Flight no: QF117
Route: Sydney International Airport (SYD) to Hong Kong International Airport (HKG)
Aircraft Type: Airbus A330-200
Flight time: 8 hours 40 minutes
Travel Class: Business Class
Seat: 2K Window Seat
Seat Width: 21.5 inches
Seat Pitch: 78 inches
Check out the full video review for this Qantas QF117 flight from Sydney to Hong Kong
When I booked this flight via the Qantas webpage, the plane that was scheduled to fly this route was the Airbus A380. One week out from the flight, I checked and the aircraft had changed to the Airbus A330-300. I presume not enough people had booked to fill the A380 so they reduced the size of the plane. I do like the A380 but the A330 has a much better business class seat than so I was happy with the change of planes. The specific A330-300 for this was flight was named ‘Cairns’ rego VH-QPI.
During peak tourist season in Hong Kong, Qantas will operate their A380s. When demand is lower they will operate the A330s.
I had booked an Economy class ticket and then used frequent flyer points to upgrade to Business Class. The upgrade cost 30,000 points.
At the airport
The Qantas check-in at Sydney International Airport is at Row C and is fully automated with electronic kiosks to check in and automated bag drop. There are some Business Class check-in desks as well if you need to make any changes to the booking but I find the automated kiosks so easy to use and there are so many, you never have to queue up to check-in.
With a business ticket, you can use the Express path through security which cuts down the time to get through to the departure gates and duty free shopping.
You also get access to the Qantas Business Lounge which has a great range of complimentary food and drinks with some nice comfy chairs to relax before your flight. The lounge makes announcements when your flight is boarding and the lounge is located just a short walk from where Qantas flights depart from.
On the plane
There is express boarding for Business Class passengers as well as Gold and Platinum frequent flyers.
For this flight I am in seat 2K which is a window seat. The business class cabin is in a 1 – 2 -1 configuration which means all seat have direct access to the aisle. All of the A330s in the Qantas fleet have had their business class section upgraded with the awesome Vantage XL business class pods.
These Vantage XL Business class seats have excellent leg room and plenty of storage space to store your personal items like passport, wallet and mobile phone at easy reach from the seat. The seat reclines back to a fully lay flat bed.
Built into the pod is a universal power adapter and USB port for charging your electronic devices.
There is also a bottle of water in the storage unit as well as a business class amenities kit which contains a pair of socks, eye mask, ear plugs, tooth brush and tooth paste and a moisturizer kit with face cream, hand cream and lip balm.
The entertainment screen is a very responsive touch-screen 16″ Panasonic TV which is loaded with loads of movies, TV shows, documentaries and music.
The entertainment system has an excellent one-touch feature which allows you to switch from the movie you are watching to the flight map, and then one-touch to return back to your movie.
You also have a pair of excellent noise cancelling headsets to listen to the entertainment. This dramatically reduces the aircraft noise so you can enjoy the entertainment.
In the seat pocket there is a copy of the excellent Qantas in-flight magazine which has some great travel articles about the destinations that Qantas fly to. This magazine is updated every month with new articles.
The food and drink service starts before take-off with a pre take-off drink, with a choice of Champagne, juice or water. Of course I went for the glass of bubbles.
During this flight from Sydney to Hong Kong, there are 2 meals served. First a 3 course meal is served shortly after take-off. Then around 1 hour before landing, a small refreshment meal is served.
For the main meal after take-off we had a choice of 3 starters:
- Tomato, saffron and chickpea soup with coriander yoghurt
- Salad of duck with cucumber, herbs, cashews, chilli and lime dressing
- Tasting plate with sweet potato hummus, dukkah spiced labne, butter bean and and chickpea salsa, roast capsicum, marinated zucchini and pita bread
There was a choice of 4 main dishes:
- Udon noodle soup with shiitake broth, roast carrots, tofu, bok choy and edamame beans.
- Chicken biriyani with roasted pumpkin and raita
- Seared Humpty Doo barrumundi with pan fried polenta, broccoli and almond romesco
- Red braised pork with stir fried mushrooms, sesame, boy choy and rice
There were also a few choices of dessert:
- Selection of cheese with accompaniments
- Summer berry pudding with creme freiche
- Seasonal fruits
For my starter I went for the vegetarian tasting plate. This was an interesting dish with lots of different flavours. It would have been a really good dish if it had some meat like some grilled beef!
For main meal I chose the red braised pork since we were heading to Hong Kong. This was a disappointment. This dish looked like a dogs dinner and no resemblance of any type of red braised pork I have ever had in Hong Kong or in Sydney. While the dish did not look so good, it was still quite tasty.
For dessert I had the summer berry pudding which was quite nice. If anything it wasn’t sweet enough for me. The pudding itself wasn’t very sweet, the only sweet part was the berries inside the pudding.
Prior to arrival the choice of meals were:
- Stir fried vegetables with sweet potato noodles, soy and sesame
- Beef kofta with Moroccan eggplant, peal couscous and coriander yoghurt
I went for the beef kofta which was excellent and full of nice flavours.
Final say on this flight
Another good flight on the excellent Qantas A330-300! While the food was a bit disappointing, (apart from the final dish), the service was good quality and we arrived on time.