Review of Qantas flight Sydney Dubai in Premium Eco

Airline Qantas
Flight QF1
Class Premium Eco
Seat 24F
Aircraft Airbus A380-800
Flight time 21:20
Take-off 25 Apr 15, 16:00
Arrival at 26 Apr 15, 07:20
QF 154 reviews
flywunala
By 7876
Published on 8th May 2015
This trip report covers the first legs of a 6 legs trip from Sydney to Madrid that I took recently. It is the first leg of a two stages flight SYD/DXB/LHR


A380-842 VH-OQB QF1 25 -Apr -15 SYD/DXB 24F PremEco QANTAS AIRWAYS : You are here
A380-842 VH-OQB QF1 26 -Apr -15 DXB/LHR 52C Economy QANTAS AIRWAYS: http://flight-report.com/en/report-10233.html
A320-216 EC-LVD IB3175 26 -Apr -15 LHR/MAD 14F Economy IBERIA; Coming soon
A340-642X EC-LFS IB3164 30 -Apr -15 MAD/LHR 36D Economy IBERIA: Coming soon
A380-842 VH-OQK QF2 30 -Apr -15 LHR/DXB 22B BUS QANTAS AIRWAYS: Coming Soon
A380-842 VH-OQK QF2 30 -Apr -15 DXB/SYD 83G Economy QANTAS AIRWAYS: Coming Soon

It's been a very long while since I flew Qantas long haul. My airlines of choice for travel to Europe are usually the Middle East carriers which offer a smooth one stop only options to most European major airports. Flying with Qantas means that I will have to take a 3rd flight to get to Madrid which is obviously not my preferred option as it represents a much longer transit time and forces the daunting and not always pleasant experience of having to go through LHR upon me.

This is just about my 350th sector on a Qantas service, but only the 3rd time I am flying on a Qantas A380. I am quite excited about this.
The first leg of my long journey is from Sydney to Dubai. QF1 is the flagship flight of Qantas and is dubbed The Kangaroo Route. It used to be routed via Singapore but since Qantas entered in partnership with Emirates, the flight naturally goes via Dubai. QF1 is in fact technically returning to the Middle East as the flight used to make an intermediary stop in Bahrain between Singapore and London before the 747-400 came into service.

I am riding on VH-OQB today, the second A380 delivered to Qantas seven years ago (already!), named after Australia aviator and co-founder of Qantas Hudson Fish
The city is visible in the background, as the airport is very close to the center of Sydney.
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As covered in previous reports, Sydney Airport is under redevelopment.
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Close up of the iconic Qantas livery (evolutionary designed specially created to be suited to the A380 painting requirements)
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Virgin Austraila A330 in the background.
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Traditional FR photo of the departures board
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Plane spotting: A Jetstar 787 reading to taxi out
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The sky is getting darker and darker
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Ready to board. One aerobridge is dedicated to the upper deck of the aircraft, where the Premium Economy is located (back of the plane), Between Sydney and Dubai I will be seated in Premium Economy. This is my first ever Premium Economy experience
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Unique seat configuration of the Qantas A380 fleet
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We are ready to go, however a monster storm holds us at the end of the runway. We finally departs 45 min later.
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A gorgeous view from the tail mounted IFE camera as our aircraft leaves the Sydney storm behind
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it is a long flight to Dubai
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To my surprise the seat is very comfortable. There is enough room not to touch my neighbour's elbow nor shoulder, which is luxury for me.
Only drawback is that I am seating in the first row at the bulkhead thus no possibly to stretch my legs entirelly. On a positive note I have no one in front of me.
The cabin is small and confined which gives a sense of privacy.

The IFE system is stored in the armrest (for every seat, not just front row seats), which I find quite disappointing as the monitor must be stored for take off and landing.
As you know, these are the most interesting phases of the flight and always fun to monitor on the airshow (more so that there is a tail mounted camera!), Sadly I will not enjoy watching the take off in this powerful storm nor the interesting landing in Dubai… On a positive note the headseat is the same as those used in Business Class which is a bonus.

Soon dinner is served
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and I must say my grilled barramundi filet is delicous.
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The toilet is spacious and clean
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The IFE is the same as the one found on Qantas short haul, however the choice of programme is much broader. The interface is quite intuitive and both screen touch and remote control can be used. I find the screen touch not always very responsive. Only one French movie amongst the selection, which is a little disappointing.
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Long way to go…
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Flying just over the 3 states border (New South Wales, South Australia and Queensland) which is called Cameron Corner.
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After a good sleep a nice and tasty breakfast is served.
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we are getting close to reaching destination
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Well this is what I thought, but UAE Air Traffic Control has decided otherwise…
We spend approximately 30 min in holding pattern, and have to abort our landing due to aircraft in front of us too slow to exist the runway…
photo QF1 SYDDXB approach

Finally arrived, with a much longer flying time than anticipated (nealry 15 hours vs 14 hours scheduled). Seems that Dubai skies are very congested these days. The old rhetoric where infrastructures cannot cope with fast growing demand.
photo QF1 SYDDXBphoto IMG_0996

VH-OQB docked at Gate 24 in Dubai
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To be continued with FR QF1 DXB/LHR
See more

Verdict

Qantas

7.8/10
Cabin8.0
Cabin crew8.0
Entertainment/wifi7.5
Meal/catering7.5

Sydney - SYD

7.0/10
Efficiency8.0
Access6.5
Services6.5
Cleanliness7.0

Dubai - DXB

6.6/10
Efficiency7.0
Access6.5
Services6.5
Cleanliness6.5

Conclusion

This QF1 flight was very interesting as I had the opportunity to fly in two different class, premium economy and economy back to back. Luckily I flew the longer sector in premium eco. The premium economy seat was comfortable enough for me to sleep about 7 hours which made the long flight go very quickly
The cabin of the Qantas A380 is pleasant and comfortable, whether it is in premium eco or in eco. Crew on both class were friendly.
The plane which is relatively new was in good condition. The IFE system is getting a little old. Unfortunately it is located in the armrest in premium eco, which means you have to stow it at take off and landing. Given the fierce competition amongst carriers, the QF IFE is due for a revamp in my opinion. All seats have a USB power outlet which is very useful.
The premium eco cabin was full yet it still felt spacious and private enough. The eco cabin was not full, and having no one next to me made a huge difference as I could stretch and take a more comfortable position.
All in all a very enjoyable experience (well I always enjoy flying to Europe so perhaps I am less critical....). Qantas product is solid in both class. Must admit I was very surprised by the premium eco product which is worth considering for long haul flight ex Australia to Europe. A great and cheaper alternative to Business Class.
Lots of time was wasted in holding patterns, in DXB and LHR. Seems that DXB is becoming a very congested airport and air space. I could feel the pilot frustration through his announcement, saying the given estimated time of arrival would probably be blown away 30 min, and that this was his very own estimate (which proved to be accurate).
Again a one stop journey through the Middle East or Asia is still a much preferred option to travel from Australia to Europe, versus a second stop over via LHR, CDG or FRA to reach a European secondary city such as Madrid.

Information on the route Sydney (SYD) Dubai (DXB)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 5 reviews of 2 airlines on the route Sydney (SYD) → Dubai (DXB).


Useful

The airline with the best average rating is Emirates with 8.4/10.

The average flight time is 15 hours and 48 minutes.

  More information

8 Comments

If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 136263 by
    KévinDC TEAM GOLD 5795 Comments

    Wow, I can't believe it's been 7 years since QF received it's 1st A380s. 14 hours is a long flight, but still 3 hours shorter than my DFW-HKG from January :-)
    The catering looks good. Table linens gives it a nice Premium feel. Most Premium Economy offerings on other airlines don't do table linens.
    The poor on-time performance of the ME3 has been in the news quite a bit lately. Seems like the ME hubs are going through growing pains and are having a difficult time dealing with congestion with all the extra traffic.
    Thanks for sharing!

  • Comment 136287 by
    SKYTEAMCHC GOLD 8968 Comments

    Thanks you very much for sharing with us this report. I think Qantas is doing a very good job and as Kevin mentioned the catering looks good and real china and linen are not so common in Premium economy !

  • Comment 136333 by
    NGO85 1622 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this series with us.

    There is enough room not to touch my neighbour's elbow nor shoulder
    - That's disappointing to hear...

    I agree with the above comments on catering, it looks visually very good for Y+. Three options for dinner is a nice touch. These meals are starting to look on par with what you would get on a short regional route in J with real glasses, real cutlery, and tablecloths.

    I like your holding pattern outside of the DXB, lol, it's like children's artwork.

    @Kevin: I didn't see this problem at AUH, but they are considerably much smaller than the older EK.

    • Comment 315913 by
      flywunala AUTHOR 158 Comments

      AUH is getting very congested too. I have experienced it first hand in Feb this year. Lots of aircraft are parked on remote stand and passengers are bused around the airport. There were a lot of time wasted waiting for our turn to take off, as just one runway was operating. Oman Air Space is also very restricted. Our SYD bound plane had to wait for 45 min before being pushed back....

    • Comment 315914 by
      KévinDC TEAM GOLD 5795 Comments

      @NGO85 - AUH actually had a highly publicized delay meltdown over the winter when for caused 48 hours+ of delays and backlog

    • Comment 315916 by
      NGO85 1622 Comments

      @Kevin: Don't remember hearing about this. Everything looked very smooth when I was there with no delays on the FIDS.

      @Flywunala: the airport is clearly overrun with >50% of the planes sitting at remote stands, and I remember a 30 minute taxi out to the runway, but by the time we got there, it was short wait to depart.

    • Comment 315918 by
      NGO85 1622 Comments

      And I should also follow that up by saying that I typically have very good luck. I've also never experienced a delay in China either, so maybe I'm just abnormal.

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