‘The flying kangaroo’, Qantas is designed to embody the spirit of Australia. Founded in 1920 as an airmail service, Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services Ltd, Qantas went on to become the country’s national carrier and is now one of the world’s oldest airlines. Starting with a hearty smile as you board, you’ll feel like you’re already in the land down under from the minute you walk through the gate.
With an outstanding safety record, Qantas has taken home an array of accolades, including best business class and best airline in Australia/Pacific in the Skytrax World Airline Awards. As a business class passenger with Qantas, you’ll experience quintessential Aussie hospitality, premium, locally sourced meals and wine, and spacious, lie-flat seats.
What to know about Qantas business class
Qantas offers business class on all flights, domestic and international—in fact, they claim to have invented it. Of course, Australia’s geographical remoteness means it’s a long journey from just about anywhere to reach the continent, so expect international business to be much more lux than domestic business. This review will focus on long-haul international business class. If you’re continuing onto a Qantas domestic flight, you’ll find either reclining or lie-flat seats in business, depending on the plane and route. Lie-flat seats are more commonly found on the longer cross-country routes between the west and east coasts.
Best routes for Qantas business class
From the US, Qantas flies direct to Australia from Los Angeles, San Francisco, Honolulu, and Dallas Fort Worth. Ambitiously, Qantas is also planning to unveil a direct Sydney to New York route. At an eye-wateringly long 19-20 hours, this route is tentatively scheduled to begin in 2025, with business class sure to be in high demand on what will be one of the world’s longest flights.
LAX to Sydney, one of the carrier’s most popular routes, runs around 14-15 hours, but with the help of the comfortable Qantas Skybed suite and Qantas’ partnership with HBO, it’s easy to relax and binge some of your favorites as time flies by.
Previous deals we've found for Going members on Qantas
- LA to Sydney in premium economy for $2,996 roundtrip
- LA to Wellington in economy for $894 roundtrip
- Honolulu to Auckland in economy for $659 roundtrip
The Qantas business class experience at the airport
Qantas business class lounge access
Business class flyers have access to Qantas International Business lounges, along with access to partner lounges across North America, mainly with American Airlines. Travelers are asked to wear smart casual attire, and Qantas has been known to refuse entry to those wearing flip-flops, so save those for the beach.
Within Australia, you’ll find eight international and 29 domestic Qantas lounges. There are two Qantas-operated lounges in the US: Honolulu International Business and both a business and first-class lounge in Los Angeles.
Many of Qantas’ domestic and international lounges are being renovated as part of an AUD 100 million investment, including both Sydney and Melbourne’s International Business. While both are currently more than adequate, the rollout includes an updated design, increased capacity, and a brand-new food and beverage concept for guests, which should see them both become flagships of the carrier’s international lounges within Australia.
Whether you’re in a newer or older lounge, you can still enjoy barista-made coffees, a self-serve bar of beer, wine, and spirits, and a seasonal menu. Each lounge has its own buffet-style rotating menu that may include vegetarian curry, fresh salads, or cakes—but the all-day make-your-own pancake machine in Sydney is always a fan favorite.
If you want to hit the hay as soon as you board, you can also enjoy your meal in the lounge before takeoff. You’ll also find spacious showers and comfortable seating areas for individuals or groups, often with runway views.
Qantas offers priority check-in counters for business, plus earlier boarding than other passengers. In Australia, guests also have access to express lines to fly through immigration and security.
There are almost always short wait times at check-in, helping business guests save time and head straight to the lounge to relax.
Business travelers from North America are allocated two pieces of checked baggage, up to 70 lb per item. However, if you happen to have Qantas Club membership or frequent flyer status, your allowance increases.
The Qantas business class experience in the air
Between the US and Australia, Qantas is currently operating three types of aircraft: the Airbus A380-800, B787-9 Dreamliner, and Airbus A330-300.
Airbus A380-800: Qantas has two seat configurations currently flying on the popular A380s. Depending on the plane assigned to your route, there will either be 70 or 64 business class seats in 1-2-1 or staggered 2-2-2 combinations, respectively, but always on the upper deck.
In the 1-2-1 configuration, seats have a 46” seat pitch, 23-24” width, and an 80” bed length while the 2-2-2 combinations have a 78” pitch, 21.5” seat width, and 78” bed length.
On both layout options, beds lie fully flat. While the 2-2-2 seat plans feature a hard shell, pod-style seat, the 1-2-1 configurations are upgraded with the same Business Suite seats found on the Dreamliner. Both are comfortable. Travelers may prefer the 1-2-1 combination, as all seats have direct aisle access.
Airbus A330-300: Often used between Australia and Honolulu, the A330 has 28 business seats in a 1-2-1 configuration and uses the Vantage XL seat type, an ergonomic and comfortable lie-flat option with a 73” seat pitch and 23” seat width.
The window seats alternate between being aligned to the window or the aisle, so frequent flyers recommend the even-numbered window-aligned seats for the most privacy. However, all seats are comfortable, with plenty of overhead bin space and individual side storage compartments, but can feel a little more open than the Dreamliner or A380
B787-9 Dreamliner: The comfortable Dreamliner offers 42 business class seats in a 1-2-1 configuration, with ample storage, dimmable windows, and lie-flat seats, all in a chic light gray hue. With a seat pitch of 46” and a seat width of 23-24”, the Dreamliner’s seats lay fully flat at 80”, making them some of Qantas’ most spacious. Each seat has direct aisle access, and the staggered seating configuration adds an element of privacy. You’ll also find a convenient side shelf compartment for a water bottle or book, placed right above your USB outlet and seat controls. When fully flat, the privacy screens create a cozy cocoon that feels private, making it easy to drift off to sleep.
Benefits of flying business class on Qantas
Hospitality has always been a winner on Qantas, even in economy, but business class really shines. You’re looked after from the moment you board, with Qantas staff consistently delivering prompt and personalized service. One beloved aspect of Qantas business class has always been their iconic gray cotton pajamas, complete with the kangaroo logo, complimentary on overnight flights.
Business travelers will also receive a useful amenity kit designed with sustainability in mind. It includes a bamboo toothbrush, earplugs and eye shade, socks, and skincare products by Li'Tya, an Australian beauty brand that uses native botanicals, all wrapped in fully compostable paper. In celebration of Qantas’ 100-year anniversary, kits come in a fun, retro-style toiletry bag designed to invoke nostalgia for previous decades of flying.
Qantas’ in-flight entertainment really shines, with over 2,500 hours of movies and shows. Tuck into your lie-flat bed (with built-in massager) and fall asleep to one of your favorite box sets.
While some love to switch off on long flights, one oft-repeated criticism is that Qantas, unlike many of their counterparts, are yet to offer in-flight Wi-Fi on international flights–although there are plans to change that soon. Free Wi-Fi is available on many domestic flights.
Meals in Qantas business class
With menus designed by celebrated chef Neil Perry, Qantas’ inflight dining revolves around Australian producers and showcases native ingredients. Diners can select from a menu with a range of dishes available, including lighter meals like grilled prawns with Asian slaw and edamame or heartier fares like seared grasslands beef filet with Café de Paris butter.
On an overnight flight from the US west coast to Australia, travelers can enjoy dinner, courteously served quickly after take-off in recognition of the late departure times. While some might be ready for some sleep, night owls can enjoy snacks throughout the flight, including freshly-prepared chicken schnitzel and Swiss toasted sandwiches or Maggie Beer ice cream. Breakfast is served about two hours before arrival, with an option of a heavier traditional meal or something smaller.
Qantas tends to always score highly in the food department, and business is no exception—with thoughtful touches like Pepe Saya butter and freshly-baked bread, the airline doesn’t skimp on quality. While small portion sizes have been a complaint in the past, Qantas recently announced an overhaul of their in-flight dining, with larger portion sizes and more plant-based options.
Qantas business includes a selection of complimentary premium beers, wines, and spirits, both in-flight and in the Qantas lounges. From a celebratory mimosa at takeoff to premium bourbon, rums, and vodka, the selection is varied and of the caliber you’d expect in business. Australian rum brand Bundaberg is always fun to sample for a local tipple, but you can also enjoy Glenlivet Single Malt, Absolut, or Vittoria Chocochina hot chocolate, to name a few.
The wine list has a focus on selections from Australia, New Zealand, and Champagne, France, with select flights including Sommeliers in the Sky, Qantas staff with strong knowledge and passion for wine.
Qantas business class vs first class
Currently, Qantas only offers first class from North America onboard the main deck of the A380. Passengers can enjoy access to premium first-class lounges in Sydney and Melbourne, which is inclusive of a complimentary pre-flight spa treatment, a spacious in-air suite with premium Sheridan brand bedding, first-class in-flight dining designed by Neil Perry, and both premium pajamas and in-flight amenities.
While both business and first class in Qantas offer plenty of luxury, some may prefer the additional privacy and added touches only offered in first class.
How to book Qantas business class
How much does it cost for a business class ticket on Qantas?
Business class flights from Los Angeles to Sydney start from around $8,000 and upwards. While we haven't found Going members many amazing deals on Qantas in business class yet, we're always looking, and we've seen premium economy under $2,000 and economy under $800 roundtrip.
How to upgrade to business class of Qantas for free
It’s not as easy as it used to be to get free upgrades, but they do happen. Often, this is due to the airline overbooking the flight–and a bit of good luck! Qantas is a member of the oneworld Alliance, so travelers with Alaska Airlines or American Airlines status, or one of the other partner airlines, may have a better chance of an upgrade.
How much does it cost to upgrade to business class on Qantas?
The cost to upgrade will vary wildly, depending on how much you originally paid and what class of fares are available, but is likely to be in the thousands Your best bet is to give Qantas a call to ask.
How many miles to upgrade to Qantas business class?
108,400 Qantas Points are required for a Los Angeles to Sydney flight, one way, plus any taxes and fees.
While Qantas is not always the cheapest option, this beloved brand always impresses on long-haul flights, thanks to premium food and wine, in-flight hospitality, and quality and comfort just a touch above the competition. With delicious dining by Neil Perry and a friendly and passionate crew who are true ambassadors for their country, one great reason to fly Qantas is that you really feel like you’re already in Australia from the moment you board, making even their longest flights just a little bit more fun than the competition.