QF7, SYD-DFW, First Class

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After the rather rushed experience in the First Class lounge we headed onboard via the dedicated first class ramp to our seats – 2A and 3A on the left hand side of the cabin. The benefit of the this side was that there are only the 5 people in the A seats using the aisleway, with passengers in the F and K seats using the opposite aisle.

Leslie settling into her seat, and at the end of the long journey

The service at the start of this flight made us extremely apprehensive of what was to come. We were virtually invisible for the first 15 minutes whilst the cabin crew (more than 4 different people) served the other passengers without even a hello.

Finally we were offered a pre-departure beverage and PJs and amenity kits were distributed (including an additional female kit that was accidentally offered to me by the FA who was working the cabin for the second time. He fixed his mistake shortly after but we did not offer to return the kit)

As a couple the Qantas first class seats aren’t particularly conducive to interaction. This may work for Qantas as their international routes may be quite business focused in nature, but it would be nice to see them offer a mixture of both individual seating, and seats side-by-side, to allow passengers to decide on seating arrangements.

Anyway, after an uneventful take-off I continued with champagne, along with these little hor d’oeuvres
Calvisius sterling caviar tartlet with crème fraîche
Gougeres with peperonata and olive

At that point i switched over to the ottoman seat in Leslie’s suite where we gorged for the next 3 hours on the tasting menu

Asparagus soup with sourdough croutons to kick things off

Leslie then went with the Middle Eastern inspired mezze plate

While I had the white cut chicken salad with hot and numbing dressing

unfortunately no flavour in this dish

The mains were probably the highlight of a fairly standard airline meal.

Leslie went for the spinach gnocci with peas, grilled zucchini, tomatoes, goats curd, tarragon and parsley

The red curry of duck with grilled eggplant, stir fried beans and fragrant rice might not have looked like much chop, but it had great flavour.

By this time we were completely stuffed from the big meal in the lounge, and then the main courses on the plane that we skipped both the cheese and the desserts.

Leslie is a massive fan of both dessert wines, and ports/ sherry’s. We had developed a good rapport with the cabin crew by this point in time and hence a tasting occurred.

Instead we retreated upstairs to the lounge to watch Bridge of Spies with a bottle or 2 of our friend Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill 2004.

We had admittedly drunk quite a fair bit at this stage, to the point that when I went downstairs to the galley they had actually run out of Champagne. Somewhat bemusingly only 6 bottles are stocked for this 14+ hour journey.

After all that drinking, what better than a late night snack. A steak sandwich was quickly devoured along with a Baileys on the rocks, before 6 hours of blissful sleep.

Unfortunately we weren’t offered breakfast or asked if we wished to be woken before taking a sleep, and hence no breakfast was served prior to landing.

Whilst the middle portions of the flight were excellent, both the initial reception, and this final segment of the flight were disappointing from a service point of view.

Of course, we were travelling on award redemptions – one through Asia Miles and the other through Qantas, both booked 11 months in advance, so were paying just a fraction of the RRP for the flights and hence thus the disappointment didn’t last long!

Customs was a fairly quick affair despite de-planing with the rest of the flight thanks largely to the automated machines, and after a short wait for baggage we were on a bus out to the rental car terminal.

All in all, this was a good, albeit not exceptional trip.

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