Flying in First class on an international flight may seem out of reach. But our members have discovered a way to do just that. Emirates regularly offers First class sale fares from New Zealand to Australia for under NZ$900. These fares also earn 120 Qantas status credits, making them a great way to earn some extra status credits in luxurious style.

Needing a status run to achieve gold for the first time with Qantas, and wanting to catch up with family in Auckland, I had been planning to book a return trip in J. However, having always wanted to experience first class, I decided to fly MEL-AKL in Y, and then return in F on Emirates.

Our member v1nce007 recently made the trip across the Tasman in the pointy end, flying from Auckland to Melbourne on the Emirates A380.

The experience begins with the Emirates Auckland lounge. While it can get very busy prior to the departure of Emirates’ three daily A380 flights to Australia, there are some excellent food and drink options available.

The lounge is looking a bit old and tired, but it is far better than the adjacent QF AKL lounge. There is a pretty good selection of food, and the champagne is NV Veuve Clicquot.

Each First class passenger enjoys their own private suite, complete with sliding doors for added privacy. Overall, our member was very impressed with the hard product.

I had a window seat, 2k. The suite was huge. Directly in front is a large IFE screen, and shelf with pop-up vanity mirror and a draw containing a hotel style writing kit (which I took home as a souvenir – not sure if I was supposed to do that but it’s better to ask for forgiveness than permission!). Also provided on the shelf is a basket of assorted snacks which is removed for take-off and then returned. Underneath the shelf is storage for your cabin bag (there are no overhead lockers in F which makes for a spacious and open feeling.

On board, each suite is also equipped with a mini-bar and in-seat massage function! On the evening flight, a full three-course meal is served, topped with Dom Perignon 2006 champagne.

For those looking for some extra luxury, there are two on-board showers at the front of the First class cabin. There is also a fantastic bar that is shared with Business class at the rear of the upper deck.

If you’ve always wanted to try the First class experience, this is one of the most affordable ways to do so. As well as through the regular sales, the First experience across the Tasman can be had for 54,000 Qantas points.

I really enjoyed my flight and would recommend this to anyone. The trip from AKL is short enough to keep it affordable, but still long enough to give you a good taste of the F experience.

View the trip report HERE.

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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

You can contact Matt at [email protected]