air­line: Qan­tas, econ­omy

The Business Travel Magazine - - Departures - Julie Bax­ter

THE FLIGHT Flight QF10 from Lon­don Heathrow to Perth de­parted Lon­don at 13.15 and ar­rived in Perth at 13.00 the next day. The 17-hour flight was op­er­ated by a B787 Dream­liner and is the first sched­uled non-stop ser­vice be­tween the UK and Aus­tralia.

PRE- DE­PAR­TURE On­line check-in was easy and while there was some queu­ing for the bag drop the process was straight­for­ward and rel­a­tively quick. The staff were friendly and ac­knowl­edged the long flight ahead with re­as­sur­ances of good feed­back from past pas­sen­gers.

THE SEAT The econ­omy 3-3-3 con­fig­u­ra­tion of the air­craft makes for a busy look­ing econ­omy cabin and first im­pres­sions were that it felt over-full as pas­sen­gers boarded, but things set­tled down. My aisle seat (52F) had a slight re­cline and net­ted footrest plus ad­justable headrest/sup­port. The backof-the seat touch­screen was like an en­larged ipad and could tilt to im­prove the view­ing po­si­tion. Be­low was a charg­ing doc and stor­age shelf which dou­bled as an ipad holder. Pas­sen­gers re­ceived a pil­low and good qual­ity blan­ket but I was pleased I’d brought ex­tra lum­ber pil­lows. The amenity kit was cute but ba­sic con­tain­ing just an eye mask, ear plugs and tooth­brush.

THE SER­VICE Cabin crew were friendly and looked great – bright uni­forms, fresh, cheery faces through­out and al­ways avail­able. A drinks ser­vice with rice snacks came twice, with din­ner served about three hours in. I took the beef bour­guignon. Seven hours in, the light­ing grad­u­ally dimmed and we were en­cour­aged to sleep. A night snack of hot cal­zone was of­fered to those still awake. A well-stocked pantry in­cluded cheese and bis­cuits, hum­mus and car­rot packs, ce­real bars, cake and ap­ples. Lights came up for break­fast three hours out, and my choice – the fruit plate, Greek yo­ghurt and muf­fin – was ex­cel­lent.

THE VER­DICT The thought of this long flight was very much worse than the re­al­ity. The cabin en­vi­ron­ment re­ally does seem to sup­port well­be­ing in the air. The at­mos­phere re­mained rel­a­tively fresh through­out, there was very lit­tle op­er­a­tional noise and the light­ing cre­ated a pleas­ant en­vi­ron­ment. The crew were great too – noth­ing was too much trou­ble at any time.

THE DE­TAILS Qan­tas flies daily from Heathrow to Perth, with re­turn fares in econ­omy from £816. qan­

"The CABIN EN­VI­RON­MENT re­ally does seem To sup­port well­be­ing in The Air"

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