Review of Qantas flight Sydney Hong Kong in Economy

Airline Qantas
Flight QF127D
Class Economy
Seat 46J
Aircraft Airbus A330-300
Flight time 09:10
Take-off 28 Aug 23, 07:15
Arrival at 28 Aug 23, 14:25
QF   #34 out of 93 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 165 reviews
Published on 8th September 2023

The final trip report of this series! Thanks for sticking along as I wrap up my wonderful adventures in Australia!

Coming to the final flight, a 9-hour flight from Sydney back home, I had high hopes learning that the A330-300s had a much nicer cabin than the 200s. Little did I know, I would have experienced everything I did not expect before I could actually board the flight back home…
You may have noticed something from the timing/flight number of this flight, stay tuned for more!

 Please skip to "The Airport Experience (Again)" for the real flight experience!

Airport Experience

We took the bus from Gate 15 of the domestic terminal, to the international terminal for our flight, which allowed me to enjoy the amazing tarmac views. Interesting to see the Cathay A350 parked at a remote bay 30 minutes after its STD!

We arrive at the terminal shortly after and identified our departure gate as 51.

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Security at Sydney is HORRIBLY SLOW! There are lots of bag scan machines, but they all take ages (upwards of 30 seconds for 1 bag). The queues were extremely long and the staff had bad attitudes towards customers, shouting at us to get through security and go to the correct lane for bag checks. It was not a pleasant experience at all!

Anyways, we walked to the satellite (?) terminal via the bridge, which had amazing views.

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SYD really does not look like an airport, but a high-class shopping mall!

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Our aircraft has not arrived yet, so I took some time to do some plane spotting and bought some last minute gifts for my family.

Gate open! Our aircraft has not arrived from Seoul yet and we had a 15 minute delay (10:15 –> 10:30) due to the late inbound aircraft arrival.

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VH-QPH "Noosa", in the new livery, finally arrived from ICN!

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The delay!

Unfortunately, bad things started to happen from this point onwards. We first had a 10-20 minute delay since the crew needed extra time to sort out the food on the flight. Then, I heard the engines swirl up and knew something was wrong…

Our aircraft had a "small technical issue" (that's how they put it), and had to do a technical run. The gate agent kept pushing back the departure time by 10-20 minutes each time, until 11:30 when they started delaying the flight by an entire hour at once. Our STD was pushed back to 12:30 due to a technical fault and I decided to grab some lunch with my friend while we waited for the plane to be ready.
I was missing Chinese food too much, so I proceeded to get the extremely pricey ($19 AUD - what a ripoff!) fried rice, which tasted fine but was nothing to write home about.

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Our STD was pushed back to 13:30 when it hit 12:30 and the aircraft was towed away for maintenance…I already had a bad feeling about that.
Qantas then distributed a $15 voucher to us (which worked like a debit card), in which I used to buy more lollies and candies for my family; my friends used it to buy tim tams, shapes etc. It could even be used to buy a book, which was nice. 

I did more planespotting as we waited.

Saw the Cathay 777 arrive from Hong Kong, and a parallel takeoff from SYD!

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Unfortunately, our STD was pushed back to 14:15. During that time, I walked around the entire airport area and also took some time to call my family at the charging station (in which half of the charging stations don't work!). The wifi there was extremely slow, which did not make it a pleasant experience. After another 40 minutes, I returned to the gate to see no sign of any A330 and we had a big announcement. I knew something was wrong at that time.

"We regret to inform you that QF127 will be delayed to 6:45am tomorrow."

WHAT? It was my first time having my flight delayed to the next day. Qantas promised that they would arrange accommodation, but as you can imagine, flying in a group of 60 was as chaotic as it can be for arranging hotels…
They started trying to send Australian passengers living in Sydney back home first, but most passengers on this flight were HK residents. Hence, we all had to wait a while longer for further arrangements. 

Passengers did crowd the counters, but surprisingly, no one was scolding the gate agents (it's not their fault anyway but I've found HK passengers to love scolding the gate agents during a delay/cancellation) which was pleasing to see. I did overhear some passengers saying that they wanted to switch to the remaining CX flight that night, but it was completely sold out.

The hotel experience

After around 30 minutes, we were led back to the lower level for re-immigration and had to claim our bags again, then headed to the departure level for hotel arrangements.

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We then boarded the bus to Novotel SYD. Qantas included $50 AUD of hotel credits for everyone, which was a nice touch.

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It was a nice and large room, with 2 standard double beds, which we only had to share between 2 people. Overall, Qantas gave sufficient compensation and handled the delay better than expected. It was my first time in which I got sent to the hotel due to a flight delay. Having only heard about horror stories of airlines sending passengers to hotel, I must say Qantas did a better job than most airlines.

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Let's jump to 4am of the next day, in which Qantas sent us to the airport early ahead of the 6:45am departure.

The airport experience (again)

We arrived at T1 again and after checking in at the designated counters for our flight specifically, there had been a gate change (in which the gate agents had NO IDEA of). There were no announcements, no status updates or such. 
Being at the airport at 4am again for 2 days in a row, thanks Qantas! 

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We headed through security for a second time, meeting the staff with horrible attitudes again.

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My last sunrise (finally) in Australia, with a BA 787-9 & QF A380!

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Flight finally boarding! 🥲

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Seat & Cabin

I boarded the aircraft via Door L2 and was greeted by 2 flight attendants at the door. There are a total of 265 seats in economy and the colour scheme of the seat surely looks smart! My seat is in the 2nd row of the back half of the Economy cabin.

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A pillow, blanket and headphones were already placed at each seat. The recaro "award-winning" seats have thinner paddings in comparison though…

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Storage spaces for these seats are like nets, which were really cool! There are 2 nets at each seat respectively.

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The storage spaces are quite useful too!

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There are lots of sub-storage spaces here in the seatback pocket.

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Inside the seat pocket is the safety card, which looked very new!

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And the route map.

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There's also a netted foot rest at every seat, though I did not find it to be useful in practice.

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Legroom is fine though nothing to write home about. I am about 175cm tall and it does feel a bit cramped (though not as tight as the A330-200s) when I try to sleep. There's also a small entertainment box on the right.

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In case you're wondering how the bulkhead seats are like, they offer significantly more legroom but is a bit lacking in terms of storage.

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In-flight entertainment

Each seat had a large, 11-inch screen, which was very responsive and easy to use (compared to the A330-200s, A380s and 737s!) since it's loaded with the newest Panasonic ex3 system (as opposed to the ex2 system).

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The distance between my thumb and pinkie is around 8 inches in comparison.

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The selection was meh, though it had more movies in the "Premiere" category than on the A332s. The moving map is still bad though and felt like something from 15 years ago. Visible from this picture is the headphone jack (there was also an extra one in the armrest - no idea why they need 2!) and a USB-A port for charging.

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I watched "Cocaine Bear" (which totally deserved its 3-star rating). I love how Qantas showed you the ratings from previous passengers. As you can see from the photo, the menu is in the IFE & you can also call the crew via the screen (instead of the STUPID REMOTE) and the system asks you again whether you really want to call the crew. As such, I did not see the call bell being accidentally pressed on this flight at all.

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It's interesting how there's also a page dedicated to meditation…

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…and even though there's no wifi or live tv on this aircraft, there's still pre-recorded news by ABC news. Not sure how often this is updated though, but still a nice touch from having nothing.

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The menu is accessible via the IFE screen. However, use this as a reference since the main meal was served before landing and they replaced one of the meals with breakfast instead. A very thoughtful gesture as I thought they wouldn't re-cater the flight for the delay!

The flight

We finished boarding at around 7am and started to push back. Thanks to my seatmate for all these window shots!

During boarding, I saw Erik, the crew sitting right in front of me, making small talk with the passenger seated in front of me, and I immediately knew it was going to be a nice flight.

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The safety video was screened, in which I realised that it would be my final time watching this in a while…

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The Cantonese version was also played on this flight.

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We passed through a Virgin 737 and another Cathay A350

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At 07:15 local time, we took off towards the North, which was exactly 21 hours after our scheduled departure time.

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Meal service began with a bag of snack mix & a bottle of water just 15-20 minutes after takeoff.

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Breakfast service started 30 minutes after takeoff. There was an option between the English breakfast and a fruit platter. Same as the previous flight, meal service started from the front and row 50 respectively, so I was among the last to get my meal (again). By the time they got to my row, they already ran out of the fruit platter (even though I wanted the hot breakfast anyway). The meal came with a blueberry muffin and some Greek yoghurt with oats. I opted for some tea with milk for my drink.

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Again, I was pleased and surprised to see that they changed up the catering due to our technical delay to include breakfast! A wonderful gesture indeed. The meal tasted pretty nice and the eggs weren't as soggy as those on other airlines, and had lots of items in it too, but I found it to be too salty for my liking. The blueberry muffin & the yoghurt on the other hand, as expected, tasted wonderful. A good effort in terms of catering was shown.

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Meals were cleared 90 minutes into the flight, which was good pacing since most passengers were very tired from the early start.

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I checked out the (surprisingly big) toilets, which were clean & in good working order. Love how they decorated the floor of the toilet as well. 

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Took this shot from the small porthole of the cabin door!

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The cabin lights were dimmed after the meal service and I started watching some Netflix on my phone. Unfortunately, there was no tablet holder so I had to hold my phone for the whole duration of the movie.

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The seats reclined a lot too, which made getting out a bit bothersome.

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Even though the lights were dimmed, the crew walked around the cabin every now and then, which I really appreciate (instead of them only chatting in the galley). They offered passengers who were awake an extra bottle/cup of water & snacks. When I was still struggling to choose between the 2, the FA holding the snack baskets just asked me to take both, which was a nice touch. FYI, both snacks were quite good though I liked the cookies more.

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I spent the next hour or so snacking & watching Netflix, when we passed through Darwin and officially said goodbye to Australia.

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The coast of Darwin. Again, Australia (& Qantas)!

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A very blurred photo, but the IFEs also featured "Sleep Mode" which worked like a screensaver, with the flight time remaining in the middle. I slept for about 30 minutes.

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For the next hour or so though, the crew definitely came around the cabin less (though still did once or twice). Maybe they were busy preparing the 2nd meal? We also started flying into the clouds, which made the flight a bit bumpier.

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2 hours and 50 minutes remaining into the flight, the lights were turned on for the 2nd meal. The ISM also came on the PA to announce the choices (though they're essentially the main meal on the menu shown below).

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This time, the meal started from Row 49 so I was among the first to get my food. I went with the black pepper beef, which was served alongside the focaccia and apple juice.

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I was pleased to report that the meal was flavourful and tasty. Though the rice is a bit soft (as expected), the vegetables were better than your average airplane vegetables (as you can tell from the colour!). The beef and mushrooms were flavourful and had a very strong pepper taste, though it was a bit too salty for my liking again. The focaccia was tasty and went well with the meal.

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Unfortunately, we ran into some horrible turbulence and FAs had to stop their service midway. After that though, they started coming around the cabin to offer ice-cream to passengers. It was my first time having the Splice bar and even though it was very sticky, it tasted amazing! Wish we had something like that in Hong Kong as well.

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The trays were then collected by the FA (though they collected trays from the front and not according to the meal service sequence - a bit weird IMO). Erik, the FA serving my aisle then came around with tea & coffee, as well as a tim tam for all passengers, giving the meal a good ending. The FA serving my aisle gave small talks to passengers, which was a nice touch after such a long flight.

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The service was complete 1 hour out of HKG and the crew started coming to the cabin to collect rubbish. They walked around the cabin 3-4 times for rubbish before landing, which was really nice and accomdating of them to various passengers.

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A final look of our twisty flight path today.

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20 minutes out of HKG, the pilot came on the PA and informed us of our arrival time of around 14:25. The seatbelt sign was on shortly after and the crew returned to their seats as we began our approach.

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A lucky day since we were using Runway 25R, giving us amazing views of the city.

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On final!

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We touched down at 14:22, with the smoothest touchdown I've ever had!

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Passing the infamous skybridge. Welcome to HKIA!

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While I was waiting to disembark, Erik, the FA sitting in the jump seat in front of me, initiated a conversation with me about my trip. We had a pretty nice conversation about his layover and the delay as well. Thanks to Erik and the crew for working so hard!

P.S. While I was waiting for the cockpit visit, I had a nice conversation with another Korean crew working in Business. I love how charming and chatty QF crew are, whilist being attentive and professional. 

Last but not least, the legendary cockpit visit! The pilots on this flight were very welcoming and even allowed me to sit on the co-pilot seat for photos. They also gave me a tour of the cockpit & did the "Christmas Tree Light Show" (they turned on all the lights). We also talked about the delay & the future fleet of Qantas. Thanks to all the pilots on the flight!

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Even though I disembarked last and the FAs were already off the plane, they still bidded me farewell at the gate. Thank you VH-QPH and everyone working on the flight!

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We made history by breaking the record for the longest delay of QF127 since Qantas returned to HKG in January!

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To end, here's Qantas' proof of delay for insurance. I got a total of HKD $1800 from the insurance company thanks to the delay.

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Cabin crew10.0

Sydney - SYD


Hong Kong - HKG



This flight was easily the best one out of the 4 I've had on Qantas. Even though it started with a 21-hour delay, the flight was otherwise amazing. The cabin was nice and fresh, the food was good and the crew were charming & genuinely enjoyed their job (even though they were the same crew from the day prior).
One suggestion would be to really enhance the IFE library to include more movies & blockbusters (not just Australian movies/TV shows), but otherwise, I've really enjoyed all my flights on Qantas. Despite the recent saga related to cancelled flights and the CEO, I believe they still have a promising future ahead. I wouldn't hesitate to fly Qantas again to Australia in the future.

Information on the route Sydney (SYD) Hong Kong (HKG)

Les contributeurs de Flight-Report ont posté 11 avis concernant 3 compagnies sur la ligne Sydney (SYD) → Hong Kong (HKG).


La compagnie qui obtient la meilleure moyenne est Cathay Pacific avec 8.4/10.

La durée moyenne des vols est de 9 heures et 24 minutes.

  More information


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