Qantas trims first class on Melbourne-Los Angeles flights

By Chris C., July 6 2017
Qantas trims first class on Melbourne-Los Angeles flights

EXCLUSIVE | Qantas will reduce the number of Airbus A380 Melbourne-Los Angeles flights in early 2018 to just three superjumbo services each week in a move which will also trim availability of first class suites on the trans-Pacific route.

From February 12 to March 24 2018, Qantas will fly the A380 between Melbourne and LAX only three days each week, with a Boeing 787 Dreamliner picking up two days of the QF93/QF94 service.

This will run alongside the six-day-a-week schedule of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner on QF95/QF96.

A Qantas spokesperson told Australian Business Traveller that these changes are “to better match capacity with demand during the non-peak travel period”, with the Airbus A380 resuming daily Melbourne-LA flights from March 25 2018 – two days after Qantas axes its daily Melbourne-Dubai-London Airbus A380 flights in favour of the new non-stop Boeing 787 service between Perth and London.

While the superior business class of the Boeing 787 will be a win for travellers booked into the premium cabin, first class flyers booked onto the Melbourne-LAX superjumbo on those 'missing flights' will become collateral damage in the cuts.

Qantas says that passengers already booked in first class on the affected flights will be bumped back to business class and offered a refund of the fare difference between the two cabins, or a refund of the Qantas Points difference between business and first class if travelling on a reward booking.

Alternatively, they can change their date of travel at no charge to one of the days on which the A380 will be flying, or travel to Sydney on the date originally booked and take a first class berth on the daily Sydney-Los Angeles A380 service.

Qantas plans to re-assign the Airbus A380 to higher-demand routes during February and March. In previous years this has seen Hong Kong take up the superjumbo as a seasonal service.

Chris C.

Chris is a a former contributor to Executive Traveller.

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 1201

Bit by bit QF are moving to remove First Class from all AU ports except SYD.  There is no doubt that at some point First won't be offered out of MEL on any service; whether that means no A380s or refitted A380s, I don't know.  

I assume at the same time the First Lounge will also go; hopefully it is refitted and becomes the new Business Lounge replacing the current dungeon though space may be an issue.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

15 Mar 2016

Total posts 169

I doubt they'll remove the A380 from MEL - LAX completely, unless they get enough 787 to provide a double daily service most days. Other than small off-peak periods, it's an incredibly popular service that usually has high loadings. Next year, with retrofittings and new aircraft will undoubtedly see a lot of metal changes!

Also highly doubt they'll remove the F lounge from MEL - there'd be an uproar!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

30 May 2013

Total posts 366

The return of VA's MEL-LAX service may be hurting QF here. With UA's non-stop 787 service also under way, there could be too much capacity on this route. 

24 Apr 2014

Total posts 272

I just tried the UA service last week, no complaints, they have lifted their game.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

30 May 2013

Total posts 366

Which class did you travel?

24 Apr 2014

Total posts 272

Just economy, it was jam packed, service was good

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Dec 2014

Total posts 59

This is good news for Business Class passengers - the 787 has much better Business Class seats than the A380. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Jul 2011

Total posts 60

Thank you for the positive comment.  Nice to see for a change.  

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Jan 2017

Total posts 40

Qantas first class is like business class on top airlines like Singapore, Emirates, Qatar.

Virgin Australia business class to US routes and Emirates, Qatar for European routes and Singapore for Asian routes. 👌👌

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Oct 2011

Total posts 469

What rubbish. QF First is waaaay better than Business on Emirates or Singapore. Clearly you don't fly on all three airlines.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

14 Sep 2012

Total posts 385

Absolutely agree John. QF F is my choice when I can. 

27 Mar 2017

Total posts 2

totally agree particularly with regards to Emirates Business - once you get passed the glossy look there is a lack of substance! Singapore has the consistency of service that I haven't seen bettered.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

01 Mar 2013

Total posts 169

Absolute BS Alex. QF First is good, better than QR First (A380) and in my opinion EK First. SQ First is sweet and EY First stumps them all. To say Business on SQ, EK & QR outdoes QF First is just lame. You're not in the air enough my friend to make that call. Give the Roo respect when it's due.


20 Sep 2012

Total posts 75

With respect, he didn't say that their business outdid Qantas First, but that they are equivalent. 

Clearly the A380 was too big for Qantas. 

Does this mean First Class ex. MEL is doomed? I'm not entirely sure about that. I do think, however, whatever replaces the A380 will be much smaller and will have a First Class offering that's no more than 8 seats. Personally I'm wagering QF will take 777Xs and have 6 First seats in a similar layout to Emirates' new/upcoming first product. 

24 Apr 2014

Total posts 272

I suspect First class in the long term from MEL is doomed

12 Dec 2012

Total posts 1025

So for 5 weeks, between the 3rd and 4th 787s arriving, they'll be using all 3 787s on MEL-LAX while displacing some A380 services.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 May 2014

Total posts 35

Got to love some of the armchair CEO's jumping to conclusions without even thinking in the business sense.

It looks quite straight forward to me that Qantas is simply trying to maximise its profit through better assignment of capacity - remember the date that MEL-LAX lose much of its A380 services coincide with 2018's Chinese New Year rush (for 2018 it's on 18 Feb), Much of the available capacity is already sold and for many of the flights during that period B class is already the lowest(!) as I'm writing this.


19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1425

Cutting A380s from Melbourne was very obvious. The next step in  a couple of years will be to go double daily to LA maybe after DFW with 789s. Then the A380s will be out of Sydney and the 787s mainly out of Melbourne.


12 Apr 2013

Total posts 1501

"or a refund of the Qantas Points difference between business and first class if travelling on a reward booking." - LOL!!! There is no such things like award booking in Business MEL-LAX on QF metal! I have a check and found only few and all of them via HKG by CX!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 May 2014

Total posts 470

The upside could be an earlier start to the A380 upgrades.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Oct 2014

Total posts 14

Yep you'll probably see QF re-route those A380's onto MEL/SYD-HKG services. The MEL P/C lounge is a big and important investment and not one that QF is looking to close!  

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

30 May 2014

Total posts 49

I had noticed far better award availability on MEL-LAX than SYD-LAX so I suspected there were less pax on that route. A lot of lower status pax seem to get points upgrades on that route too (myself included when I was a Bronze 3 years ago).

29 Jan 2012

Total posts 163

Interesting reading above, QF is there for the $ - brand loyalty is second. The fact is that P costs the airline and J is the money maker, thus the 789 is the winner over the A380. Don't get me wrong, I am for a P cabin on the large wide bodied aircraft anyday, the airline accountants are unfortunately not. QF P is a good product, but is a cost to the airline. Good-bye P and hello J. Simple!


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

14 Aug 2015

Total posts 36

Did anyone also notice that QF95 has also been trimmed from its advertised 6 days a week to 4 days a week from 8th Feb - 25th Mar, sounds like they are jiggling 789's to fill the a380 changes.   all that PR doesn't last very long.

Japan Airlines - JAL Mileage Bank

09 May 2017

Total posts 12

Bye Bye A380! 

I'm only going on those 2 days when I'm flying to LaX on a787

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