Ok, so recently I used some Frequent Flyer points to upgrade myself into first class on a Qantas flight from LAX to MEL.
I’ll actually give a quick shout out to Point Hacks, which has a load of great info on building p your points quickly and how to get the best value out of using them.
Ok, so most of the review is in the video but I’ll share my thoughts on it all here too:
Check in at LAX is never any fun as anyone who has gone through it would agree on. Approaching the check in counter, there was a large family of Qantas Club members ahead of us and a few kid’s lost passports caused a bit of a hold up. Anyway, when that was solved, I was able to check in. Luggage checked with a special yellow first class label. Well, my FF status kinda gives that to me already regardless of the class of travel I am in, but it felt cool this time round.
So there is no exclusive first class check in counter, or security line at LAX Thomas Bradley international terminal. Grrr.
Getting the Points
I’m able to travel and build up points a bit, but what I’ve found is that you can build up Qantas Frequent Flyer points for a decent Classic Reward or Upgrade with a partner credit card. You can easily scoop a reward in Qantas First class from 90,000 points. The Champaign Mile has a good review on Qantas First too, and more info than I can provide on getting the most from a partner credit card.
Eventually (maybe 40 minutes from arriving at the airport) I was in the Qantas first lounge. Bumped into a certain Australian politician….In the first lounge you can basically order whatever you want to eat or drink There is a set menu but they are very flexible. Between my cousin and I we sampled the hamburger (OKish) the Salmon (he liked it) and the strawberries and ice cream (Neato!) I will say that I didn’t think much of the chairs in the lounge, they were all quite ow backed and while comfy I wanted to feel a bit more ‘alone’ to relax but that didn’t happen.
Anyone else just love the honeycomb pattern of the lounge carpet?
Funny, but when I boarded and entered the First Class cabin on Qantas a380, I remember finding the floor really soft. It was a plush carpet! Wowzers. Anyway, the seats are laid out in a herringbone pattern. This is Ok as it means that you can virtually not see any other passenger and you have a real sense of privacy, but they have to be rotated for take off and landing so you don’t actually have that much legroom during these times.
Anyway, as soon as I had boarded my personal flight attendant, Daniel, came to introduce himself, “Hello, my name is Daniel, I’ll be looking after you on this flight.” Awesome. And he was sooooo nice as well, really friendly and I felt like we was gladly helping me out with anything I needed. Before take off I was offered a pair of PJs which were soft and warm, and still usable. They don’t seem to wear out at all.
Takeoff seemed to take a while because of the long taxi at LAX, but that’s life. Didn’t effect our arrival time.
The flight chef came along just after takeoff to introduce herself and told me if there was anything particular like an adjustment to a menu item I wanted, all I had t do was ask.
For dinner, I chose the Qantas Signature Steak Sandwich. It was great, bun was great, salsa on it was great. Daniel helped me choose a wine that I liked to go with it.
So time to just make the seat go back and catch some sleep yeah? There is a lot more to it than that. When it is time to sleep in Qantas First class an uber soft mattress is placed on your seat which is also put into the lie-flat position, and then really smooth cotton sheets and a hotel quality blanket. It was a very comfortable nights sleep. I thought Business Class was great to get a lot of sleep (and it is) but this was like sleeping in a hotel bed. I got about 7 hours of sleep, solid. even though your seat is essentially a cocoon, you feel like you have a great sense of space.
Entertainment, Controls, and Breakfast
So as well as the standard seat console, you have a touch pad thingo on a cord where you can control most of the aspects of your seat. Rotation, windows shades up/down, TV on or stowed away etc. By today’s standards, it was clunky. I am a lover of flat designs, and didn’t really like the older style interface on this thing. But it gets the job done.
Breakfast was, Okish. To be honest, I wasn’t too happy, but that is only because I made a bad choice in what I ordered. I thought I’d only want something light. So i chose these fruity waffles and a coffee. Should have gone for something more substantial.
What really impressed me overall was the personalised service, and the attention Qantas is paying to the individual’s comfort. Would I use points again for a flight like this? For sure, especially if it was over 10 hours.