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After check-in and heading to the British Airways Galleries First lounge for a bit of time, I made my way down to the gate, about 10 minutes ahead of boarding. I ended up learning that boarding would commence late due to the crew being stuck in traffic (it’s New York…need I say more). After about 25 more minutes, boarding was announced beginning with Business Class passengers.
I was in 16J on the upper deck and have to say that this is probably one of the best seats there is, simply because there is a crew rest compartment next door and you almost feel like you’re in your own private cabin to yourself. I ended up having the seat next to me empty, which certainly helped things, too.
Qantas flies the JFK-LAX route to connect passengers onward to services going to Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney from Los Angeles. It does not have the rights to let off passengers at Los Angeles, so if you’re thinking of using this route as a way to get across the country, it won’t work.
I was surprised to see the JFK-LAX route serviced with international standards – I received an amenity kit, pajamas and full international meal service, which was really terrific. Pre-departure beverages of champagne, orange juice and water were served, while I perused the menu which was already at my seat.
The seat was actually quite comfortable – I had heard reports of some folks not liking it, but to my pleasure, I had no qualms with it. When fully extended into bed mode, it does come out at a slight angle (this was a non-reconfigured aircraft), but it’s hardly noticeable. It’s way better than American’s angled flat product, and Air France’s.
There is a charging port in the center, as well as a remote to the left. Reading lights swing out near the headrest, and a center divider can be raised or lowered depending on if you want to talk to the person next to you. If you’re on the upper deck of the 747, you have the luxury of storage bins against the wall – these are not available on the lower deck.
The television screens are in a center console, controlled by a button on the armrest. Watch you don’t place any drinks on top of here, as a touch of the button will send whatever is on top rocketing into the air. 😉
As we tried to navigate the traffic that is JFK, we finally took off, almost an hour late.
Once airborne, I was offered a choice from the bar service, and some pre-package nuts. On a service like this, I would have hoped for plated nuts, but not wanting to start a Korean Air incident, I kept these comments to myself. 🙂 I opened my television screen to browse the movies on offer. I found several that looked enjoyable, though there were a majority I had already seen (yeah, I fly too much…).
I had a salad as a starter, a delicious (actually, extraordinary, mushroom soup), followed by a traditional cheeseburger, that was cooked beautifully. For dessert, I had a crepe filled with ricotta cheese, topped with pistachios – it was sinfully good.
The food on Qantas was absolutely tremendous, and I found this to be the case on all of my flights. They do a great job of finding local flavor, partnering with Rockpool group to come up some outstanding dishes.
After dinner, I decided to have a nap, and fully extended the seat out into the lie-flat mode. The flight attendant noticed what I was doing, and offered to lay out the mattress and pillows for me, which I agreed.
I got a solid 3 hours of sleep, and though I was tired to begin with, I certainly think the comfort of this seat had to do with it as well.
After waking up, it was only a short while later we made out descent into Los Angeles, arriving about 45 minutes after schedule, but still plenty of time to head to the Qantas First lounge.
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