As the world opens back up, flying to London is once again on the agenda for many Australians. Whether it’s using cash or points, a multitude of airlines stand ready and waiting for your booking.

Of course, there are travel declarations you’ll need to complete, and COVID tests to deal with. And with London being so far away, transiting through another country may also come with additional paperwork.

But that’s far from a good reason to deter your travels! Once you’ve ticked the boxes, here are the many ways you can fly from Australia to London – with no more than one stop along the way.

Editor’s Note:  This is a long article and you may not find all sections relevant. For example, you might only be interested in flying one particular airline to London. If this is you, make use of the Table of Contents above. We recommend you read the section on Paperwork and pre-flight COVID testing. Then, select the appropriate airline from the Table of Contents above to scroll directly to that section.

If you have time on your hands, however, we recommend reading the whole article. It is a great one and will provide you with all your airline options between Australia and London!

Paperwork and pre-flight COVID testing

Travelling to the United Kingdom is simplest for those who are fully vaccinated.

Start by completing and submit a ‘passenger locator form‘ within 48 hours before you arrive in the UK. You can do this online, and it’s free. You’ll also need to pre-book a COVID test in the UK. That test must be taken on the day you arrive, or within the two days that follow. Again, that booking can be made online before leaving home.

From 4am (UK time) on 30 November 2021, all fully-vaccinated travellers arriving in the UK must now isolate on arrival. You can leave isolation as soon as your PCR test comes back negative. Prior to this date, there was no requirement to isolate while awaiting this result.

On the Australian side, if you’re fully vaccinated, you no longer need an ‘exemption’ to depart Australia. The UK also doesn’t require a pre-departure COVID test for those who’ve had the jab – only a test on arrival.

If you’re not fully vaccinated, the process is much more complicated. There can also be extra rules to follow if the country you’re flying from is on the UK’s ‘red list’. At the time of writing, Australia is not on that red list. Full details can be found on the UK Government website.

However, do be mindful that some airlines may set their own policies on pre-departure testing. Also, if you’re transiting through a third country, that country may require a pre-flight test ahead of your transit. This could occur even if the test isn’t required by your destination country or airline.

Before heading to the airport, check your airline’s policies.

Of course, travel restrictions are regularly changing. So be sure to confirm the current requirements for your particular journey well in advance of your departure day.

Returning to Australia from London

As with any overseas arrival, there’s the Australia Travel Declaration to complete. It must be submitted online at least 72 hours in advance of travel.

Australia also requires that inbound passengers get a COVID-19 PCR test within 72 hours of their flight’s scheduled departure time. Travellers should be prepared to present their negative test result at airline check-in. In the UK, the standard NHS tests cannot be used for travel. You must instead pay for a test through a third-party provider.

Many of the companies that offer on-arrival testing in the UK can also provide test results for your departure. When completing your on-arrival test in the UK, consider making a booking for this departure test, too.

Again, remember that there may be additional testing requirements if your itinerary takes you through a third country.

Flying to London with Qantas

Of all the airlines connecting Australia to London, Qantas is the only carrier offering non-stop routes between the two continents. This helps keep things simple when it comes to testing and travel. Although some flights detour via Singapore.

  • Transit point until 26 March 2022: Darwin, Australia.
  • Transit points from 27 March 2022: Perth, Australia – plus Singapore, Republic of Singapore.
  • Alliance: oneworld.
  • Key frequent flyer programs: Qantas Frequent Flyer, Cathay Pacific Asia Miles.

Qantas’ routes, aircraft and cabins to London

RouteAircraft type(s)Cabins
Sydney-Darwin
Melbourne-Darwin
Boeing 787-9Business, Premium Economy, Economy
-> Darwin-LondonBoeing 787-9Business, Premium Economy, Economy
Sydney-SingaporeBoeing 787-9Business, Premium Economy, Economy
-> Singapore-LondonBoeing 787-9Business, Premium Economy, Economy
Melbourne-PerthBoeing 787-9Business, Premium Economy, Economy
-> Perth-LondonBoeing 787-9Business, Premium Economy, Economy

Note, the routes listed above are those operated as Qantas’ key London flights. Connections to these services are available from cities right across Australia.

Check-in for Qantas flights to London
Qantas is the only airline with non-stop flights between Australia and London.

Qantas’ lounges when flying to London

Flying to London with Qantas? The lounges you’ll experience depend on where you’re flying from, and where you’re transiting through.

Most lounges below welcome Qantas Gold and Platinum frequent flyers, plus oneworld Sapphire and Emerald cardholders. They also serve Qantas Club members and Qantas Business guests.

  • Departing Sydney and Melbourne, plus transiting Singapore
    • Qantas First Lounge. Platinum-grade frequent flyers are invited to enjoy à la carte dining. In Sydney and Melbourne, day spa facilities are also a staple. While the Qantas Business Lounges are closed for now, all travellers eligible for lounge access are temporarily invited to use the Qantas First Lounge.
    • Qantas Business Lounge. While buffets are the norm, you may find a ‘dish of the day’ to elevate the experience. Of course, coffee is available all day – as is a full bar.
  • Transiting Darwin
    • International Transit Lounge. Qantas is temporarily repurposing the airport’s Catalina Lounge as its own space. For the next four months, it’ll exclusively serve Qantas passengers bound for London. Expect a buffet with local culinary influences, and a welcome mocktail. Or – to toast your international departure – enjoy a beer or wine instead.
  • Transiting Perth
    • International Transit Lounge. A purpose-built facility, this lounge is one of the airline’s true highlights. Get things started by taking a yoga class, and stretch out ahead of your long flight. Or head outside with a drink and snack for more of a ‘local barbeque’ vibe.
  • Departing London
    • Qantas International Lounge. Nothing says ‘London’ like a great gin. And here at Heathrow, that’s exactly what you’ll find. In fact, the lounge has a dedicated Gin Bar, where you can sample gins from both Australia and the UK. Cheers!

The Qantas inflight experience to London

As all of Qantas’ London routes feature the Boeing 787-9, you’ll have the same inflight experience regardless of how you jet from A to B.

In Qantas Business, stretch out in the airline’s flagship seats. Every passenger gets direct aisle access, and a flat bed at the push of a button. You can even take off and land in a pre-reclined position!

Premium Economy features reclining seats in a 2-3-2 layout. While there’s one middle seat in each row, passengers seated here get a little more width around the shoulders. If you must fly in a middle seat, that’s surely the best way to do it. Travellers with longer legs may prefer the very first row, as there’s nobody in front to recline into you. Economy instead comes in a standard 3-3-3. Food, beverages (including alcohol) and entertainment are all complimentary.

Flying to London with British Airways

  • Transit point: Singapore, Republic of Singapore.
  • Alliance: oneworld.
  • Key frequent flyer programs: British Airways’ Executive Club, Qantas Frequent Flyer.

British Airways’ routes, aircraft and cabins to London

RouteAircraft type(s)Cabins
Sydney-SingaporeBoeing 787-9First, Club World, World Traveller Plus, World Traveller
-> Singapore-LondonBoeing 787-9First, Club World, World Traveller Plus, World Traveller

British Airways’ lounges when flying to London

  • Departing Sydney
    • Passengers on BA can use Qantas’ lounges in Sydney. In First or with oneworld Emerald status, make a beeline for the Qantas First Lounge. In Club World (Business Class) or as a oneworld Sapphire frequent flyer, the Qantas Business Lounge awaits.
  • Transiting Singapore
    • The British Airways Lounge welcomes BA First, Club World, oneworld Emerald and oneworld Sapphire frequent flyers. Shower and freshen up at the halfway point of your journey, or explore the space during your brief stopover. A separate bar area is also available exclusively for BA First passengers.
  • Arriving in London
    • Touch down in London and your day can begin at the British Airways Arrivals Lounge. It’s open to travellers in BA First and Club World, plus BA’s own Executive Club Gold members. Expect to find showers, breakfast, and space to tackle work. It’s very handy when landing in London before check-in is possible at your hotel.
  • Departing London
    • The Concorde Room is British Airways’ flagship lounge. Access is normally reserved for travellers in BA First. Executive Club Gold Guest List and Executive Club Premier members also make the cut. You can look forward to waiter service, barista coffee – and most of all, peace and quiet.
    • Despite the name, the Galleries First Lounge is BA’s lounge for travellers not booked in First. Confused? It’s where most oneworld Emerald frequent flyers go when they don’t make the cut for Concorde. That includes Qantas Platinum members who aren’t flying BA First. Expect a lounge that’s better than Business, but not a flagship.
    • Head for the Galleries Club Lounge when booked in Club World, or as a oneworld Sapphire frequent flyer. Coffee is machine-made, and dining is buffet-only. But we’ll let you in on a little secret. Ask one of the staff in the striped shirts for a glass of Champagne, and a flute of Taittinger will appear!

The British Airways inflight experience to London

At the very front, discover eight seats in BA First. They’re far from palatial ‘suites’, but BA tends to focus more on dining and service. Club World brings flat beds in a zig-zag seating layout. Further back in World Traveller Plus and World Traveller, standard reclining seats await.

Flying to London with Cathay Pacific

  • Transit point: Hong Kong SAR.
  • Alliance: Oneworld.
  • Key frequent flyer programs: Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, Qantas Frequent Flyer.

Cathay Pacific’s routes, aircraft and cabins to London

RouteAircraft type(s)Cabins
Sydney-Hong KongAirbus A350-900, Boeing 777-300ERBusiness Class, Premium Economy Class, Economy Class
(No First Class, even on the Boeing 777)
Melbourne-Hong KongAirbus A350-900Business Class, Premium Economy Class, Economy Class
Brisbane-Hong KongAirbus A350-900Business Class, Premium Economy Class, Economy Class
Perth-Hong KongAirbus A350-900Business Class, Premium Economy Class, Economy Class
Adelaide-Hong KongAirbus A350-900Business Class, Premium Economy Class, Economy Class
-> Hong Kong-LondonAirbus A350-900, Boeing 777-300ERBusiness Class, Premium Economy Class, Economy Class
First Class available on Boeing 777 flights only

Cathay Pacific’s lounges when flying to London

Across Australia, Cathay Pacific generally relies on the lounges of its partner Qantas. But in Hong Kong and London, Cathay Pacific’s own-brand spaces await.

  • Departing Australia
    • In Sydney and Melbourne, the Qantas First Lounges are open to Marco Polo Club Diamond frequent flyers (and higher). They’re also open to Qantas Platinum and other oneworld Emerald members on Cathay Pacific flights.
    • The Qantas Business Lounges instead serve Cathay Pacific Business Class guests. Marco Polo Club Gold, Qantas Gold and other oneworld Sapphire travellers are welcome here too. Along with Sydney and Melbourne, these are also found in Brisbane and Perth. In Adelaide, Cathay Pacific uses the domestic Qantas Club instead for all eligible flyers.
  • Transiting Hong Kong
    • Normally, Cathay Pacific would offer a suite of lounges across the sprawling Hong Kong International Airport terminal. But with COVID restrictions in play, the airline is currently opening only The Wing First Class, and The Wing Business Class. For now, access rules for these lounges also differ from the norm.
    • The Wing First Class only welcomes travellers beginning their journey in Hong Kong. This includes all passengers eligible for lounge access. Even those who’d normally use the Business Class lounge!
    • The Wing Business Class instead accepts only those in transit through Hong Kong. Unfortunately, that rule applies even to those who’d normally qualify for First Class lounges.
  • Departing London
    • Prior to COVID, Cathay Pacific operated own-brand Business Class and First Class lounges at Heathrow. Temporarily though, the airline is using the No.1 Lounge for all eligible passengers. These were some of Cathay’s best overseas lounges, so we hope they return sooner rather than later!

The Cathay Pacific inflight experience to London

For the very best inflight experience, try to book yourself on the airline’s Airbus A350s. These feature comfortable Business Class seats customised by Porsche Design. The carrier’s signature sleep service will also have you drifting off above the clouds in no time. Premium Economy Class and Economy Class offer plush reclining seats.

If you instead find yourself aboard the Boeing 777, things are a little different. In Business Class, the beds are still flat, but are just of the airline’s older-generation design. However, the Boeing 777s flying to London are those with First Class. If you can spare the extra points, it’s definitely worth the upgrade!

Flying to London with Emirates

  • Transit point: Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
  • Key frequent flyer programs: Emirates Skywards, Qantas Frequent Flyer.

Emirates’ routes, aircraft and cabins to London

RouteAircraft type(s)Cabins
Sydney-DubaiBoeing 777-300ERFirst Class, Business Class, Economy Class
Melbourne-DubaiAirbus A380-800First Class, Business Class, Economy Class
Brisbane-DubaiBoeing 777-300ERFirst Class, Business Class, Economy Class
Perth-DubaiAirbus A380-800First Class, Business Class, Economy Class
-> Dubai-LondonAirbus A380-800, Boeing 777-300ERFirst Class, Business Class, Economy Class

Emirates’ lounges when flying to London

Emirates operates one of the world’s largest networks of international airport lounges. While many other carriers rely on using partnered lounges away from their home base, Emirates builds its own where it can.

  • Departing Australia, and departing London
    • Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth are all home to Emirates-branded lounges. The same is true at London Heathrow. These spaces are shared by all premium passengers. Well-stocked buffets serve up a wide variety of hot food. Let’s not forget, there’s no shortage of Champagne, either. My last flight from Brisbane found both Veuve Clicquot NV and Moët & Chandon NV.
  • Transiting Dubai
    • The colossal Terminal 3 at Dubai International Airport normally plays home to seven Emirates lounges. This includes:
      • First Class lounges in Concourses A, B and C. These are for First Class guests, plus Skywards Platinum and Qantas Platinum members. Make time to enjoy a complimentary spa treatment, and a meal in the dining room.
      • Business Class lounges in Concourses A, B and C. As the name suggests, these are home to Business Class passengers. Skywards Gold, Skywards Silver and Qantas Gold members also have access. Plus, Qantas Club members when booked on a QF codeshare flight operated by Emirates. While the Concourse A lounge is the biggest, the Concourse B lounge houses a Moët & Chandon Champagne bar. Here, you can try Champagnes not even available in the First Class lounge!
      • The Emirates Lounge‘ in Concourse C. Handy when your flight is departing right down the far end of this Concourse! However, as a Business/First Class hybrid space, it’s not on-par with the dedicated First Class lounges. So, if you have access to those top-tier spaces, consider heading there instead.

The Emirates inflight experience to London

Emirates offers a consistent experience for First Class passengers on this route. Whether you’re aboard the Airbus A380 or the Boeing 777, settle into a private suite with closing doors. That said, the Airbus A380 adds shower spas and an inflight lounge into the mix. These can certainly help a long journey seem shorter.

In Business Class, the A380 also has its advantages. That bar area, for example, is shared by both Business Class and First Class. But at your seat, the superjumbo delivers a flat bed with direct aisle access. On the Boeing 777, the cabins normally adopt a less favourable 2-3-2 layout instead. Those Boeing 777s also rarely feature flat beds, with angled sleepers across most of the fleet.

Flying to London with Etihad Airways

  • Transit point: Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
  • Key frequent flyer programs: Etihad Guest, Virgin Australia’s Velocity Frequent Flyer.

Etihad’s routes, aircraft and cabins to London

RouteAircraft type(s)Cabins
Sydney-Abu DhabiBoeing 787-9Business Class and Economy Class
Melbourne-Abu DhabiBoeing 787-9Business Class and Economy Class
-> Abu Dhabi-LondonBoeing 787-9, Boeing 787-10Most flights: Business Class and Economy Class
Selected flights: First Class, Business Class and Economy Class

Etihad’s lounges when flying to London

Etihad used to mimic Emirates by opening lounges around the world. But in recent years, many of those lounges have been turned over to independent operators. This means many are shared between Etihad and other airlines.

  • Departing Australia, and departing London
    • In Sydney, Melbourne and London, Etihad normally sends guests to The House lounges. These were formerly Etihad-branded locations. Table service, an extensive bar menu and private shower suites come as standard.
  • Transiting Abu Dhabi
    • Etihad’s First Lounge is home to Etihad Guest Platinum and Virgin Australia Velocity Platinum members. Of course, it’s also open to Etihad First Class passengers. There’s everything from a fitness room to an exclusive wine cellar to enjoy as you await your connection.
    • Etihad’s Business Lounge is instead the go-to for Etihad Guest Gold cardholders, plus Etihad Business Class guests. With two Business Lounges in Abu Dhabi, there’s plenty of room to wander and mingle.
    • There’s also the Al Reem Lounge here in Abu Dhabi. It’s available to Etihad Guest Silver members and Virgin Australia Velocity Gold. A quiet space operated by Plaza Premium, it’s not quite on-par with Etihad’s flagship lounges. But for economy flyers, it ticks most boxes.

The Etihad inflight experience to London

Etihad’s Boeing 787s all offer the airline’s signature Business Studio seating. Of course, there’s direct aisle access and a flat bed ready and waiting. But there are many other features to enjoy, too. For instance, a crisp high-definition TV brings a stockpile of movies and TV shows to enjoy on your day-long journey.

Selected Boeing 787 flights between Abu Dhabi and London also offer First Class. Take note: these aren’t the ‘Apartments’ Etihad is best known for. However, these individual pods come with plenty of privacy. Slide the door closed, and let the world fly by.

Flying to London with Qatar Airways

  • Transit point: Doha, Qatar.
  • Alliance: Oneworld.
  • Key frequent flyer programs: Qatar Airways Privilege Club, Qantas Frequent Flyer.

Qatar Airways’ routes, aircraft and cabins to London

RouteAircraft type(s)Cabins
Sydney-DohaBoeing 777-300ERBusiness Class (Qsuites), Economy Class
Melbourne-DohaAirbus A350-1000Business Class (Qsuites), Economy Class
Brisbane-DohaBoeing 777-300ERBusiness Class (Qsuites), Economy Class
Perth-DohaAirbus A350-1000Business Class (Qsuites), Economy Class
Adelaide-DohaAirbus A350-1000Business Class (Qsuites), Economy Class
-> Doha-LondonAirbus A380-800, Boeing 777-300ERAirbus A380: First Class, Business Class (traditional), Economy Class
Boeing 777: Business Class (Qsuites), Economy Class

Qatar Airways’ lounges when flying to London

Qatar’s national airline uses a mix of own-brand and partner lounges.

  • Departing Australia
    • Eligible Qatar Airways passengers can make use of the Qantas Business Lounges in Australia. Where available and applicable, the Qantas First Lounges also await. In Adelaide, access is provided to the domestic Qantas Club, located before immigration.
  • Transiting Doha
    • The flagship Al Safwa First Lounge awaits Privilege Club Platinum members and First Class travellers. It’s an expansive space, but you won’t get lost. If anything, you’ll go in search of any reason to switch to a later flight!
    • Qatar Airways’ Al Mourjan Business Lounge is instead the go-to for the airline’s Business Class guests. That is, except for those on Business Class Lite fares, which don’t provide gratis access. Take a shower, sit by the water fountain, or head to the games room for some entertainment.
    • Stuck flying Economy Class? The Qatar Airways First Class Lounge is, ironically, built just for you. Normally, it welcomes oneworld Emerald frequent flyers who aren’t flying First Class or Business Class (or are on a Business Lite fare). But as passenger numbers remain lower than usual, you may find yourself ‘upgraded’ to Al Mourjan instead.
    • There’s also the Qatar Airways Business Class Lounge. Again, this is for Economy Class flyers who can’t get into those nicer lounges. Oneworld Sapphire status or a Qatar Airways Privilege Club Silver card normally get you through the door.
  • Departing London
    • The London Heathrow Premium Lounge is sure to be a real highlight of your journey. Think shower suites with bathrobes, for starters. Meander into the dining room for an elegant meal with your choice of Champagne. Or, just sit back – you’ve earned it! This lounge is exclusively for Business Class and First Class travellers.
    • Flying Economy Class? As an elite frequent flyer, you’re normally directed to the SkyTeam Lounge. Yes, Qatar Airways is a member of oneworld, not SkyTeam. However, Terminal 4 at Heathrow is home to all of the SkyTeam airlines serving London’s busiest airport. This makes the two-storey SkyTeam Lounge the best alternative.

The Qatar Airways inflight experience to London

Business Class on Qatar Airways really is the ‘sweet spot’. That’s because almost every flight between Australia and London brings the airline’s flagship Qsuites experience. Qsuites is one of the world’s most private Business Class experiences, with a closing door. But it can also be shared with a companion, or as a family.

The only flights where you won’t find Qsuites are the Airbus A380 legs. These come with Qatar Airways’ last-generation seats, but they’re still perfectly comfortable. Waiting for you will be a fully-flat bed, direct aisle access, and an inflight lounge to socialise with other A380 passengers. These superjumbos are also home to Qatar Airways First Class.

Flying to London with Singapore Airlines

  • Transit point: Singapore, Republic of Singapore.
  • Alliance: Star Alliance.
  • Key frequent flyer programs: Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, Velocity Frequent Flyer.

Singapore Airlines’ routes, aircraft and cabins to London

RouteAircraft type(s)Cabins
Sydney-SingaporeAirbus A380-800
Boeing 777-300ER
Boeing 787-10
Suites Class, Business Class, Premium Economy Class, Economy Class
First Class, Business Class, Premium Economy Class, Economy Class
Business Class (‘medium haul’), Economy Class
Melbourne-SingaporeBoeing 777-300ERFirst Class, Business Class, Premium Economy Class, Economy Class
Brisbane-SingaporeAirbus A350-900Most flights: Business Class (‘medium haul’), Economy Class
Selected flights: Business Class (‘long haul’), Premium Economy Class, Economy Class
Perth-SingaporeAirbus A350-900, Boeing 787-10Business Class (‘medium haul’), Economy Class
Adelaide-SingaporeAirbus A350-900Business Class (‘medium haul’), Economy Class
Darwin-SingaporeBoeing 737-800Business Class (recliner), Economy Class
Cairns-SingaporeBoeing 737-800Business Class (recliner), Economy Class
-> Singapore-LondonAirbus A380-800
Boeing 777-300ER
Suites Class, Business Class, Premium Economy Class, Economy Class
First Class, Business Class, Premium Economy Class, Economy Class

Singapore Airlines’ lounges when flying to London

Singapore Airlines’ comprehensive lounge network is complemented by partnered lounges, as required.

  • Departing Australia
    • Relax in the SilverKris Lounges in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth. Those in Sydney and Melbourne also have a separate section for guests travelling in Suites, First Class, or with Solitaire PPS Club status.
    • In Adelaide, Singapore Airlines instead uses the domestic Virgin Australia Lounge. Up in Cairns, it’s normally the independent Reef Lounge.
  • Transiting Singapore
    • The Private Room is home to First Class and Suites passengers. Enjoy the very best of Singaporean hospitality!
    • The SilverKris First Class Lounge is the go-to for Solitaire PPS Club members who aren’t flying First Class. There’s still great Champagne, but don’t expect table service.
    • Next door, the SilverKris Business Class Lounge serves its namesake passengers, plus PPS Club travellers.
    • Most other frequent flyers are instead catered for in the KrisFlyer Gold Lounge. This includes KrisFlyer Elite Gold members, plus other Star Alliance Gold cardholders. Virgin Australia Velocity Gold and Platinum members also use this space when flying Premium Economy Class or Economy Class.
  • Departing London
    • At Heathrow Terminal 2, Singapore Airlines provides both a Business Class Lounge and a First Class Lounge. The access rules mirror Singapore, except that those who’d use the KrisFlyer Gold Lounge can use London’s Business Class Lounge.

The Singapore Airlines inflight experience to London

With nearly every plane in the Singapore Airlines fleet connecting Australia with London, the experience can vary widely between routes and flights. There are too many combinations for us to examine here, but here are a few tips.

Flying on an Airbus A350? See if you can choose a flight with the ‘long haul’ seating configuration. In Business Class, this means the seats are much wider compared to the ‘medium haul’ layouts. It also means there’s Premium Economy Class, which isn’t found on those ‘medium haul’ planes.

If your budget or points balance stretches to First Class, also try to nab one of Singapore Airlines’ Airbus A380 flights. Rather than the Boeing 777s, the Airbus A380s offer closed-door Suites. Some of these can even be turned into a double bed, when travelling with a companion.

Flying to London with Air Canada

  • Transit point: Vancouver, Canada.
  • Alliance: Star Alliance.
  • Key frequent flyer programs: Air Canada’s Aeroplan, Velocity Frequent Flyer.

Air Canada’s routes, aircraft and cabins to London

RouteAircraft type(s)Cabins
Sydney-VancouverBoeing 777-200LRSignature Class (Business), Premium Economy Class, Economy Class
Brisbane-VancouverBoeing 787-8Signature Class (Business), Premium Economy Class, Economy Class
-> Vancouver-LondonBoeing 777-300ERSignature Class (Business), Premium Economy Class, Economy Class

Air Canada’s lounges and experience when flying to London

On the lounge front, Air Canada uses the lounges of Air New Zealand in Australia. In Vancouver and London, however, the airline has its own Maple Leaf Lounges.

Whether you wind up aboard the Boeing 777 or the Boeing 787, Signature Class is Air Canada’s flagship. It’s similar in design to Virgin Australia’s now-defunct ‘The Business’ seating. Behind that, Premium Economy Class and Economy Class are available for the entire journey.

Flying to London with All Nippon Airways (ANA)

  • Transit point: Tokyo (Haneda Airport), Japan.
  • Alliance: Star Alliance.
  • Key frequent flyer programs: ANA Mileage Club, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club.

ANA’s routes, aircraft and cabins to London

RouteAircraft type(s)Cabins
Sydney-TokyoBoeing 787-9Business Class, Premium Economy Class, Economy Class
Perth-TokyoBoeing 787-9Business Class, Premium Economy Class, Economy Class
-> Tokyo-LondonBoeing 777-300ERFirst Class, Business Class, Premium Economy Class, Economy Class

ANA’s lounges and experience when flying to London

As a Star Alliance member, passengers on ANA can normally visit the Air New Zealand and Singapore Airlines lounges in Australia. The lounge that’s available may vary depending on the departure schedule of these other airlines.

At its home hub in Tokyo, ANA certainly knows how to spoil its premium passengers. First Class guests and ANA Diamond frequent flyers can unwind in the exclusive ANA Suite Lounge. Here, snack at the Noodle Bar, or get down to business in the private working areas. Business Class customers and other eligible frequent flyers can visit the standard ANA Lounge instead.

London Heathrow provides a choice between the lounges of Air Canada, Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines and United Airlines. For many passengers, the Singapore Airlines lounges are hard to fault.

On-board, expect direct aisle access in Business Class, and a comfortable journey in Premium Economy Class.

Flying to London with China Airlines

  • Transit point: Taipei, Taiwan.
  • Alliance: SkyTeam.
  • Key frequent flyer programs: China Airlines’ Dynasty Flyer, Air France/KLM Flying Club, Qantas Frequent Flyer (Australia-Taipei only).

China Airlines’ routes, aircraft and cabins to London

RouteAircraft type(s)Cabins
Sydney-TaipeiAirbus A350-900Business Class, Premium Economy Class, Economy Class
Melbourne-TaipeiAirbus A350-900Business Class, Premium Economy Class, Economy Class
Brisbane-TaipeiAirbus A350-900Business Class, Premium Economy Class, Economy Class
-> Taipei-LondonAirbus A350-900Business Class, Premium Economy Class, Economy Class

China Airlines’ lounges and experience when flying to London

As a SkyTeam alliance member, China Airlines calls the SkyTeam Lounge home at Sydney Airport. Down in Melbourne, the Marhaba Lounge is used instead. In Brisbane, it’s the Plaza Premium Lounge. As each airport uses a different type of lounge, the experience isn’t as consistent as with some other airlines. But, China Airlines has its bases covered.

Taipei is where China Airlines’ lounge experience really comes alive. The carrier’s flagship, the China Airlines Lounge (A Side), provides a dark and cosy space that’s perfect for stays long and short. In London, it’s the SkyTeam Lounge.

China Airlines’ Airbus A350 cabins are nothing short of beautiful. In Business Class, you really get the sense that every feature and fixture has been thoughtfully planned. The same is true of Premium Economy Class and Economy Class.

Flying to London with Japan Airlines (JAL)

  • Transit point: Tokyo (Haneda), Japan.
  • Alliance: Oneworld.
  • Key frequent flyer programs: JAL Mileage Bank, Qantas Frequent Flyer, Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan, Emirates Skywards.

Japan Airlines’ routes, aircraft and cabins to London

RouteAircraft type(s)Cabins
Sydney-TokyoBoeing 787-9Business Class, Premium Economy Class, Economy Class
Melbourne-TokyoBoeing 787-8Business Class and Economy Class
-> Tokyo-LondonBoeing 787-8Business Class and Economy Class

Japan Airlines’ lounges and experience when flying to London

With Australian routes from Sydney and Melbourne, JAL passengers can use the Qantas lounges. In Tokyo, JAL delivers its own Business Class and First Class lounges. These follow the traditional oneworld rules, so a Qantas Platinum card gets you into the JAL First Class space.

Before your journey home from Heathrow, you’ll have access to a British Airways lounge in Terminal 3. This will either be the Galleries First Lounge or the Galleries Club Lounge, depending on your ticket and status.

In the sky, JAL is a great way to fly. You really can’t go wrong with the ‘Japanese menu’ on Japan Airlines. Often, you’re served a number of small bites to sample – helping you find new favourites and rediscover familiar delights.

Flying to London with Malaysia Airlines

  • Transit point: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
  • Alliance: Oneworld.
  • Key frequent flyer programs: Malaysia Airlines Enrich, Qantas Frequent Flyer.

Malaysia Airlines’ routes, aircraft and cabins to London

RouteAircraft type(s)Cabins
Sydney-Kuala LumpurAirbus A330-300Business Class and Economy Class
Melbourne-Kuala LumpurAirbus A330-300Business Class and Economy Class
Brisbane-Kuala LumpurAirbus A330-300Business Class and Economy Class
Perth-Kuala LumpurBoeing 737-800Business Class (recliner) and Economy Class
Adelaide-Kuala LumpurAirbus A330-300Business Class and Economy Class
-> Kuala Lumpur-LondonAirbus A350-900Business Suites, Business Class, Economy Class

Malaysia Airlines’ lounges and experience when flying to London

As with other oneworld airlines, your journey from Australia begins in a Qantas Business Lounge or Qantas First Lounge. In Adelaide, it’s the domestic Qantas Club, located before passport control.

The experience becomes uniquely Malaysian once you’re in transit in Kuala Lumpur. Here, the national carrier provides a Golden Lounge, separated into Business Class and First Class zones. Most eligible travellers can enter the Business Class side, where you’ll find a noodle bar, showers and a nap area. The First Class side is instead for oneworld Emerald members, and passengers booked in ‘Business Suites’.

That’s the new name given to what was previously known as Malaysia Airlines First Class. It’s still the same seat on board, still the same lounge, but without the ‘First Class’ branding. It’s different to Business Class, which is, well, still Business Class! On all but the airline’s Boeing 737 flights, Business Class means a bed with direct aisle access. Those on the Boeing 737s, however, must be content with a domestic-style reclining seat. Sorry, Perth readers!

Lounge-wise, Malaysia Airlines normally operates its own Golden Lounge at Heathrow. That remains closed for now, however, with eligible passengers directed to the Plaza Premium Lounge instead.

Flying to London with Thai Airways

  • Transit point: Bangkok, Thailand.
  • Alliance: Star Alliance.
  • Key frequent flyer programs: Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer.

Thai Airways’ routes, aircraft and cabins to London

RouteAircraft type(s)Cabins
Sydney-BangkokBoeing 777-300ERBusiness Class and Economy Class
Melbourne-BangkokAirbus A350-900Business Class and Economy Class
Perth-Bangkok*Boeing 787-9Business Class and Economy Class
-> Bangkok-LondonBoeing 777-300ERBusiness Class and Economy Class

* Flights between Perth and Bangkok are listed in Thai Airways’ forward schedules. However, at the time of writing, these weren’t currently open for sale.

Thai Airways’ lounges and experience when flying to London

In Australia, Thai Airways’ passengers can visit Air New Zealand and Singapore Airlines lounges. That’s thanks to the airline’s Star Alliance membership. The same is true in London, where the lounges of Air Canada, Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines and United Airlines await.

During the transit in Bangkok, you’re likely to visit a Thai Airways Royal Silk Lounge. While these tend to be quite standard, do make time for the Royal Orchid Spa! As a Business Class passenger, you’re able to request a complimentary 30-minute massage.

On-board, Thai Airways is currently keeping things simple with just Business Class and Economy Class across these routes. Fortunately for Business Class flyers, every departure we searched showed Thai’s newer fully-flat beds. These are much preferable to the airline’s older planes with angled-flat seats.

Flying to London with United Airlines

  • Transit points: Houston, Los Angeles or San Francisco, United States.
  • Alliance: Star Alliance.
  • Key frequent flyer programs: United MileagePlus, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer.

United Airlines’ routes, aircraft and cabins to London

RouteAircraft type(s)Cabins
Sydney-HoustonBoeing 787-9Polaris (old), Economy Plus, Economy Class
-> Houston-LondonBoeing 777-200Polaris (new), Premium Plus, Economy Plus, Economy Class
Sydney-Los Angeles
Melbourne-Los Angeles
Boeing 787-9Polaris (old), Economy Plus, Economy Class
-> Los Angeles-LondonBoeing 787-9Polaris (old), Economy Plus, Economy Class
Sydney-San Francisco
Melbourne-San Francisco
Boeing 787-9Polaris (old), Economy Plus, Economy Class
-> San Francisco-LondonBoeing 777-200Polaris (new), Premium Plus, Economy Plus, Economy Class

United Airlines’ lounges and experience when flying to London

Certainly, travelling from Australia to London via the United States isn’t the fastest way to go. But with a number of one-stop routes via the US, United is worth a look – especially if booking using miles.

On the lounge front, expect to use either the Air New Zealand or Singapore Airlines lounges in Sydney and Melbourne. In the US and the UK, however, the United Club lounges await. Business Class travellers transiting through Houston, Los Angeles or San Francisco could also normally visit the United Polaris lounges. These remain temporarily closed for now, with the United Club the next-best option.

For the time being, United is scheduling the older seats in its fleet on routes between Australia and the USA. This means Business Class isn’t the airline’s flagship Polaris experience. It’s instead the six-across cabin, originally introduced as ‘BusinessFirst’. Only the onward Boeing 777 flights from Houston and San Francisco to London have the carrier’s best Business Class, for now. These are also the only routes of those listed above to provide Premium Plus. That’s what United calls Premium Economy Class.

Summing up

Travellers really are spoiled for choice when jetting from Australia to London.

The convenience of non-stop flights between Australia and the UK isn’t to be overlooked, especially in the age of COVID. However, if you don’t mind taking a connecting flight, your options are vast.

We’ve also only listed the non-stop and one-stop options that airlines are selling for 2022. Many other carriers previously flew to both Australia and the UK, and are yet to show their hand. For the more adventurous, you could also mix and match different airlines to get from A to B.

While there’s some new territory to navigate around travel declarations and testing, your familiar perch in Business Class isn’t far away!

What to expect when flying to London was last modified: November 29th, 2021 by Chris Chamberlin