Here's what you need to know about Qantas' A380 first class facelift.
When you'll fly them
For first class passengers eager to see a better suite, patience will be a virtue.
The first of Qantas' 12-strong superjumbo fleet is expected to go under the knife by June 2019, although a rapid refresh pace (with the 'design integrated' project being managed by Airbus itself) will see the entire fleet upgraded by the end of 2020.
Interestingly, this will take the A380s almost to the cusp of Qantas' plans to begin flying either the Airbus A350ULR or Boeing 777-8 on non-stop routes to London and New York by 2022 – and those long-range jets may or may not feature a first class cabin of their own.
What's changing in Qantas first class
Unlike the rip-out-and-replace process which will see the A380s fitted with the latest design Boeing 787 business class and premium economy seats, first class is in line for a more measured 'refresh' of the current model (below).
Qantas says this will see each suite "fully refurbished" including the fitting of "contoured cushioning" plus a larger HD video display to replace the current 17 inch panel.
None of this is a bad thing by any stretch: there's basically nothing wrong with Marc Newson's bespoke design for Qantas' A380 suites, which we rate among the best of the 'open' first class suites sans sliding doors (a la Singapore Airlines, Emirates and Etihad).
It'll be interesting however to see how the colours and materials palette changes, and if the revamped first class suites adopt some of the design DNA of the Boeing 787 business class seats and the new-look Qantas Chairman's Lounge furniture.
However, as part of a rolling upgrade to first class, by the end of this year the A380 suites will gain a memory foam mattress and 'pillow menu'.
What's not changing in Qantas first class
Again, Qantas' decisions here fall into the safe realm of not fixing what ain't broke.
The first class cabin will remain at the front of the main deck, despite some speculation that Qantas would shift it upstairs.
That would not only have added significantly to the total works bill, but the narrow footprint of the upper deck would also have reduced the number of first class suites by cutting out the middle row of four suites, paring the total number of berths down to 10.
Retaining the full tally of 14 suites will be welcome news to the many frequent flyers who use their Qantas Points to upgrade from business class to first class (a steal at 60,000-75,000 points from Sydney or Melbourne to London) or book first class outright with points.
There's also a new lounge...
Qantas' A380 overhaul will also expand the small lounge nestled into the nose of the A380's upper deck...
... with what the concept art shows as a significantly larger and more open, appealing space.
While ostensibly a business class lounge, this area is popular with first class passengers who want to socialise with friends or colleagues travelling in a lower cabin class.
Qantas doesn't permit those passengers to join you in the companion dining mode of your first class suite...
... but as a rule the cabin crew are usually happy to escort them up to the business class lounge, where they can join you over a bottle of wine or champagne from the first class cellar.