Qantas First Class Lounge Los Angeles: Review

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Alliance: Oneworld

Location: LAX Tom Bradley International Terminal

Lounge Rating: 4 Stars

Qantas possesses some of the best lounges in the world, namely their first class international lounges in Melbourne and Sydney. Outside of Australia the Qantas first class lounge experience is unfortunately scarce. A couple of years ago Qantas opened up a new first class lounge in LAX. Reviews, particularly from American media were highly favourable. I was recently in Los Angeles and was keen to see if the great ‘Australian lounge experience’ was indeed alive and well in the States but more importantly do they do Neil Perry’s salt and pepper squid the justice it deserves? I checked into the LAX Qantas First Lounge to find out.

Lounge access options

  • Qantas first class passengers, plus first class flyers of Oneworld partners British Airways, Cathay Pacific and Japan Airlines from Los Angeles
  • Qantas Platinum, Platinum One and Chairman’s Lounge frequent flyers travelling on a Qantas or Oneworld flight, including Qantas codeshare flights
  • Connecting passengers arriving on long-haul first class Oneworld flights
  • American Airlines’ first class passengers
  • Other Oneworld Emerald frequent flyers
  • American Airlines Executive Platinum and ConciergeKey members
  • Single-use Qantas first class lounge pass holders
  • Air France first class passengers

Lounge location and opening hours

After clearing security at the Tom Bradley International Terminal, proceed over the indoor ‘bridge’, turn left, and then take the lift up to level five, where you’ll arrive in front of the roo branded lounge entrance.

 

Ambience

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Initial impressions of the lounge is that it has a relaxed and unpretentious ambience. It doesn’t feel cluttered or people busy as first lounges in Australia. The rectangular shaped lounge space offers two main seating areas each furnished with quite comfortable large armchairs and a self serve wine and coffee area. Towards the back of the lounge is the dining room which is complete with a sit around bar that’s looked after by a bartender.

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Next door to the dining area are shower and toilet facilities that are equipped with Aspar wash products. I decided to take a shower prior to dining a la carte but found there was a line up for the shower spaces. Unlike the Emirates Dubai lounge I found the turn around of showers was quite speedy which is handy for anyone in a rush.

A big criticism is sadly the lack of natural lighting in the lounge with no tarmac views. As a result the lounge feels a tad dark but nowhere near as oppressive as the Qantas International Melbourne Business Lounge.

 

Bread and butter (food and drink)

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One thing that I always love and look forward to at a Qantas First Lounge is the cuisine. The airline’s partnership with Rockpool culinary king Neil Perry is one of the longest chef airline collaborations in aviation history. The dining area is an a la carte space where passengers are treated to restaurant service and quality. Being a late flight out of LAX the service was dinner focused.

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I started with the lounge’s signature salt and pepper squid dish which has become my go to starter. It was satisfying but not as good as the one I enjoyed in the Sydney first lounge two weeks prior. Moving onto mains I went with the grilled bass with corn puree. It was a lot more enticing than my entree and went down well with my champagne. I rounded out my meal with the sticky date pudding which was surprisingly lighter than I thought but packed a punch in terms of flavour.

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Unlike the first lounges in Sydney and Melbourne there was a lack of champagne choices which was quite disappointing. Fortunately I quite enjoy a drop of Pommery and managed to savour two glasses before my flight was called.

I do give the lounge big props in terms of turning around dishes after they’ve been ordered. The lounge was busy yet unlike the Australian counterparts, they managed to quickly bring dish to table without taking half an hour. I find that I often have to arrive earlier than I would like to at Australian lounges just so I don’t feel rushed when it comes to dining in the dining area before a flight. The LAX kitchen is like a machine and was a bevy of activity the entire time I was there. Despite the swift service, the staff were still as attentive and courteous as their Australian colleagues.

 

Verdict

The lounge is definitely one of the best in America and sets a new standard hopefully for Americans to follow. Qantas should be proud of its first product. It’s slick, well serviced and flies that Australian flag well in terms of cuisine. Sure there are a few little niggles here and there, particularly the lack of natural light but overall there’s no place I would rather be at Tom Bradley International Terminal to spend a couple of hours whilst waiting for my flight.

 

Comments

Have you experienced the Qantas International First Lounge in Los Angeles? Love to hear from you about your time in lounge – did it shine or were you expecting something better?

 

 

 

ALASKA AIRLINES AS931, LAS VEGAS-SEATTLE: MAIN CABIN REVIEW

Flight: AS931, Las Vegas – Seattle

Loyalty Scheme: Mileage Plan

Frequency: Multiple flights daily

Duration: 2 hr and 35 mins

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Despite its namesake, the base for Alaska Airlines is not in Anchorage but instead Seattle (my destination for this flight). As the hub for Alaska, the city of Seattle is quite strategic as not only is it close to the Canadian border but well connected on the west coast in terms of big tech business (Alaska even has priority check-in for Microsoft employees).

A couple of years ago the airline took over Virgin America, which was viewed as many as the shining beacon in American aviation. Now that the airline has sadly merged into Alaska I was curious as to whether the airline incorporated the better traits of the once great Virgin America into their own brand.

Seat

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Today I was flying on a B737-800 aircraft. This particularly aircraft has two cabins (12 first and 112 main cabin seats). The grey and white tones of the interior were a stark contrast to the more vivid purple, red and white tones of Virgin America with the seats looking nowhere near as plush. Leg room and seat pitch is satisfactory with 32 inches offered in the main cabin. Despite the relatively average pitch the seats were a lot more comfortable than they looked.

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Entertain me

Alaska Airlines offers free entertainment via your own personal device. The entertainment selection of movies and tv series were relatively weak. I struggled to find anything that was of interest to me. A larger catalogue of options would have been more welcome on this flight considering the relatively long flight from south to the north of the USA.

 

Wine and dine me (the food)

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Basic snacks and drinks were complimentary in the main cabin. Those craving something a little stronger in terms of drink (alcoholic) or more substantial in terms of food would need to buy on board.

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What I did like was the partnership between Alaska Airlines and Seattle based Starbucks. The coffee in turn was better than the average inflight filter coffee and did the trick in terms of keeping me refreshed and alert after an early start that morning. Snack wise (I always prefer something more substantial) was a biscoff biscuit to nibble on.

 

Summary

Despite the flight being delayed an hour, the flight experience was surprisingly better than expected. It’s hard to not compare it to Virgin America especially when an airline such as Alaska takes over its fleet and operations. I was concerned the airline would unwind all the good work that VA did to make flying in America a decent experience. Sure it’s not VA but it does work hard compared to some other American competitors to give the passenger a relatively premium experience, whether you are in first or the main cabin.

Food and drink offering was satisfactory. The nice touch of Starbucks coffee was welcome and made the Seattle experience, well, more Seattle. The only negative I would have to say is the entertainment offering. It was quite poor and could offer a better selection for passengers. I would definitely consider flying Alaska again when I next choose to fly in America.

 

Service: 4 Stars

Seating: 3.5 stars

Food: 4 Stars

AMERICAN AIRLINES AA1771, DALLAS-LAS VEGAS: MAIN CABIN PLUS REVIEW

Flight: AA1771, Dallas – Las Vegas

Loyalty Scheme: AAdvantage (Oneworld alliance)

Frequency: Multiple flights daily

Duration: 2 hr and 55 mins

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American Airlines has usually been my first choice when it comes to flying hopping airport to airport within the USA. The staff are generally efficient (and mostly friendly) and the offerings of food and drink whilst simple are generally more generous than its competition. American Airlines recently introduced complimentary enhancements to their Main Cabin Plus passengers including free alcohol priority boarding and storage. I was keen to give their newly enhanced product a try to see if it was truly ‘enhanced’.

Seat

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The aircraft has two cabins (16 first and 165 main cabin seats). There are 18 main cabin plus seats on this aircraft. The interior was fresh and relatively new with IFE seatback entertainment and smart leather seats. Leg room and seat pitch is more ample with 34 inches in main cabin plus as opposed to 31 inches in the main cabin. The only negative was that the bottom cushion of the seats was relatively thin and when I got up to leave the aircraft I felt rather sore. The seats despite looking the goods in terms of design do not feel comfortable after a certain period of time.

 

Entertain me

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American offers free entertainment via seatback or through your own personal device. On the A321 seatback was on offer. The entertainment selection of movies and tv series was strong.

 

Wine and dine me (the food)

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Whilst snacks and non alcoholic drinks are complimentary in the main cabin, the difference with main cabin plus is the introduction of free alcoholic beverages. On my flight was a selection of spirits, wines and beers. I went with a bottle of the Les Papillons Grenache Rose from France which was quite smooth and light. A great choice with the sadly small bag of mini pretzels that was handed out as a ‘snack’.

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American Airlines do offer more substantial sized meals for those feeling peckish but it will cost you. Even after the drinks service has come through the cabin the attendants on board seemed more than happy to offer additional drinks to passengers upon request.

 

Summary

The flight was relatively smooth and despite being delayed an hour, the aircraft did their best to try and make up for lost time. IFE entertainment was good quality as were the selection of drinks for main cabin plus passengers. The pitch despite being 3 inches more than main cabin wasn’t really noticeable and the seats after a certain period of time were a tad uncomfortable. Other than that the flight experience was generally good and one I would fly again on in the future. The big question is would I pay extra for the main cabin plus cabin? To be frank not really. However if you are an Oneworld Emerald or Sapphire member where the seat is complimentary to you, I’d definitely take advantage of selecting this seat as soon as you book your flight as it’s a nice little extra incentive to enjoy on your flight!

 

Service: 4 Stars

Seating: 3 stars

Food: 3.5 Stars

QANTAS DOMESTIC BUSINESS LOUNGE MELBOURNE: 2018 REVIEW

Alliance: Oneworld

Location: Melbourne Domestic Airport

Lounge Rating: 4.5 Stars

 

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Qantas has been undertaking a lounge renovation spree over the last couple of years. The lounge renovations were long needed in some destinations more than others and Melbourne was one of those airports that was crying out for an update. Whilst the domestic lounge faired ok over time, the Qantas Club next door was a bit of a design disaster. This year saw the renovation and reopening of the Melbourne Domestic Qantas Club lounge. Now the Domestic Business Lounge has unofficially opened its newly renovated doors to its top tier Qantas FF clientele and Oneworld equivalents. What does this mean?! Well a better lounge experience for starters but the catch is only half of it is open with the other half due to be unveiled to the public in a month’s time. The TAT made a visit to the lounge to see what all the fuss is about.

 

Lounge access options

  • Passengers with an onward Qantas or QantasLink business class flight
  • Travellers connecting to or from an international business or first class flight with Qantas, Emirates or a Oneworld airline, even if the domestic leg is booked in economy
  • Qantas Platinum and Platinum One frequent flyers before or after a same-day Qantas, QantasLink, Emirates, Jetstar* or Oneworld flight
  • Other Oneworld Emerald members when their next onward flight that day is with Qantas or QantasLink and carries a QF or other Oneworld flight number (no access when flying Jetstar)
  • Emirates Skywards Platinum cardholders where their next onward flight that day carries a QF or EK flight number and is operated by Qantas or QantasLink.

 

Lounge location and opening hours

The lounge is located after security on the right of the food court via an escalator on the first floor. The lounge operates from 5am til 10pm daily.

 

Ambience

 

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The lounge is new and as a result quite striking. It has a very Melbourne feel to it (the intention of Qantas’ new lounge design cue to reflect the state where the lounge is located). The tones of black and dark marble give the lounge a very upmarket bar feel. I feel Qantas has really captured well that Italian / trendy Melbourne-esque vibe. The new lounge space takes over the old Qantas Club space (Qantas Club has since been moved to the back of the first floor) and offers a lot of natural lighting with excellent tarmac view.

 

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As part of the refresh the bathrooms have also been given an overhaul with some nice aesthetic touches including individual mirrors as well as new marble benches and gold taps. If I had a home to call my own I would have this as my bathroom. Yes it is pretty darn flash without being too bling like the Emirates lounges.

 

Bread and butter (food and drink)

 

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As you would know by having read some of my other reviews I really love my food (and drink). Qantas really does a great job (especially in their new lounges) in offering cuisine that is carefully curated to reflect the dining experience of where the lounge is located. This is demonstrated in the showpiece of the new business lounge – the centrally located marble drinks bar. Here you can pull up a seat or take away a beer, wine or if you are feeling ambitious a spirit. There’s also barista-pulled coffee on offer as well as a cocktail hour offering between 5pm and 6pm. At the time of when I was in the lounge sangria was being served to passengers in their chairs. The sangria was quite strong but met the brief in terms of refreshing – exactly what a sangria should do!

 

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The new lounge sees a more spacious buffet area for hot and cold dishes. There is an emphasis on Asian dishes including fried rice, noodles and Asian greens. Qantas has also added their signature ‘Quench’ hydration station with hot teas and cool drinks. On today’s menu board there was a vegetable chowder, Mediterranean lamb with roasted potatoes and even scones with cream and jam (this menu item sent me back to times spent in the BA lounges in London). I sampled the lamb dish and scones and both were quite delicious.

It’s also anticipated that the Melbourne business lounge will have its own unique dining option in the form of a Spice Bar serving freshly-made noodles and Asian street food. Sadly I was unable to review this part as it’s part of the final lounge reveal in early November.

 

Verdict

It wasn’t too hard to improve on a product that was well and truly beyond its shelf life. The new Qantas Domestic Business Lounge really does pack a punch in terms of style and flair. The food and drink choices is on par with its gorgeous interiors. For half a product (the rest is set to open early November), this is one exciting preview for top tier Qantas frequent flyers. Qantas has done a great job in making this not only a space that is very Melbourne yet provides genuine warmth and comfort for those fortunate to spend time here waiting for their flight board. I look forward to seeing the rest of the lounge in November if this is a taste of what is to be expected.

 

Comments

Have you experienced the newly renovated Qantas Domestic Business Lounge in Melbourne? Love to hear from you about your time in lounge – did it shine or were you expecting something better?

 

CATHAY PACIFIC BEIJING INT BUSINESS LOUNGE: REVIEW

Lounge: Cathay Pacific Business Lounge

Alliance: Oneworld

Location: Beijing International Airport

Lounge Rating: 3/5 Stars

 

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Beijing International Airport is monolithic. So large in fact that you find yourself spending hours either trekking across terminals or sitting on runways. The impression one first gets when entering the airport is the stunning architecture and I can definitely say it is one of the best airports in terms of design globally.

With an airport so large one could a) spend their time pre-flight merely exploring it or b) hit one of the lounges with tarmac views at the end of the terminal. Going with option B I hit up the Cathay Pacific Lounge before my flight to Sydney to see if lounge was the place to be at Beijing Airport.

 

Lounge access options

  • First and Business class flyers with Qantas, Cathay Pacific, Dragonair and other Oneworld airlines
  • Gold, Platinum and Platinum One Qantas frequent flyers travelling with the airlines above
  • Marco Polo Club Silver members flying with either Cathay Pacific or Dragonair
  • Marco Polo Club Gold and Diamond members travelling with Qantas, Cathay Pacific, Dragonair or other Oneworld airlines
  • Oneworld Sapphire and Emerald members of other programs travelling onwards with a Oneworld airline

 

Lounge location and opening hours

Once you have cleared customs and taken the second stop on the train line to the International terminal make a detour to Terminal 3E, opposite Gate E21. The opening hours are00:30 – 03:00, 05:30 – last flight departure.

 

Ambience

 

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The experience from the beginning at the lounge was strange at best. At reception I handed over my boarding pass and lounge invitation, and was promptly admitted before being shown an automated machine that produced me a wifi code. It was from there that I was left to my own devices and didn’t not experience any form of contact from staff for the rest of my stay in the lounge.

Having arrived a few hours earlier to my flight, the lounge was empty and felt rather sterile. The furnishing were pleasant and the setting intimate but the lounge ultimately lacked atmosphere. The lounge has a number of partitions dividing the rectangular space and whilst this allows the creation of more peaceful break out areas it also creates a design issue with some the spaces not even noticeable to the majority of passengers.

The bathrooms were also slightly disappointing with only two toilets each for both the men and women across the entire lounge space. On the occasion that I was in the lounge there was no toilet paper in the men’s room and the liquid soap had almost run out. The neglect of these showed a lack of attention given to the daily upkeep of the lounge.

 

Bread and butter (food and drink)

 

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In terms of the food and drink I was quite disappointed as Cathay Pacific standards are generally quite high. When I arrived into the lounge I just missed the chef A chef serving up Hong Kong culinary delights like wonton noodles and fishball noodles as the service for these delicious delicacies finished at 8pm. I arrived in at 8:05pm.

 

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With the noodle bar closed I had one of two buffet areas to choose from. There was a small buffet on the right side of the lounge which featured instant noodles, packaged snacks, soda, water, juice, liquor, and  wine. Everything in this section was limited and lacked any real diversity nor any hot dishes. I went with the packaed noodles but found after pouring hot water in it, the noodles seemed stale and I questioned how long they had been sitting on the shelf.

 

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On the far left of the lounge (where the noddle bar was) is a larger  buffet which contains a handful of soups, dim sum, croissants, and three hot dishes. Again hardly appetising but does hit the spot (just). The dim sim option of the buns was the best of the hot dishes with its doughy meat texture going down well with my green tea.

 

Verdict

I was expecting more from the Cathay Pacific Business Lounge after previous experiences with Cathay lounges in Hong Kong. The one I walked into felt like a world away from the brilliance and class leading product that Cathay is renown for. Perhaps it is something to do with the fact that the lounge was formerly a DragonAir Lounge and that the product offering was merely an update rather than a total renovation.  Whatever the case the lounge interior was basic at best.

In addition the lack of customer service and personalisation is almost non existent once you walk through the lounge doors.  Again this is something Cathay prides itself on and would be seen as the norm at their Hong Kong lounges.

If there were any positives to the lounge it was the sense of privacy thanks to the partitions and small break out spaces. Sometimes some lounges can often feel more like shopping centre food hall than a premium business and dining space and this lounge certainly puts the ‘quiet workspace’ into this space.

 

Comments

Have you experienced the Cathay Pacific Business Lounge at Beijing PEK International? Love to hear from you about your time in lounge – was it a star or was it a dud?

 

Qatar Airways Business Class A380 Paris-Doha: Review

Flight: QR40, Paris CDG to Doha (12 January 2018)
Loyalty Scheme: Qatar Airways Privilege Club (a partner of the Oneworld program)
Frequency: Three flights daily
Duration: STD: 3:00pm (CET) – ATD: 3:53pm (CET) Delayed 53mins; STA: 11:30pm (+03)    ATA: 12:09am (+03) Delayed 39mins

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Qatar Airways’ A380 is the only aircraft in their fleet that has First Class. Until recently it was the pinnacle of the Qatar fleet but has since been superseded by the introduction of their new Business Class seat, the Q Suite. Introduced just three years ago, the Qatar A380 is still a relatively new aircraft and has one of the densest configurations out there for an operating A380. Seating is split between First (8 suites), Business (48 reverse herringbone fully flat beds) and Economy (461 seats).

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The Airport

Prior to boarding my flight, I spent a few hours in the Qatar Paris Premium Lounge. The lounge itself was well appointed and comfortable with a dedicated dining areas and attentive staff eager to ensure I was well fed, well-watered and comfortable. I took advantage of the shower rooms as it was an early morning flying in from Heathrow. I was pleased to find not only was there a rain shower but also four side jets. Water pressure could have been higher, however it was still a nice shower.

Upon boarding a staff member approached each passenger individually to notify us that boarding commenced. As CDG Terminal 1 has security at each satellite gate area, I passed through security once I reached the satellite after leaving the lounge. Boarding had not yet commenced and there was a 10 minute wait before boarding was called for those needing special assistance, shortly followed by those seated in First, Business and with elite status.

After boarding we left the gate at the scheduled time, however sat on the tarmac for some time before the captain announced that we had a small technical issue which needed to be written up, meaning we were towed back into the gate. After about 40 minutes we pushed back once again. Whilst delayed flight attendants made an effort to speak to each passenger and reassure those of us (most) who had onward connections at DOH.

 

The Seat

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Business Class, 10A. I was soon greeted by the flight attendant working my aisle and offered a welcome drink (I chose the delicious lemon and mint signature drink) and the choice between hot or cold towels. My seat was equipped with a thick blanket, pillow, amenity kit, headphones and a bottle of Evian still water. While not as private as the reverse herringbone seats found on other carriers like Cathay Pacific, facing towards the window meant I didn’t feel particularly exposed.

Reverse herringbone is my favourite seat when travelling solo as it gives you plenty of personal space and in my opinion isn’t as claustrophobic as staggered seats found on carriers such as Etihad and Emirates on their A380s.

When fully flat, the seat converts into a long comfortable bed with decent room around the knees. As this was a daytime flight no pyjamas were offered and no mattress pads available for the seat like offered on my previous flight in the Q Suite. I generally sleep quite well on planes anyway and managed to fall into a deep sleep for four hours before I was woken by staff for my pre-landing meal.

 

Entertain me

Inflight entertainment is brought to you via the Oryx One system on a 17” HD screen which can either be controlled directly on the screen or on the hand held remote. Content was broad, with a good mixture of movies, TV, music and games. A few ads play prior to movies beginning, but these can be fast forward. The plane also features a nose, tail and belly cam but disappointingly not in HD with the telecast coming across somewhat grainy. Still, it’s a great feature for plane geeks like me who like watching the plane take off and land from the tail cam.

I didn’t spend time in the on-board lounge on this occasion but there is a bar and seating area available to first and business class passengers to whittle away the hours in.

 

The Bread and Butter (food and drink)

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Qatar Airways offers a dine on demand service when it comes to food and drinks in Business Class. Menus are delivered and orders taken prior to take off (depending on the aircraft and how much time flight attendants (FA) have before take off). In most cases passengers still end up ordering food shortly after take-off and prior to landing, but the option to dine on demand is certainly welcome.

I chose to eat quickly as possible after take-off and requested a pre-landing meal about 90 minutes prior to landing. As I have come to find on Qatar, the FAs generally wake you 20-30 minutes prior to your requested pre-landing meal time, which is annoying if you want to maximise rest time.

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For the meal after take-off I coupled it with the Lanson Rose Champagne, which was served with a bowl of mixed nuts. Shortly after my table was set with a bread basket and an amuse bouche of curried chicken pieces and sour cream. I hadn’t originally ordered it but was served a pumpkin soup which was delicious and was glad they had made the error! Following the soup I enjoyed some hot savoury pastries as well as a falafel wrap with tahini. Both were tasty.

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Close to landing I ordered the Tofu in panko breadcrumbs with curry sauce. It was followed by the delicate chocolate crunch. The tofu was quite tasty and exactly what I wanted – something filling but not heavy. The chocolate crunch also impressed with the chocolate delicious and beautifully presented.

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Verdict

Qatar’s A380 business class offers one of the best products out there, both in terms of hard product and on board dining. Service is well intentioned but sometimes feels a tad impersonal. The seat itself is comfortable and beautifully designed. It is a shame that Qatar cheapens out on flights not strictly overnight by not providing pyjamas or mattress pads. These little extras would have taken it to the next level. Overall a very pleasant way to spend time in the air.


 

About the writer

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I’m a well travelled 30 something who blames it all on his father (though really, I’ve taken it to the next level). Travelling from a young age and continuing to do so independently from the end of high school, I am happy to step on a plane headed anywhere. Indeed my colleagues at work don’t ask me if I’m going away in holidays, but where I’ll be headed. They don’t even bat an eyelid when I pop down to Melbourne for the weeknight just to see some show that takes my fancy.

All of my travel is self funded. Through a mixture of great fares and frequent flyer points I’ve developed a penchant for sitting at the front of the plane. However let’s be honest; I’ll just about sit anywhere if it means I get to fly somewhere.

LATAM BUSINESS CLASS B787 SYD to AKL: REVIEW

Flight: LA800, Sydney-Auckland

Loyalty Scheme: LANPASS Frequent Flyer Programme (OneWorld alliance)

Frequency: Daily

Duration:  3 hours and 15 minutes

Things have taken off for LATAM since the merger of LAN and TAM in 2012. Five years on and the South American giant has made some strong inroads into the Australian market; most recently expanding into Melbourne with daily direct flights to Santiago. Sydney however has a stopover in Auckland, which is good and bad depending on what way you view it. For me this is a big plus as the airline offers a strong competitive option opposed to Virgin, Air NZ and Qantas.

I was keen to give their business class seat a whirl on the short hop to the Kiwi business hub. Initial impressions upon boarding were good with the funky, warm ambiance of the cabin with its purples and blues as well as the variations of blue tint on the windows creating an inviting environment.

Seating

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Business class, 3A. There are 30 flat business bed seats in a 2-2-2 configuration. All possess an 75-inch pitch and 23-inch width. The grey and red colour coded seat possesses a universal power point, a USB port, a reading light and a pull-up privacy screen.

Despite the privacy screen, I felt quite exposed to the neighbouring seat and the 2-2-2 configuration means the hop over your fellow passenger can be difficult especially if they decide to lay flat and sleep. Fortunately for me I had an empty seat next to me during my flight.

Entertain Me

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LATAM’s Inflight Entertainment possesses was a bit disappointing with a limited selection of 110 movies, TV, and audio options, all on a 15.4-inch screen. The screen was also difficult to view whilst sitting upright in the chair. On a short haul flight the selection was fine but I would expect more variety on a long haul flight.

The Bread and Butter (Food)

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The food and drink service is satisfactory but a tad underwhelming despite the  warm and hospitable nature of the LATAM crew. On this leg lunch is served and the options on the menu are limited. The three course lunch was served in one hit rather than by dish.

The meal choice was between a quiche lorraine or a BLT sandwich. I went with the quiche. It was smooth and didn’t taste too buttery or soggy. The accompanying salad was light but could have used some oil/ dressing for flavour whilst the panna cotta dessert was delectable.

The wine selection had the wow factor with local South American, French and even a couple of Australian wines featuring on the menu. I went with a local red Chilean variety to match my meal and its peppery, bold flavour hit the spot.

Extras

No real stand outs here. Sadly lacked a lounge/ bar space which is a major drawback on the B787 and A350s. It would be great to see airlines take an initiative to create a personal space for business travellers to enjoy in the air on these types of aircraft that is currently offered on the A380 and B777.

Verdict

The 2-2 seating configuration in the current business class world is a tad dated and annoying especially if you have to make the hop over a sleeping fellow passenger. That said the personal space of the seat does feel quite private even if you screen is on show for your neighbour to see. The style and colour scheme of the business class area is fresh, warm and inviting.

Meals wise the wine selection was delectable but the meal choice and presentation was a tad disappointing considering it was business class. Entertainment selection was also mixed with the choice of movies and audio limiting.

I would be keen to see what the business class experience would be like long haul from Sydney to Santiago to see if the experience was any different/ more premium. Based on this experience however it was satisfactory but there were areas for improvement to make the experience for the passenger feel more ‘business’ rather than premium economy.

 

Comments
Have you enjoyed the South American business class hospitality of LATAM of late or found yourself not happy with your inflight LATAM siesta? Love to hear your feedback on this.