Qantas Business Class Los Angeles To New York

I’m presently taking my dad on a surprise round the world trip to celebrate his “round” birthday. Even now the trip remains a surprise, as he’s just finding out what we’re doing and where we’re going on a day-by-day basis.

Here are the previous posts about the trip:


A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post entitled “Is This The Most Luxurious Domestic US Flight?”

I was referring to Qantas’ flight between Los Angeles and New York, which they operate as a “tag” flight for their Sydney service. This flight has to be booked in conjunction with an international flight — you can’t fly exclusively between Los Angeles and New York on Qantas.

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Qantas airshow between Los Angeles and New York

While Los Angeles to New York is probably the most impressive domestic market in terms of products to begin with, I was curious to see how Qantas stacked up.

If nothing else, the novelty of flying a 747 within the US was pretty awesome.

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Qantas 747 Los Angeles Airport

Well, my dad and I spent our Turkey Day on this flight… how was it?

Qantas 747 business class seat

Qantas’ 747s are in a three cabin configuration, with business, premium economy, and economy. Business class is fairly large, and consists of three cabins — one in the nose, one behind it, and one on the upper deck.

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Qantas business class cabin 747

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Qantas business class cabin 747

As far as forward facing business class seats go, these were extremely comfortable. There was a nice privacy shield between seats, the seats have a great massage function, and you can’t beat being on the upper deck with “lockers” on the side. The window seat felt extremely private.

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Qantas business class seats 747

Qantas business class food

Qantas served a light lunch on the flight. The meal was on the small side, though justifiably so, since virtually everyone aboard was connecting from Australia and just wanted to sleep. Here’s the menu:

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As you can see, they just offer a main course served with a side salad, plus dessert.

I had the salmon, which was served with harissa — it was better than the fish dish I had in first class the day prior.

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Qantas business class lunch

The bread pudding dessert was sinfully good.

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Qantas business class dessert

So the quality was fine, though the meal was definitely on the small side for someone not connecting from Australia.

Qantas business class amenities

Qantas offers a great pillow, blanket, and mattress pad in business class. After lunch I was able to comfortably nap for a couple of hours. I could easily imagine flying longhaul in Qantas business class.

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Qantas business class pillow, blanket, and headphones

There was no amenity kit, though, which I guess makes sense on such a short sector, especially since most passengers already received one on their previous flight.

Qantas business class service

We had two older guys working the upper deck, and they were top notch — attentive, friendly, proactive, and excited to spend a night in New York.

Qantas business class bottom line

I was impressed by the Qantas business class hard product. The seats are spacious, and when traveling with someone else are almost unbeatable.

That being said, in terms of the soft product on this sector, I wasn’t blown away. I’m thrilled to have tried the flight for the novelty of it, though I do think American’s A321 first class is a superior product (which I could have booked instead on a first class award). The meal service would have been more extensive, I slightly prefer the hard product, and they have wifi.

Possibly the best part of flying Qantas to New York is that the flight departs out of Tom Bradley International Terminal, so you can use the excellent oneworld lounge (which I’d argue is better than the Korean Air Lounge though not quite as nice as the Star Alliance Lounge).

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oneworld lounge Los Angeles Airport

What do you think? Would you want to fly Qantas business class between Los Angeles and New York?

Comments

  1. If stopovers aren’t allowed, it does make more sense on the amenity kits. Why weren’t you in first? There should have been space from passengers not flying through to JFK.

  2. Great TR Ben, congrats to your and your Dad.

    Regarding OW lounge at LAX, any word when first class lounge will open? Have JAL F next March…

    Thanks!

  3. My wife and I also flew upper deck business class on this flight from Sydney to JFK. LAX immigration is easy given the early arrival and well worth avoiding JFK crowds even with Global Entry. But the best part is the wonderful “massage” function that the Quantas seat offers.

    You are correct that American may offer a better LAX to JFK product but with over 23 hours of flying, this is all about sleeping comfortably and adjusting time zones.

  4. Years ago I did some work with BA in the US, and we were able to fly this between LAX and JFK a few times, as staff. At the time, it was way nicer than the 767s AA was flying. But I bet you’re right that the A321s are now the things to beat.

  5. Correct me if I’m wrong, but when the LAX-JFK flight switches from being on the QF 107/8 to QF 15/6, the flight will depart from T4, and not the TBIT, so you would end up in the Admirals Club anyway.

  6. You were impressed by the hard product? Really? Or did you mean to say you were impressed with the hard product, considering it was a domestic US flight?

    Given how you constantly rate 1-2-1 direct-aisle access layouts in J as the gold standard (with CX having one of your favourite J seats), I struggle to understand how QF’s J hard product can be considered impressive. Particularly when you consider this 2-2-2 configuration in J is currently used across all of QF’s widebody fleet, most of which ply longer international routes, and some aircraft even have the older angled lie flat seats, making it worse.

  7. @ Al — As far as forward facing business class seats go, I was impressed. At least compared to my expectations. I’m not saying it’s the best business class hard product out there — it most definitely isn’t — but it exceeded my expectations for what it is.

  8. The key here is that this is a tag/continuation flight. Even if people wanted to, those from LAX can’t just bend over backwards to get onto this flight to JFK. It is only for connecting traffic from Australia, and in this case it’s enough to tide someone over (either comfortably tag on to final destination New York, or for that one who was so tired on the entire flight from Australia then to have a light meal to touch off before landing).

    You could have just booked an AA First flight to connect with any other QF flight arriving in LAX, but given the nature of the flight, the two are fairly incomparable.

  9. Ben – I would be curious to hear your assessment on the relative worth of QF J vs. QF F. Given the difficulty in getting QF F and based on your mediocre initial review, would it be better just to stick with QF J and save the miles for other flights?

  10. @ Andy — That’s a good question. Let me put it this way — it’s definitely worth the additional 10,000 miles for Qantas first class over Qantas business class. That being said, Qantas first class typically simply isn’t a choice on miles, given how tough it is to come by. So I don’t think going with Qantas business class is a bad option at all.

  11. I notice you saying that “most” passengers were connecting from Australia – is it possible to book this as part of a larger oneworld ticket, connecting in LAX from somewhere other than Australia (i.e. not on Qantas)? Could one fly HKG-LAX on Cathay and then continue to JFK on this Qantas flight?

  12. @ James — Legally I think that would be allowed, though if I’m not mistaken Qantas will only sell this to passengers connecting to/from Qantas nowadays.

  13. Agree AA’s new 321 F service beats this any day.
    However, it’s important to note that a large chunk of Aussies actually get off the SYD-LAX flight and spend a number of days in LA (or elsewhere) before continuing on, the majority don’t just go direct to NYC and back… that said, I’m disappointed to hear that they’ve stopped amenity kits and more substantial meal service on that flight. I’ve been taking the new AA F service this year.
    Something to note is that, at least directly through QF, it’s very easy to find LAX-JFK-LAX J award space if you’re on a connecting award ticket to/from Australia.

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