QF8 (Dallas to Sydney) - Business Class Review

Recently I flew home from Washington DC via Dallas after spending 10 days in the States. I flew in through LA with Qantas, and then onto DC with American. Both the Qantas flights were exceptional, but American Airlines were less than satisfactory. More on that later.


Foreword:

Our flight from Washington DC was diverted to San Antonio due to severe weather in Dallas, meaning an extra 3 hours was added to our total flight time. We had expected around 5 or so hours in the lounge at Dallas but had to run to the gate by the time we finally landed.

My annoyance with American Airlines was how everything was extra. On the flight from LA to DC, no food was offered and drinks were only offered once. The staff were rude, very clearly showing they didn’t want to be there. On the flight from DC to Dallas, I was given a complimentary packet of pretzels for being a Platinum One/Emerald OneWorld frequent flyer. Oh, and a cocktail in a shot glass.

The lounges I used were absolutely awful (not trying to sound snobbish, they actually weren’t of quality). The food wasn’t good, neither were the staff and amenities.

I’m also apart of TSA Pre, meaning I can theoretically bypass security and lines at American airports. The TSA Pre checkpoints I passed were unstaffed at LAX and IAD.

I was really disappointed with my airport experiences in the US, and will definitely not be visiting again any time soon.


Pre-boarding:

After going to the wrong gate about four times, we finally found the flight (there was no information about it). Boarding hadn’t begun yet and the gate agent said it’d be a 15 minute wait. We had decided to wait in the gate area instead of going up to the lounge. After half an hour, the Captain came down to tell us that due to the winds over the Pacific, if we left Dallas on time, we would arrive at around 5 am in Sydney (an hour ahead of schedule). Due to the curfew in place at Sydney Airport, he told us we would have to wait another hour until departure. We went up to the lounge, which wasn’t any good, so we decided to do some shopping.

Boarding/Before Flight:

The boarding process was extremely quick for the Business Class section as it was pretty much empty. We were greeted and taken to our seats where we chose our breakfast options. Champagne and juice were offered while we waited for departure and amenity kits were handed out. This was on the Airbus A388, meaning the Business seats were the original “Skybed” from 2008. While slightly outdated, the seats were highly comfortable and functioned as new. Qantas are replacing their A380 cabins with the new 2017 seats, meaning the “Skybed II” currently found on Qantas’ A330 and 787 will be making its way onboard the A380.

The Business class seats have moderately large screens that fold into the armrest. They can be controlled via touchscreen or remote control. The IFE system is quite outdated and includes gimmicky features such as webchat which doesn’t work and freezes the system. With the introduction of the new cabin, the screens and IFE system will be replaced. Another disadvantage is that you are unable to use the screen during taxi, takeoff and landing as it has to be stowed.

I was seated in 16E, an aisle seat in the center of the cabin. As it was a bassinet seat, it had a slightly increased legroom than the normal Business seats, but that was barely noticeable. Because we were on the bulkhead, there was storage built into the wall in front as there was no seat to put carry on underneath. I’m about 1.90 metres and my legs could easily fit into the space in front.

On SeatGuru, 16E is rated worse than the other seats because of it’s proximity to the bathrooms and galley, but a curtain was put up at the start of the flight and wasn’t removed until just before we landed.

In my opinion, one of the best things about flying Business is that you are located at the front of the plane, meaning you can barely hear the engines and turbulence is greatly reduced.

Inflight:

Shortly after takeoff, we were served our entree which we had selected after boarding. I chose smoked salmon (it had a fancier name I’ve forgotten). It was delicious and definitely 4 or 5 star restaurant quality. This was followed by mains. I chose grilled chicken with asian slaw. Once again, this was of great quality. I chose ice cream for dessert. After dinner, the flight attendant made my bed with a matress and sheets, making it even more comfortable than it already was. I watched a few movies and then made the seat flat and slept.

When I woke up, we were around 3 hours from Sydney. I went up the front to the lounge area and asked for a tea. It was served with a cookie. Other snacks were also available at the snack bar. The screen in the lounge is quite large (seemed about 30-40 inches) but is set to only display the map view.

As the sun rose over the Pacific, breakfast was served. I chose waffles. They were topped with icecream, maple syrup and strawberries and served with a blueberry scone, a fruit bowl, juice and coffee. I chose all this at the start of the flight. The food was amazing once again, but the coffee was no good.

After we landed it was a quick taxi to the gate. We were first to get off and first to end an overall amazing flight.


Afterword:

I believe that Qantas has the best in-flight service out of any airline. No matter what class you fly, the flight attendants are always caring and polite. I’ve flown Emirates quite a few times now, and in most of the classes, and their service seems too commercial. A majority of the flight attendants won’t go the extra step like Qantas do. Just my opinion.

The flight from Dallas to Sydney is 17 hours long, so if you can, I would highly recommend Business or at least Premium Economy. Having the ability to have your legs out straight in Business really helps to stop the cramps, otherwise getting up and walking around as well as stretching your legs helps.

Thanks for reading through and I’ll attach some pictures soon!


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Jeez that would be a long time to sit in a seat!

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Wow. I have visited America quite a few times with agree with a lot of the points on here.
Hopefully one day I fly this route for myself (in business class of course though 😂)

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If you really don’t like American, I highly suggest you fly Southwest. Cheap flights, funnny and exceptional FA’s, free food and drinks passed out, really everything you need when traveling across the US.

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I’m curious, exactly what “free food” does Southwest provide on their flights? As a frequent flyer on Southwest I have only gotten peanuts. I’m a fan of Southwest, but let’s not oversell it.

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The peanuts are free. You can also get as many bags as you’d like (From my experience).

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Since the OP complained about getting pretzels I really don’t think peanuts would be the answer to his dreams.

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I find it hilarious when people dislike the business class or lounge products. Most of us can’t event afford to take business class or get access to a lounge. I stick to low cost carrier which means I get exactly zero comfort, zero free things. And zero luxury but in as happy as a lark! And yet there are folks out there who if one thing is wrong with their plush, rich, comfortable product it is considered to be a terrible time. I’m not saying that’s the same here with you but I’ve seen trip reports where people complained heavily about the lay back seas/beds not going back far enough. I know if I got business or first and lounge access I would be happy with anything. Anything above LCC standard is heaven to me.

Just saying that maybe we shouldn’t be unhappy with our rich people products when the majority can’t event afford that kind of luxury. I wish I could afford $600 one way tickets.

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I think that everyone upholds a different amount of standards and what is luxury to you might not be to them. You might not agree but you don’t have to complain about their thoughts, right?

In terms of this flight, Qantas is a huge step up from American, glad you took QF instead of AA

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For a direct flight to Sydney, American isn’t an option … even flying out of DFW where apparently they have no signs for the Qantas flight (laughable) and horrible lounges/food. Poor baby!

Additionally, comparing domestic flights with international flights appears to be a snobs way of exhibiting his anti-US bias.

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SWA isn’t an option if trying to connect at DFW.

If he started at LAX he could’ve easily took American. But American is sub par to qantas

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In your elitist opinion, yes.

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Were you flying economy on AA? Comparing AA domestic economy to Quantas international business is like apples and oranges.

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Food isn’t usually offer on US domestic flights unless you want to pay for it!

Being a part of TSA pre-checked is cool and all and MOST of the time you can bi-pass the normal security screening. There are sometimes (usually at larger airports) where everyone must go through regular security.

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Not trying to go off topic, but only peanuts? On all SW flights I’ve taken, they gave out peanuts and 1-2 other decent sized snack bags for free.

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It depends on the flight length. The point I was making to @Royce was that classifying whatever SWA hands out as “free food” is a stretch. Again, this is in the context of the OP complaining about his pretzel.

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How do you have TSA Pre? You need to be a U.S. citizen to have it.

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I was questioning the same thing but didn’t ask!

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Sounds like a wise decision to choose business for that flight! That would be a long time. Also it seems to me that your food was great.

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