A premium Aussie airline, Qantas has been steadily improving its products to assist domestic and international passengers over the decades they’ve operated. During the pandemic, they temporarily shelved their famous first class cabins but now it’s back in full force.
Their newly refurbished A380 now features upgraded premium economy, business, and first-class seats.
If you’re flying Qantas soon and want to know more, here’s a rundown of two of Qantas’ most lavish cabins – check out this Qantas First Class vs. Qantas Business Class comparison.
- Quick Glance: Qantas First Class vs. Qantas Business Class
- The Details: Qantas First Class vs. Qantas Business Class
- Qantas First Class
- Qantas Business Class
- Best For: Which Airline Class Should You Book?
- Wrapping Up
Quick Glance: Qantas First Class vs. Qantas Business Class
|Qantas First Class||Qantas Business Class|
|Ground Experience||When flying from Sydney, the Qantas First Lounge lets you relax in comfort. Receive complimentary spa treatment, indulge in premium champagne, and a Neil Perry-inspired dining menu.||Qantas offers a fantastic ground experience to guests by providing dedicated business lounges. In Sydney, you have the Qantas International Business Lounge found on Level 3 at T1. It’s not as extravagant as the First Class lounge but it has quality drinks, plenty of seating, free Wi-Fi, an array of delicious meals, a coffee bar, and showers.|
|Seat||Aboard the A380, the newly refurbished cabin has 14 suites in a 1-1-1 layout. Newer first class offerings can also be expected in the upcoming Airbus A350, this will cater to the longest non-stop flight from Sydney and Melbourne heading to London and New York.||International business class seats are usually serviced by A380s, 787s, or A330s and in the future, their A350 planes. The newly refurbished A380 business seats are arranged in a 1-2-1 configuration in a staggered layout that gives everyone aisle access. The beds lie flat with an 80-inch length and 46 inches pitch.|
|Amenities||New amenity kits contain LaGaia skin products, ear plugs, dental kit, eyeshade, and bamboo socks. Certain flights also receive 100% cotton Qantas First pajamas and slippers designed by Martin Grant. On the A380, there’s also an onboard lounge on the upper deck with two booths, a long couch, and drinks.||Business class guests receive an amenity kit from the Qantas Centenary Collection. There are six designs in total showcasing iconic moments in Qantas’ aviation history. Each kit contains a Li-Tya lip balm, a hand cream, face cream, dental kit, socks, eyeshade, and earplugs. Qantas also provides pajamas and slippers to business class guests on long-haul flights designed by Martin Grant. For sleeping, each set receives a pillow, duvet, and mattress pad.|
|Food and Beverage||Experience unique Neil Perry-designed signature cuisine by choosing from an à la carte menu. Vegan, Kosher, and other special meals can be requested 24 hours before the departure flight. There are also sky sommeliers so you can ask for information about the wines and spirits and get trustworthy recommendations.||Like in first class, business passengers can enjoy a menu curated by Neil Perry. Everything is served with a white tablecloth and fantastic cutlery by Noritake. Special meals like vegan and kosher can be requested 24 hours before your flight. Qantas provides “Sommeliers in the Sky” too so you’re assured you can pair your meals with premium wines and spirits.|
|Entertainment||First class suites feature a 17-inch touchscreen monitor pre-filled with hundreds of movies and shows. Qantas is also now offering hundreds of movies and shows for streaming directly on guest devices aboard their domestic flights, using the Qantas Entertainment app. This is available on iOS and Android devices.||Business class seats come with a 15 to 16-inch HD touchscreen monitor prefilled with over 2,500 hours worth of movies and shows. On the lounges, you can have a shared movie experience with friends or family. For streaming, simply download the Qantas Entertainment app before takeoff.|
|Lavatories||There are 2 lavatories in the first class section of the A380.||Aboard the A380, there are 2 lavatories provided for business passengers.|
|Bed||Seats on the A380 lie flat. It has a 79-inch pitch and 22-inch width. A pillow, padded mattress, and duvet make the bed extra cozy when you’re ready to sleep.||Unlike the Skybed II, the newer business class suites fully lie-flat transforming into a comfortable bed measuring 80 inches in length with 23 to 24-inch width.|
|Service||Service aboard Qantas First is always top-notch! The staff is proactive, offering excellent service consistently.||Attentive and professional. Qantas staff are well-trained providing good service whenever possible.|
|Wi-Fi||Not all of Qantas’ fleet have Wi-Fi available. It’s currently being rolled out though and so far is being equipped in the B737-800 as well as A330-200 domestic crafts. Future Wi-Fi options are planned for international flights including the A380, but as of now, it is not offered.||Surprisingly, Qantas is one of the few airlines that have yet to install Wi-Fi on all of their fleets. Right now, its availability is limited to their domestic flights so if you’re traveling long haul on business, there might be no Wi-Fi available. This could change in the future.|
The Details: Qantas First Class vs. Qantas Business Class
Qantas First Class
Being the largest carrier in Australia, it’s no surprise Qantas services a lot of customers domestically and internationally. They’ve continuously improved their first class products over the years ensuring it competes against some of the best airlines in the world.
From a courtesy spa treatment to bottomless champagne and excellent dining put together by world-renowned Chef Neil Perry, it’s truly a world-class ground experience.
Inside the lounge, floor-to-ceiling windows run along the walls bringing in a lot of sunshine in the daytime while providing stunning views of the tarmac. Beautiful mid-century architecture gives the space a sleek, modern look with a hint of old-school aviation. Qantas’ signature white marble bar is front and center, showcasing an array of premium champagne, wine, and spirits for guests to indulge in.
Striking showers, an open concept business center, a library, and plenty of fantastic seating are found throughout this stylish lounge.
Aside from Sydney, Qantas also has first class lounges in Melbourne Airport (MEL), Singapore’s Changi International Airport (SIN), and more recently, Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). All of which showcase a similar design aesthetic.
Qantas is set to update its first class cabin on the A350 in the coming years. However, for now, their latest refurbished first class seats are found in their Airbus A380, also known in the aviation industry as the Reginald Ansett.
Featuring only 14 suites, it’s a lot more intimate, giving guests a chance at privacy. Decked in a subtle neutral beige/gray shade, the seats look pleasing and calming. These are arranged in a 1-1-1 configuration with a seat pitch of 79 inches and a width of 22 inches.
Each seat has a 17-inch HD touchscreen monitor, storage areas, an amenity kit including pillows and duvet, and a small footrest that connects with the bed when you lie down. On the seatback directly in front of the seat is an array of power outlets, an air nozzle for controlling the temperature in your seat, and a tiny cocktail table for drinks.
The side of the seats features a small panel with controls for the lights and seat. Various small storage spaces can be found throughout. On bed mode, you’ll need to swivel the chair so it faces the IFE.
Climb up the signature staircase on the A380 and you’re led to a dedicated lounge. This has been refreshed as well featuring two spacious leather booths and on the other side is a big L-shaped couch. Self-serve drinks and snack areas are provided for guests.
For amenities, each guest receives an amenity kit in a gorgeous zipped cloth pouch. With Qantas moving to a more sustainable offering, there won’t be any plastic products in the kit. This kit contains skin products from LaGaia, a dental kit, ear plugs, bamboo socks, and an eyeshade.
On long-haul flights, there’s also a stylish 100% cotton pajama set and slippers created by Martin Grant. Beddings include a duvet and a super comfy pillow found already perched on the ottoman as soon as you sit down. Headphones are inside one of the compartments to pair with the huge IFE screen.
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Food and Beverage
If there’s anything Qantas is known for, it’s delivering a fine dining experience aboard its first class cabin.
The dining and drink experience starts with pre-flight bubbly or soft drinks as you settle on your seat. Order caviar paired with Taittinger Blanc de Blancs or equally premium champagne to get you in the mood to fly.
Together with celebrity Chef Neil Perry, Qantas has created a sampling of signature dishes ready to be served in-flight at your request. Guests can choose from 6 starters, 5 main courses, and 4 desserts, including a cheese course. You can also decide to forego parts of the meal if you don’t want to eat it just yet.
Breakfast is served about 90 minutes before landing. You can choose from a choice of fruits, yogurt, cereal as well as different main courses including meat. Opt for the signature Botanica Neil Perry juice, it’s a real treat!
Snacks and drinks are available too. They’ve even set up a small snack bar selection at the galley so you can head there if you want to grab something to munch on while watching a movie.
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There’s a 17-inch touchscreen monitor provided in the seat coupled with remote control for convenience. AVgeeks will also enjoy the built-in tail cam so you can watch the plane take off, land, or simply cruise in altitude. Each IFE system comes loaded with hundreds of shows and movies to keep you busy during your flight.
Meanwhile on domestic flights, streaming on the Qantas Entertainment app using your phone or tablet is possible. Just download the app ahead of time and log into the app once you’re in the air to stream the shows and movies you want to watch.
You can also head to the lounge area where you can hang out with friends, family, or fellow passengers while munching on snacks and drinks. There’s a booth and a shared L-type couch as well as mounted television screens for watching movies or shows.
Wi-Fi isn’t enabled yet on most international flights including on the A330, A380, and the B787 Dreamliner. Qantas does have plans of installing Wi-Fi eventually on all their fleet. The majority of the Qantas domestic fleet now has free Wi-Fi installed.
Aboard the A380, two lavatories are available for first class guests. These are regular lavatories, clean and chic with some extra toiletries, but nothing extravagant like the stunning showers on the Emirates A380.
Get a restful night’s sleep aboard the A380 as the seat transforms into a fully flat bed when you’re ready to tuck in. Once laid flat, it has a 79-inch length and 22-inch width. Each seat also comes with a padded mattress topper, a duvet, and a pillow. You can ask the attendants for help in making your bed. They will gladly assist with the turndown service.
Staff and Guest Services
Highly trained and skilled to care for their guests, the Qantas attendants make your stay aboard the first class cabin extra special. They are meticulous and will assist with anything you need, even before you ask for it.
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Who Is It For?
Flying first class is a true luxury. If you are looking for absolute comfort and privacy then consider grabbing a first class seat aboard the Qantas A380. Expect delicious onboard dishes curated by a prominent chef and served together with the most excellent champagne and wines.
Those who do prefer Wi-Fi may be out of luck because Qantas is still working on fitting their flights with Wi-Fi. So far, it’s only domestic flights that have this option for now. However, if you appreciate having some downtime then this might not be a dealbreaker.
Qantas First Class Gallery
Qantas Business Class
With a proud heritage, the Qantas business class has always proved to be one of the most revolutionary in the industry. Their hard products are among the best in the air right now so if you’re ready to experience true luxury in the air, a ride in Qantas business class is a must.
During the pandemic, Qantas closed most of its business class lounges and had only one lounge open for most of its passengers. However, they recently reopened their dedicated business lounges, particularly in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, and Perth. International business lounges in Los Angeles, London, and Singapore are also now ready to cater to guests.
The Qantas business class lounges are stylish with a lot of space to spread out. At Sydney Airport, the Qantas International Business Lounge is on Level 3 at Terminal 1. Expect premium wines and great accessibility including barista-made coffee. Complimentary Wi-Fi with printers (for last-minute printing jobs), magazines, and newspapers are also available. You can also expect dedicated check-in if you’re flying out from Melbourne, Sydney, or Auckland.
The Qantas business seats on the refurbished A380 are a welcome change for passengers. There is more space, a lot more privacy, and better comfort for guests.
Inside the cabin, you get a more friendly 1-2-1 layout instead of the once-cramped 2-2-2 configuration. Within reach are the headphones, seat controls as well as charging stations. The sleek cubbies make storing small items convenient. On the armrest is a vanity mirror with remote control for the IFE monitor.
At a touch of a button, the seat transforms into a bed with an 80-inch length and 46-inch pitch. You can have the bed made up by simply asking for help from the attendants. They will be more than happy to assist.
Waiting for you on your seat is a pillow, duvet, and mattress topper which you can use when you’re ready to sleep. Soon after settling in, staff will also hand out an amenity kit.
What’s great about the business class kits is its part of Qantas’ Centenary Collection where they’ve designed six unique pouches to echo iconic moments in Qantas aviation history. From the 60s black pilot uniform to the chic earth tones popular during the 2000s, each cover pouch contains premium sustainable materials you can use and keep.
The kits contain a hand cream and face cream, a toothbrush and toothpaste, ear plugs, eye shade, socks, and a Li-Tya lip balm. During long-haul international flights, Qantas is one of the few carriers that provide slippers and pajamas for business class. These are beautifully designed by Martin Grant and are super comfortable.
Food and Beverage
As you would expect, business class meals are also a pleasure. All meals in business class are likewise provided and curated by Chef Neil Perry.
Everything is served with a white tablecloth alongside beautiful tableware from Noritake as designed by David Caon. There are several meal options you can enjoy including various vegan, gluten-free, children’s meals, halal, and more. These are available upon special request at least 24 hours before your flight.
Pre-flight drinks and nuts are served once you arrive at your seat. You can have the option to grab a full meal shortly after takeoff or spread it out throughout the flight. You’re also given a chance to pre-order your breakfast meal, which you can easily customize from a great selection of eggs, juices, salads, pastries, and more.
Breakfast is usually served about 90-minutes before landing. If you want snacks, there’s an option to grab some at the galley if you like.
All refurbished business class seats come with a 15 to 16-inch HD monitor on the A380. This is touch-sensitive but because of the slight distance from the seat, it’s going to be more convenient to use the remote control near your seat armrest.
If you want to share a movie with friends or family, you can head up to the lounge and use the large screen there.
For those who want to use their phone or laptop, there’s an option to download the Qantas Entertainment app before your flight where you can watch over 2,500 hours worth of movies and shows. The app is compatible with iOS and Android devices, it won’t work on a laptop though. To pair with the monitor, Qantas provides noise-canceling headphones.
As of the moment, the majority of the long-haul flights international flights still don’t have Wi-Fi onboard. Only domestic flights are fully equipped with Wi-Fi for now with Qantas planning to update their international fleet in the coming years.
There are 2 lavatories available for business class passengers in business class.
Unlike the Skybed II which has a slight elevation, the newer business class seats lie fully flat and offer fantastic room to get some snooze time in. These beds measure 80 inches in length with a width of 23 to 24 inches. The only downside is the smaller footwell which can be troublesome for those with big feet.
The bed is made even more comfortable with the sleep amenities provided including a thick mattress topper that offers a lot of comfort, fluffy pillows, and a duvet.
Staff and Guest Services
The service in business class is almost as good as in first class. It’s heartfelt, professional, and attentive. Plus, if you’re into fashion, you’ll love how the crew and pilots are always impeccably dressed in their gorgeous Martin Grant-designed uniforms.
Who Is It For?
Flying Qantas Business Class is ideal for both regular and business travelers who want absolute comfort, privacy, and great aisle accessibility during their travels.
If you’re lucky enough to ride the refurbished A380, you’ll get the new and improved business class seats with more space, better lie-flat seats, excellent storage, and privacy. However, if you feel like splurging a bit, then trying out first class is a fantastic option too.
Qantas Business Class Gallery
Best For: Which Airline Class Should You Book?
|Winner||What Makes It Great|
|Best for Food||Qantas First Class||With a curated dining experience and essentially dine-on-demand, the first class cabin wins this one.|
|Best for Seats||Tie||The newly refurbished seats on the A380 are both fantastic in the first and business cabin. There’s more storage, better legroom, privacy, and direct aisle access.|
|Best for Ground Experience||Qantas First Class||The Qantas First lounges are some of the leading airline lounges in the world. You get world-class cuisine put together by Neil Perry, quality wines including one made in Australia, comfortable seating, and great style.|
|Best For Comfort||Tie||Both the first class and business cabins provide a lot of comforts so you can relax and enjoy your flight.|
|Best for Families||Qantas Business Class||Middle seats in business class are perfect if you’re traveling with a child, partner, or as a family.|
|Best for Couples||Qantas Business Class||These honeymoon middle seats are ideal if you want to sit next to your partner. It has a partition you can raise and lower depending on the privacy you want.|
|Best for Service||Qantas First Class||Flying first class means the staff will always give you their undivided attention. In the newer A380, there are only 14 suites so attendants can easily cater to any request you have.|
|Most Exclusive||Qantas First Class||Because of the limited suites, you feel like you’re in your private little cabin when flying on first.|
Considered among the oldest airline still in operation, Qantas has been around since the 1920s and these days, it’s still going strong. They’ve continued to reinvent themselves, providing fantastic service and value throughout the decades.
Hence, it’s no surprise their first class and business cabins can compete with some of the best in the air today. Qantas First delivers fantastic luxury with stylish seats in a neutral shade, plenty of storage space, high-quality HD monitors, and excellent dining courtesy of a signature assembly from Chef Neil Perry.
On the A380, you get such an exclusive cabin, you’ll only be sharing it with 14 other people ensuring you get the staff’s full attention anytime you need it.
In comparison, Qantas Business class may be one notch lower than the first class but it doesn’t mean it’s bad. Qantas has been improving their business products that some people would argue it’s even better than flying in their first cabin.
Aboard the refurbished A380s, the seats now sport a fantastic facelift with beautiful upholstery and wood details. A bigger 15 to 16-inch touchscreen monitor comes with hundreds of movies. Plus, you get the same signature dining experience as those in first class since the menu is also curated by Neil Perry.
These newer seats present more privacy with direct aisle access for every guest. It also lays flat and you get fantastic bedding to go with it – promising a great night’s sleep on your way to your destination.
In summary, both Qantas first class and business class are an amazing value. While the lack of Wi-Fi for long-haul flights can be a dealbreaker for some, especially those who need to work. However, if you don’t mind not having Wi-Fi for a flight, then expect a fantastic experience onboard.