One member is in a rather envious position. They want to use their frequent flyer points to cross that first class flight off their bucket list. Faced with a multitude of airlines and first class products to choose from, our member asks for advice in choosing the best route and airline to make the most of the experience.

I’m thinking of just once booking a First Class one way long haul flight using up to 220K QF points.

Question: what is the best flight to experience first class travel? I’d prefer to end up in Europe but anywhere is fine given how much more of the world there is to explore. Who is the best airline linked to QF to use if not QF? And what is the best time of the day to travel in 1st?

Qantas frequent flyer points can be used to fly in first class, subject to award availability, on Qantas itself or any of its partner airlines. These include oneworld partners like Cathay Pacific, British Airways and Malaysia Airlines as well as Emirates. This leads to some interesting possibilities.

It’s fairly difficult to have a disappointing flight in first class. But each carrier offers a unique experience that is better suited to certain types of travellers. Cathay Pacific tends to be suited more towards business travellers, and although the hard and soft product is very good, our members have found that the cabin crew weren’t anticipating each flyer’s every need. Qantas and British Airways each offer reputable service too, though some members describe the experience, particularly on British Airways, as more “conservative”.

When it comes to glitz and glamour in a first class product, it’s difficult to go past the major Middle Eastern carriers. Etihad is famously rolling out apartment suites on its A380 aircraft and Emirates is not far behind. As Emirates is a Qantas partner, the majority of our members recommend trying out its first class product. Emirates first class comes with all the usual suspects; restaurant-quality food, attentive service, a comfortable bed and so on. But it also includes extras like Godiva chocolates, an on-board bar and even a shower on the A380. It might be difficult not to feel like royalty!

I think EK will give you the best ‘bang’ for your buck. On-board bars, glitzy suites, showers, big amenity kits, plenty of crew. You certainly won’t feel like you’ve missed any of the theatrics that First can offer. Stick to A380 services though for the bars and showers!

To make the most of the experience, our members also recommend choosing a daytime flight over a redeye service. Although first class seats might be comfortable enough to sleep on, a flyer who might only get to fly first once in their life should make the most of absolutely everything on offer.

If there is just one flight, I would want to choose a daytime flight, or one that was predominantly daytime. You can still catch a few winks on the nice bed, but better to have your eyes open and senses active!

Add your opinion to the mix 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]