Airline Review - Spotlight On Qantas Airlines

31 August 2015
Read Time: 6.2 mins

Qantas is one of the veterans of the sky and first started flying international passengers in 1935. Nicknamed 'The Flying Kangaroo', Qantas is Australia's flag carrier and largest airline now recognised throughout the world for quality service and an outstanding safety record.

Every Qantas aircraft has been given a name, whether inspired by Greek gods, celebrities, Australian birds or Australian aviation pioneers. After enjoying a successful fleet of Boeing 747s, the airline plans to replace the smaller aircraft with the larger Airbus A380.

Qantas actually used one of its first A380s in 2014 to begin what is currently the world's longest passenger flight, a non-stop affair from Sydney to Dallas/Fort Worth. It also owns budget airline Jetstar, which operates domestic and international services.

 Qantas' new A380 flying over Sydney (Image: Qantas)

Cabin Classes


Prepare to fly in comfort and style on a Qantas International Economy flight, with cabins boasting ergonomically designed slimline seating and plenty of legroom. Facilities differ between specific aircraft; however, the majority of Qantas International Economy seats boast a standard 31-inch (78-centimetre) pitch and a width of 17 inches (43 centimetres). Most also feature 6.4-inch seat-back TV screens with Audio Video on Demand facilities, showcasing a broad range of entertainment channels.

 Passengers in Economy Class still enjoy high-quality food (Image: Qantas)

Premium Economy

Now a standard feature on many long-haul international flights, Premium Economy provides a mid-range alternative between Economy and Business Class. Boasting Marc Newson-designed seats with a pitch of 38 inches (96.5 centimetres) (or 42 inches [106 centimetres] on selected A380 flights) and a width of 19 inches (48 centimetres), adjustable leg rests and a convenient centre console allow you to stretch out and relax en route.

Snacks and light meals are available as part of the Neil Perry-inspired menu, while passengers also receive a complimentary glass of sparkling wine before take-off. Premium Economy passengers are also afforded priority check-in and a dedicated boarding lane for swift embarkation.

 Add a little more luxury to your flight with an upgrade to Premium Economy (Image: Qantas)


Nothing beats the ability to lie back and catch up on some sleep and that’s exactly what you can do on a Qantas Business Class flight. Business Class cabins on A380, A330 and B747 aircraft feature the airline’s popular Skybed, of which two versions currently exist.

The original Skybed boasts a 60-inch (152-centimetre) pitch and is 21.5 inches (54.5 centimetres) in width, although it does not recline to a full 180 degrees. The Skybed Mark II not only reclines fully, it also converts into a bed 1.98 metres long. Boasting an impressive 80-inch (203-centimetre) pitch and your own dedicated 12-inch touch-screen TV, it’s the ultimate in in-flight Business Class comfort.

 Business Class on Qantas' A380 means more space (Image: Qantas)


First Class cabins on Qantas International flights vary between aircraft. Seats on Boeing 747-400 flights boast a 79-inch (200-centimetre) pitch and are 22 inches (56 centimetre) in width, as well as featuring a 10-inch flip-out TV.

First Class seats on the Airbus A380 not only feature an 83-inch (211-centimetre) seat pitch and a 29-inch (73-centimetre) width, but they also swivel.

Amenity kits by Payot Paris are provided on all First Class flights, while snacks and light meals are offered alongside a full Neil Perry-designed menu, with meals prepared on board and made to order. Standard beverages, prestige wines, and freshly made cappuccinos are also available.

 Made-to-order meals are a highlight of First Class (Image: Qantas)

Entertainment Options

Qantas International Economy Class passengers enjoy a range of entertainment options which vary according to the aircraft in use. Passengers on B747-400 and A330-300 aircraft can enjoy seat-back 6.4-inch screens with audio and video on demand controls, while those flying on refurbished B767 aircraft are offered Q-streamed entertainment on individually distributed iPads. More than 250 entertainment channels are available, while selected aircraft offer in-seat PC power and USB ports.

Qantas through the years. A Timeline Of Qantas Firsts

Flying to Dallas/Fort Worth? How To Survive The World's Longest Flight With The Help Of HBO

Qantas Airlines Baggage Allowance


Qantas International passengers travelling in Economy Class are permitted to bring up to seven kilograms of carry-on baggage on board, consisting of one small bag and a briefcase or non-rigid garment bag. First Class, Business Class and Premium Economy passengers can carry two bags each weighing a total of seven kilograms on board, as well as an additional small bag or non-rigid garment bag.

Take fragile or valuable items in your carry-on to safeguard against loss or damage.


Carry On Baggage


Qantas checked baggage allowances vary according to destination and cabin class.

Qantas International passengers travelling to the Americas in Economy Class and Premium Economy are permitted to check two pieces of baggage each weighing a maximum of 23 kilograms. Passengers flying in Business Class or First Class can check three pieces of baggage each weighing a maximum of 32 kilograms. Qantas Club members, Silver and Gold Qantas Frequent Flyers, as well as Platinum and Platinum One Qantas Frequent Flyers can check one additional piece of baggage, depending on their cabin class.

Qantas International passengers travelling to all other destinations in Economy Class can check up to 30 kilograms of baggage in total. Passengers travelling in Premium Economy and Business Class are permitted to check up to 40 kilograms of baggage in total. Passengers travelling in First Class are permitted to check up to 50 kilograms of baggage.

Extra weight allowances, increasing in 10-kilogram increments, are offered to Qantas Club members and Silver Qantas Frequent Flyers, Gold Qantas Frequent Flyers and Platinum/Platinum One Qantas Frequent Flyers across the various cabin classes.

If you feel your checked baggage exceeds the weight limits, purchase additional baggage online in advance to avoid excess fees at the airport.

Checked Baggage

Bulky items

All sporting equipment and other bulky items must be included in your checked baggage allowance, subject to requirements. Heavy items such as bicycles, skis and snowboards, fishing equipment, golf clubs, scuba diving equipment and surfboards must be securely packed and must not exceed maximum size and weight limits. Bicycles must be packed in a protective bike box, available from Australian Qantas Terminals and retail bike stores. Passenger-supplied bike boxes must not exceed specified weight and size dimensions.

Surfboards may be taken as checked baggage provided the fins are removed and the boards are in a secure protective bag.

Bulky Baggage

Infant baggage

Adult passengers accompanying infants may travel with a collapsible stroller or pushchair, collapsible cot or bassinet, car seat or baby capsule to be stored as checked baggage in the aircraft’s hold, with carry-on and checked baggage allowances generally the same for adults and children. In-flight amenities include baby, toddler and child meals, as well as pre-flight use of strollers once you have checked your personal stroller in.

Extra food and nappies for infants may be taken on board in addition to your carry-on limit.

Restricted or dangerous goods

Dangerous goods that may endanger the safety of passengers are strictly regulated for carriage on Qantas aircraft. Dangerous goods include hazardous materials such as flammable liquids, gas cylinders, explosives and incendiary devices such as flares and fireworks, corrosive materials, bleaches and peroxides.

Restrictions are also applied on the types of goods permitted into aircraft cabins, with the carriage of aerosols, toiletries and alcohol strictly regulated. Exemptions are applicable to certain medicines and baby products. Refer to the Australian Government Liquids, Aerosols and Gel Guide for more information on carry-on baggage restrictions.

Wheelchairs and electric mobility aids are able to be taken on the aircraft with prior approval from Qantas.


Qantas ensures you check-in with ease

Web check-in is available up to one hour before departure, with the online check-in window conveniently opening some 24 hours before your flight. Web check-in allows you to print your boarding pass at home, while baggage must be checked a minimum of 90 minutes prior to departure.

Airport check-in is available up to 90 minutes before departure for Economy and Premium Economy passengers and up to an hour before departure for passengers travelling in Business and First Class. Dedicated check-in areas and fast-track immigration facilities are also offered to Business and First Class passengers, while self-service check-in kiosks operate at London’s Heathrow Airport.

International check-in guide

At home

  • Know what time you need to leave the house to get to the airport
  • Pack your things, check out our baggage guide
  • Have your flight itinerary ready
  • Ensure you have your valid passport ready

Getting there

  • Be at the airport at least 120 minutes prior to scheduled departure time

At the airport

  • Proceed to check-in counter with passport and itinerary ready
  • Go through security
  • Continue through customs
  • Check the gate number and flight status
  • Sit down and get comfy!

The Qantas Club Lounge

The Qantas Club Lounge offers a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of busy airport surrounds. Dedicated Qantas lounges are located in more than 10 international terminals, with several boasting Marc Newson-designed interiors and Neil Perry-inspired menus, as well as complimentary shower facilities, private work spaces and entertainment facilities.

Entry to the Lounge

Entry to the Qantas Club Lounge is strictly based on class of travel, Qantas Club membership and Frequent Flyer criteria. Qantas Frequent Flyers and Eligible Skywards members are permitted entry to Qantas and associated Emirates lounges, as are passengers in First and Business Class cabins. Qantas passengers may also make use of associated lounges operated by partner airlines where Qantas does not operate its own international lounge.

 The Qantas Club Lounge includes impeccable service complemented by gourmet food (Image: Qantas)

Qantas Frequent Flyer

The Qantas Frequent Flyer program provides more than just the chance to redeem points towards flights, with a wide range of membership benefits on offer. Qantas operates four memberships tiers and you can start earning points towards your status the minute you start flying.


Bronze is Qantas’ entry-level membership tier, allowing you to earn points in the air and on the ground at one of the more than 450 commercial partners linked to the program. These include car rental companies, hotels, and the Woolworths group.


Silver membership is automatically calculated when guests accrue 300 "status credits" over four Qantas or Jetstar-affiliated flights. Silver tier membership benefits include priority check-in, extra baggage allowance, priority baggage handling and one Qantas Lounge pass per year.

 Become a Qantas Frequent Flyer member for rewards and benefits (Image: Qantas)


To be upgraded to Qantas Frequent Flyer's Gold membership, flyers must clock up 700 status credits over four Qantas or Jetstar-affiliated flights. Additional membership benefits on top of those already earned in Silver status include complimentary membership to the Qantas Club and access to partner lounges across the globe. Gold members are also granted access to shorter security lanes and express customs and immigration clearance.


Qantas' premium Frequent Flyer tier Platinum is awarded when passengers accrue 1,400 status credits over four Qantas or Jetstar-affiliated flights. On top of the benefits already in place for Silver and Gold memberships, Platinum Frequent Flyers gain access to the prestigious First Class lounges, use of superior lounge amenities, priority service at every step of your journey and privileges with partner airlines.

Visit your local Flight Centre store or call 131 600 for more advice and the latest deals.

Flight Centre

Flight Centre is committed to providing articles to help inspire your future travels and to keep you up to date with all the happenings around the travelverse.