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Qantas First Class London to Dubai – Airbus A380

Qantas Flight 10
Depart: London (LHR)
Arrive: Dubai (DXB)
STD: 11:55am (ADP: 12:08pm)
STA: 11:00pm (ATA: 10:45pm)
Aircraft: Airbus A380
First Flight: 26th May 2010
Delivered to Airline: 14th Jan 2011
Seat: 4A
Flight Time: 6h 37M

It had been almost ten years since I had last flown Qantas, well eight to be honest, back in 2009 and this was from Sydney to Honolulu on a Qantas Boeing 767-300ER.

Long before I had even discovered collecting airline miles or looking for great fare deals, I took an around the world ticket which included three legs on Qantas.

London to Hong Kong on a Boeing 747-400, Hong Kong to Sydney on an Airbus A330 and then the flight to Hawaii referenced above.
To say that trip changed my life is an understatement, and Qantas still holds a fond memory in my mind and that was all in economy.

I have still never flown them in Business class, so I figured I would just jump straight into the flag-ship product.
First class on the A380.

I had worked really late the night before to around 4AM, and woke up at 8AM and almost missed by bus ride to Heathrow, well I did miss the first bus and arrived at Heathrow at airport at 10.25AM for an 11.55AM departure, much later than I wanted.

Check In & Security went along smoothly and I wasted no time walking to the gate, I arrived at the gate in Terminal 3 and noticed boarding was going to start in five minutes, sadly this left me no time at all to visit the Emirates lounge which I really wanted to see, Oh well maybe next time.

Even though the A380 is massive, I could only see a small part of her from the gate,

The flight was QF10 which stopped in Dubai before continuing its journey onto Melbourne.

Boarding was called right on time for first class passengers and I jumped up as I wanted to be first on the aircraft to take a few pictures
I was so early that I don’t think the crew even knew passengers had started boarding.

I walked onto the aircraft and sadly no one was there to greet me, oh well, I continued to my seat to make myself comfortable
Qantas features 14 First class suites on the Airbus A380 and they are fantastic.

The personal space is unbelievable for an aircraft, the suite alone could probably fit about 5 or 6 people into it if you wanted to have a party.

Here is a wide view lens showing the suite’s space
This is a picture of suite 4A

Within about one minute of me sitting in my seat a crew member turned up and welcomed me onto the A380 and instantly asked me what I wanted to drink, it was noon, so some Champagne was in order.

I started off my day with some Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill 2004 which retails around 150 pounds a bottle.
It was a great way to bring in the afternoon

To be honest I had not even looked up what Champagne’s or wines would be on offer during this flight, so most of it was a nice surprise.

It was served with some mixed nuts

And then the crew asked if I wanted an amenity kit, to which I said yes.
Qantas advertise this amenity kit as a luxury amenity kit by Martin Grant.

Maybe I missed something, but it just seemed like a standard business class amenity kit to me and nothing over the top in terms of luxury.
I threw away the Rexona deodorant and the eye mask was an awkward fit, but I used the creams.

I was then also asked what size of pajamas I wanted, which are also by Martin Grant.

A quick look over the Qantas reading materials,

My IFE remote was located in the left side armrest of my seat and was within easy reach, above that on the wall I had my seat controls, a bit more later on that control pad,

The seat also featured a power port and 2 USB ports, which are really essential on planes in today’s market,

I also had two extra storage compartments to the left of my seat,

Sadly Qantas does not supply Bose headphones and just give out a cheaper version.
I don’t see this as a problem for Business class, but if First is supposed to be a really premium product, its little things like this that make the difference.

I also had a blanket and pillow at the front of my seat, it was nice to have a bigger pillow than normal though.

Here is another photo of the suite with a wide lens to give you a sense of how much personal space you have,

As we waited for the aircraft to complete loading I was given a hot towel to freshen up with before the flight,

During this time I took a look over the menu and decided I wanted to give the Tasting menu a try over the regular meal service,
Having a tasting menu is something I really enjoy on any flight.

Here is a look at the menu on the flight,

The Beverage list,

One for tea or coffee

And then the standard lunch menu

There is also a separate pull out which consisted of exclusively Champagne options,
This was my favorite part of the menu, I know people will judge me for that.
But for me part of the premium experience when flying is to experience premium wines and Champagnes that I would not normally go out to purchase.

We then pushed back on time,

The safety video started to play.
I’m more of a fan of safety videos when real humans are in them over some terrible animation or cartoon.

I particularly liked this Qantas one as it featured certain locations and activities around Australia during the video, I guess it’s almost like a safety video mixed with a tourism promotion video from the Australia tourism board.

We waited in the usual Heathrow ground traffic and made our way out to the departure runway,
Take off was very smooth as it was only a slightly cloudy day and we climbed out over England making our way east towards Canterbury,

A quick look at the airshow showed our flight time today would be around six hours and thirty minutes.

As I had mentioned earlier, the seat controls are located just above the IFE remote on the wall of the suite, this thing was almost like a brick and weighed just as much and was made from Metal, sort of seemed like an unnecessary item in the cabin,

Before I started my lunch, I wanted to quickly check out the quality of the IFE, as most likely I would not return to watching anything after the amount of wine I was about to consume.

Qantas calls their IFE system Q, which had a very modern and updated selection of movies, TV shows.

I decided to watch a bit of LA LA Land

The picture quality was fantastic and very sharp,

Before the service started I decided to freshen up and check out the bathroom
I do love an airplane bathroom with a window, what could be better !

Qantas keeps the first class bathroom pretty minimal, mainly because it’s easier to keep clean.

It had a few products placed around the cabin for use.

The hand wash did smell good when I used it,

I returned to my seat and fully extended my monster table.
Seriously this thing was massive and over the top, granted this table can used for two people to dine as the ottoman opposite you has a seat belt for buddy dining and this table will have enough space for two people.
It’s bigger than the British Airways First Class table and even that has enough space for two people sharing dinner.

To kick off the tasting menu I was given

One Caviar and Cauliflower Puree tart-let
Duck rillettes on a sough-dough Crostini

Both of which were very tasty,

The table-cloth was then placed and ready for action,

I then enjoyed a bit more Champagne as I waited for my table to be set

My table was then set and ready to go, a very impressive sight for an aircraft.
Though I was not a fan of the cutlery, which I understand is designed by Mark Newson.

My wine tasting then began.
I’m not sure I pointed this out, but all of the wines on today’s flight are from Australia, which makes sense given how much wine they produce.

My first taste was the Xanadu Sauvignon Blanc Semillion, From Margaret river
This wine has a very Citrus taste to it, almost tropical and sweet with a very pronounced taste of passion fruit.

My Soup then arrived,
Broccoli and smoked paprika soup, a very tasty soup I might add,

After the soup I was served,
Chermoula prawn, spiced carrot, coriander & sumac yoghurt

Though I did miss taking pictures of the bottles I then switched to Red.
First I took a taste of the Pinot Noir from Tasmania, which was not to my taste

So I ended up with a full glass of the 2014 Shiraz from hunter valley which I enjoyed with my main.

My main course had a few mustard options, but I went with the horseradish

Today’s main was the somewhat disappointing Beef.
Firstly I think the dish was very dull in terms of presentation on how it was served, not much to look at.

Now I must have been really lucky over the last several years, where most of my steaks have been juicy and somewhat pink.
Sadly not this time around, I took a risk and ended up with an overcooked, dry lump of meat.
The below picture was about all I could as it was that dry.

Still not a problem, this left more space for wine.

To finish off my wine tasting I went with the LillyPilly noble blend from 2011.
This dessert wine has picked up several awards over the years and is very enjoyable.

For me it gave me a rather Floral aroma with a deep taste of Apricot.

That then concluded my wine tasting,

Still though, there is always plenty of space for a bit more,
I went for the Gingerbread with baked rhubarb, hazelnuts and creme fraiche.

And then enjoyed the cheese plate, though the menu did not list the actual cheese’s on my plate, so they remained a mystery.

So after all my Champagne, wine and food I felt that I needed to walk around a little bit to digest and knew about the Qantas A380 lounge located on the upper deck. I’m fairly sure no one else in the cabin even cared about leaving their seats to visit this, so it does seem like a big waste of space where Qantas could install a few more seats.

Making my way there I witnessed the famous Qantas staircase. I guess I only refer to it as that as for some reason I see that when celebrities fly on Qantas they all seem to post pictures on this staircase in their pajamas.

I reached the top and found the lounge, which was empty with no one around.
To me being in a space on an aircraft fully loaded with passengers is a surreal experience, maybe that’s why they keep it, to give first class passengers a private space to roam around and not up and down the aisles.

I probably stayed for about ten minutes and enjoyed my Champagne and watched the airshow as we traveled along.
From this picture you can see the lounge is positioned at the top of the stairs to the left.

This would be a much more enjoyable place to relax if they had put some windows in. If you look on the outside of the Qantas A380 this lounge is located just past the T on the logo where the windows stop.

Well back to my seat, my Champagne had run out.

Don’t ask me why, but I decided to give the business class Champagne a try to see if it was any good.
It was definitely a step down from what I had been drinking.

At this point in the flight we still had around four hours of flying time left and the cabin was relaxed with a few people already sleeping, many of them flying all the way to Melbourne on the connection when I spoke with a few of them.

I enjoyed  a few of the Amedei chocolates when speaking with the crew in the galley

This was mostly a daytime flight, so I did not bother the crew to make up my bed, but I just laid it into the flat-bed position and put my blanket over the top and relaxed for a bit watching the tail cam.

I managed to waste two hours doing this and we had just two more hours left to go,

At this point I was probably sobering up and feeling hungry so I asked what was available on main course list.
Turns out everything had been eaten except for the one item, so I went with that.

Lamb & Cumin pancakes with Salted Chilli.
It was great to nibble on this with some water

With about thirty minute to go the crew came around and asked if passengers were connecting or entering Dubai for fast track immigration cards.
As I was entering they very kindly gave me one.

The rest of the flight was very relaxing and we made our way into Dubai airport and I enjoyed watching the landing from the tail cam of the A380 and we had a very smooth touchdown.

Overall I had enjoyed my experience on Qantas and I enjoyed a lot of Champagne and wine in my six-hour period on the aircraft.
This is definitely a very luxurious way to travel that short distance as I often find myself spending six hours in economy class from JFK-LAX over and over, so this was a real change.


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One Comment on “Qantas First Class London to Dubai – Airbus A380”

  1. Simon October 22, 2017 at 8:34 pm #

    I’m surprised, seeing the charcoaled and double roasted beef, you didn’t leave and try the restaurant down the aisle! Did they use the engine combustion chamber to sear it or what? Unforgivable!

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