New Qantas Business Class – A330 – AKL to MEL
After wrapping up in New Zealand, I was off to Australia to continue the tour of the Pacific Rim. I had some American Airlines points stacked up and found a great redemption opportunity on their OneWorld partner, Qantas.
Through this redemption, I was able to experience both the new and old business class products that Qantas offers. Check out my review of the older business class product on the 747-400 here.
Check out what the brand new Qantas business class looks like and why it helped get Qantas into the Top 10 of Skytrax’s Best of 2019 awards!
This flight was part of a quick seven day trip around the Pacific Rim! I booked a total of 7 flights for less than $1,100 and used some points along the way to get 3/7 flights in business class. Check out the full article here!
I arrived about 3 hours early and was able to utilize the Qantas Business Class Lounge at Auckland International Airport.
After making my way by security and the Duty-free mall, I found the escalator to the “Premium Lounges” which includes the Qantas Business Class lounge, Emirates Business Class lounge, and Strata Lounge which is part of Priority Pass.
After checking in at the desk, I promptly went to the shower to freshen up after playing a round of golf. There are four showers to use and towels can be provided by the front desk. Soap is in the shower. There is plenty of space and the facilities were very clean and sanitary.
After freshening up, I found a seat and went to eat. There were many small food and snack items including cheese, salads, sandwiches, curry with rice, pretzels, and small desserts. There was also a full espresso machine, wide variety of wines and champagne, soft drinks, and liquor.
Seating was abundant, mostly in individual chairs setup in fours with small tables to share. There were a couple of larger round tables. There were only power outlets along the back wall other than that, couldn’t find any at the other seating areas which was disappointing.
The lounge was busy but quiet during the evening rush hour and was a great spot to relax before boarding.
Boarding was simple and I was able to gate check my bag with ease. The boarding agents were very friendly and welcoming. I boarded through the forward jetway and was kindly directed towards my seat.
I’ll be honest, I thought I was going to be stuck in old school 2-2-2 Qantas business class but I was pleasantly surprised. I was welcomed into the refreshed 1-2-1 business class cabin and wow.
The window seats are laid out in alternating fashion with one having a direct window seat and the other having its small table next to the window. The middle seats share a divider that can’t be lowered.
Every seat has a large entertainment screen which are also touchscreens.
At the seat first is a fluffy pillow and blanket which feels very heavy and warm.
The seat itself is a bit rigid lacking some extra comfort and padding. For what it lacks in padding, it makes up for in abilities. The seat has a recline function for the upper seat along with being able to slide forwards or backwards. The footrest is also adjustable. There is also lumbar support with adjustable height. My favorite is the massage function which is perfect. Never had it on a flight and honestly can’t live without it now.
Under the right arm was a mirror and entertainment remote if you chose to not use the touchscreen.
The seat also includes an AC power plug, USB port, and headphone jack which supports a 3.5mm jack or the old-school Right and Left Mono inputs.
Headphones are included and aren’t noise cancelling but do the job if you don’t have any.
The small table next to the seat offers plenty of space to lay things out and keep things from being cluttered on your lap. There is a large, slim storage bin lining the edge of the seat which is perfect for laptops, tablets, and magazines.
The seat does fully lie flat and creates a pretty comfortable bed. The airbag on the seatbelt can be a bit bothersome but in all, enough room to feel cozy but not crammed.
The footwell is decently sized with plenty of room to spread your feet out.
I am 6 feet tall and lying flat I had plenty of wiggle room at the end of the footwell.
The business class restroom had nice flooring but aside from that, didn’t have anything too special that may set it apart from the economy restroom.
The entertainment system on board is excellent in business class. If not business class, you have to download the “Qantas Entertainment” app.
The screen is very responsive and has a great layout. I think it rivals Emirates IFE system. The layout is very intuitive and simple. There is a wide range of content including blockbuster movies, international titles, marvel movies, and a Disney section.
TV is also expansive including exclusives from HBO and National Geographic. HBO features full seasons of many shows including “Ballers,” which is baller in my opinion.
There are also plenty of audio tracks, audio books, games, news, and radio channels to browse.
The menu is shown below for this quick 4-and-a-half-hour flight. I went with the chicken and soba noodle salad and they were out of the lamb dish, so I went with the salami and ricotta sandwich was recommended by the flight attendant.
My white table cloth was brought out with a small salad with oil and balsamic vinaigrette accompanied by butter, bread, and drink of choice.
After, I had my chicken and soba noodles. The is a cold meal and tasted great. Chicken was tender and the noodles were well done and didn’t have an overpowering soy sauce taste. The crunchy cashews were also a great addition.
A small slip up, the flight attendants forgot to bring me my main course. They were very apologetic and made up for it by adding an extra half of a salami sandwich. The sandwich is warm and tasted great. The ciabatta roll was excellent and the melted butter with ricotta and salami was delicious. There was also some rocket on the sandwich. For those who don’t know, rocket is another way to refer to lettuce.
To top it off, I had a choice of ice cream or a cheese plate. I went with the spicy cinnamon apple vanilla ice cream which was a great way to wrap things up.
Qantas staff were extremely happy and always greeted me with a smile. It really seems like they enjoy their job and take pride in it. Service started with a pre-flight drink of water, orange juice or champagne. I went with the champagne which was perfect.
Throughout the flight, flight attendants were attentive and made an effort to be friendly. Although there was a small slip up in forgetting my main course, they were apologetic and made up for it quick. It’s certainly a welcoming and friendly atmosphere on board and is a positive reflection of the spirit of Australia.
My first experience on board Qantas was positive to say the least. I was extremely impressed with the fresh, new business class interior and its layout. I was also impressed with the meals and service on board.
It’s easy to see why Qantas is now a Top 10 ranked airline in the world with its tremendous hard product and welcoming soft product.
The Spirt of Australia lives up to the name and is an airline you should look to fly in the near future.
Share your experience below! We’d love to hear if you had a similar or different experience!