I’m sitting in the Qantas Domestic Business Class Lounge at Melbourne, having just got off QF 94 LAX to MEL in first class on the A380. Here are some of my first impressions.
1) The A380 is still my favorite aircraft. There’s something so magical and impressive about the beast, and there are SO many A380s at LAX, which makes for some great plane watching.
2) Qantas has a solid first class product on the A380s. It’s not a suite, but it’s decently spacious, and the bedding is quite nice.
3) The food is some of the best food I’ve had in the sky. The warm salad of duck confit was probably the best salad I’ve had on a plane. Overall, I was pretty impressed with the food, even if lacks to more typical “luxuries” of first class on other carriers (i.e. caviar).
4) The service… was not great. The crew was perfectly friendly, but they were slooooowwww. Normally, in first class, you can ring the flight attendant bell and someone will be at your side within 5 seconds. Not so for this flight. I rang my flight attendant call bell multiple times, and the quickest response time was over 1 minute. Now, this is of course a first world problem, but one time I rang the call bell and had to wait over 5 minutes before a flight attendant appeared. And there was no apology or explanation for the wait. It got to the point where I even brought my own dirty dishes to the galley since the flight attendants wouldn’t collect them. What kind of first class service is that?
5) I got to go into the cockpit at the end of the flight! And the pilots were much friendlier than the pilots on the Lufthansa flight where I went into the cockpit.
Overall, I’d definitely choose Qantas over United for a nonstop first class product to Australia, but I was left puzzled by the slow, non-proactive service.