It’s incredible to think how far we’ve come in air travel. The ‘Kangaroo Route’, is the Qantas flagship, the passage that connects Australia to the UK. In 1947 this involved 55 hours of flying time with six stops. This year, Qantas may begin non-stop commercial passenger flights between London and Sydney. In 2019, three research flights dubbed ‘Project Sunrise’ tested out the effects of ultra longhaul flying on crew for passengers. Important to note however that these weren’t exactly realistic flying conditions – there was a very light passenger load and everyone was seated in business class!
Until Project Sunrise gets the final thumbs up, the Kangaroo Route will continue to fly in segments from Australia through Asia to the UK. Over the past three months I have flown the two legs. Firstly Singapore to Sydney for fun down under in Sydney and Port Macquarie. Secondly, a family visit to the UK, flying Singapore to London. QF 1 & 2 are exclusively operated by the Qantas A380. According to Simple Flying, Qantas expects to have all twelve A380s fully refurbished and winging their way around the world by the end of 2020.
I booked all my flights through Qantas online. I signed up to Red to gain access to sale prices and promotions. On both flights I think I received a slightly discounted sale fare.
Qantas is part of the oneworld alliance so make sure to add in your number (we use British Airways for this). If you go to ‘Manage My Booking’ in advance of your flight, you can select seats for free, although you pay extra for the premium ones.
Onboard QF82 (the A330), Singapore to Sydney
The A330-300 is a 2-4-2 configuration in Economy. I love this style as it means I can sit next to Mr Jetlag and put the kids in front of me. Which also means I can tell them off if they recline their seat! I can’t remember too much about this flight, it felt comfortable enough. The Economy seats have a pitch of 31 and width of 17.
Onboard QF1 & QF2 (the A380), Sydney to Singapore and Sydney to London
I love the sheer size of the A380. How that thing ever gets off the ground is beyond me. Here you notice the Economy seats are a tiny bit bigger with a pitch of 31 and width of 17.5. The seat felt more comfortable than on British Airways but they have exactly the same measurements. The Economy seating is 3-4-3. For the SYD-SIN we were allocated a middle 4 but for the SIN-LHR there were only 3 of us travelling so I chose a window 3. Note that 71D has extra legroom as there’s no seat in front of it.
We sat in 68 ABC which was handy as the toilets were close but not too close.
Food & Drink
Overall I was impressed with the Qantas F&B selection. The kids meals (don’t forget to prebook) were thoughtful and on the healthier side.
They had plentiful snacks in the galley including cheese and biscuits, fruit and Tim Tams. Plus you can’t go wrong with the Qantas wine selection. Just after take off crew give passengers a bottle of water, which they then offer to refill at any point during the flight.
The temperatures onboard were arctic. Although you get a pillow and blanket, make sure you pack your warm jumpers.
I found it a bit annoying the A380 only offers USB ports in the Economy bulkhead and exit seats so make sure your devices are charged.
Even prior to Coronavirus, you should always wipe down your traytable and armrests with disinfectant wipes. If you want to know why, you only have to check out the passengershaming IG account.
On QF1 the kids were offered a mini etchasketch and some cute Qantas socks (excellent protection against the freezing cold onboard temps). Adults get a pack with a pen, toothbrush, earplugs and eyemask. I do miss socks but I stash them away from other airlines.
Qantas offers an excellent selection of TV/Movie/Audio. We found the headsets a bit ropey (you may want to use your own headphones for comfort). Plus the touchscreen seems to be erratic, better to use your remote control. The thing that thrilled Jetlag & Mayhem the best was the ability to phone each other in their seat. Despite sitting next to each other. Hours of fun!
Let’s face it, when you’re flying Economy you choose the cheapest option. This time it happened to be Qantas. And it was absolutely fine. You just need to have some tricks up your sleeve such as the SeattoSleep for kids and a Trtl travel pillow for me. I’m not sure I’ll be flying the ultralonghaul just yet, perhaps once they get it down to under 15 hours!