's about time
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  • HKAus

    HKAus

    20 Jul, 2018 03:41 pm

    CX Catering is bar far the most outdated and leaves an overall cheap and poor guest experience of most International airliners. CX have unfortunately chosen over the last decade to reduce their overheads where guests can see and feel the difference. Personally after 5 years as a Diamond CX member I have moved to competitors; poor catering, moody crew members, consistently delayed flights (due to over use of planes with no margin for delays) and ridiculous pricing have enabled me to now enjoy such operators as KLM, Virgin Australia, Qantas & Lufthansa; all with an overall better "J"Class experience. Interestingly as a result of my change in travel I was dropped to Gold and this year even though I should have dropped another tier, they obviously are trying to get pax like myself back because they extended my gold status.
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  • Rkwm

    Rkwm

    20 Jul, 2018 04:39 pm

    It was taken CX far too long to make changes to the atrocious F&B that has annoyed their long term supporters . The plastic cafeteria tray certainly brings the enhancements down a few levels can’t, understsnd who approved this inclusion . Totally agree with HKAus, supported CX for over two decades but over the last two years the deterioration in service , punctuality and value has been palpable.


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  • Tony OBERON

    obi

    20 Jul, 2018 04:48 pm

    Looks marginally better - but CX are you seriously going to use a plastic tray? At least put a cloth on the tray - if for no other reasons than hygiene! I’m a germophobe and I cringe to see cutlery sitting on a plastic tray, which cannot be washed at the same high temps as crockery. Lysteria et al here we come.
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  • JOHN MEWETT

    mewettjohn

    21 Jul, 2018 11:33 am

    I think everyone who travels Cathay agrees that the dining experience had to be upgraded, this looks the goods.
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Guest

21 Jul, 2018 12:16 pm

 Cartier Santos: the original pilot's watch, reimagined

Cartier Santos: the original pilot's watch, reimagined

Very few watches can claim true originality, and the Cartier Santos is among those few.

The Santos made its debut way back in 1904 as a personal timepiece for aviation pioneer Alberto Santos-Dumont, making it both the first pilot’s watch and one of the earliest known men’s wristwatches.

The story

As we've previously detailed, the Santos was borne from a request by Brazilian flyer Santos-Dumont, who told his friend Louis Cartier – then a Parisian watchmaker – of the challenge of timing flights using the then-conventional pocket watch, as pilots needed to keep both hands on the aircraft controls.

In response, Cartier designed a large square-faced watch and fitted it to a strap so it could be worn on the wrist – quite a revolutionary concept at the time.

The first commercial Cartier Santos watches went on sale to the public in 1911 with solid gold cases and ultra-thin mechanical movements designed by French clockmaker Edmond Jaeger.

(In order to produce this movement for Cartier, Jaeger worked with Swiss movement manufacturer Jacques-David LeCoultre, a partnership that would lead to the birth of storied brand Jaeger-LeCoultre.)

The enduring design of the Cartier Santos was reimagined in the late 1970s as a luxury steel sports watch, later adding two-tone steel and gold and the now-iconic screwed bezel with exposed gold screws along the bracelet for a modern, industrial aesthetic.

The style

For 2018, Cartier has once again re-invented the Santos.

The distinctive screw-set bezel now tapers at both ends towards the bracelet to create an organic, integrated look.

The satin-brushed case features a wide mirror-polished bevel along its length, extending all the way to the gracefully curved crown guards at 3 o’clock. A square watch the Santos may be, but there’s hardly a sharp edge or straight line to be found.

The case has been slimmed dramatically from previous incarnations of the Santos, allowing this watch to disappear easily under a shirt cuff when needed.

The bracelet is fitted with a new 'QuickSwitch' system allowing for easy swapping with the included tan calfskin strap or Cartier’s alternative crocodile straps, providing some style versatility.

Adding or removing bracelet links has also been made easier with a new 'SmartLink' design which allows the wearer to expand the bracelet during a hot summer’s day without requiring a tool.

While the bezel, case and bracelet have all been modernised, the dial remains classic Cartier. With Roman numerals, a railroad minute-track and heat-blued hands, it’s hard to imagine a more traditional look.

The 2018 Cartier Santos can serve dress-watch and sports-watch duties equally well, and boasts a history that few timepieces can match.

The details

• In-house mechanical movement with automatic winding
• Seven-sided crown set with a faceted synthetic spinel
• Silvered opaline dial, blued-steel sword-shaped hands, sapphire crystal
• Water-resistant to 10 bar (approximately 100 metres)
• Medium version case width: 35.1 mm, thickness: 8.83 mm
• Large version case width: 39.8 mm, thickness: 9.08 mm
• Pricing from A$8,750 for the Cartier Santos Medium in steel, to A$52,500 for the Cartier Santos Large in solid pink gold with matching pink gold bracelet. For stockists, visit www.au.cartier.com.

Jason Swire

Jason Swire (Jason Swire)

[email protected] /

Jason Swire is a Sydney-based writer, watch collector and author of 'Timely Advice', a beginner's guide to fine timepieces. His non-watch passions include hi-fi and whiskey, in that order.
 

0 Comment

Guest

21 Jul, 2018 12:16 pm

Finnair flicks the switch on free WiFi for European flights

Finnair flicks the switch on free WiFi for European flights

Finnair will launch inflight Internet on its European flights this week, with travellers able to enjoy the high-speed satellite service free of charge during a two-month trial period running through to the end of September.

The Oneworld airline has already outfitted six of its single-aisle Airbus jets with technology provided through partner Viasat, which also provided the backbone for Qantas' Australia-wide WiFi system.

By the end of northern summer some 20 aircraft will be upgraded, with Finnair's entire single-aisle Airbus fleet slated for WiFi by mid-2019.

The system will be available on a gate-to-gate basis, so passengers won't even need to wait for their jet to reach level flight – which will maximise time online for many of Finnair's relatively short European hops.

However, parts of some European routes will present black spots to the satellite network, including above the Bay of Biscay and the North Sea, while some restrictions also apply over Latvia, Lithuania, parts of Belarus and Russia.

Over the two-month testing period Finnair intends to "gather information on system functionality and feedback on the overall customer experience."

"In entering the passenger testing phase, we’ll be gaining the critical insights needed to further optimise our service to ensure Finnair customers get a unique experience built around their needs, interests and usage behaviours," explains Viasat vice-president Don Buchman.

The airline has yet to reveal what pricing it will charge for its sky-high WiFi once the trial period ends, although frequent flyers will no doubt hope that some sort of monthly pass is available as an alternative to paying on a per-flight basis.

Finnair already offers WiFi on its long-range 'intercontinental' jets, with the first hour free for business class and Finnair Plus Gold members, then €3 (A$4.70) for three hours or €20 (A$31) for the entire flight. Finnair Plus Platinum frequent flyers are provided with free Internet access for the whole flight.

David Flynn

David Flynn (David)

[email protected] / @djsflynn

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.
 

2 Comments

  • eight10man

    eight10man

    20 Jul, 2018 06:19 pm

    Not sure how you can have black spots when using satellite internet.. especially when those black spots happen to be above the sea. Could it be this system is actually and ground-to-ground system maybe?
    No member give thanks

  • readosunnycoast

    readosunnycoast

    20 Jul, 2018 10:35 pm

    Just flew BKK>>>HEL, A350 with wifi. Couldnt get a connection of any sort. Just kept message, don’t close the browser. I do hope it gets better for the next lot of passengers
    No member give thanks

Guest

21 Jul, 2018 12:16 pm

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