Qantas brings back A380 first class

The flagship superjumbo flying experience soars again as Qantas reboots first class.

By David Flynn, March 14 2022
Qantas brings back A380 first class

High flyers, mark your calendars: March 27 sees the return of Qantas first class, not just in those sky-high A380 First suites but at the Qantas International First Lounges at Sydney and Melbourne.

It comes almost two years to the day that Qantas was forced to ground its entire fleet as Covid-19 took hold, and dispatch its A380s into hibernation to wait out the pandemic.

A classic first class combo: the Qantas A380 and Sydney First Lounge.
A classic first class combo: the Qantas A380 and Sydney First Lounge.

And with the worst of those days now behind us, the best days stretch out ahead – especially for travellers stretching out in these 14 spacious suites nestled away at the front of the A380’s lower deck.

All A380s flying on the Sydney-Los Angeles route are now the upgraded models which see the Marc Newson-designed First suites refreshed with new seat coverings and larger HD video screens.

All Sydney-Los Angeles A380s have been upgraded, even if the changes to the first class suites are more of a refresh.
All Sydney-Los Angeles A380s have been upgraded, even if the changes to the first class suites are more of a refresh.

While those are relatively minor changes, more significant are the two new lounges at the nose of the upper deck and, for passengers not cruising at the pointy end, the same modern business class and premium economy seats as on the Boeing 787s.

The Qantas superjumbos have been refreshed with new business class suites and upper deck lounges areas.
The Qantas superjumbos have been refreshed with new business class suites and upper deck lounges areas.

Qantas says its A380 First onboard menu has also been refreshed by chef Neil Perry, while the reopening of the spa at the Sydney and Melbourne First Lounges will add some preflight pampering – with first class travellers telephoned the day before their flight to pre-book a spa session.

Don't stress: the spa at Qantas' Sydney and Melbourne First lounges is also back.
Don't stress: the spa at Qantas' Sydney and Melbourne First lounges is also back.

“We know that our customers have missed the Qantas A380 travel experience as much as our team has missed being able to provide it for them,” says Qantas Chief Customer Officer Stephanie Tully, “so it’s fantastic that we’re back in the air with our premium full service on these newly refurbished aircraft.”

All that’s missing from the mix is the Qantas First Lounge at LAX, which for now will remain shuttered even though the rest of the Qantas First proposition is back – but Tully assures Executive Traveller this exclusive lounge will roll out the welcome mat “as soon as possible” in the weeks following March 27.

The Qantas LAX First Lounge will reopen in the coming weeks.
The Qantas LAX First Lounge will reopen in the coming weeks.

As previously reported, Qantas will also resume its Sydney-Singapore-London A380 flights – complete with first class, on a fleet of fully-refurb’d birds – on June 19, with the Qantas Singapore First Lounge set to reopen that same day.

Tully tells Executive Traveller that bookings to LAX and London are both “very strong” and a high proportion of those are being made using Qantas Points as frequent flyers capitalise on the mountain of points earned while largely grounded over the past two years.

Indeed, with travel yet to reach pre-pandemic levels and a consequently slimmer pipeline of forward bookings, this could be the best time to snare a Classic Flight Reward ‘points redemption’ booking in first class, at 162,800 Qantas Points one-day for Sydney-Los Angeles or 216,900 Qantas Points one-way for Sydney-London.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

13 Mar 2015

Total posts 2

Any word on when QF's A380 resumes services from/to MEL?  Mindful QF's super-jumbo did its maiden flight between MEL and LAX.  In a way, seems just like the other day.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

30 Oct 2018

Total posts 6

Probably not until next year given that Qantas have said 6 will be back by the end of this year (with another four to return by early 2024) and 6 is only enough for SYD-LAX and SYD-LHR. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Oct 2011

Total posts 471

Whenever demand is strong enough. Qantas will roll them out as soon as there's enough passengers to fill them.

Just had to cancel my two First Class Classic Flight Reward points redemption Sydney -LAX return departing March 31.  Hugely disappointing.

Then just saw your comment re snaring a similar booking at 162,800 points one way. Pulse began racing again. Looked almost month by month, Sept to February 2023 but 970,000 one way was the best. 

How to find that elusive 162,800 points booking David?  Any suggestions?

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2547

Maybe they've all gone, I saw a few some time back. 

23 May 2022

Total posts 1

Is there any word on the Qantas LAX first class lounge reopening date?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer P1

23 Aug 2014

Total posts 89

"Qantas says its A380 First onboard menu has also been refreshed by chef Neil Perry"

If Executive traveller have the opportunity to Fly QF F it would be useful to compare the review of the food and wine component of in-flight service to the article by Brandon Loo, which received widespread agreement and a general consensus about the woeful F food and wine product.

A "refresh" would be an understatement.

It would also be a useful exercise to ask for the onboard J menu and note how many of the meal items overlap.


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