Trip Report: Qantas (B747-400ER) Business HND-SYD

The Details

  • Flight: QF26
  • Aircraft: B747-400ER
  • Class: Business
  • Seat: 3A and 3B
  • Route: Tokyo Haneda (HND)-Sydney Kingsford Smith International (SYD)
  • Distance: 4,887 miles
  • Duration: 8hrs 52min
  • Departure: 10:21PM
  • Arrival: 8:04AM

The Preflight

After a lovely time in Tokyo with my SO, we left the Conrad Hilton hotel via the airport express bus. We arrived at 6PM, about four hours before our scheduled departure time so that I could do some plane spotting at the famous Haneda Terminal 1 Observation Deck.

After I was done plane spotting, my SO and I made our way to the check-in counter. Once pass security, we headed to the JAL Sakura Lounge. There was a good amount of seating with sofas and dining tables. A buffet in the center of the lounge offered a wide variety of local Japanese food options. I had a bowl of the famous JAL curry, fish soup, and some pickled sides.

Boarding began promptly at 9:20PM local time. Our beautiful B747-400ER, registration VH-OEF, was delivered brand new to Qantas on Halloween Day in 2002. Her name was fittingly “Sydney” and she was flying the Oneworld livery. Boarding began promptly at 9:20PM local time via Door 1L.

B747-400ER Longreach

The Flight

The Qantas B747-400ER features a total of 58 business class seats in both the upper deck and the main deck. Unfortunately, Qantas had blocked the entire upper deck business class seats for their elites and no seats were released. The main deck features 14 business class seats in the nose in a 2-2 configuration with row 3 being 2-2-2, and a larger main business class cabin with 32 seats in a 2-3-2 configuration (with row 5 being 1-3-1). Rows 1-2 were also blocked for elites but row three was available for selection.

747 Nose

We choose seats 3A and 3B in the nose. Our seats were already pre-fitted with a mattress pad. Waiting for us at the seat was a dense pillow, quilted blanket, amenity kit, and menu.

Seat 3A and 3B

I appreciated how Qantas had the mattress pad pre-fitted so passengers could go to sleep immediately on this red-eye flight. Each seat was 21.5″ wide and very comfortable.

Seat 3A

There was an enormous amount of legroom at the seat with a pitch of 60″. Below was a small cubby for shoes.

Legroom and Shoe Storage

There was a literature pocket in the seatback and a hand rail for getting up out of the seat. Next to the hand rail was a coat hook.

The seat controls were in the left armrest. There were options for lumbar support and a massage function.

In the center console was a literature pocket. Both the IFE screen and tray table were stored here as well.

The IFE remote was stored below the right armrest.

Between the seats was a privacy divider. There was also a reading light and headphone jack.

The IFE screen was stowed in the center armrest between our seats. It definitely felt dated and the resolution was rather poor.

IFE Screen

The IFE remote was also dated and buttons required a bit of extra push for a response.

IFE control

The cabin was definitely showing its age with panels held together with integrity seal.

Old Cabin

And despite leaving from Japan with their excellent service culture, the seat was dirty with crumbs and large food leftovers in the arm rests.

Leftover Food

The safety manual was so dated Qantas had to laminate it. Despite all of these small blemishes, I still loved the fact that I was aboard the Queen of the Skies.

The amenity kit featured a dental kit, ear plugs, eye mask, lip balm, hand cream, and moisturizer. While I wasn’t the biggest fan on the kit design, my SO loved the style.

Qantas Amenity Kit

We were each given a set of super comfortable pajamas with the big blue Roo.

Qantas Pajamas

The blanket was very comfortable and heavy.

Qantas Blanket

There was also a pair of low-quality branded headphones.

Qantas Headphones

There was a total of three lavatories on the main deck for business class. However, one was marked out of order in flight and thus there was always a line for the remaining two lavatories. Lavatories were stocked with Aspar branded hand wash and hand cream.

Aspar Bathroom Amenities

Upon taking our seats, my SO and I were offered either champagne or water. I opted for a glass of Duval Leroy brut.


The menus is as follows.

Qantas Menu
Qantas Japanese Menu
Qantas Drink Menu

15 minutes after take-off flight attendants came through for the main meal service. I started with a bowl of excellent sweetcorn and basil soup. The sourdough croutons were particularly crunchy. The side was a basic green salad.

To accompany my soup, I had a glass of Australian chardonnay.

Sweetcorn and Basil Soup with Sourdough Croutons

For my main I opted for the fried chicken brioche with chipotle aioli. With a single romaine lettuce leaf and greasy brioche bun, it was disappointing. This sandwich felt on par with what I’d expect from a buy-on-board menu flying domestic economy in the USA.

Fried Chicken Brioche Sandwich with Chipotle Aioli

Finally, a cart was rolled through the cabin with dessert and cheese. The Japanese cheesecake was absolutely divine and had just the right amount of jiggle you’d expect. The lemon cream paired perfectly with the fluffy cheesecake.

Japanese Cheesecake with Lemon Cream

Just prior to the lights being turned off, flight attendants came through with bottled water.

Water bottles

Once the cabin lights were turned off the crew switched to a blue mood light. I quickly fell asleep before taking a picture of my bed… The seat was extremely comfortable, especially since there was no confined foot cubby.

Cabin Lights

I woke up to a gorgeous sunrise as were were cruising over Northern Australia.


With 90 minutes to landing, flight attendants began the breakfast service. I had all three beverage choices: orange juice, banana smoothie, and a nice cup of black coffee. I enjoyed the flavor of the coffee served aboard Qantas.

Coffee, Orange Juice, Smoothie

Flight attendants came through with warm towels to begin the breakfast service.

Warm Towel

There were three breakfast choices to choose from from a cart wheeled through the cabin. I decided to sample all three. The egg frittata was tasty, the cereal was as expected, and the chocolate croissant was a bit dry. I had another cup of coffee.

Egg Frittata, Chocolate Croissant, Cereal

We were also given Express Path passes and immigration forms.

Fast Track Immigration Pass

With about 45 minutes left in flight I managed to snap a beautiful view of the CF6 engines.

We were treated a gloomy views of downtown Sydney on our approach.

Descent into Sydney

We landed earlier than scheduled at 8:04AM had a very quick taxi to the gate. As we were deplaning, I turned around to take one last picture of the nose cabin.

Thanks for the ride!


I’ve always loved the B747 and as these birds are slowly retired, I am trying to fly on them as much as possible. This was the first time ever that I had the opportunity to sit in the nose of a B747 and I relished every moment of it. While the cabin was dated and the food average, I still had a lovely time aboard. I would fly this aircraft again in a heart beat.

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