Qantas

The First Longhaul Qantas 787 Route Will Be Melbourne To Los Angeles

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Over the weekend Qantas announced that they’ll begin 787 flights between Perth and London in March 2018, which will be the world’s longest 787 flight, and also the first nonstop flight between Australia and Europe. For whatever reason I was under the impression that this would be Qantas’ first longhaul 787 route, though as it turns out that’s not the case.

Qantas will offer 6x weekly Boeing 787-9 flights between Melbourne and Los Angeles as of December 15, 2017, which will be the plane’s first longhaul route.

The 787-9 frequency will replace the 2x weekly 747-400 flight between Melbourne and Los Angeles, and will complement the existing daily A380 service between the two cities.

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Qantas Confirms First Ever Nonstop Flight Between Australia And Europe

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On Saturday I wrote about how Qantas was expected to announce their first ever nonstop flight between Australia and Europe, which they planned on operating with a 787-9. The route has been rumored for a long time, though I had a hard time believing they’d actually follow through on it.

Well, it looks like it’s really happening — Qantas has announced that they’ll begin nonstop Boeing 787-9 flights between Perth and London Heathrow starting in March 2018. Qantas hasn’t yet confirmed how often the flight will operate; my guess is that it will be 3-4x per week, at least initially.

The 787-9 will be in a premium heavy configuration, with a total of 236 seats. This includes 42 business class seats, 28 premium economy seats, and 166 economy class seats. Qantas will have modified Vantage XL seats in business class on their 787s, all of which will feature direct aisle access and quite a bit of privacy. It’s similar to the seat they have on their A330s.

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Qantas Expected To Announce The World’s Longest Flight Tomorrow

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I don’t think there’s an airline that’s making a bigger deal of the fact that they’re taking delivery of Boeing 787s than Qantas. They’re still a year from having their first 787 delivered, but they’ve been hyping it for a long time.

Last month they revealed the layout they’re planning for their 787-9, which will be quite premium heavy. The plane will feature a total of 236 seats, including 42 business class seats, 28 premium economy seats, and 166 economy class seats. That’s quite a spacious configuration.

Qantas will essentially have modified Vantage XL seats in business class on their 787s, all of which will feature direct aisle access and quite a bit of privacy. It’s similar to the seat they have on their existing A330s.

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An Update On Access To The Qantas First Class Lounge LAX

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A couple of days ago I wrote about how the Qantas First Class Lounge LAX can’t seem to follow oneworld lounge access rules. Representatives at the lounge have been denying many AAdvantage Executive Platinum members access, in particular when they’re on the inbound portion of an international trip, where they absolutely are entitled to access.

Some people said they were informed by the lounge staff that American was refusing to pay Qantas for access, which seems like a BS excuse. Alliances have a set of published rules, and airlines have to follow them.

I suspected this was just a case of several misinformed agents rather than an actual policy change on the part of Qantas. The staff in this lounge have a history of making up rules, and unfortunately this is something that seems to be coming from the top, as in the past the lounge manager sent out an email to associates telling them to call the cops on passengers if they try to “bully” their way in (based on the rest of his email and misinformation he was spreading, insisting the lounge follows the oneworld policy seems to be considered “bullying”).

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Qantas Can’t Seem To Follow Oneworld Lounge Access Rules At LAX

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I’d argue that the Qantas First Class Lounge at LAX is the best airline lounge in the U.S.

It features a fantastic menu that’s very similar to what you’ll find at Qantas’ excellent Sydney lounge, which I consider to be one of the best in the world. Salt & pepper squid, yum!

The Qantas Lounge at LAX is an international first class and oneworld Emerald lounge, which means it can be accessed by the following passengers, per oneworld policy:

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Your Opportunity To Flightsee Around Antarctica On Qantas

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While many of us can claim to have visited six continents, the seventh continent (Antarctica) is a bit tougher to reach.

A while ago there was an opportunity to bid Starpoints for a cruise to Antarctica, though that was on fairly short notice, and also ended up selling for a lot of Starpoints. Then there are some crazy cool expeditions to Antarctica, including staying at the world’s southernmost hotel, though they’ll cost you $70,000+ per person.

Of course there’s some middle ground as well, as there are cruises to Antarctica that are more reasonably priced.

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American & Qantas Reassessing Transpacific Routes After DOT Ruling

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In the past year American has added their first two routes to the South Pacific. Specifically, American launched flights from Los Angeles to both Sydney and Auckland. American and Qantas already had a joint venture prior to that, though American didn’t operate any of the flights across the Pacific.

The intent was that American and Qantas would be expanding together under their joint venture, giving passengers more transpacific options. For example, American took over one of Qantas’ frequencies between Sydney and Los Angeles, allowing Qantas to instead use that plane to restart their flight between Sydney and San Francisco.

There was only one catch. While authorities in Australia and New Zealand had already approved the expanded joint venture, the US authorities hadn’t. As a matter of fact, the US Department of Transportation didn’t issue a ruling for over a year, though both airlines remained confident that it would be approved, as they’ve launched new flights that were motivated by the expanded joint venture.

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Ranking The Lounges At LAX Tom Bradley International Terminal

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Over the past few years Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX has undergone a very nice renovation, and I’d argue it’s now possibly the nicest terminal in the US (though arguments could certainly be made for a few other terminals as well).

If you’re someone who typically flies in premium cabins or has elite status, you may also appreciate Tom Bradley International Terminal for the fact that it has some of the best airline lounges in the US. However, not all of these lounges are created equal, so I figured it would be fun to rank the lounges, from best to worst.

Up front let me add that the disclaimer that everyone is looking for different things when it comes to lounges, so there’s no objective, universal way to rank these from best to worst. Some lounges have great food, some have great cocktails, some are spacious, some are quiet, etc. I’ll try to mention those attributes below, though I’m not suggesting my ranking should work for everyone.

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OUCH: The DOT Blocks American & Qantas Partnership Expansion

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In the past year American has added their first two routes to the South Pacific. Specifically, American launched flights from Los Angeles to both Sydney and Auckland. American and Qantas already had a joint venture, though American didn’t operate any of the flights across the Pacific.

The intent was that American and Qantas would be expanding together under their joint venture, giving passengers more transpacific options. For example, as part of this Qantas also relaunched flights between Sydney and San Francisco, instead taking some frequencies off their Los Angeles route, since American would be filling that gap.

While Australian authorities had already approved the expanded joint venture, the US authorities hadn’t. However, I think both airlines were rather confident it would be approved, as they’ve launched new flights that were motivated by the joint venture.

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Qantas Reveals 787 Business Class & Updated Livery

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I don’t think there’s an airline in the world that has pre-hyped their 787 quite as much as Qantas. Qantas will be taking delivery of their first of eight Boeing 787-9 aircraft in about a year, which they’ll eventually use to replace their existing 747 aircraft. This is the only plane that Qantas has on order, and they have the option to order more in the future, which they may very well take advantage of.

Earlier today Qantas held a huge media event revealing the interiors of their 787s, and also announcing an updated livery. Here’s what was revealed:

Qantas is hoping to fly their 787s on ultra longhaul flights, so they’ve given their 787s a fairly sparse configuration. Qantas’ 787-9 aircraft will feature 236 seats, including:

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Wide Open Qantas Business Class Awards Between Japan & Australia

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Redeeming miles for travel to/from Australia can be really tough. That’s especially true when originating in the US, though true from other regions as well, especially if traveling during peak season.

Anyway, Qantas is resuming their flight between Tokyo Narita and Melbourne, and it has tons of business class award availability. The flight will launch as of December 16, 2016, and will operate with the following schedule:

QF79 Melbourne to Tokyo departing 9:15AM arriving 5:30PM
QF80 Tokyo to Melbourne departing 7:00PM arriving 7:30AM (+1 day)

The flight will be operated by an A330 featuring Qantas’ staggered business class product, which is the same excellent product I recently had in SAS business class between Los Angeles and Stockholm.

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Airline Branding Fail: Qantas & China Eastern Edition

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On a more lighthearted note…

Qantas is known for their dedication to premium branding. For example, Qantas has worked with Neil Perry and Mark Newson on their lounge food and decor, respectively. The airline has extremely consistent branding, which is why I was a bit surprised by what I saw yesterday.

I had a long layover at LAX yesterday evening due to American’s incompetence, and a good friend traveling internationally happened to be at the airport around the same time, so he guested me into the excellent Qantas First Class Lounge.

The lounge has great shower rooms, so I took the opportunity to shower after my flight from Fiji and before my domestic connection.

I was assigned a shower room, and was a bit surprised to see the below pouch hanging off the wall holding the hair dryer. Now, China Eastern and Qantas do have a partnership for routes between China and Australia, though I doubt that has somehow been extended to Los Angeles. 😉

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Qantas Is Offering Wine Tastings… In Economy!

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Qantas takes wine seriously, and specifically Australian wines. They’re one of the largest purchasers of Australian wines in the world, and use that as an opportunity to showcase what Australia has to offer.

On top of that, Qantas is in the process of training many of their flight attendants as sommeliers, so they can better assist passengers with their wine selection.

But it looks like they’re taking it a step further, and are offering wine tastings… not just in first and business class, but also in economy!

This program doesn’t seem to be “official,” in the sense that it’s not offered on every flight, but rather it’s something you have to ask about. Per The Wine Wankers:

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Review: Qantas Business Class 737 Sydney To Auckland

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After a rainy day in Sydney, we headed to Sydney Airport at around 3PM, plenty early for our 6:35PM flight to Auckland.

Perhaps the best part of flying to Auckland on Qantas as a oneworld Emerald is that you can use the excellent Qantas First Class Lounge, which is one of my favorite airline lounges in the world. I won’t be reviewing it again this time around, given that I’ve reviewed it before.

Our flight departed from gate 60, which was about a five minute walk from the Qantas First Class Lounge.

While boarding was scheduled to commence at 6:05PM for our 6:35PM departure, boarding was delayed by about 25 minutes due to the plane having a late inbound arrival. So we only boarded at 6:30PM.

Boarding began with business class, so we were among the first people aboard.

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