LAX-SYD on A380

I have waited a long time to give the Qantas (QF) A380 a go. My Singapore Airlines (SQ) A380 experience was in Nov, 2009 so was very very excited to finally have the QF experience. It has been 28 years 1 week since I first flew in a 747 the other jumbo of the skies. Today was my 632nd flight in my life and my 210th with Qantas.

My experience was improved when Qantas upgraded me at Check in from Economy to Premium Economy (thanks Qantas!). This put me in the upper deck in seat 38K - I think the best seat on the plane. Huge amount of legroom! (It did put me at the end of Upper deck de-planing though which may be an issue for some. When I land @ LAX, I like to be off ASAP to get into the horrible immigration lines faster).

I was on Sir Wilmot Hudson Fysh (one of QF founders), Reg No: VH-OQ.(photo here)

Take off out of LAX was MARVELOUS. The A380 clearly loves to fly. We trundled smoothly out onto the runway after a jerky pushback. Then we moved onto the main runway for takeoff. With not a lot of fuss, engines fired up and we rolled down the runway picking up speed before a gentle leap into the Los Angeles sky.

The seat was wonderful. The service fantastic and food superb. On Board Customer Service Manager Kim personally welcomed me as a Platinum (NB to Qantas and other airlines, I like the welcome and I remember it when it does and doesn't happen) She arranged for a tour of the whole plane (including a peek into First). Thank you!

It is a beautiful plane inside ( I still think the 747 looks better externally). Prior to the A380 launch, Qantas said: "We think it will be the best in the sky and when people see it on board they will be bowled over." I was not bowled over by the Economy sections especially the Green coloured seats in the middle section. In addiiton, the on-board Business lounge area is rather underwhelming. The feeling of spaciousness is, however, marvellous.

The A380 compared to the 747 is so quiet-some pilots have actually complained its too quiet.

Onboard entertainment worked well (I also worked!). I would like a simpler indexing system which lists all shows and which channel they are on as I find scrolling through menu after menu a little annoying.

609am landing into a darkened Sydney was very smooth. We first wandered all over the Sydney sky (probably while waiting for a landing slot after curfew lifts at 0600). We came in over Kurnell and Botany Bay landing gently Northwards on Main North/South Runway 34L.

A smooth immigration intake using the Smartgate, followed by quick luggage delivery, straight forward quarantine process meant I was through in the terminal in under an hour (including duty free shopping). The messy domestic transfer process was its usual disaster. The Qantas check in agents under pressure were a little snappy (no seat changes here we dont have time). Yeah its better than Heathrow or New York but its horrible.

Breakfast with my friend Melody in the Domestic Business lounge before my onward flight (QF 419) to MEL made the morning perfect!

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