Flight Review: QF128 ‘First Class’ HKG-SYD

Last week, I embarked on QF128, a journey from Hong Kong to Sydney. The flight was an intriguing blend of Business and First class, which admittedly left me a tad bewildered. Allow me to recount my experience.

For the next couple of months, the last of Qantas’ A380s to emerge from their pandemic-induced desert slumber has been assigned to ply the skies between Sydney and Hong Kong as QF127/8. This particular A380, however, had yet to undergo Qantas’ seat refurbishment. Alas, First class tickets were not on the menu for this route. But here’s the twist: if you happened to be flying Business class, you could snag a First class seat three days prior to departure.

How? When selecting seats on this particular flight within three days of departure, the First Class seat map will appear for anyone travelling on a Business Class ticket. Qantas Platinum One and above frequent flyers would be able to select at time of booking.

Qantas A380 First Class Seatmap
Qantas A380 First Class Seatmap

Now let’s talk about my seat selection. I did some research and was convinced that the Executive Traveller dubbed the seat 1K a ‘private corner’ – alluring. With high hopes, I secured 1K for my HKG-SYD leg, envisioning a Singapore Airlines Suite-like experience. But reality had other plans. Instead of the promised seclusion, I found myself in what I affectionately term the ‘naughty corner.’

Why, you ask? Well, 1K’s proximity to the lavatory proved less than ideal. The constant foot traffic and the rhythmic opening and closing of curtains disrupted any semblance of tranquility. And let’s not forget the unwelcome illumination on my retinas—hardly conducive to rest on a red-eye flight like QF128.

As for the menu, the Business class offerings failed to ignite my culinary excitement. For Dinner, I opted for a humble burger, while breakfast featured a nondescript quiche.

In closing, I was filled with anticipation when I settled into 1K. The allure of a ‘private corner’ beckoned, Foolishly hoping for the likes of the Singapore Airlines Suites. Yet, reality had other plans. Instead of solitude, I found myself in the ‘naughty corner,’ a mere curtain away from the lavatory. The constant movements and the unwelcome illumination on my retinas disrupted any hope of rest. The dining menu, too, lacked excitement.

While the service left much to be desired, I couldn’t help but chuckle at the intriguing question: What sort of premium would Qantas employ to differentiate the First and Business class cabins, other than a bigger and more lavish real estate? 🤔

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