I had the opportunity to try out business class on the Qantas A330 twice. The first time was from Auckland to Perth, about a 7 hour flight, and the second time was from Perth to Melbourne, about a 2.5 hour flight. Qantas flies this product domestically between many of the bigger cities in Australia. They also fly this product to many international destinations.
It was interesting to fly the same product twice to see the difference between the service offered on an international flight compared to a domestic flight. The only noticeable difference was that on the flight from Auckland to Perth, we received an amenity kit with some goodies, and on the domestic flight from Perth to Melbourne, we did not. Since that was the only difference, I decided to merge the reviews into one review for both.
I will just come out and say it. For a domestic business class product, this is probably the best business class seat in the world. Most domestic business class (we call it first class) in the United States is an absolute joke compared to this.
I found the cabin to be gorgeous with nice wood finishes around the seats. The seats are in a 1-2-1 configuration and lie completely flat. We took advantage of that when we flew from Auckland to Perth. This seemed like it was pretty much the same seat as when we flew SAS from Chicago to Copenhagen. One funny quirk about the seat is that it has a seat-belt that comes over your shoulder and connects to the seat-belt going over your lap. It felt like a seat-belt you would find in a car. The flight attendants make you wear the over-the-shoulder seat-belt for takeoff and landing, but not during the flight.
This seat-belt really got me thinking on this flight. It is certainly safer to have this over-the-shoulder strap during an airplane crash. It was pretty messed up that only business class passengers have this strap. Dear Qantas: if you’re going to provide this safety feature in business, you should probably find a way to provide it in economy as well. Do you believe it is more important to save the lives of business class passengers?
Each seat is equipped with a nicely sized monitor for viewing TV shows and movies. They also provide a nice set of headphones. On one of our flights, the entertainment system did not boot up properly and no one in business class could watch movies for takeoff. It was pretty funny seeing the entire cabin press the flight attendant call button after takeoff to inform the crew of the issue. About 10 minutes later, everyone’s system was ready to go! I was pleasantly surprised by the movie selection. I ended up watching a movie about a young chess player from Uganda.
This is one area that Qantas could improve. The meal service was perfectly acceptable for a business class flight, but neither of us had meals that we loved. Brit did get a fish sandwich that turned out to be the best thing either one of us got on either one of our two flights.
Best Way to Book
The best way to book these flights is to use American Airlines miles. American Airlines charges 20,000 miles for a business class flight within Australia. They charge 25,000 miles for a business class flight between Australia and New Zealand.
This used to be a slightly better deal before American devalued their award program. We paid 17,500 miles to fly in business between Auckland and Perth, and paid 15,000 miles to fly in business class between Perth and Melbourne.
This is a phenomenal domestic business class product. It is even better than some international business class products I have flown. Using American Airlines miles can be a fantastic deal for booking these awards. Australia is an absolutely monstrous continent.
I found the service during the flights to be a little lackluster compared to other airlines I have flown. It is perfectly acceptable for a domestic flight, but I would probably look elsewhere for a longer international flight. It seemed as if the flight attendants were just going through the motions instead of trying to guarantee you are having a great experience.
Have any questions about this great domestic business class product?