AIRCRAFT: AIRBUS A330-300
ROUTE: SINGAPORE TO BRISBANE
SEATING: BUSINESS CLASS
FARE: A$3,494 RETURN
FLIGHT TIME: 7 HOURS 5 MINUTES
The Business Class layout has been refurbed from 30 seats in a 2-2-2 layout to 28 arranged in a roomier 1-2-1. To accommodate the changes Qantas has moved a forward lavatory to the back of the cabin, narrowed the aisles and reduced the galley areas. Staff lose, but we gain a comfier space with every seat having either a window or direct aisle access.
The new Business Suites, designed in collaboration with Marc Newson, feature a bonanza of workspace and storage. Seat width varies between 58 centimetres and 61 centimetres depending on where you are in the cabin, but all convert into a comfortable two metre fully flat bed, which lies low to avoid glare from your neighbours’ nocturnal activities. The game changer? A detachable sash component on the belt allowing you to partially recline during taxi, take-off and landing, while a specially designed mattress can stay under your rear for the entire flight. The Oroton amenity kit doesn’t hurt, either.
Typical Qantas — efficient, genial, egalitarian, unobtrusive — but with that extra polish of business class. It’s a winning combination. This was the refurbished plane’s first night flight, so the first for this crew, and they hardly missed a beat.
The Neil Perry designed supper menu is quality comfort food — think bowls of beef pho, chicken rendang, king prawns and grilled artichokes — while breakfast is a toss-up between toasted muesli and baked spinach and eggs. The ever-changing wine selection is inspired, as always.
Panasonic supplies the entire entertainment system and it’s a doozy: the 16-inch high resolution touchscreen is bright, accurate and responsive, with impressive viewing angles on which to watch a stack of films and television shows, or play games. Noise-cancelling headphones and a remote control are provided for when you want to recline.
Business Class passengers are allowed to bring up to two pieces each weighing a generous 40 kilograms, with extra tiers of allowance for Qantas Club members and the different grades of Frequent Flyer. Privileges include dedicated check-in and access to the new Qantas Singapore Lounge.
A Qantas Frequent Flyer membership (A$89.50 to join) gives you earning access to the ever faithful oneworld alliance, which includes British Airways, Japan Airlines, American Airlines and Cathay Pacific, as well as individual partnerships with Emirates, Alitalia, China Eastern and others.
The flight departed 15 minutes late but surfed a tail wind to touch down well ahead of schedule. qantas.com.au