Qantas swaps Airbus A380s for Boeing 747s on some Los Angeles flights

By Chris Chamberlin, April 23 2015

EXCLUSIVE | Qantas will replace its flagship Airbus A380s with Boeing 747s on several flights from Sydney and Melbourne to Los Angeles over the next six weeks, with one of the airline’s twelve superjumbos currently out of action.

A Boeing 747 will take the A380's place through to mid-June. The jumbo is reconfigured with the same fully-flat Skybeds in business class and A380-style seats in premium economy and economy, although comes without first class.

Passengers booked in first class on services affected by an aircraft change – that’s QF11, QF12, QF93 and QF94 on selected dates – will be notified by Qantas and can choose to fly on an alternate date where first class is available, or can connect via Sydney or Melbourne (as applicable) to another A380 service in first class.

Want to stretch out in first class? You may need to change your flight.
Want to stretch out in first class? You may need to change your flight.

There’s also the option of re-routing via Sydney and Dallas/Fort Worth on the A380 at no charge, downgrading to business class or requesting a refund as many flexible first class fares allow.

After the A380 was damaged during maintenance, Qantas has “engaged Airbus technical support to get the aircraft repaired as soon as possible,” a spokesperson for the airline told Australian Business Traveller.

“Due to the complex technical nature of the repair, we expect the aircraft will be out of service for about six weeks,” with the spokesperson adding that the near-identical reconfigured Boeing 747 will be utilised “to ensure there is minimal impact to our customers (travelling in business class, premium economy and economy).”

Qantas’ other Airbus A380 routes are unaffected and continue to utilise the superjumbo on all flights, including both Sydney and Melbourne to Dubai and London, plus Sydney to Dallas/Fort Worth.

Also read: Qantas drops business class on selected Boeing 717 flights

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Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!

QFF

12 Apr 2013

Total posts 1446

747 is still queen of the sky :-)))

for me nothing will top a 747!!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

29 Jul 2013

Total posts 209

Absolutely! I much prefer the B747 and always choose it over the A380.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 Jun 2011

Total posts 79

I wonder why it's just the LAX flights that are affected and no DFW or DXB/LHR flights?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 Nov 2014

Total posts 342

That's because 747 can't do non-stop DFW-SYD, the good ole QF8 which had to stopover in BNE. 

SYD/MEL-DXB-LHR may have something to do with Emirates, also there are a lot more competitions on SYD/MEL - LHR as compare to SYD/MEL-LAX. 

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 588

What is not mentioned in the article is that the damage is the result of a jack malfunction during maintenance that damaged the stabliser of VH-OQF.

undertheradar Banned
undertheradar Banned

28 Oct 2011

Total posts 662

what a breath of fresh air....someone with actual knowledge on here!!!

undertheradar Banned
undertheradar Banned

28 Oct 2011

Total posts 662

something happened in the maintanence hanger... (a failure of some HANGER equipment used by maintenance workers that impacted on the a/c) ...NOT AN ACTUAL FAILURE OF THE A/C...

(flychrisfly)...1 a380 out of action for 4-6weeks..so QF are doing their best NOT to disrupt ALL a380 routes...so they are bringing in a 747 to cover just the mentioned routes...11/12/93/94...makes perfect sense to me

12 Dec 2012

Total posts 952

Where's the 747 coming from? Are selected NRT, JNB or SCL flights being cancelled/downgaged to get the aircraft to cover these flights?

07 Oct 2012

Total posts 1242

I assume QF will be using some of the older non refurb 747's on some of the services on these routes and then redploying the refurb'd ones to LAX. 

DGP
DGP

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Jan 2012

Total posts 171

Ummm, I hope not. I am travelling on QF to SCL next Friday.

07 Oct 2012

Total posts 1242

Hopefully your flight will be on a refurb'd plane!

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

19 Mar 2014

Total posts 574

Qantas have always had spare aircraft. They'll just re-jig a maintenance program and pull a 747 into the mix. I would highly doubt the Sydney to HKD / NRT / SCQ / JNB services are in any way impacted.

07 Oct 2012

Total posts 1242

Whilst QF does have some spare 747's, they only have 9 refurb's 747's. So there has to be some impact on other routes if QF is promising to use upgraded 747's across the pacific. 

Cathay Pacific - Asia Miles

25 Apr 2013

Total posts 544

It's HKG (excuse my OCD).

04 Nov 2012

Total posts 216

Gotta love the 747 upper deck in J, small cabin of about 20 seats, own galley, crew and loo, skybed MK11 seats, it has it all, did DXB to BNE could not fault it.

07 Oct 2012

Total posts 1242

DXB to BNE?

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 588

If you were flying DXB-BNE on the upper deck, chances are you were on an EK A380.  QF have never flown DXB-BNE and do not operate 747s into DXB which is why the LHR routes are not affected by this outage.

Did you perhaps mean DFW (Dallas/Fort Worth) to BNE back when QF8 was operated by a Boeing 747 and stopped over in the Sunshine State?

07 Oct 2012

Total posts 1242

Yeah, DFW would make sense

04 Nov 2012

Total posts 216

oops DFW

Outsourced ex-airline staff

04 Jun 2014

Total posts 14

Sorry... I couldn't resist Chris, but "Sunshine State" refers to the motto of the US state of Florida, not the "Golden State" of California to which I assume you were refering.... Or did you simply mean it in a generic sense ?   ( to which you might want to use "sunshine & smog" ! ) .... lol ...

:)

In this context 'Sunshine State' refers to Queensland.

Outsourced ex-airline staff

04 Jun 2014

Total posts 14

Ooopss..

 

Thanks.... I was incorrectly assuming a stop in LAX ... 

and my US - centric orientation...  !

 

Thanks....

23 Apr 2015

Total posts 3

Victim of this swap.  Flying to LAX in 2 weeks time and was booked on the upper deck on the A380 in Y on QF93, now flight will operated by 747. 

Fingers crossed that my return flight on QF94 remains unchanged.

11 Apr 2014

Total posts 14

+1

Also flying to LAX in 2 weeks, return flight was to be in first but now have been automatically downgraded to business on the 747. Was booked as a partner award using AA miles.

So far not liking my chances of getting QF to open up an award seat on another day!

Qantas - QFF Platinum

20 Mar 2012

Total posts 213

+1 

QF94 in about 5 weeks from A388 to 744

10 Mar 2015

Total posts 7

Both of my flights to and from LAX hasn't been changed. Just hope it stays that way. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

12 Apr 2015

Total posts 10

Same here. Agreed! Fingers crossed.

wilsoni Banned
wilsoni Banned

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Sep 2011

Total posts 321

This is where QF is so unreliable. No accommodation to be made for downgraded partner FF's from P? Really? Minimum expectation would be offer on 388 P another day. Reasonable expectation would be arrangement for P on CX via HKG if wanted. One aircraft out of service and the wheels fall off...

I'm on the affected QF94 service.

I only hope it's the refurbished 747, otherwise its no coffee for me for the day, two melatonin tablets and the hope of fair turbulence over the Pacific to rock me to sleep for a good part of the 14h flight.

I feel really sorry for those who have redeemed Aadvantage P who are now downgraded to U. Can you get a refund from AA? Try calling AA in Dallas, particularly if your Plat ot Exex Plat. It's terribly unfair.

It's a shame Qantas hasn't swap QF9/QF10 instead. After all with the EK love fest, QF could affectively do a Virgin i.e. cancel DXB & LHR services on the affected days, assuming pax haven't already opted to fly EK!!!

11 Apr 2014

Total posts 14

Thanks for your sympathies TRB. So far I've spent about 1.5 hours on hold with QF and AA trying to sort something out.

Mercifully QF are saying that they will open up P availability on a day when the 380 is operating, however an AA agent must request that from them. Problem is the AA agent can't see that award bucket for some reason (though they can see U). 

If a solution can't be find I'll definitely give your suggestion a go!

11 Apr 2014

Total posts 14

Just following up on my efforts to get my P class AA award booking moved to a different day.

Qantas did not clear the request to travel on a date that the A380 is flying, despite there being many seats still available for purchase.

I instead requested AA to refund the number of miles difference between P and U class booking, which they were happy to do. Think I may stick to using AA or AS miles to book CX travel in future, since QF doesn't seem to be keen on honouring them.

That's great news Daniel! I find AA agents to be very reasonable. Glad you got a refund. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

08 Nov 2011

Total posts 110

For one, there is no first to HKG from any AU port with CX. Thats a whole lot of extra travel for part of the trip in First.

24 Apr 2015

Total posts 129

what a stuff up, although QF probably needs less seats to LAX at present as flights are not selling to expectations am told.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Feb 2014

Total posts 18

Reason not selling is because they have not cut any fares...Air NZ is about 1500 Cheaper..question is...is 360 SC's worth 1500? Funny thing is even the AA code was cheaper than QF on some days! 

QF

04 Apr 2014

Total posts 152

I'm on a LAX -Melbourne flight in 2 weeks that's been changed to a 747. But I reckon that's a good thing because the business seats on the 380's are all droopy these says. As a 6'4" person it's like sleeping on top of Everest. 

16 Mar 2014

Total posts 5

This is bad news for me.  B747 has Panasonic IFE system which has a major fault that in "Music - CD selection" mode, the CD's do not re-play in "continuous mode", ie each individual track has to be manually started, rendering the CD re-play mode virtually useless, ensuring a "flight from hell" for those wishing only CD entertainment. After ignoring my complaints for months, QF finally advised that yes, they are aware of the problem, it is a major problem & have no idea when it can be fixed (I/they have been aware for nearly 12 months -up to Feb this year had still not been fixed).  Not looking forward to my May & June QF11/12 flights!!    Charles952

 

Qf

26 Apr 2015

Total posts 15

I am a revenue F passenger affected by this. Qantas did not contact me, just automatically downgraded me to J.  I had to phone Sydney from Europe (their Rome  office claimed they could do nothing).  I had to make the suggestion of flying via DFW. -  no one I spoke to suggested that.   Exceptionally poorly handled by Qantas _ they appear to put no value on their revenue F passengers. I have that message clearly now, so will be putting my dollars elsewhere in future.

04 May 2015

Total posts 243

Looks like my LA flight is still safe, fingers crossed! Can't say I'm a fan of those older Skybeds... even Virgin has a better seat.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 Feb 2015

Total posts 1

Is this still happening or has the A380 back flying la leg?

29 May 2015

Total posts 1

Im flying Melb to Lax with my 2 girls, promised them a A380 flight will it be back by then? says 747 on the tix.


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