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U.S.-based travelers may not be as familiar with Qantas’ incredible products, including its well-regarded first class. With some great route and redemption options and premium service, it would be a mistake to pass on Qantas Airlines first class if given the opportunity.
Here's what you need to know before flying Qantas' most premium class.
What to expect flying first class with Qantas
Any Qantas Airlines first class review will rave about the service and the numerous perks that come with flying Qantas. But here’s an overview of the practicalities, including seats and baggage.
Bag allowance. First class passengers get a generous three pieces of baggage, up to 70 pounds a piece, at no charge.
Boarding. In addition to priority boarding, first class travelers have a dedicated check-in area and, when available, a priority fast track through immigration.
Seats/suites. The first class suites on Qantas’ A380 are sizable enough for two people. But with a massage function built into the chair and a luxurious turn-down service, you may not want to share your suite.
Lounges. Your Qantas first class ticket gives you access to Qantas International First Lounge, International Business Lounge, Domestic Business Lounge, International Lounge and their partner lounges. There are plenty of opportunities for lounge access for you and your travel companion.
» Learn more: 7 things to know about Qantas lounges
How to book a first class ticket with Qantas
You can book first class easily online from the Qantas website. Simply enter your travel destination and dates. On the next page, you’ll be able to choose first class results.
As long as you’re signed into your frequent flyer account, you’ll be able to see the cost in dollars or points. The trick comes with finding availability, which may require frequently checking for newly released seats.
» Learn more: The points collector's guide to Qantas
Ways to get good value
Book through Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan for the best redemption
Qantas has a limited number of flights to the U.S., and it can be difficult to find redemptions. For low redemption rates, Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan is the secret.
First class flights between Dallas or Los Angeles and Sydney will only cost 70,000 Alaska Airlines Miles one way. This same route booked through Qantas would cost 162,800 miles.
Become a member of the Qantas Frequent Flyer program for better availability
Award availability can be hard to come by with Qantas. However, if your goal is to book with points, you’ll definitely want to join the Qantas Frequent Flyer program. Classic Flight Rewards open up 353 days prior to departure when you’re booking with Qantas points, unlike Oneworld partner American Airlines, which provides availability only 331 days prior to departure.
You may have to spend more points to book on Qantas, but if redeeming points for its first class is a dream of yours, then you may have a better shot at finding your dream redemption this way.
» Learn more: A comprehensive guide to airline award charts
Arrive early for the perks
We’d be remiss if we didn’t remind you to check the lounge availability at your departure airport. Depending on your location, the pre-flight perks can be just as enjoyable as the first class cabin amenities. From dedicated check-in areas to complimentary spa treatments, pre-departure on Qantas first class is an experience in and of itself.
The Qantas first class lounges, especially, bring luxury to your pre-flight experience. In addition to ample seating, classy designs and Wi-Fi, you’ll be served signature wines and seasonal cocktails, and can enjoy a full meal with table service.
Avoid the center seat
With a 1-1-1 seat configuration in the A380, each Qantas first class seat is spacious and comfortable. However, you’ll still want to nab either of the window seats. The middle seat, by nature of its position, will afford you slightly less privacy, even with the built-in privacy screens.
Additionally, there’s limited storage space in first class. Center seat inhabitants will need to reach over the aisle seats to stash their carry-on luggage in the bulkhead, which can make for an awkward introduction to your fellow travelers.
Jokes about airline food don’t apply to most first class flights, and Qantas is no exception. Qantas partnered with Australian celebrity chef and restaurateur Neil Perry to create an incredible selection of food for its travelers.
Qantas builds its first class menus with seasonal, local produce delivered with a global flair. Its wine list highlights the best of internationally recognized wine-producing regions in Australia and New Zealand. Come hungry to your first class flight because you will leave fully satisfied.
If you fly Qantas first class
Qantas Airlines’ first class products are worth the splurge, with luxurious seats, great service and incredible food. However, award availability can be difficult to find. Unless you frequent the land down under, U.S.-based travelers may have better options for similarly extravagant first class experiences on other airlines.
How to maximize your rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2021, including those best for:
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No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card