Qantas is switching up its A380 schedule on flagship route Sydney to Los Angeles, and the move will result in some challenging connections within the US while almost ruling out same-day onward flights to eastern hubs such as New York and Chicago.
Instead of the daily QF11 superjumbo making its leisurely mid-morning jaunt from Sydney to arrive into LAX around 7am, Qantas’ timetable from late March 2024 shows QF11 departing some ten hours later at 5.15pm, resulting in a 2pm landing at Los Angeles.
While that’s certainly a better time for checking into your LA hotel, the revised schedule is not friendly for passengers with onward flights to many other US destinations.
New York is a case in point: because flying from west to east you already lose three hours in timezone-hopping alone, while the actual flight takes around six hours.
Following QF11’s revised 2pm LAX arrival, the next flight to New York on Oneworld partner American Airlines is wheels-up at 4pm with a mad scramble to get through immigration, pick-up and recheck bags, change terminals and go through security again: and even if you suceed that this scramble, you won’t reach New York until 1am.
You’d be better off staying at LA for the night, enjoying some shopping and a nice dinner, resetting youir bodyclock to US time and then darting east to Gotham the following day.
Bound for Chicago? It’s a similar story, with American’s 5.45pm from LAX touching down in The Windy City around midnight.
Seattle is another popular add-on leg for QF11, but after a three-hour layover at LAX the next flight from Oneworld partner Alaska Airlines reaches Seattle at 8.30pm.
Note that at the time of writing this new schedule doesn’t apply to every QF11 flight – there appears to be a tendency for Friday’s Sydney-to-LA superjumbo service to remain on the current 10.20am/7am roster).
With the QF12 return flight showing little change, Qantas’ move to a late afternoon departure of QF11 will reduce the time these superjumbos spend sitting around at LAX.
Of course, if you’re intending to fly to New York, the smarter move is to skip that LA stopover altogether and hop onto Qantas’ Sydney-Auckland-New York Boeing 787, which moves to a convenient daily frequency as of August 2024.
And if your eye is on the south-eastern cruise hub of Miami, Qantas woud probably steer you towards its Sydney-Dallas and Melbourne-Dallas flights.