Airline Review: Qantas Sydney/Tokyo Business Class – 747 400

Airline Review: Qantas Sydney/Tokyo Business Class – 747 400

I may have mentioned that once upon a time I nonchalantly travelled Business Class every week – granted many of these flights were domestic Australian travel…however it still remains that the ‘pointy’ end of the plane was more ‘every day‘ rather than ‘just for best’ style of travel.

Airline Review: Qantas Business Class - Sydney to Tokyo 747-400

Then I didn’t work for airlines anymore, had kids…and the rest as they say is history.

Why you might ask – did I not see the benefit in shelling out in order to let my offspring fly in comfort?  Well yes and no…

I fall in the camp of spending the money on the ground, on accommodation, on experiences, on meals (and of course shopping). I do not suffer too badly when I fly…

Whilst I might not sleep soundly on aircraft, sitting in a slightly reclined position for 24 hours (if you are off to Europe), is less of an issue now personal entertainment units are the norm and back to back episodes of ‘Orange is the New Black‘ are available (if you missed this brilliant show I urge you to get Netflix and start watching). I spend a lot of time strolling the aircraft aisles and make the kids get up for regular breaks. We have also discovered the benefits of a mid-journey stopover, if you can squeeze one into your schedule it is a worthwhile option.

All of this was fine until I decided to use Qantas Frequent Flyer points to upgrade a leg of our journey to Japan.  It was an overnight flight, the boys are older and I thought, why not…(if you are not already a member of an Airline loyalty program do join…many have free membership and it is amazing how quickly you can amass points to redeem for flights or upgrades).

I confess I am now ruined – I LOVE Business Class and whichever way you slice the argument it is a more glamorous and comfortable way to fly. If you are travelling for business there is no doubt you will hop off the aircraft in a more productive state of mind. If you are flying for leisure, Business Class is not a cure all for jet lag, however you will certainly arrive at your holiday in better shape.

It simply boils down to whether or not you deem the price tag value for money;

 the decision to make is whether or not it fits into your travel budget (as a family we will be ‘infrequent’ Business Class flyers – we’ll save the pleasure for The Urban Mum & Dad).

Airline Review: Qantas Sydney/Tokyo Business Class - 747 400

Airline Review: Qantas Sydney/Tokyo Business Class – 747 400


Boeing 747 400. Qantas has nine of these aircraft in its fleet, they have undergone a refit over the past few years to bring them in line with some of the newer aircraft.


Qantas Sydney/Tokyo Business Class – 747 400- (Narita)


Why did we go on this flight

Annual family holiday , destination Japan.

Who travelled?

Mum, Dad, Tween (12yrs), Tween (11yrs)

Was it easy to book?

Our lovely Travel Agent made the reservations, I handled the upgrade via our Qantas Frequent Flyer membership points. Not all fares are created equal so if you want to apply for an upgrade make sure the fare type you buy allows this. Upgrade not confirmed until 24 hours prior to flying.

Is there a loyalty scheme? (how do you join…)

Qantas Frequent Flyer is the loyalty program, cost is AUD$89.50 – however throughout the year Qantas has promotions for free membership. Other points can be earned via various credit and store cards.

Can I bring the kitchen sink? (Baggage Allowance – hand luggage, check-in)

Luggage allowance of 40kg of luggage per person was very handy with all the ski gear we travelled with;


How was Check-in handled?

Our ‘flight’ began at check in. With a red carpet Business Class check in. Friendly and efficient. We received Express Passes for customs and before long I was checking out Duty Free.

Business Class Lounge?

Travelling Business Class gives entry to the lounge, situated through customs, on Level 3. The hours of operation are 0500-2200.

For the previous few years I have frequented lounges in the Virgin Australia stable (Etihad, Air New Zealand), this was my first visit to a Qantas lounge for many years. As our flight was literally the last one to depart for the evening, the lounge was as good as deserted. The staff at the front desk also mentioned that new lounges had recently opened for other partner airlines which had slowed their traffic down.

Lovely you could find a seat (at peak times airline lounges can be like zoos), yet totally lacking in atmosphere. The boys found a few snacks to graze on, although the famed ice cream station was closed…facilities were immaculate and if you were transiting and requiring a shower the options were much better than many I have used (Abu Dhabi dripping wet hair and not a hairdryer to be found…).

Duration of Flight?

Nine hours, 40 minutes.



Ta Da – how was the aircraft? (comfort, Class, layout…)

Seated in the downstair Business Class section, second row, configuration 2-3-2. It worked well for our family, however if you were travelling alone seated in the middle of the row of 3, I imagine you would feel very close to your neighbour as you snuggled down for the night.

Welcomed with champagne and orange juice as the boys discovered the myriad of nooks and crannies for storing your bags.

Airline Review: Qantas Sydney/Tokyo Business Class - 747 400
Airline Review: Qantas Sydney/Tokyo Business Class - 747 400

Seat – bliss or blah?

Flatbed. Really that was enough to know…except I can report the mattress (with a thick padded cover placed on the seat after takeoff) was very comfortable, the doona cosy, and the pillows blissful.

WI/FI – how may we entertain you?(techie bright stuff…)

All systems go with the selection. Although as we departed so late I confess I didn’t investigate all on offer, the music selection was good.

Made to feel at home? (amenities kit, bottled water, magazines, luggage space…)

Better than home…a delightful Flight Attendant made our beds while we all changed into the PJ’s (prior to boarding I had said I wasn’t getting in PJ’s in public…nevertheless ‘when in Rome’).

Cute amenities kit in a Kate Spade (Jack Spade for the boys) bag containing the essentials; toothbrush, paste, earplugs, eye mask, socks, mini hand cream, lip balm and moisturiser (Aurora Spa).

Airline Review: Qantas Sydney/Tokyo Business Class - 747 400

Keeping it clean – (bathrooms, general aircraft tidiness).

Immaculate throughout the flight. Those bits of bags and goodness knows what that accumulate around seats mid-flight were collected on regular ‘rubbish runs’.

Inflight service ? (did you dine like a King…)

With Chef Neil perry as consultant to Qantas catering for 17 years, a great dining experience was expected – and delivered. It is shameful to say that at 1100pm I tucked into a full meal, with accompanying wine, however I was working on the premise that my body clock was adjusting to new timezones.

Prior to landing we were offered breakfast, still full from the night before I begged off and instead enjoyed a superb coffee…the youngest tucked into pancakes.

Verdict…Would I fly this Airline again?

Yes, I am enjoying my return to the Qantas natural and confident service style.

The comfort that comes from travelling with an Airline I know puts safety first, as they continue to constantly strive for ‘better’ I will continue to collect a bank of Frequent Flyer Points to use for upgrades in the future. I wouldn’t change a thing about the experience, however I don’t feel the need to indulge kids with Business Class on a regular basis.

I’ll save that fun for the adults when we get away and leave the kids at home.

Have you enjoyed a Business Class flight recently?

Would you take the kids?

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