Pic: British Airways Galleries First at Heathrow Terminal 3
For my year end trip to Australia, I used 150K US Airways Dividend Miles which I bought for $1702 (€1288). I managed to buy these miles at 1.1 dollar cents during their fabulous 100% bonus on shared miles promos back in Oct 2013, Dec 2013 and Apr 2014. I paid an additional $370 (€285) in taxes and fees to book Amsterdam (AMS) – London Heathrow (LHR) – Dubai (DXB) – Melbourne (MEL) – Sydney (SYD) roundtrip with the long haul flights in First Class and short haul segments in Business Class. My total airfare was €1573 for a trip which could have been easily €8280 booked as revenue ticket!
Pic: Taittinger Prelude Champagne at BA Galleries First
After an uneventful British Airways Business Class flight from Amsterdam to London on Saturday afternoon, my Qantas Chauffeur drove me from Holiday Inn Express Heathrow T5 to Terminal 3 on Sunday morning. As Qantas First Class passenger, I had access to both the British Airways Galleries First Class lounge and the Emirates Business and First Class lounge.
Pic: Breakfast at the BA Galleries First Class Lounge
As expected, the service at the BA Galleries First Lounge was lacking. Nobody to welcome me at the First Class dining area, tables with stains and greasy spots, ages before someone took my order, etc… still a lot to improve British Airways!
Pic: No. 1 Traveller Lounge & Spa at LHR Terminal 3
As a Qantas First Class passenger, I was entitled to a 15 minute Spa treatment (menu) at the No. 1 Traveller Lounge & Spa . Fortunately, my ‘Fix It Massage’ session was a bit longer than the advertised 15 minutes. The therapist was friendly and professional, the treatment room rather small, as is the case with most airport spas.
Pic: Breakfast at the Emirates lounge, LHR Terminal 3
For my second breakfast, I visited the Emirates Business and First Class lounge at London Heathrow Terminal 3. The lounge didn’t have a separate area for First Class passengers, which gave it a less exclusive feel. However, the food and beverages buffets were quite extensive.
Pic: Qantas Airbus A380 Kangaroo
Around noon, it was time to board my flight QF10 from London to Melbourne (via Dubai). After reading a number of Qantas A380 First Class seating guides, I had selected seat 4A. The best seat in the house (3A) was already taken. The Qantas A380 First Class cabin is rather crowded with 14 suites, e.g. Lufthansa has 8 seats in First Class, but you can make it a bit more exclusive by selecting a seat in row A. Why? As a passenger in row A, you share the aisle with only 4 other passengers as there’s a divider between row A and F.
Pic: Qantas A380 First Class Seat 4A
Pic: Qantas A380 First Class Seat 4A
Pic: Qantas First Class Amuse Bouche and Taittinger Champagne
First Class flight attendant Alex welcomed me on board with a glass of Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs 2000. The drinks menu read as follows: Champagne, wine, cold beverages and hot beverages.
Pic: 2000 Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs
Pic: Bart at A380 Qantas First Class London to Dubai
I didn’t have high expectations of the inflight catering, as Qantas doesn’t have a caviar service, something most other airlines offer in First Class. There were two menu’s for this 7 hour flight: a Tasting Menu and Lunch Menu. I went for the tasting menu of which the main course stood out: the Rockpool Bar and Grill style herb crumbed lamb cutlets with roasted carrots, cauliflower gratin, harissa and seeded mustard. It was one of the best lamb dishes I ever had… so delicious!
Pic: Rockpool Bar and Grill style Crumbed Lamb Cutlets
Pic: Vanilla Sable with Poached Mandarin and Orange Syrup
Pic: Selection of cheese served with accompaniments
Pic: Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai
Qantas flight QF10 made a short stop in Dubai (1:45min) on the way to Melbourne to refuel and give the passengers the opportunity to stretch their legs. As Qantas has a partnership with Emirates, First Class passengers can use the Emirates First Class facilities at the A380 terminal at Dubai airport. I used the opportunity to take a refreshing shower and had a quick bite at one of the Emirates First Class à la carte lounge restaurants.
Pic: My Qantas A380 First Class Seat 4A Dubai to Melbourne
After our quick stop in Dubai, we continued the journey to Melbourne which was another 13 hours of flying. I returned to the same seat, but noticed only a few familiar faces. As expected, there was a new crew but also a number of new passengers in First.
Pic: Qantas A380 First Class Seat 4A top view
Pic: Qantas First Class King Prawn Salad
Pic: Cream of pea and mint soup with croutons
As it was well beyond midnight, I only had some light courses from the DXB to MEL menu: Supper and Refreshments, Dinner. The Champagne, Wine and Beverages menus were the same as on the London to Dubai segment.
Pic: 2009 De Bortoli Noble One Botrytis Semillon
After my light meal, I had the pleasure to enjoy the heavenly Qantas First Class bed. My new favorite in the sky together with the Lufthansa B747-400 First Class bed!
Pic: Qantas A380 First Class Full Flat Bed Seat 4A
Melbourne to London
Pic: Qantas First Class Lounge Melbourne Bollinger Brut Champagne
Pic: Qantas First Class Spa at Melbourne airport
Pic: Qantas First Class A380 seen from the Melbourne First Class lounge
Pic: Pre-departure drink: Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame 2004
Pic: Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame 2004
Pic: Qantas First Class Amenity Kit and Pyjamas
Pic: Qantas First Class A380 Seat 3K
Pic: Qantas First Class Breakfast on QF9 Melbourne to Dubai
Pic: Qantas First Class Lunch – Mezze Plate inspired by Emirates
Pic: Qantas A380 Staircase to Business Class
Pic: Qantas Business & First Class A380 Upper Deck
A special thank you goes out to First Class flight attendants Alex (LHR-DXB), Matthew & Jamie (MEL-DXB) and Carine (DXB-LHR) for the fantastic service on my Qantas A380 First Class trip!
Pic: Qantas First Class Chauffeur Drive to London
Pic: Afternoon tea with Feliza at Ting, Shangri-La The Shard, London
Pic: High tea at Ting, Shangri-La The Shard, London