Qantas was founded in Winton, Queensland and the name is an acronym for Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services. The airline was founded in 1920 and expanded to include international flights in 1935 with a service from Darwin to Singapore. Qantas is Australia’s largest airline, the second oldest in the world, and nicknamed ‘the Flying Kangaroo’.
Qantas has operated a number of subsidiary airlines over the years and currently has Jetstar Airways operating as its low-cost carrier on both domestic and international routes. Qantas flies to 21 international cities in fourteen countries across Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceania. In the entire Qantas group, including Jetstar, there are 65 domestic and 27 international destinations. With their non-stop service from Sydney to Dallas aboard the Airbus A380 starting in September 2014, Qantas operated the world’s longest passenger flight on the world’s largest passenger aircraft, until Emirates took over in 2016 with their Auckland-Dubai service.
As of August 2015 Qantas’ fleet is made up of mainly Boeing 737-800’s and a range of Airbus’s including twelve A380’s. There are eleven Boeing 747’s currently in service that are gradually being retired and replaced by A380’s. Qantas and its subsidiaries operate 299 aircraft, which includes 70 aircraft by Jetstar Airways.
First Class is offered on the Airbus A380’s and some Boeing 747-400’s. It has fourteen individual suites in a 1-1-1 configuration. The seats face forward for takeoff, but rotate to the side for dining and sleeping. Seat pitch is 83.5 inches, extending to a fully flat bed, and with a width of 29 inches. You’ll enjoy the Bedding Down service which includes pillows, blankets, a duvet and sheepskin mattress. Each suite has a 17 inch widescreen with 1,000 AVOD programs. In addition to 110v AC power outlets, USB ports are offered for connectivity. Passengers are also able to make use of the on-board business lounge on the upper deck. As well as the Amenities Kit featuring SK-II skincare products you will receive pyjamas, slippers and socks. Upon arrival, you will be among the first to leave the aircraft and your bags among the first to be ready for collection.
Chauffeur Drive is available to all First Class passengers at a range of destinations. If you are departing from Sydney or Melbourne a First Host will call you the day before your travel to ensure you have everything your require available in the First Lounge. There’s a dedicated check-in area and you’ll be fast-tracked through immigration. There will be a dedicated boarding lane at the aircraft gate for you.
Business Class is offered on all Qantas passenger aircraft. On the Boeing 747, seating is in a 2-3-2 configuration on the main deck and a 2–2 configuration on the upper deck. The A330 has a 2-2-2 configuration. There are two versions of what Qantas call its ‘Skybed’, the lie flat business class seat. Older versions of the Skybeds (on A330’s and some B747’s) have 60 inches of seat pitch and 21 inches width, however passengers sleep at a distinct slope to the cabin floor. Later versions of the Skybed are on the A380’s and reconfigured B747’s. They have an 80 inch pitch, and lie fully flat. By the end of 2016, the business class of the entire fleet of Airbus A330 aircraft will be fitted with lie flat seats. 747s and A330s features a 10 inch touchscreen with 400 AVOD programs.
Qantas’ new international business class product is featured on the Airbus A380. It features 64 fully flat Skybed seats with 80 inch seat pitch (converting to a 78 inch long bed). These seats are located on the upper-deck in a 2-2-2 configuration in two separate cabins. Features include an 11 inch touchscreen monitor with 1,000 AVOD programs and an on-board lounge.
On the internationally configured Boeing 767, seating is in a 1-2-2 configuration, which includes a 5 inch monitor with 10 channels of video and 12 channels of audio.
Again, Chauffeur Drive is available to all passengers in Business Class, as is Express Path Immigration at selected airports and a dedicated premium boarding lane. Qantas’ Sleep Service is available on selected flights to Los Angeles, Dallas, Johannesburg, New York, Singapore, London, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Bangkok, Jakarta, Shanghai and Manila and includes a new mattress, duvet and turndown service. Amenities Kits are designed by Kate Spade & Jack Spade and include a selection of Malin+Goetz skincare products, eyemask, earplugs, socks, toothbrush & paste.
Premium Economy Class is only available on the A380 and Boeing 747-400’s. It has a seat pitch of 38 inches on the Boeing 747 & it ranges from 38-42 inches on the Airbus A380, with a width of 19 inches. On the Boeing 747, it is configured in a 2-4-2 seating arrangement around the middle of the main deck, whilst it is in a 2-3-2 at the rear of the upper deck on the A380. Seats have an adjustable headrest, the centre and side consoles offer extra elbow room and Premium Economy cabins are sized between 32 and 40 seats. You’ll have a 10 inch personal entertainment screen and be provided with noise-cancelling headphones. Passengers will be able to use the dedicated check-in desk at the airport and have priority access to a dedicated boarding lane, then on arrival have priority disembarkation. Qantas premium economy is presented as a lighter business class product rather than most other airlines’ premium economy, which is often presented as a higher economy class, however Qantas’ product does not offer access to premium lounges, and meals are only a slightly upgraded version of economy class meals.
Economy Class is offered on all Qantas passenger aircraft. Seat pitch is usually 31 inches and seat width is 17 inches with built-in lumbar support and adjustable headrest. Layouts are 3–3 on the 737, 2-3-2 on the 767, 2-4-2 on the A330 and 3-4-3 on the 747. On the A380, the layout is 3-4-3 and there are four self-service snack bars located in between cabins.
Frequent Flyer Program
To join the program, passengers pay a one-off joining fee, and then become a Bronze Frequent Flyer. Accounts remain active as long as there is points activity once every eighteen months. Flights with Qantas and selected partner airlines earn Status Credits — and accumulation of these allows progression to Silver status (OneWorld Ruby), Gold status (OneWorld Sapphire), Platinum and Platinum One status (OneWorld Emerald).
Qantas has faced plenty of criticism regarding the complexities of its frequent flyer program and in 2008 a major overhaul of the program was announced. The two key new features of the program were Any Seat rewards, in which members could now redeem any seat on an aircraft, rather than just selected seats — at a price. The second new feature was Points Plus Pay, which has enabled members to use a combination of cash and points to redeem an award.
The Qantas Club is the airline lounge for Qantas with airport locations around Australia and the world. The Qantas Club offers membership by paid subscription (one year, two years or four years) or by achievement of Gold or Platinum frequent flyer status. Benefits of membership include lounge access, priority check-in, priority luggage handling and increased luggage allowances. Qantas’ Domestic Lounges have recently added to their services by expanding their hot breakfast menu and starting a hot snack service in the afternoon. In April 2013, Qantas opened its flagship Lounge in Singapore, The Qantas Singapore Lounge. This replaced the existing First and Business Class lounges as a result of the new Emirates Alliance.
All Business Lounges feature seasonal menu choices, snacks and drinks, fully-equipped workstations and internet access, televisions, magazines, newspapers and shower facilities.
Qantas First Lounges have multiple seating arrangements to suit your needs, a Neil Perry signature menu, spa treatments (where available), private business suites, a library stocked with magazines, newspapers, internet access and televisions.
Qantas Club Members, Gold Frequent Flyers and OneWorld Sapphire holders are permitted to enter domestic Qantas Clubs when flying on Qantas or Jetstar flights along with one guest who need not be travelling. Platinum and OneWorld Emerald Members are permitted to bring in two guests who do not need to be travelling. Platinum Frequent Flyers had previously been able to access The Qantas Club in Australian domestic terminals at any time, regardless of whether they were flying that day. Internationally, members use Qantas International Business Class lounges (or the OneWorld equivalent). Guests of the member must be travelling to gain access to international lounges. When flying with American Airlines, members have access to Admirals Club lounges and when flying on British Airways, members have access to British Airways’ Terraces and Galleries Lounges. Travellers holding OneWorld Sapphire or Emerald status are also allowed in Qantas Club lounges worldwide.
Complimentary access to either the First Class or Business Class lounges (or affiliated lounges) is offered to First Class passengers and complimentary access to the Qantas Business Class lounge (or affiliated lounges) is also offered to Business Class passengers.
Hub Cities: Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney
Secondary Hubs: Adelaide, Dubai, Perth
Focus Cities: Cairns, Darwin, Los Angeles
Frequent Flyer Program: Qantas Frequent Flyer
Airport Lounge: the Qantas Club, Qantas Business Lounge, Qantas First Lounge, Qantas Chairmans Lounge
Airline Alliance: OneWorld
Fleet Size: 131