Melbourne (MEL) to San Francisco (SFO)
DEP 10:35PM ARR 6:45PM 
Duration: 14hr 
Seat number: 7K
Aircraft: Boeing Dreamliner 787-9
Miles Redeemed: 55,000 Alaska Miles + $135 USD 

Review: Qantas QF49 Business Class Boeing 787-9 Drameliner Melbourne (MEL) to San Francisco (SFO)
Table of Contents  [show/hide]

    The Verdict 

    • PROS: Great 1-2-1 configuration seats, spacious side table and legroom, awesome friendly crew and services, delicious food.
    • CONS: Noisy engine, no WiFi and unfortunate crying baby in Business Class cabin (not Qantas fault). Uncomfortable shoulder seat belt. 

    Points Booking 

    Alaska Airlines miles program remains the best use for premium Qantas flight’s redemption. Not only required miles and taxes are lower than other frequent flyer programs, Alaska also gives you a free stopover on a one-way award itinerary. So I redeemed a total of 55,000 Alaska miles plus $135 in taxes and fees for the following itinerary during my visit to Uluru in Australia, all in Business Class:
    • Ayers Rock (AYQ) - Darwin (DRW) - Perth (PER) [stopover a few days] - Business Class QF793
    • Perth (PER) - Melbourne (MEL) [1 night less than 24 hours] - Business Class QF776
    • Melbourne (MEL) - San Francisco (SFO) - Business Class QF49
    • San Francisco (SFO) - San Diego (SAN) - First Class AS2858

    As you can see, a lot of flights and I got to enjoy all in business class cabin on each flight without having to spend any additional miles. Getting to Australia from America, I used AA miles to book Etihad Airways to experience their A380 First Class Apartment

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    Check-In and Lounge 

    I arrived very early at the airport because the Holiday Inn Melbourne airport couldn’t extend a late checkout for me beyond 5 P.M. The flight’s check-in counter did not open until 3 hours before departure. There’s also no lounge that’s not air-side at the International terminal. While that was the case, a friendly Qantas agent assisted me with getting access to the Qantas Business Class lounge in the domestic terminal next door.  

    Do you know that you don’t need a boarding pass to go through security in Australia for domestic travels? I found that out that day. 

    Upon arrival at the domestic terminal's Qantas Business Class Lounge, the front desk agent jokingly said to me that I was famous and that they were expecting my arrival. How funny! It was nice to relax at the domestic Qantas Business Class lounge before my flight’s check in time. When it was time to check-in, there was a security team to ask all those questions who packed your bag, etc. for all passengers that were leaving Australia for United States. The Business Class check-in was easy and quick for me, and I proceeded to security then onto Qantas Business Class Lounge in International Terminal. 

    QF49 Business Class Seats

    Qantas QF49 787-9 Dreamliner does not have First Class cabin, and there are plenty of Business Class seats. There are a total of 42 business lie-flat seats with 30 seats upfront and the other 12 in the back before premium economy class cabin. Since I was traveling alone, the 1-2-1 configuration worked perfect for me. But there are two types of those solo seats. One being the seats that are somewhat open to the aisle area, and the other ones being the seats that provide more privacy as they are not close to the aisle area. So without a doubt, I was able to snag one of those more private single seats 7K. 

    Review: Qantas QF49 Business Class Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner Melbourne (MEL) to San Francisco (SFO) Seatmap


    Review: Qantas QF49 Business Class Boeing 787-9 Drameliner Melbourne (MEL) to San Francisco (SFO)

    Review: Qantas QF49 Business Class Boeing 787-9 Drameliner Melbourne (MEL) to San Francisco (SFO)

    Review: Qantas QF49 Business Class Boeing 787-9 Drameliner Melbourne (MEL) to San Francisco (SFO)

    I’m unsure whether it was the location of the seat but the plane’s engine was noisy. Then there was a baby onboard in the Business Class cabin and s/he was crying a lot. I never had to use ear plug before but I did this time. Overall, the seat was very comfortable and I was very pleased with the legroom. I also really liked the side table that was very spacious for me to store things away and have everything at hand for a long trip. One of my least favorite styles of seat belt is the one that goes across your shoulder and that’s exactly the seat belt that’s installed in the business class seats here. 

    Review: Qantas QF49 Business Class Boeing 787-9 Drameliner Melbourne (MEL) to San Francisco (SFO)

    Review: Qantas QF49 Business Class Boeing 787-9 Drameliner Melbourne (MEL) to San Francisco (SFO)

    A True Lie-Flat Bed in the Sky

    The seats are true lie-flat business class beds, which can be reclined or lied flat with the seat's remote control. My seat was very comfortable and it was a red-eye flight so I was able to catch some good sleep in my sky bed. Qantas also provided pillow, blanket and seat’s pad. 

    Review: Qantas QF49 Business Class Boeing 787-9 Drameliner Melbourne (MEL) to San Francisco (SFO)

    Review: Qantas QF49 Business Class Boeing 787-9 Drameliner Melbourne (MEL) to San Francisco (SFO)

    Review: Qantas QF49 Business Class Boeing 787-9 Drameliner Melbourne (MEL) to San Francisco (SFO)


    Service 

    The service of the male flight attendant on my side was excellent. He was very friendly and was always ready to help. This is the kind of service I truly appreciate in a premium class cabin. So kudos to that flight attendant for making my Qantas experience an awesome one. 

    Food & Drinks

    The food is delicious! It was a long flight so they served both late dinner and breakfast. There were also light meals for those that didn’t want to eat too much given it was a red-eye flight. I decided to have the full course of late night’s dinner. The main course consists of selections of cheese served with accompaniments. I decided to skip the dessert. 

    Review: Qantas QF49 Business Class Boeing 787-9 Drameliner Melbourne (MEL) to San Francisco (SFO)

    Review: Qantas QF49 Business Class Boeing 787-9 Drameliner Melbourne (MEL) to San Francisco (SFO)

    Review: Qantas QF49 Business Class Boeing 787-9 Drameliner Melbourne (MEL) to San Francisco (SFO)

    For breakfast, they gave out a form for each person to fill out. You marked the items that you wanted for breakfast and then simply returned the form to the flight attendant. My breakfast came out just like what I marked on my form, so that was cool! This is the second time that I experienced this type of breakfast order after my Bittersweet Diverted Business Class with Swiss.

    Review: Qantas QF49 Business Class Boeing 787-9 Drameliner Melbourne (MEL) to San Francisco (SFO)

    Review: Qantas QF49 Business Class Boeing 787-9 Drameliner Melbourne (MEL) to San Francisco (SFO)

    They have varieties of drinks from sparkling water to cocktails, beers, wines and the usual sodas, coffee and teas. See the menu below: 

    Review: Qantas QF49 Business Class Boeing 787-9 Drameliner Melbourne (MEL) to San Francisco (SFO)

    Review: Qantas QF49 Business Class Boeing 787-9 Drameliner Melbourne (MEL) to San Francisco (SFO)


    Pajamas & Amenities Kit

    It is not very typical that Business Class offers pajamas, but Qantas offers Pajamas to Business Class passengers minus the slippers. The rest of amenities kit can be found in the small bag.

    Review: Qantas QF49 Business Class Boeing 787-9 Drameliner Melbourne (MEL) to San Francisco (SFO)

    Review: Qantas QF49 Business Class Boeing 787-9 Drameliner Melbourne (MEL) to San Francisco (SFO)

    Conclusion 

    Qantas 787-9 Dreamliner Business Class offers a great comfortable seats, spacious side table and a true lie-flat bed experience. This is definitely one of my favorite Business Class seats in the airlines industry. The 1-2-1 configuration is great for solo travelers and those that travel as a couple. 

    The crew service was excellent and the food was delicious. They offered Qantas pajamas and seat pads for Business Class passengers. While this wasn’t Qantas's fault, there was a baby that cried a lot in the Business Class cabin that I was in, but overall I really enjoyed the flight and the time spent on this Dreamliner aircraft. Moreover, the lack of WiFi did not bother me much and neither the engine’s noise. I would fly Qantas airlines long flight Business Class again especially when it’s such a great deal using Alaska Airlines Mileage Program to redeem premium class between Australia and United States!