Singapore to Sydney
THE LOYALTY SCHEME
Qantas Frequent Flyer
Six hours and 50 minutes
Qantas operates twice daily return flights between Sydney and Singapore.
Seat 4J; there are 30 seats in business class in a 2-2-2 configuration. The distinctive, Marc Newson-designed, capsule-style Skybed seat was a major innovation in its day, but it's about to be phased out for a new model that will afford a little more privacy, one of the existing seat's few weaknesses, even with a pop-up privacy screen. The new seats were introduced in December with the rollout to be complete by 2016. The width of the seat, which can reclined in numerous positions, including as a flat-bed, is 24 inches (61 centimetres) and the pitch is 60 inches (152 centimetres).
Checked baggage of 40 kilograms and seven kilograms for carry-on luggage is allowed in business class .
I confess to being asleep for much of the flight, and there seemed to be a fault with the entertainment system, which I didn't bother to report to the cabin crew. Under normal circumstances on a typical A330-300 Qantas flight, you can choose from 500 entertainment options, including up to 60 films over 250 TV programs, 250 CDs, 10 games and 18 radio programs.
Business class passengers receive complimentary and attractive new Kate and Jack Spade amenity kits featuring items such as hand-creams and lip and face moisturiser as well as the regulation toothbrush and toothpaste, earplugs, wrap-around eye-mask and travel socks. The classic grey-flannel pyjamas are offered in a variety of sizes prior to takeoff.
Happily, and as per my intention, I was asleep for most of the flight, enjoying the benefit of my Skybed. What service I did receive was perfectly fine and courteous, as you would expect from a business class flight. The friendly and jovial maitre'd at the business class lounge restaurant seemed justifiably proud of what Qantas had created for its passengers.
One of Qantas' greatest strengths is its lounges, with one of the best being at Singapore's Changi Airport with its spacious, Scandinavian-cool minimalist design, something that it should translate to its onboard offering. As QF82 is a relatively short overnight flight, it can make sense to sacrifice the onboard meal in favour of maximum slumber on those Godsend Skybeds. Aside from an array of other buffet-based dishes, visitors to the lounge during this reviewer's visit could choose from two simple yet delicious dishes, cooked on the spot in an open-plan kitchen: minute steak with a curry butter and beans or prawns and tomato omelette on jasmine rice. If I'd not declined the on-board meal and wines, I could have chosen from the usual array of top-notch Neil Perry-devised dishes such as seared sea bass with tomato and basil ragout, polenta chips and red wine sauce or chicken kari kapitan with roti canai, blistered snake beans and fresh eschalots. Alas, sleep won the day (or make that night).
Unwittingly, my approach to this flight – in terms of eating at the lounge and going straight to sleep when in the air – is part of Qantas's new business class seat strategy. The plan is to allow business passengers who choose to eat at the lounge and forgo dinner on the aircraft to have their seat in the reclined position for both take-off and landing as a way to maximise sleep and rest. If I was a guinea pig for the airline's new approach then I can report I was a contented, well-fed and well-rested one.
Tested by Anthony Dennis, who flew courtesy of Qantas.