A lot of my travel in the last 18 months has been up to Hong Kong, and another trip earlier this year was no different with a couple of days only in the city. I flew up on a Monday on Qantas’ A380 service, and was scheduled to return on the return overnight flight on Wednesday on an old Qantas 747.
For hotels, I was out at the Novotel Citygate a short bus transfer from the airport for the first night, and then had a night at Easts Hotel in Taikoo Shing.
I’ll post some pictures and brief thoughts about all but the return flight where I was exhausted and managed a solid 6 hour sleep, even with the sloping Skybed mk1 on Qantas unrefurbished 747s.
I had managed to secure a forward cabin seat on the A380 which I definitely prefer to the larger, rear cabin. I had selected a corner/window seat in row 13, the last of the three rows, in front of the galley, bathrooms and whatnot. The aisle seats here are a bit exposed to foot traffic but the windows are pretty quiet with noone behind you.
It was one of those flights where the boarding process was a bit odd – a couple with two young kids had occupied most of the left hand side of the cabin, and I had requested a window seat, was all set for where I thought I would be, only to find someone sitting there when I boarded (one of the last to do so). A Hong Kong or Chinese late-teenage son and mother were seated in the pair near my seat was, and insisted (politely) that I should move so that they could sit together. I’m not one to quibble, so did and as the seat-switch logistics were underway one of them knocked over water on their intended seat. All in all, a mess of a first 10 minutes.
Once settled I took this quick panorama of the Qantas A380 forward business cabin:
One of the more interesting things about this flight to me as the first time I’d flown with Qantas since the change to their new sleeper service, which adds a mattress pad and some different bedding options.
The mattress pad was a good improvement to the comfort of the seat, it smoothed out some of the cracks and was worth fitting, even for a day flight.
The menu on offer was as follows:
Now, I’ve since flown QF127 with Qantas (this week, actually) and they have restructured the way the menu and service works compared to this particular flight. On offer now is a range of canapés, entrées and mains which can be mixed and match in one main meal service, with some of them then available to order ad-hoc later in the flight for a light dinner.
For this previous flight, it was a standard menu for lunch, with then a choice of a couple of dishes for dinner.
I started with the Tuna, which was tasted very high quality.
Then moved onto the Chicken Tagine.
Washed down with frozen yoghurt ice cream with Rhubarb.
For dinner, I went for a shepherds pie. The dinner wasn’t great, but lunch was excellent. Given my experience this week, I think Qantas have made the right move with recent service changes.
This flight was typical Qantas Business Class on the A380. Friendly but not over the top service, generally good food, and a comfortable seat. However, Cathay still blows Qantas out of the water with their new Business Class seat, and given the option, I’d fly with them any time up to HK.
Earn points to fly with Qantas
A 50,000 Qantas Points bonus on the Citibank Signature Visa is pretty handy, especially with a reduced $299 annual fee for the life of the card (with an additional $49 Qantas opt-in fee).
- 50,000 Qantas points
- Ability to transfer points to Velocity & Krisflyer
- $299 p.a. annual fee for life (usually $395), $49 for Qantas rewards
- 20,000 points on first spend, 30,000 after $10k spend in first 3 months
- 1 Qantas point per $ earned on spend
- Priority Pass lounge access and some other premium card benefits
- Offer expires: 31st July 2014
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