Airline review: Qantas A380-800 business class, London to Singapore

THE PLANE

Qantas A380-800

ROUTE

London to Singapore.

CLASS

Business, upper deck, seat 13E

THE LOYALTY SCHEME

Qantas Frequent Flyer, part of the Oneworld alliance.

DURATION

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12 hours, 15 minutes.

FREQUENCY

Daily.

THE SEAT

Seats are in a 2-2-2 layout. There's 78 inches (198 centimetres) of pitch and 21.5 inches (55 centimetres) of width. My seat is on the aisle, but window seats do not have direct aisle access, unlike Qantas' new business seats on the A330 and Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

BAGGAGE

Checked baggage allowance of 40 kilograms, going up to 60 kilograms depending on your Frequent Flyer status. Two carry-on bags up to seven kilograms each.

COMFORT

Cutting-edge when first unveiled, the Qantas A380 seats feel a bit dated now compared with the excellent new suites found on the A330 and 787 Dreamliners. The leg section of my flatbed seems to sag, putting me on a less-than-180 degree angle when trying to sleep. It was recently reported that the A380s will undergo a revamp to install the same seats as the A330s and Dreamliners, but the process won't start until mid-2019 and will likely take a year or more to complete. There are his and hers amenity kits. Mine contains socks, toothbrush and toothpaste, Aspar moisturisers and lip balm and an eye mask.

ENTERTAINMENT

Qantas flights feature one of the best entertainment offerings in the sky, with an excellent range of recent releases, old favourites and cult classics. However, the highlight remains the television series box sets, allowing you to binge watch some of the best TV shows available right now. The older touchscreens on the A380 though are not as smooth or responsive as those found on newer seats.

SERVICE

Efficient but not as friendly or pleasant as other Qantas business crews I've flown with. After being told by my flight attendant that he doesn't have my chosen main of a roast tomato and mozzarella salad, one is served to my neighbour some time later. Breakfast is placed on the tray unceremoniously.

FOOD

Full menu options include a beef sandwich, seared pollack with fennel or tandoori chicken. It's an overnight flight and with the tomato salad not on offer, I opt for a lighter meal from the "mid-flight" snack menu – a mozzarella, olive and spinach calzone, along with a side salad and cheese plate from the main menu. Typically of Qantas business class meals, it's all very good.

ONE MORE THING

Qantas has returned to the London to Singapore route after abandoning Dubai as a stopover destination for its British flights. Singapore has always been a favourite destination for Australians and its Changi Airport, perennially ranked as the world's best, is currently undergoing further expansion.

See also: The best stopover airports between Australia and Europe

THE VERDICT

It has been almost 10 years since Qantas took delivery of its first A380 and the age of its business class is starting to show, particularly in comparison with its newest seat designs. But if you are stopping over in a city, or just the airport, on your way to or from London, Singapore is still the best place to do it.

Our rating out of five: ★★★

Tested by Craig Platt, who flew as a guest of Qantas.

See also: Airline review: Qantas Dreamliner Perth to London, non-stop

See also: Airline review: Virgin Australia international business class

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