The Two Million Mile Honeymoon Luxury Travel at Budget Rates

QANTAS First Class A380 LHR-DXB-MEL

At over 10,000 miles, the flight from London to Australia is easily the longest flight we have ever flown. So long, in fact, that in order to complete the journey there is a scheduled refueling stop in Dubai enroute. Luckily for us, we were able to secure two First Class tickets using American Airlines miles so we spent the 20 hours of flight time in a Qantas First Class Suite and the refueling stop in the Emirates First Class Lounge.

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10,651 Mile Flight Between London and Australia

Pick-up/Lounge

Similar to traveling in Etihad First Class, traveling in Qantas First Class includes door to door service with a complimentary chauffeur from your origin, and to your final destination, even if you’re traveling on a free ticket as we were. For us, this meant that a sharply dressed chauffeur in a new Mercedes picked us up outside our hotel in central London and drove us directly to the check-in area at Terminal 3. We’ve been to Heathrow Airport dozens of times but this is the first time we’ve ever driven there. Quite the luxury in a city with notoriously expensive taxis.

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QANTAS Pick-up at Radisson Blu Edwardian Vanderbilt, Kensington, London

After a quick check-in we were directed through Fast Track security which took just a few seconds and we were off to the lounge. Qantas doesn’t have their own lounge at Heathrow so we had the option of using the British Airways First Class Lounge, or the Emirates Business Class Lounge.

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BA First Class Lounge Champagne Bar

We decided to check out both lounges starting with the British Airways Lounge which wasn’t too impressive (for a First Class Lounge). The standout feature in the lounge is their champagne bar but it was 9am so we just grabbed a couple lattes and a small breakfast in the dining area…and, okay, a little champagne too.

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Champagne Taittinger BA First Class Lounge

After about an hour there we decided to switch to the Emirates Business Class Lounge and we’re glad we did as we found it much nicer.

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Emirates Business Class Lounge LHR

The Emirates Lounge looks brand new (or recently renovated) it was much less crowded, and the food and drink selection was much better. They even outdid the British Airways Lounge in terms of typically British fare like meat pies, English ales, and curries.

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London Pride in the Emirates Lounge LHR

Flight

The First Class Cabin onboard the Qantas A380 has two peculiarities. First, it’s on the lower deck with economy, while Business Class in on the upper deck. Second, the seats are arranged in a 1-1-1 configuration instead of the typical 1-2-1 layout.

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Qantas First Class Cabin

Being on the bottom deck means that you’re going to want to either board early or late in order to avoid potentially getting stuck in a line of 400 economy passengers. We chose to board as soon as they announced boarding in the lounge and walked right on. And the 1-1-1 configuration means that seats in row A are more private than seats in row F and K as seats in row A use their own aisle while seats in row F and K share an aisle. Knowing this, I booked us in seats 2A and 3A, which along with 4A are the best seats on the plane.

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Qantas A380 First Class Cabin

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Qantas A380 First Class Cabin

With only 3 seats across instead of the typical 4, the individual suites were very large, though not quite as large as the ones on Cathay Pacific.

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Qantas A380 First Class

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Qantas A380 First Class

While still on the ground we were presented with lunch menus, welcome champagne, pajamas, and amenities bags. The champagne was 2004 Pol Roger Cuvee Sir Winston Churchill, and came with almonds and olives.

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Welcome Champagne

The amenities bags and products were by a high end Japanese beauty product company called SK-II. I had never heard of them but Dhara was pretty excited about it.

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Dhara, excited about her SK-II Amenities

The First Class Pajamas were heavier, darker, and had a smaller kangaroo logo than the ones we received two years ago in Qantas Business Class.

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Qantas First Class Pajamas

The lunch menus contained an extensive wine list along with the Qantas signature tasting menu.

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Qantas Tasting Menu

While the crew was preparing for takeoff I realized that the entertainment and massage functions of the suite were operational even on the ground so, glass of champagne in hand, I watched Batman and got a butt massage until the plane reached cruising altitude and I could get up and go bother Dhara in her suite.

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Massage Controls

After the seatbelt sign was turned off the flight attendants came around again with more champagne, and then set the table in Dhara’s suite for two so we could eat our 7 course meal together.

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Caviar & Cauliflower Puree Tartlet & Beetroot and Goats Curd Lavosh

The courses came out slowly which gave us plenty of time to digest and go through a couple bottles of champagne.

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Round 3

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Buffalo Mozzarella with Grilled Radicchio and Hazelnuts

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Beef Fillet with Green Beans and Mac and Cheese

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Table for Two – I Sat on the Ottoman

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Dhara Sat in the Comfy First Class Seat

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Amedei Chocolates

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Latte with Dessert

After the very long lunch I went poking around the plane. The forward section of the upper deck doesn’t have a shower like Etihad and Emirates do, but it does have a weird little area with a couch and TV that they call the First & Business Class Lounge.

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Qantas A380 Stairs to the Upper Deck

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Lounge on the Upper Deck

After that I put my seat into the comfortable lounging position to watch TV for the remainder of the flight to Dubai.

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Qantas A380 First Class

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Qantas A380 First Class

I also sampled some Australian craft beer.

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James Squire One Fifty Lashes Pale Ale

At the end of the first (7 hour) leg of our journey we landed in Dubai for refueling. The First Class passengers spend the 2 hour stop in the Emirates First Class Lounge which is, quite frankly, a ridiculous lounge. It’s huge. Instead of building First and Business Class lounges at the A380 terminal in Dubai, Emirates decided to build entire First and Business Class floors.

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Emirates First Class Lounge Dubai

This meant that the First Class Lounge is the size of the entire terminal which can actually be quite confusing if you’re not expecting it. The lounge which had a few dozen people in it was big enough to hold thousands so the emptiness of it was actually kind of weird.

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Emirates First Class Lounge in Dubai – Almost Completely Empty

We sat down at a mostly empty restaurant for dinner and ordered champagne, salmon and lamb.

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Moet & Chandon Rose Imperial

 

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Salmon

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Lamb

After the break in Dubai we reboarded the plane for the second (13 hour) leg of the flight. We noticed a lot of the same passengers from the first leg of the flight but there were a few new ones and the crew had completely changed. They then started the whole flight process over again. Menus, champagne, amenities kits, pajamas etc. We had been eating and drinking for about 10 hours at that point so we had them turn down our beds in order for us to go to sleep.

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Qantas A380 First Class Bed

The bed was very comfortable–only Etihad Apartments and Cathay Pacific were better. We woke up a few hours before landing and were served another dinner. This one also had the option of many courses but we each just had one course and water since we we still full from the previous day.

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Dhara’s Indian Food

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Another Steak for Me

After meal number 7 I finished watching The Dark Knight Rises while simultaneously monitoring our flight progress on the handheld screen.

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Batman doing his thing

Dhara just lounged out to enjoy our last hour of luxury.

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Dhara doing her thing

Qantas First is a world class product. It may not have necessarily been the best First Class product we have experienced, but the extremely long flight time (over 20hrs) really made us appreciate the luxuries that it did afford and we would happily fly with them again.

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Qantas A380

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