8.5
/10
A great flight you will recommend to friends
Airport Experience
Cabin & Seat
Cuisine
Beverages
Service
Entertainment
Amenities & Facilities
Short & Medium Haul

Review of Qantas Business Class

Qantas is an iconic Australian brand with a proud heritage. It is Australia’s national flag carrier and the largest airline - in terms of its fleet size and number of international flights. It claims that in 1979 , it was the first international airline to formally offer a dedicated Business Class cabin. 

Qantas is one of the oldest airlines still in operation and was launched in 1920 by two World War One veterans as an airmail operation in the outback of Queensland (Qantas is an acronym of Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services Limited). It ran the country’s first flying doctor service and began international passenger flights in 1935. In 2018, it launched the first direct flight between Australia and Europe (Perth - London) and in 2020 celebrated its centenary. In many ways, the company’s claim that ‘the story of Qantas is the story of modern Australia' rings true.

The airline serves 65 domestic and 31 international destinations in 23 countries, including the UK, US, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, and Thailand.

Qantas operates over 100 aircraft - Boeing 737 / 737 NG / 737 MAX and Airbus A330 / A380. It provides Business Class on all its main international flights.

The Qantas livery features a white body and a bright red tail fin sporting the famous Qantas kangaroo logo designed by celebrated German-Australian graphic designer Gert Sellheim in 1947. Back in the day, the kangaroo had wings, but they were clipped during a redesign in the Eighties.

Qantas’ Frequent Flyer program has four tiers - Silver, Gold, Platinum and Platinum One. Points can be redeemed against flights, upgrades, and other benefits.

Qantas was a founder member of the Oneworld global airline alliance (1998). Members can earn and redeem points with multiple airlines and enjoy benefits including priority boarding, easy flight bookings and access to some 650 airport lounges worldwide. 

8/ 10

Airport experience

Qantas’ home hub is Sydney Airport, Australia’s busiest. It is officially known as Kingsford Smith Airport - named after the Aussie aviator who made the first transpacific flight from the US to Australia in 1928 - and is located about 8 kilometres south of Sydney, in the suburb of Mascot.

At just shy of 4 miles (6.4 kilometres), the main runway at Sydney Airport is one of the longest commercial runways in the world. It was extended in the late seventies to provide an emergency landing site for the NASA Space Shuttle.  It was here, in 1964, that The Beatles touched down to be greeted by 1,000s of screaming fans in the rain and, in 2007, that the world’s first A380 passenger flight landed (from Singapore).

There are three passenger terminals at Sydney Airport - T1 International, for international passengers; T2 Domestic, which is used by domestic and regional airlines  and T3 Domestic, which Qantas uses for domestic and Qantaslink regional flights.

You can find the Qantas International Business Lounge on Level 3 of T1. It is open from 5 am every day until the last scheduled Qantas departure. It’s a satisfactory space, but not the most exciting - and it can get busy - but there’s plenty of seating and a range of dining options, premium wines and spirits, and barista coffee available. There’s also complimentary Wi-Fi, USB and charging ports, wireless printing, televisions and a selection of newspapers and magazines. There are showers if you want to freshen up.

It was suggested the Lounge might be relocated elsewhere within the airport, and this - together with the impact of COVID - has delayed a big-budget makeover. It certainly needs a revamp to match, for example, the sophisticated Qantas International London Lounge in Terminal 3 at Heathrow, which is ‘hewn from stone, brass and walnut’ and ‘designed to embody the essence of London at twilight’.

In Australia, Qantas operates Qantas Club domestic lounges in 29 airports. International Qantas Business Class lounges are offered in Adelaide, Brisbane, Darwin, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney.

Qantas operates several branded lounges outside Australia, including Auckland, Honolulu, London, Los Angeles, Tokyo Narita, Singapore, and Wellington.

In Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland, Qantas offers a valet parking service that includes a dedicated check-in counter and direct terminal access. Parking is charged based on duration.

8/ 10

Cabin & Seat

International Business Class flights are mostly operated by Airbus A380s, A330-300s and Boeing 787s and occasionally by Airbus A330-200s and Boeing 737-800s. The configuration of passenger classes varies according to the aircraft.

Qantas undertook a complete refurbishment of their 12 Airbus A380s before and during lockdown. They now sport the same Business Suite seats as the Boeing 787 Dreamliners and the Airbus A330s. While some airlines use the term “suite” for seats that feature closing doors, the Qantas seats do not offer this feature. Qantas started branding their Business Class seat as Business Suite when it was first unveiled in 2014, before doors became a trend.

There are now 70 Business Class seats on the revamped A380, all cited on the upper deck, and the former 2-2-2 configuration has been replaced with a staggered 1-2-1 arrangement. All Business Class passengers have direct aisle access.

The Business Suite on both the Qantas A380, A330 and Boeing 787 is based on the Thompson Aero Vantage XL and is 23-24 inches  (58.4 to 61 centimetres) wide, has a pitch of 46 inches (117 centimetres) and provides for a full flatbed length of 80 inches (203 centimetres). Your feet slip into a cut-out beneath the seat in front. If you require more space, the front row of the two Business Class cabins has larger spaces.

The privacy shell of the Business Suite envelops you, affording greater privacy (similarly the adjustable dividers if you’re in the middle seats). There’s a table suitable for working that slides out from the shelf, a large adjacent flat bench and plenty of storage for all your tech and other items. A control panel allows for various seating arrangements and there’s an adjustable reading lamp, together with USB charging and multi-region power sockets. In short, a very practical space from which to operate your new office in the air. When you’re done working, the seat effortlessly converts to a full-flat bed at the touch of a button.

Passengers on the redesigned A380 have another good reason to leave their seats besides visiting the restroom - the restyled First and Business upper deck lounge, which has been totally reimagined. It now boasts wood panelling and olive-green leather booth seating courtesy of David Caon and atmospheric lighting. It can seat 10 passengers and there’s a special menu designed by Australian celebrity chef and Qantas’ food and beverage supremo, Neil Perry.

The flight search on BusinessClass.com features images, videos and seat maps for most airlines and aircraft. Search results also highlight details including seat pitch, width and recline. You can visualise the seat and cabin configuration of the flight in which you are interested before making your choice.

9/ 10

Cuisine

Business Class passengers can enjoy a fabulous range of dining options - from formal dining to Neil Perry-designed lighter meals, all served with white tablecloths, cutlery and attractive David Caon designed Noritake tableware. 

Breakfast options include poached egg, kale, quinoa, grilled halloumi, pistachio, and green tahini dressing. Mains include tuna poke salad with sesame soy dressing; seared Cone Bay barramundi with herb garlic potatoes, broccolini, lemon, olive, and almond salsa; smoked salmon, soba and raw zucchini noodles with ponzu dressing; roast English beef with Yorkshire pudding, peas and onion gravy. Desserts include baked vanilla custard with rhubarb, honeyed pear and almonds and a Seasonal fruit plate.

As well as the above, the ubiquitous Neil Perry has developed a range of plant-based meal options with the University of Sydney which ‘incorporates the latest scientific knowledge on nutrition and hydration’ and are designed to reduce the impact of jet lag on long haul flights. Dishes include celeriac gratin with roasted fennel, peas, mushroom and onion sauce, or ratatouille pasta bake with herb crumb, cauliflower, and green beans. There are also a range of mouth-watering beverages.

Appetising snacks are available from the cabin crew throughout the flight, such as chicken schnitzel and Swiss cheese toasted sandwich. The First and Business upper deck lounge on the A380 also offers a range of light meals and snacks, so there’s absolutely no chance you will go hungry. A self-service snack bar is also set up for Business Class passengers.

A range of Special meals can be ordered up to 24 hours before your flight (Diabetic, Child’s meal, Gluten Intolerance, Halal, Vegetarian, Vegan) but Kosher meals require at least 36 hours’ notice. 

9/ 10

Beverages

One of Qantas’ trump cards is their ‘Sommeliers in the Sky’ - wine experts on hand to recommend a range of award-winning Champagnes and Australian wines to enjoy with your meal - or indeed, without. It’s a great idea - not all of us are wine aficionados - and these people and their knowledge add an additional lustre to the dining experience. There are more than 300 Qantas onboard sommeliers, which can be identified by their lapel pins that have been designed to look like a bunch of grapes. In total, more than 2,000 Qantas cabin crew have completed an introductory, intermediate, or advanced level of wine training.

As Australia is one of the leading wine producers in the world, it comes as no surprise that the wine list is focused on Australian wines. Expect wines such as Shaw + Smith Sauvignon Blanc from Adelaide Hills, Barry Wines Assyrtiko from Clare Valley, and Heirloom Vineyards Shiraz from the Barossa Valley. Similarly, Qantas offers a selection of Australian beer.

Champagne lovers will be interested to know that Qantas rotates their Champagne selection, which may include offerings such as Duval-Leroy Brut, Jacquart Mosaïque Brut, Charles Heidsieck Brut Réserve and Taittinger Cuvée Prestige Brut.

Neil Perry’s special anti-jet lag beverages include Remedy lemon and ginger kombucha, Coconut water, Qantas sleep tisane, Botanica cold pressed green juice and Botanica cold pressed probiotic infused watermelon.

A wide selection of non-alcoholic beverages including juices and soft drinks, coffee and tea is available. Australians love their flat white - a type of coffee made with espresso and hot steamed milk, but without the froth characteristic of a cappuccino and with a very thin layer of foamed milk on top (less than a latte).

The flight search on BusinessClass.com includes information on which Champagne is served in Business Class and First Class on many airlines. We do our best to keep track of any changes, but feel free to let us know if there is something we missed. 

8/ 10

Service

The traditional Aussie lack of pretension and good humour combined with a genuine commitment to high levels of service makes for a winning combination. Service is polished and profession, and heartfelt.

Qantas cabin crew wear stylish uniforms created by Australian designer Martin Grant, whose clients have included Lady Gaga and Nicki Minaj, and feature a colour scheme of French navy, Qantas red, ruby red and fuchsia.

Grant’s signature garment is the bold stripe dress, which you can’t miss in the cabin (nor should you). Pilots wear a modern navy suit with nostalgic design notes that recall the Qantas pilot uniforms of the Thirties.

8/ 10

Entertainment

Inflight entertainment is available on all international Qantas flights and selected domestic flights via the Panasonic eX2 IFE system with a touch-sensitive screen and remote control in the armrest. Basic Qantas branded over-the-ear noise-cancelling headphones are provided.

You can enjoy some 2,500 hours of movies, television boxed sets, factual content and children’s shows (the latter are rated and reviewed and parents can control the classification of content that is screened).

The Business Class Suite on the ‘new’ A380 has a larger 17” full HD screen with a resolution of 1920x1080i. And if you fancy a shared viewing experience, there’s also a large flat-screen monitor on the wall between the lounges so you can take in a film with friends.

If you download the Qantas Entertainment App before you fly, you can stream the content directly to your own smartphone or tablet. The app is compatible with most phones and tablets running Apple iOS13 or above, or Android 7.0 and above.

Surprisingly, Qantas does not provide Wi-Fi on the majority of its aircraft, except for most domestic flights operated by Boeing 737-800 or Airbus A330-200. On these flights, Wi-Fi is complimentary.

The flight search on BusinessClass.com includes information on Wi-Fi and inflight entertainment.

10/ 10

Amenities & Facilities

Qantas produced six eye-catching retro Amenity Kits as part of its Qantas Centenary collection, inspired by the company’s uniforms, lounges, and aircraft livery since 1920. It is tempting to collect them all. As well as being super-stylish, these kits are designed with sustainability in mind. Each one includes an Australian botanical wellness set including Li-Tya lip balm, face cream and hand cream packaged in recycled craft paper; a dental kit featuring a bamboo toothbrush and White Glo toothpaste packaged in a recycled sleeve; terry cotton and jersey eyeshades; socks made from 30% bamboo with a polyester blend and earplugs packaged in recycled paper. It’s good to see a carrier leading by example in both big and small ways when it comes to sustainability.

Qantas is one of few airlines to provide pyjamas to Business Class passengers. The Martin Grant-designed signature pyjamas come in two sizes - small/medium or large/extra-large - and are available on long haul flights. The pyjamas are grey with a large blue Flying Kangaroo logo on the front and QANTAS printed on the back of the neck.

A mattress pad, cotton duvet and pillow are waiting at each seat when passengers board. Qantas cabin crew are usually accommodating if asked to help make up the bed.

9/ 10

Short & Medium Haul

Domestic Business Class flights are offered on Boeing 737 and Airbus A330 aircraft. As the A330s also operate international flights, Business Suites can be found on some domestic routes. Food and beverage are offered based on flight duration and the time of day. The longest domestic routes that connect the East and West of Australia take over four hours, making Business Class an attractive product – in particular when operated by widebody aircraft with the Business Suite. Qantas offers a wide range of Trans-Tasman routes connecting Australia and New Zealand, with additional medium haul routes from Australia to Fiji, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, and selected destinations in South-East Asia.

Sustainability

Qantas released an ambitious Climate Action Plan in March 2022 aimed at reducing net emissions by 25% by 2030 and increasing the company’s use of sustainable aviation fuel by 10% by 2030. It also plans to reduce fuel burn through fleet modernisation and operational efficiencies. The company intends to eliminate single-use plastics across its operations by 2027 and waste going to landfill by 2030. All Qantas Group buildings in Australia are 100% powered by renewable electricity. The company launched a new Green tier as part of its Frequent Flyer program to help members make more sustainable choices. 

The flight search on BusinessClass.com includes information on CO2 emissions for each flight. Our quality algorithms also give a higher score to flights operated by the most modern and environmentally-friendly aircraft.

What We Love

  • The Business Suite - still a great product which continues to meet the business traveller’s need for practicality, luxury, and comfort. Great to see it rolled out to the A380.
  • The Sommeliers in the Sky - a touch of class (glass?) that defines the premium Business Class experience.
  • The revamped upper deck lounge on the A380 - a stylish place to make high-flying new friends!

BusinessClass.com searches hundreds of travel sites at once to help you find the best premium travel offers for both flights and the finest hotels. Find the best price for Qantas Business Class by making a search on BusinessClass.com.