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Business travellers and frequent flyers zipping between Australia and Auckland are the big winners following this week's debut of shared Qantas/Emirates flights across the Tasman.
We've previously wailed on the paucity of real business class on the trans-Tasman routes – a sad situation made all the more obvious by Virgin Australia's international-grade business class on its Airbus A330 Coast to Coast services between Australia's east and west coasts.
If you're jetting between Sydney or Melbourne to Auckland, the best seat in the sky is on the daily Emirates' Airbus A380 which makes a side-trip between those city pairs before heading back to Dubai.
Forget about the domestic recliners at the pointy end of Qantas' trans-Tasman flights. We're talking about the same top-notch business class seats and creature comforts as you'd experience on a trip to London.
Those wide spacious seats convert to a fully flat bed in case you need some shuteye, or you can plonk your laptop onto the large tray table, plug it into the at-seat AC socket and get super-productive.
There's even a personal minibar next to each seat and of course the business class bar at the back of the upper deck if you want to stretch your legs and socialise.
Here's the kicker: if you've got some Qantas Frequent Flyer points to burn, Emirates' A380 is is hard to beat for sheer value.
A business class return ticket on Emirates' Airbus A380 for Sydney-Auckland (EK412/413) or Melbourne-Auckland (EK406/407) will cost you just 72,000 Qantas points as a Classic Award seat plus around $150 in taxes.
That's the exact same rate as you'd pay for a vastly inferior Qantas business class seat without all the trimmings.
That same rate also applies to Emirates' forthcoming Dubai-Brisbane-Auckland A380 service (EK434/EK435), which kicks off on October 2nd to replace the Gulf carrier's current Boeing 777-300ER.
Want to spoil yourself with a spell in Emirates' first class suites or reward yourself for landing that new client? You can luxe it up across the pond and back again for 108,000 Qantas Frequent Flyer points and the same add-on taxes and surcharges.
There are some other handy benefits to taking a trans-Tasman trip on Emirates' superjumbo under the Qantas/Emirates partnership.
You can enjoy the excellent Qantas First or Business lounges, depending on your travel class or Qantas Frequent Flyer membership status, at the Australian end of your trip; and in Auckland, duck into the well-appointed Emirates Lounge which offers great food and superb wine (although it gets pretty crowded during peak times).
All things considered, there are worse ways to spend a slab of Qantas Frequent Flyer points than crossing the Tasman in true business class style.
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