QF 127 Flight Report : Sydney - Hong Kong

I chose Qantas on this trip not because it offered the best service or the best schedule. Quite the contrary - they only offer 1 daily flight to Hong Kong, sometimes 2, while Cathay had 4. But they were the cheapest, and in this economy, flying the cheapest Business Class would be a prudent idea. Being a daytime flight also was attractive, although I wasn't sure how effective they could compete on this route. Given their European network is quite a disaster already, it's hard to fathom they can even get Asia wrong.

After a month-long visit, it was time to go home. The international terminal was busy this morning, but the Business Class counters were an exception. Soon, with my lounge invitation and boarding pass ready, I headed upstairs to the observation deck.

Sydney's airport is fairly close to the city, and nothing beats airplanes set against the skyline! If I didn't have so much luggage, I would take the train, which takes about the same time as a taxi.

I wasn't expecting to eat nasty food on my flight today. After all, it is Business Class!

There was a long line for security, even the Express line for premium passengers. After immigration and security, I searched around for plane spotting windows. The terminal has a decent amount of accessible windows, although the terminal had a lot of corners and hidden areas so I had to explore a bit to get my bearings right.

The classic skyline and airplane shot. But wait a minute - it's a Qantas Freight airplane!

Happy with my plane spotting, I turned my attention to the Qantas Business Class lounge, which was upstairs and then a long walk away from the escalator.

The lounge was fairly full and stretched along the length of the building. I walked quite a while past the bar to get to the seating area. The end of the lounge is reserved for families, especially those with noisy kids!

The food choices were decent and there was plenty of booze to choose from. I was captivated by the pancake-making machine, but I didn't want to try so I could save room for a feast onboard!

Boarding was orderly and soon I was heading uphill towards the upper deck door.

I settled into my upper deck Business Class seat towards the rear. The A380's upper deck is primarily Business Class although there is a Premium Economy section at the back end. Loading was fairly light today, so I had a bit more privacy in the rear cabin.

We taxied towards the northern end of the airport.

We waited at the end of the runway for a bit while a few planes landed.

We quietly took off towards the south. No views of the city today! Once again, I was amazed by how quiet the engines were while powering us into the air!

The bad part about the A380's upper deck is the space between the 2 window panes, which result in a lot of glare. As the upper deck is also along the upward curve of the aircraft, it is also very difficult to take aerial photos of the scenery below.

After a long time, the meal service finally began! The appetizer was decent but the steak in the main course was a bit too tough. The cream puff dessert came in a very generous portion! I thought Qantas' food portions to be a bit bigger than Cathay's.

The skies were fairly clear so there was a lot of scenery on show beneath me. Wonder if the Economy Class folks downstairs were having better luck taking pictures?

After the meal service and watching a few shows, I made a visit to the bathroom to see its advanced features. The faucet turns on automatically but you need to manually set the temperature first.

A minibar was set up at the front of the cabin with plenty of little things for you to self-serve. I grabbed a few packs of veggie chips to enjoy with my movie. Being Australian, there was also no shortage of booze.

Even after the snacks, I was still hungry so I ordered this delicious tuna salad.

For today's flight, I collected an amenity kit consisting of a fabric bag with socks, ear plugs, toothbrush, and various Malin + Goetz skincare products. No pyjamas for the daytime flight though, but I've collected a few sets from my past Qantas flights already.

Upon arrival, I explored the Business Class cabin a bit more. Notice the side storage bins, which are similar to the upper deck of the 747. I wasn't a big fan of these seats though. There is less privacy and if I sat by the window, I still need to climb over one to get to the lavatory.

Near the snack counter is a lounge where premium cabin passengers can socialize and enjoy their drinks.

During the flight, a crew member initiated a conversation about photography and my SLR camera. I was snapping away quite extensively throughout the flight and they noticed. He kindly offered to let me explore First Class after the passengers disembarked. Nice gesture! This actually sets Qantas apart from Cathay, where crew members are not afraid to initiate personal chats with passengers.

First Class seemed a bit more private with these semi-suites. The seat would turn into a lie-flat bed by pivoting it sideways along the diagonal and then stretching out. This design is likely to save space as the suite can now fit into a smaller recentangle. It's all about math!

I thought it was a bit cramped though!

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