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Sunday 10 March 2024

Flying The Kangaroon's (Qantas) Airbus A380 (Part 1: SIN-LHR)

 Welcome to my latest trip report on my 112th airline! 

My photo of Qantas'A380 (VH-OQA) 


I decided in late 2023 that I wanted to spent time with my family especially my mum and to celebrate her birthday after missing out her special day for many years. (She in London, me in Singapore). So with much consideration, I decided to fly up to London and take her to somewhere. My initial plan was to take her to Iceland, Reykjavik but it was too cold so Portugal came into my mind and Lisbon was the destination. TAP Air Portugal was one of the airlines I wanted to fly so the decision on the airline part was easy. Once that was decided, my vacation last for around 2 weeks with 5 days in the warmer part of Europe, Portugal. 

As for the flight to London, this time I decided to go direct and fly the airline that I should have flown long time ago, that is Qantas! When the airline announced the plans to restart SYD-SIN-LHR, I was sold with this idea and went ahead to book. So let's get started with this trip report and once again, welcome to this trip report!

Booking with the airline 

As you can see how expensive Premium Economy Class airfare is so that is ruled out immediately. 

The return flight from London was cheaper for the sales price so I went ahead and book the cheapest fare. Not surprisingly, I had to pay for seat selection. 

As the flight I booked from SIN-LHR, some passengers were probably flying in from Sydney so not a surprise to see the cabin full at the gate. 

I paid slightly less than $1300 for the return trip, not very cheap but for the sake of Qantas and the A380, why not.

Later on, I decided to add on seat selection for this flight at a price of $45. 

What I like about the app is that once I add my trip to the airline's app, my flight detail stays in there without the need of logging in. 

About Qantas 

Qantas is the national airline of Australia, founded in 1920, making it one of the oldest airlines in the world. This founding member of the Oneworld alliance started commercial service in 1922 and it's main hubs are Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. Qantaslink, Jetstar, Qantas Freight are some of the subsidiaries that are controlled by the airline, making it's presence felt in Australia. With a massive fleet of over 100 aircraft, the airline has placed orders for new aircraft such as more Boeing 787-9, A220-300 (For Qantaslink), Airbus A321neo-LR (new subtype for Qantas), Boeing 787-10 (new subtype) and the A350-1000 (new aircraft type) to eventually replace the Airbus A330-200/-300, Airbus A380 and Boeing 737-800. 

This is the current route map of Qantas. (Photo: Qantas)

On the day of departure 

Even though my flight was late at night around 2325, I went to the airport in the morning to do an early check-in and experience for myself the Jewel check-in experience. I would spent a bit of time at the airport before resuming my activities until departure time. This way, I could avoid the peak hours at night and can have lunch at the airport. 

At this time, it was during the period of Chinese New Year and there was decoration around the airport. This was the year of the dragon.

For those wonder which chinese zodiac animal are you, you can check out the year of birth from the list below. 

To get to terminal 1 by public transport, you have to pass throughe either terminal 2 or 3 (for this case) and take the skytrain over. 

Unlike LHR airport, you can connect by skytrain within (terminal 1, 2 and 3) on both airside and landside. For terminal 4 connection, you have to take the shuttle service as the skytrain does not connect to that terminal. 

Welcome to Terminal 1! 

Among the terminals, this is still my favourite. There is this viewing gallery on the 2nd level, that is worth a visit if you have the time. 

I thought this dragon look pretty cool.

I hope all of you out there who celebrate Vietnamese and Chinese New Year had a good time during this period. 

I did an early check-in at Jewel and Qantas is one of the airlines that allow you to do so. 

These are the airlines that allow you to do early check-in at Jewel. 

If your flight is less than 3 hours, you are required to use the airline's check-in counter at the terminal. 

Looking at the seat map, it was a full flight and my guess is most of the passengers were based in Sydney. 

Check-in process was straight-forward and I received both the boarding pass and luggage tag. 

My luggage's mass is within the allowance. For Qantas's Economy Class passengers, 23kg is the maximum mass allowed for checking in. 

Once that was done, I went to take a look at the water fountain in Jewel. 

Checking which aircraft I was flying on, VH-OQD gets the honour to be my first Qantas ride! 

Now is the time to fly Qantas from Singapore to London because once the airline has the A350-1000 (ULR) version in the fleet, I believe they will fly SYD-LHR direct and cut the SIN-LHR as a result. 

Off she goes! For unknown reason, she departed late at SYD and would arrive at Changi later. So it was not a surprise that my flight departure time was delayed by almost 2 hours. 

Back at terminal 1 

This is Qantas self check-in area, I still prefer being handled by the ground staff especially when you have lots of luggages to check in. 

This is Air France Boeing 777-300ER, bound for Paris (CDG) airport later that evening. 

JAL, Qantas and Finnair aircraft spotted in Delta gate tier. What do they have in common? They are Oneworld alliance members. 

This is Sky Angkok Airlines A320ceo. 

Changi Airport Terminal 1 Airside 

This was my first time I was told by the security police to wait as they were not sure whether we were allowed to enter airside since our flight was about 5-6 hours later. This is the first time for me, I had enter the airside longer than this and had no issues at all. We waited for about 15 minutes before being cleared, this was strange. 

Having to drag your baggage across the carpeted area is not fun. 

As you can see, my flight was re-timed. The original departure time was 2325 hours. 

Now that I had time to spare, I spent the remaining time resting near the gate area (D46). 

This is where my flight departed from. 

There she is, VH-OQD! 

I was looking forward to my first Qantas experience. 

Boarding the whalejet after 2 hours + of delay.

My seat: 76K (Photo: Aerolopa.com) 

My ride: VH-OQD (Photo: Jonathan Rankin) 

Airbus A380-842 
Configuration: F14 C70 W60 Y341
Engines: 4 X Roll Royce Trent 972 
Name of aircraft: Fergus McMaster
Delivered in August 2009
26th A380 built 
Age: 15+ Years Old (March 2024)
Built in Toulouse (TLS)

Flight route: SIN-LHR 

Miles: 6,765 

Date of departure: 20th February 2024
Airline: Qantas 
Aircraft type: Airbus A380
Registration: VH-OQD 
Flight: QF1 
Route: SIN-LHR 
Terminal: 1 
Gate: D46 
Seat: 76K
Schedule departure: 2325 delayed to 0050 
Boarding: 0027
Pushed back: 0115 
Take off: 0133 
Flight Time: 14 hours 14 mins 
Actual Flight Time: 14 hours 14 mins 
Schedule arrival time: 0615 (0740)
Actual arrival: 0747 
Departure runway: 02L 
Arrival runway: 27L

Cabin interior of the airline's A380 

The cabin crew's station for food and beverages preparation. 

My cabin luggage was able to fit in but it is better to have the handle of the baggage facing you to optimise space. 

The overhead panel 

At this point, we were waiting to depart. 

One disadvantage about flying on the A380's window seat is the window is slightly further away from the passenger compared to other aircraft types. 

At the rear of the aircraft, there is a snack bar for passengers to grab some snack or beverages. 

Lavatories are also available at the rear. 

In addition to the snacks, spare headset and amenity kit are available. 

Beverages are available at this compartment. 

Only the A380 has the stairs at the rear and the centre part of the aircraft. This is leading to the upper deck (Premium Economy Class). 

I went to the front section of the aircraft and spotted these. Well done, Qantas! 

While flying over the middle-east, light started brightening up. 

My in-flight experience 

We boarded with the cabin crew welcoming us. It turned out to be a full flight and unfortunately for us, we had a bad seatmate, mainly due to him exposing his feet for most parts of the flight but at least he went to the lavatory a few times and that allowed us to do so, save us our trouble to bothering or interacting with him. What caught my attention at my seat was the missing headset and I had to ask the crew for it. Even the one he gave me wasn't working so I had to ask for another one, well at least the same crew understood. Fortunately, the replacement was working but the quality was poor. As for the IFE screen, it has certainly seen better days. The image resolution reminds you of those first generation PTV system and the touchscreen was frustrating to say the least, slow response and I had to press hard for the response. Anyway I find it strange that even though the safety video was played, the crew still did a manual safety demonstration, that's a first for me. 

After the quiet and excellent take off of the A380, we had a nice and smooth departure and for most parts of the flight it was smooth. Usually it gets turbulent at the bay of Bengel but not on this flight. Anyway for  the meal services, I thought the airline offered pretty decent meals and snacks were offered throughout the flight. I find it even better than the meals I had on board my SQ's A350 flight from Singapore to Frankfurt.  Service on board was initially slow but it picked up during the flight. My requested drink was forgotten but for the 2nd meal service, it was better. It is certainly not easy to manage such a full load of passengers especially such a length of the flight but I believe that the cabin crew are experienced in handling such flights and I can see how professional they are especially when I am near the cabin crew's area or when I bumped into them. They were friendly and one of them even ask whether I needed anything. 

For the seats, it was bearable though I find the 31 inches legroom space quite cramp. There were a few times I had to walk around the cabin to release the stress that my knee cap is dealing with. Overall it was ok, just had to deal with both the good and the bad on this flight and one thing for sure is I was glad the flight was over at the end of it. Was my return flight better? Stay tuned for the trip report. 

About the Economy Class cabin

There are 3 sections of Economy Class located at the lower deck after the 1st door to the end of the lower deck cabin. The airline chose David Caon's designed Recaro seats for the 3-4-3 configured economy class cabin. Each seat has a seat width of 17.7 inches, seat pitch of 32 inches (the standard seats) and can recline up to 6 inches. For seats with the IFE screen on the back, the IFE screen is a touchscreen HD of 12 inches. Lastly, each passenger gets access to an USB-A socket with shared (2 in each row) universal AC socket located between the seats. 

Photos of the cabin 

This is the emergency row and that cost quite a bit of $$. 

Each passenger receives a pillow, blanket and an amenity kit. 

The maroon colour does look great in my opinion. 

If you pick one of the seats on the 4-seater and if happens if the flight is not full, you might get lucky to have the whole row to yourself and that is great. However for me, its either window or aisle seat near the window side. 

The IFE system is a bit of a disappointment. Lack of contents, slow response with the touchscreen and the lousy sound quality from the headphone. 

This is my seat for the 14 hours flight! (Below) 

View from my seat

View of the rear seats of my cabin section 

Usually choosing the last cabin is better as there is higher chances of vacant seats but because my partner prefers not to sit too far back, I chose the 2nd section of the economy class. 

Qanta's A380 Economy Class Cabin view 

The legroom space is at 32 inches. 

The cabin view after landing 

At the end of the flight, I was so ready to disembark from the aircraft. Not saying that the cabin product was bad, but it gets the point that I need to stretch my legs. 

More photos of the Economy Class Seat 

2  universal charging ports on each row of seats 

Charging port at my seat however it was not working. 

The foldable tray 

What's provided for each Economy Class passenger?

IFE Entertainment System 

A blanket 

A pillow 

Safety card 

Disposal Bag 

Qantas' magazine 

Headset - mediocre quality 

Remote control 

Look at the worn out wire. 

Amenity kit and what does it contain? 

A pair of ear plugs 

Eye shade 

Tooth brush with toothpaste

A bottle of water 

In-Flight Entertainment (Seat-back TV only) 

Currently, wif is not available on the A380 fleet 

The response of the touchscreen is very slow and you have to press hard in order to get to the page you want. 

The moving map with the flight information is actually not bad. 

This is one of the movies I watched. 

There is even exterior camera, I am impressed.

On final approach to LHR runway 27 Left. 

In-Flight Meals (Supper and Breakfast) 

I was surprised that past midnight, we were served full meal. I was expecting a sandwich or something light at this hour. Then I realised that this flight may not be focused on local traffic out of Singapore, after all the flight QF1 is a direct flight from Sydney to London Heathrow with a stop-over. I was fortunate to be able to fly on this route, thanks to the airline's 5th freedom rights. 

We had a choice of beef, chicken and one more option which I can't remember. 

We chose the beef and chicken option. 

This is the chicken option 

This is the beef option. 

Besides the main meal, we were given a bun and a brownie which later the cabin crew came round to offer beverages. 

Wooden cultery for the passengers. Do I mind? Well not at all. 

Mid-Flight Snack

This Lattice Pastry was served while most of the passengers were asleep. I was one of the lucky few to manage to receive this nice snack. 


We were given an option of either this breakfast (below) or fruits), both of us chose the breakfast option. 

Together with the main meal, we were given a cupcake, yogurt and a choice of beverage. I chose coffee to get myself ready for London.

Window view (From Take-off to Landing) 

At that point of time, it was raining heavily at Changi.

At this point, we were more than half the distance travelled from Singapore. 

It was certainly a great day for flying, the weather on route was excellent.

We were flying over the city of London, coming in to LHR from the east. 

The weather at London was certainly gloomy but at least I had a good view of the city before landing.

After a short while, we were the next to land.

It was quite cloudy at the airport but it wasn't bumpy. 

Finally after 14 hours and 14 minutes in the air, we were on the ground.

We were to park at gate 1 of terminal 3. 

Here we are, it took quite a while before disembarking the aircraft. 

My Flight Summary 

Welcome to London! 

Thanks for the ride, VH-OQD!

The Hilton Garden Inn Hotel 

A British Airways A320 and Emirates A380 in sight! 

The walk to the immigration took about 15 minutes. 

Once cleared, we picked up our luggages and headed over to Terminal 4 to our hotel. 

Hope you enjoyed this trip report! 

My rating

Airline Mobile app/Website: 3.5/5
Airport Experience (SIN): 4/5 
In-Flight Service: 4/5
In-Flight Entertainment System: 2/5
Seat Comfort: 3.5/5 
Cabin Ambiance: 4/5 
Cabin Condition: 3/5 
Punctuality: 0/5
In-Flight Snack/Meal: 4/5
Cleanliness: 5/5
Overall rating: 33/50
Percentage: 66%


While Qantas is lacking in quality with the IFE (In-Flight Entertainment) system and the poor condition of the seats, I thought the airline did well with the in-flight meals and the ample snacks that was available through out the flight. While the aircraft arrived late at LHR but it didn't matter as we were at the land side around 8.30 am, too early to check in to any hotel right? But fortunately, Premium Inn Heathrow Terminal 4 receptionist allowed me to check-in early and that spared me a few hours of waiting. This long flight was soured by the awful passenger besides whom I heard the crew addressing him as Doctor. His stinky leg sticking out for most of the flight, making it uncomfortable for the passengers around us. I could tell him off but what I was afraid was his reaction especially it was such a long flight so that was it. However on the bright side, the flight was surprisingly smooth with the seatbelt turned off not long after take off and only came on during descending, good in-flight service and meals. I managed to get the time to past fast thanks to a few movies and some sleep, so overall it was not a bad flight. Was my return flight better? Stay tuned after my trip reports on TAP Air Portugal. 

Thanks for reading! 

For my previous trip report: Flying Gulf Air Boeing 787-9 (BAH-SIN), click here

For my next trip report: Flying TAP Air Portugal (LHR-LIS), click here

For my part 2 of Qantas A380 trip report (LHR-SIN), click here

Have a good one!


  1. I am still deciding whether to fly EK or SQ to LHR. SQ is more expensive but it is a direct flight. QF is slightly cheaper than SQ but I won't consider it because of the inferior inflight product.

  2. Depends whether you have status with either SQ or EK and also if you prefer to fly direct to LHR. These 2 factors might help you decide especially if the airfare is not an issue.

  3. First flight with QF huh... Nice to see that they got off your blacklist after so many years and that this flight along with your return trip overturned your initial dislike for the airline. Hopefully you get to fly in their premium cabins in the future!

    1. Yap first time finally. It wasn't that bad afterall. Premium cabins - maybe in the near future, perhaps on Qantas A350-1000 ULR version. Thanks for reading, Windy!