The oneworld alliance has a number of around-the-world tickets available which can be excellent value for money. I purchased one for travel in 2005 and 2006, using all the sectors on the ticket. Since we are not travelling right now, I thought I’d share the reviews I wrote at the time over the next week or so. This flight from Sydney to Hong Kong is actually the first one I ever took in business class!

I arrived at the airport at 8am, which was 15 minutes after check-in opened. On the phone before travel, I had asked for a specific seat, which they couldn’t select. Instead, they said it would be done as check-in request for 16A, which is the exit row window on the Upper Deck.

Hoisting my luggage onto the conveyor, I found it was overweight by two kilos (yes, 32kg!). I took out some books and checked in. When I asked for 16A, I was told that, “you’ve already got it!” and we chatted a bit about it being my first time in Business Class. The check-in guy was really nice!

Home, Lounge and Boarding

I left to go back home (I only live 10 minutes from the airport) and I was paged to come back. He’d forgotten to check my Passport! Once that was done, I went home, then came back to the airport later.

The check-in guy had recommended that I photocopy my airline tickets in the Qantas Club, as I have an around the world ticket, so I did that in the lounge, had a drink, and marvelled at how the view is obscured by other airport buildings. It’s a nice lounge though, and certainly beats waiting at the gate.

QF – Sydney to Hong Kong (SYD-HKG)
28 March 2005
Boeing 747-438 – VH-OJT – “Fraser Island”
Seat: Upper Deck Business Class 16A
Departure: 10:45am Arrival: 5:30pm

From the lounge, I went to the gate and sat down, and shortly after we were called to board. I was first on the plane, and got cheery hellos from the flight attendants. Sat down, and then the flight attendants were taking people’s coats. Uh oh, I realised I’d left mine in the Qantas Club.

Off and On Again!

Got back down to the door and the lead F/A said, “You were first on – now you’re gonna be first off?!” – explained my predicament and he said that they might radio for me at the gate for someone to bring it down.

No such luck – at the gate, she took my Boarding Pass and I went back to the lounge, retrieved the jacket and got back on board. We left at 10:45am, and were in the air just after 11am. The pilot came on the intercom and told us we’d be arriving in Hong Kong early, about 5:30pm.

Business Class Dining

We’d been given our menus before take off (and given a pre-take off drink, I had champagne) and I ordered my main, which was a steak of some kind. I forgot to take the menu with me when I left, unfortunately. Entrees were served – an onion soup, bread roll and a salad, all on a nicely laid out tray, with a white linen tablecloth over the seat tray.

I had my screen out by this stage (after asking the F/A how to get it out – she didn’t know how), and was watching Kill Bill Vol.2. The main meal was served, and I had wine to accompany the meal along with the rest of my gin which I’d ordered just after take-off. Dessert was ice cream (that’s what I chose) and was gorgeous!

Crew Chats and Snacks

Watched the movie, ate, visited the toilet and drank. Later on in the flight, most people went to sleep so I went back to the galley and chatted up a storm with the gorgeous Bangkok based F/A who was there. I even helped her serve a guy at one point. She had no bottles of water, so I nipped downstairs and got one for her. She told me she usually worked Economy (and preferred it as it was easier to just throw out the meals and then be done), but was in business today – which was why she didn’t know how to get my screen out.

I went downstairs and visited the Business Class snack bar. It was laid out with fruits and cookies and what not, and also had champagne and water in the fridge cupboard, so I helped myself. Later on, I was helping myself to another glass and an F/A asked me where I was sitting. 16A, I told her – and she said that was okay then. She thought I’d gatecrashed from Economy!

Toilets and Exploring

Business Class toilets have more amenities than Economy – a nice flower in a thing attached to the wall (the name of which escapes me) and face refreshers. Economy was full, and I was glad I was flying Business Class when I did a walk to the back of the plane and back. I got a couple of evil looks as I went back into Business Class unchallenged!

I decided to save money in Hong Kong, so I ordered Hokkein Noodles, which are available throughout the flight. If you get the chance to have them, then do so – they were scrumptious! At this point everyone was waking up, so the sole F/A upstairs (the one I was talking to was on her break) was run off her feet. I got chatting to her later and she said she was so tired, because she’d come back from a London trip and hadn’t been able to sleep for the past two days, and now she was back on duty.

Landing and About That SkyBed

We got given our coats, landed and got off the plane in hot and sticky Hong Kong. It was interesting seeing all the Economy passengers being held back. Breezed through immigration, got my bag, and got to my hotel. Everything is really easy and quick at Hong Kong (like tourist info, buying my train ticket).

Now, to the SkyBed. What a wonderful piece of machinery! The back massage feature is amazing – it feels like someone is behind you pushing into your back firmly with their fist. I thought it’d be some kind of vibrating thing, but no. It took me a little while to work out where the headphones plug in (behind your right armpit), and a little while to work out how to get the PTV out.

Other than that, it was great! I didn’t recline the seat all the way back (I’ll be sleeping in one when I fly HKG-LHR in a week or so), but the foot rest was solid and great, and the seat on the whole was very comfortable.

In Business Class you also get a L’Occitane (or something) packet. It has a toothpaste, moisturiser, toothbrush, eye shades and all of that kind of thing in it. That was a nice souvenir.

Overall Thoughts

The difference between Economy and Business? World’s apart. You can’t even begin to compare it. As an added bonus, which I didn’t know, Business and First also have access to more movies than Economy Class.

All in all, too fun! Next up on my around the world trip, I’ll be writing about Cathay Pacific. So stay tuned!

And that’s how I wrote about the flight from Sydney to Hong Kong back in 2005. Reading these back makes me cringe at my writing and how green I was when it comes to travel. Still, everyone has to start somewhere and I pretty much didn’t stop from here on out. You can read about the next flight on Cathay Pacific from Hong Kong to Tokyo right here.

What did you think of the review? Thanks for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

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Featured image by Mvjs via Wikimedia Commons.
Qantas 747 Upper Deck image by Jason Milligan via