The First class experience
You pay peanuts you get monkeys, hence why there is a price to pay when it comes to services and or quality, most people would say, the first class experience, well I’d rather spend the actual difference of the fare to have as spending money and I understand that, however in life I always thought that the journey was way more important then the destination, now days, you don’t need to spend ludicrous amounts of cash on first class tickets, there’s something we call Frequent flyer points or Frequent flyer miles, depending on what part of the world you come from. See below that the first class experience doesn’t have to cost an arm and leg.
I’ll take you through the journey from the ground all the way to the sky and back down at your next destination. Remember there are different types of airlines that have different size planes, so the experience may not be all the same, however somewhat similar. Let’s see what the One World carriers have on offer below.
The Qantas and Emirates First class experience has to be one of the best in the world, traveling for more than 25 years, I have seen first class, and this does not compare to the experience that I had received with Qantas and Emirates. The main issues comparing other airlines are the design of the interior of the plane, and the access to a quality service, and sometimes on most American flights even the food is horrible or not even edible on most first class flights, however there frequent flyer point structure is amazingly high earning status points and frequent flyers, I guess maybe that’s the trade off with those airlines.
The Queues and the fast lane Access:
There are no queues to check in, there is no queues at the security lane (Australia only) (European Countries may have one or two people) (USA is always busy with security lanes regardless of your fast pass lane access) it’s practically green lights all the way till the lounge experience. You may get a grumpy person at the security lane, or someone that thinks he has a massive ego issue, though you get that in those types of positions, remember these people do not work for the airline, however for the few minutes that you are passing these security lanes your expectations of the experience should be lowered, as it is also a government regulation that you the passenger is thoroughly checked.
The lounge experience:
If you arrive at the designated time frame at the airport, for international flights 3 hours prior to boarding you will have enough time to buy duty free and enjoy the first class experience in the Qantas and Emirates lounge if you are a one world partner. In some airports, depending on the code share flight or ticket you have purchased, airline lounges may differ according to the ticket purchase.
If you’re like me and get anxiety even if your early at your flight departure times, perspiring is one of my pet hates, so why not immerse yourself in the rain shower that is on offer at the lounge, I always have a set or two of clothes on my carry-on luggage in the event of unknown minor accidents like food spillage and or drink. The best thing to do is always have at least four sets of clothes with two pairs of shoes in the event the airline loses your luggage, this will at least take you through two to four days of the first part of your trip, because without these major items that you planed to take with you, this can be a huge time wasting game in the city that you propose to visit, in the event of a total loss with your luggage, always remember to either buy your airline ticket’s with a credit card that has complimentary insurance, or take out International travel insurance in the event that your credit card company doesn’t offer you this, the low cost credit cards usually will not have attached travel insurance, though most branded credit cards these days have complimentary travel insurance for international and domestic travel, the catch though is to purchase the airline tickets with the same credit card.
After a nice refresh in the airlines lounges showers, which offer high end shampoo and body wash, my favourite is Molton Brown, your rain shower with extra pressure is everything you need to relax in the lounge, the shower packs all come with a complimentary pack of toothbrush and toothpaste and a comb or brush for your hair, all shower rooms have an attached blow dryer, individual one use floor bath mat and extra-large towel for you to dry off in, the amenities are very well equipped in these lounges, I don’t think I have ever been to a lounge that wasn’t equipped.
Once refreshed, head over to the island buffets that have an array of foods, they usually cater for all types of dietary requirements, the really great lounges like Qantas and Emirates have a menu you can pick from, which creates that restaurant feeling once in the lounge, they offer any type of food, and furthermore you can have everything on the menu if you’re a large eater, from appetizers, entrée, main meal and dessert, all usually cooked on the spot hot and fresh by a dedicated chef, now think of the cost if you were to sit by yourself or with your family out in the airport restaurants, what would this experience would cost you? I have worked out the math, it’s always good to keep loyal to an airline or two, to have this complimentary access to these lounges, as it pays not to have that money exchanging at restaurants and cafes in the airport.
Enjoy a coffee or champagne before embarking on your long haul flight in the Qantas and Emirates lounge, now you’re ready to take off, dedicated boarding lanes for business class and fist class passengers and if you’re flying the A380 you definitely have dedicated boarding for first class passengers and seamless effort through the corridors till your plane awaits you and the friendly staff on board your Emirates and or Qantas flights.
The in-flight experience:
So you embark on a journey of pure luxury, your greeted by your on board cabin crew who by the way can speak on average 11 languages, who escort you to your seat, you feel like a real citizen as they know you by name and not by a seat number which is a great feeling, your greeted with gifts, pyjamas for night sleep, an eye sleeper mask, moisturisers pillows and an entire comfort set, both Emirates and Qantas provide these. The major difference between the Qantas and Emirates first class is that emirates you have your own suite on board the plane regardless of the make of the plane, it is a dedicated space just for you, if you’re traveling with a significant other, your best to sit in the middle of the plane as the dedicated suites are side by side and have a divider that you can speak to each other, whereas Qantas it’s more like an extended pod that swivels for seating and sleeping, in different positions, its more open space when it comes to Qantas, there is not much privacy either, the Qantas A380 has storage compartment instead of a mini bar, whereas the Emirates planes they offer the mini bar with a mini compartment for your most valuable items, I do prefer the mini bar as you have a drink at your fingertips and you don’t need to wait for anyone to bring you anything, and with the Emirates experience you have a basket of pretzel crisps and other little items that can refresh or have a snack on the go.
Other than the selection of food I really love that on Emirates you can choose when to eat and you can choose the entire menu to eat, you need to try it so you can get the full experience, I must have at least placed 5 kilos on that flight, from caviar to Dom Perignon, you have the full first class experience on the Emirates A380 or 777, however it may get a little boring if you fly often and the menu doesn’t change, I would of hoped that different sectors of the world would change in cuisine though this never was the case on Emirates, it’s like eating second day food, you just feel that you need to update menus for different sectors otherwise the food can get a little mundane, and don’t get me wrong sometimes seconds are great although like if you are a frequent flyer you may want to switch from business to first class and vice versa so you won’t be eating the exact menu on all of their flight sectors, something Emirates needs to look into, to create an even better experience for their passengers.
The Emirates drinks and alcoholic beverages are great with all the best that money can buy, Remy Martin cognac and Dom Perignon champagne, if you’re a big drinker, these flights are where you can drink a few and never need to drive so drink up, ensure you take a friend or your significant other, so you can both enjoy the sharing aspect of this inflight experience.
The Emirates on board shower has to be the best aspect on the A380 plane, although a short ten minutes of water, the heated floor and the massive bathroom space is the best way to freshen up just before your next destination, making you feel vibrant and awake, the luxury of shower on plane has to be the best experience, as you don’t feel that jet lag after a splash in the water, I can’t wait till the day they have a spa on board J and champagne flutes to accompany, at least a spa for two doesn’t waste as much water as it is for one, Laughing out Loud.
The Qantas first class experience, is you eat when your told to eat, I’m sure they would be happy to serve you at your convenience, but there is more of a regiment system in place for serving, there is no shower, however the bar of drinks is fully stocked to cater for any drinkers needs, I also believe although the Qantas staff are nice, the Emirates staff always go beyond your expectations and are always ready to serve.
If you’re always looking to maximise your status credit points and your frequent flyer points though you want to travel Emirates, buy a code share flight with Emirates that Qantas is operating so you don’t miss out on any points, Emirates do not provide Qantas frequent flyer with status credit points which is a no no for me, thus to maximise your spending dollar if you’re a Qantas frequent flyer, buy a code share flight with Qantas to Enjoy the Emirates first class experience, worst case scenario, buy the entire fare on the points system and pay for your taxes on check out of the itinerary of your choice.
No matter where your flying too, ensure your long haul flight are in these classes of travel, for more ways of upgrading or maximising your Qantas frequent flyer Points ensure you visit our other sections of my blog, to maximise your spending dollars and upgrades with Qantas and Emirates or any of the one world partner airlines.
Your next flight does not have to be economy class unless you really like economy class, let me show you also how you can increase your chances of entering the club lounges with simple steps to be spending your miles and dollars correctly, check out other blogs like this on emmanuelsarris.com
Also check out my Facebook page emmanuelsarristravel for other handy tips for credit card and other usages for the Qantas frequent Flyer system.