My Qantas A330 Economy Class Review

There’s nothing like the thought of missing your flight to get the heart pumping.  And that is what we faced in the very early hours one Monday morning for our flight to Melbourne late last year.

Before I begin with my Qantas A330 economy class review let me tell you what lead us to facing the prospect of missing our flight QF480. 

This flight from Perth was scheduled to depart at 5:05am I pre-booked a taxi the night before to collect us at 3:30am ensuring we would arrive at Perth Airport at the required one hour before the domestic departure.  But by 3:40am our taxi failed to arrive.  Contacting Black and White Taxis, they realise they have forgotten.  There is no time to argue, instead we hurriedly throw our luggage into our car and hightail it to the airport.

As an ex-Qantas employee I knew that if we were too late, no amount of pleading would get us on the flight.  But I also knew that as long as we arrived at the airport before the flight had been “closed off” (no matter where we ended up in the queue) it would all be OK.

Continue reading to learn what happened next and how the Qantas flight we took turned out.

In this Qantas Airways Economy Class Review Learn About:

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The plane I flew on for this Qantas A330 economy review
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Pre Flight

Booking

But let’s start at the beginning of how we ended up choosing to fly with Qantas.

There are two major Australian domestic airlines, Virgin Australia and Qantas Airways.  Pricewise there’s not much difference between them.  For us making the choice all came down to flight times and services provided on the flights.

Qantas offered far more flexibility with flight times and included onboard entertainment.  I booked our flights directly through the Qantas website.  During the booking process, I choose our seats (which is also included in the cost) and could pre-book any special meal requests.

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Top Trip Tip: Print copies of your booking confirmation, just in case your phone fails

Check-in

On that fateful morning when our taxi failed to collect us we arrive at the airport after 4am (less than an hour before departure).  Yet we still have to park the car and check-in.  I have to admit I have never been so grateful for self-check-in.  My husband Steve drops our son Lewis and me at the airport door with the luggage whilst he heads off to park the car before returning.

Meanwhile, Lewis and I wheel our luggage to the self-check-in monitor queue.  The monitor will prompt you through the check-in process.  It starts by asking for your booking reference number or Frequent Flyer number, which passengers you want check in and asks how many pieces of luggage.  It then prints out all the boarding passes and bag tags.

Then it’s off to the luggage drop off queue.  Whilst waiting we hear boarding calls and last minute check-in calls for other flights.  Finally, we are only one person away to drop off our bags when the last-minute check-in call is made for our flight.  We are then directed to another queue to ensure our bags make it onto the flight.  As we reach the check-in agent Steve dashes into the airport.  With a sigh of relief, we hand over luggage, make our way through security and join the boarding queue (that had already begun) for our flight.

Top Trip Tip: Continue to listen to all the announcements being made, one of them is likely to be about your flight

The Qantas A330 Economy Class Experience

Seating

The A330 plane has a 2-4-2 seating configuration.  From past experience, I have learnt that toward the rear of the plane the middle row drops down to 3 seats.  We had booked the first of these last few rows.  This gives us two aisle seats and a middle.

rows of people sitting on board in economy class on a Qantas A330
On-board QF480

With other airlines in this row we have ended up with a bit extra legroom but not on this Qantas flight.  We have the same economy legroom as everyone else.

Top Trip Tip: Qantas tickets include seat allocation for parts of the aircraft (not all, some sections you have to pay extra) take advantage of this to ensure you travel party is all seated together

Cabin Luggage Storage

Arriving at our seats we organise our cabin luggage.  In economy class Qantas allows one piece of hand luggage plus a laptop bag or hand bag.  You can learn more about Qantas luggage allowances HERE.

We take out what we need for the flight then pop our hand luggage bags in the amply space of the overhead lockers

Discover the essentials you need to include in your

Entertainment

Settling into our seats we find the traditional emergency information card, inflight magazine and headphones in the seat pocket, but there is also an iPad in there.  Actually we all have an iPad.  This is the on-demand inflight entertainment system.

the inflight entertainment system iPad mounted on the seatback on a Qantas A330 in economy class
Qantas A330 Entertainment system

During take-off and landing, for safety, the iPad should remain in the seat pocket.  However once we have taken off we can mount the iPad into the seatback stand.  There is a good selection of films and TV shows to choose from.

Food

Eventually the friendly staff come by with food.  It is breakfast time and on my aisle side the staff have run out of eggs.  But it’s not an issue, the flight attendant just asks her colleague servicing the other aisle to pass over an egg meal.  I love their efficiency and no fuss in solving a problem.  I am also given a bottle of water and a coffee that they top up again later in the flight.

breakfast meal of frittata, bacon, beans and hash brown served on Qantas in economy
Breakfast

The only thing is it is not the full meal that you use to receive once upon a time on a full service airline.  There is no tray laden with cut fruit, yogurt and croissants.  Now it is just cardboard container with frittata, bacon and some beans.  It was pleasant just not what Qantas use to provide.

The Qantas A330 Review Verdict

Whilst I would not recommend running late for your flight, I have to say I was relieved that Qantas ensures that all passengers that are physically in the airport have the opportunity to check-in and board their flight. 

The actual flight went ran smoothly and while the food tray is certainly not what Qantas use to offer as a full-service carrier – it was sufficient.  I also thought that providing the iPad on-demand entertainment was a great cost-effective option to the full seatback system.  I also felt that I received the full benefits of flying with a full-service carrier.

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Sally-Ann
Hi, I'm a Perth born and bred travel tips blogger/writer with 20+ years experience in airlines, hospitality and tourism. I love sharing my travel lessons learned to help you plan for your travel dream with my travel tips for trips. Please follow along to receive all my travel planning tips, packing lists and destination inspirations.
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