Qantas cuts Airbus A380, first class between Melbourne and Los Angeles

By David Flynn, January 29 2018
Qantas cuts Airbus A380, first class between Melbourne and Los Angeles

Qantas will slash the number of Airbus A380 flights between Melbourne and Los Angeles next month, leaving many high flyers without the option of making the trans-Pacific journey in the superjumbo's cosy first class suites.

For six weeks from 10 February to 24 March, the now-daily A380 flight of QF93/QF94 will be reduced to run only three days per week – on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.

The airline will ramp up its Boeing 787 service to help fill the gap, with a total of eight Dreamliner flights across the rest of the week as QF93/94 and QF95/96.

That's good news if you value the superior business class seat of the Boeing 787 for its direct aisle access and high degree of personal space.

AusBT review: Qantas Boeing 787 business class

But it's not so great if you'd rather be in first class – either by paying the fare or using your frequent flyer points for an upgrade – or even if you appreciate a leg-stretch and some social time in the 'business lounge' at the front of the A380's upper deck.

In that case, you'll have to make sure you fly between Melbourne and LAX only on a Wednesday, Friday or Sunday from 10 February to 24 March, 2018.

David

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

30 May 2014

Total posts 52

Where will the free A380 go? I don't believe that their refresh/major check-up is starting until late this year (or early 2019)?

MarkJohnSon Banned
MarkJohnSon Banned

19 Jan 2018

Total posts 89

Paul, I would expect to see these popping up on HKG-SYD and SIN-SYD routes.


With the 787 debuting in Melbourne, it was easy to forget that Qantas is, after all, a Sydney-centric airline.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

30 May 2014

Total posts 52

Mark, maybe HKG will get an A380 permanently? SYD-SIN is already changing to an A380 due to QF1 redirecting though there (or would they add a second A380 on that route? Surely not?)

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

13 Jul 2012

Total posts 120

QF35 MEL-SYD is changing to A380 as well (just booked a flight in July).

07 Oct 2012

Total posts 1259

Not peak season to the US, but a busier time to HKG (assuming that is what they do with it).


Redirecting your assets to where the market demand is... Running a business perhaps?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Jan 2017

Total posts 42

Not an issue... their “first class” is like Emirates business class anyway.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

30 May 2014

Total posts 52

I suspect Alex hasn't flown QF F or EK J. :)

07 Oct 2012

Total posts 1259

You may have a point in comparison with business on the EK A380... But Emirates business on a 777 is nothing to get excited about.

30 Mar 2014

Total posts 13

Not quite - in QF First, you never have to step over the person next to you to get to the aisle ;-)

Joe
Joe

03 May 2013

Total posts 543

Never a truer comment on ABT! Given 777 J seats are bad but give me the value of an EK A380 J seat ANYDAY over wrought pricing on QF for their version "First". No brainer.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

31 Jan 2018

Total posts 1

I've flown both on long and short segments and can tell you right now they're nothing alike. Sure the hard product of the QF 380 may not be "2018" worthy, but the service, bedding, food everything alone in my eyes trumps all. Except those damn bathrooms, tiny for an F cabin in my opinion...

31 Mar 2014

Total posts 344

Makes sense. It is a better use of the 3rd 787 until the Perth to London Route starts. My understanding is the people actually paying for First to LAX from Melbourne is quite small.

05 May 2016

Total posts 592

Flying the 3rd 787 internationally certainly does make a lot more sense for QF than surprise and delight on domestic routes.


I wonder if QF did classic award seats in F for any of the dates they've pulled the A380? If you booked that and then lost the F seat due to the change in aircraft I'm sure that'd be a big disappointment.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

12 Jun 2011

Total posts 149

Happens every single year... Melbourne gets cut for the peak Chinese New Year period. Then everything resumes to normal...

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1243

Exactly. The sky isn't falling guys.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

01 Nov 2016

Total posts 134

I would say SYD-HKG would be where the A380 would go. Will free up another 747 for retirement,

05 May 2016

Total posts 592

This is a temporary reduction in A380 services from MEL to LAX not a permanent one. I can’t see how this would free up a 747 for retirement.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

01 Nov 2016

Total posts 134

With QF9/10 moving out to the 787 in March will free up a 380 which times in with the end of this temporary reduction. As of April the 380s will be:

QF1/2 - 3 aircraft, QF7/8 - 2 aircraft, QF11/12 - 2 aircraft, AF 35 - 1 aircraft, QF 93/94 - 2 aircraft, 1 spare for SYD-HKG and 1 which is in for maintenance. Using an A380 on the SYD-HKG leg would free up a 747. The introduction of the 787 and the redeployment of the 380 will phase out the older 747.

Oh when did Qantas fit First Class to their A380s???? Heaps of Captains of Industry fly via Singapore to LAX in SQ suites to avoid the 2005 Qantas Sham they call First Class. The nightmare for QF will be if SQ buys Etihads and Sir Richards share of Virgin Australia and make a full takeover..Virgin Australia using older SQ A380s on the Oz/LAX route...now that would be competition...as opposed to 787 Dreamliners from United & 777 from American. SQ first five A380s were leased but the rest are owned and SQ will need to find a home.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Nov 2017

Total posts 259

Not very likely whilst EY are reportedly (on other rival media sources) are investigating selling their stake in VA (as EY are in financial strife due to the Air Berlin & Alitalia failures), HU are also in financial strife and SQ are being quiet on their future in VA and are also rumoured to also bail to concentrate on their own underperforming subsidiaries due to their conservative nature.



Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

11 Nov 2016

Total posts 29

Looking back through your message history you plug EY and SQ in every post, with most posts also trashing QF. So you're not exactly credible.

Oh so criticizing QF and praising airlines that lead the pack means you dont have credibility...pahlease!! I would suggest your reaction says more about your blinkered view of airlines.

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07 Oct 2012

Total posts 1259

Flying SQ from Melbourne to LAX in First Class is certainly going the long way around... 2 stops V direct flight.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

13 Jul 2012

Total posts 120

Those Captains of Industry have surely got plenty of time on their hands (unless of course long hours in SQ First suites truly gives them some special enlightenment while they ponder the Industry's future...)

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

19 Jan 2018

Total posts 95

This is an interesting development. I guess, really, for J class pax this a trade off between the amenity and openness of an A380 and the significantly superior seat on the 789.


I think, personally, I would prefer the 789. The reality for most flights across the Pacific is that much of the flight will be spent sleeping (or at least resting). The SkyBed Mk II is simply not up to scratch on this measure.

12 Dec 2012

Total posts 1000

Just reminding people about something we've known about for almost 6 months? (This MEL-LAX A380 reduction, 787 increase was announced just before they announced the SYD-KIX flights)

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Jul 2011

Total posts 1390

We knew about the change from late March, when the 4th 787 came on board and LHR started.

This is just a pull forward and using the 3rd 787 whilst the 4th finishes production and gets its special paint job

29 Jan 2018

Total posts 1

Judging by QF's recent hiring activity (sales, other roles) in Chicago, I wonder if ORD is due for an imminent announcement re SYD --> ORD

12 Dec 2012

Total posts 1000

More likely BNE-ORD with 787 7 and 8.
5-8 are to be based in BNE, it isn't yet known which the other route will be to go with BNE-LAX-JFK. ORD, DFW and SEA are the known shortlist.

07 Oct 2012

Total posts 1259

Hiring activity also includes 'First Host' in Hong Kong. Which may indicate year round A380 service.


As for ORD, I wouldn't be surprised to see QF fly to Chicago a few days a week from both BNE & SYD. Chicago would be great for me... Though bad lounges at ORD.

07 Oct 2012

Total posts 1259

Though on 2nd thought... Not sure 787 will make SYD to ORD.


In any case, interesting to see these changes to QFs network.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

31 Jan 2018

Total posts 4

AA recently opened a flagship lounge at ORD and I was impressed when I was there last week. OW Sapphire and higher will get you in. Much better selection of food and beverage (help yourself open bar including spirits). Not nearly as crowded as the regular Admirals club and a much better experience.

07 Oct 2012

Total posts 1259

Yep the Flagship lounges look good. But I suspect QF would use the 'international' terminal (if they fly there at all)

12 Dec 2012

Total posts 1000

All International Arrivals at ORD are in the international T5. International Departures can be from any terminal (and any airlines departing from T1, 2 or 3 need to tow aircraft across). JL and AA arrive at T5 and depart from T3. Other oneworld members depart ORD at T5.

If QF were to start ORD flights, they would either depart from T5, where the only existing oneworld lounge is BA (who do anything to prevent non BA pax accessing it) or the contract AF lounge which QR and RJ use.
There is no airside access between T3 and T5. Can't use the AA lounges in T3 if the flight departs T5.

07 Oct 2012

Total posts 1259

True, but there is an airside bus now. But you can only take it to connect to your next flight... Used it last year for AA to CX flight.


If that situation occurred again, I would visit the AA lounge. But if you're journey originates in Chicago, the BA lounge at O'Hare is very ORDinary.

Given I suspect there wouldn't be a long turn-around for this flight, that's why I think QF would operate from sane terminal as arrival. But I'm guessing on the route and service.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Oct 2011

Total posts 403

Not every new QF route has to be from SYD, you know ....... (and QF has already announced the next new 787 route will be ex-BNE).

15 Dec 2017

Total posts 3

We already know that the MEL A380s are going to be redeployed to the daily MEL-SIN route so as to be able to connect onto the SYD-SIN-LHR route. I believe any excess will be used to HKG and/or eventually the refurbishments and maintenance.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Jun 2017

Total posts 34

Quick question and hope ok given this is an article about “first” class (sorry couldn’t resist)but given the size of A380 business vs 787 is there an overall drop in bus seats?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Jul 2011

Total posts 1390

Qantas 787 is 42J 28W 166Y

A380 is 14F 64J 35W 371Y

So the biggest drop is in Y

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Mar 2014

Total posts 40

Theyve also cut my QF 95 787 flight MEL-LAX i was booked on for a Wednesday in June. Grrrr. Liked the idea of the evening departure meaning i could work that day before leaving, but now rebooked onto the morning departure thats no longer a possibility.

Joe
Joe

03 May 2013

Total posts 543

Cutting back on 'first' class hahahahaha......seriously what is there to cut back honestly?...its an appalling attempt by QF to have degraded the F offering so much yet still call is so and charge so much for it.


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