CCU Undercover: Qantas Flight

So I am now in jolly ol’ England, specifically London, home to the Doctor, to Sherlock, and some of the most talented actors and actresses in the world. Where kings were beheaded, where hauntings are aplenty, and where there is a bit of magic in the air.

And where the accent just makes me want to cry with happiness 😛

London may admittedly be wet and rainy at this time, but I can’t say it really detracts from the beauty of seeing Big Ben or Windsor Castle. Vinegar soaked chips greasing newspapers and old style pubs at every corner, I think I am going like this city a lot 🙂


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So, before I left for Europe, I was partying in the USA if you may recall! But to get to such a party, it is basically impossible to have a comfortable trip.

We travelled 15 hours from Sydney to Dallas and that is the longest commercial flight running these days. Imagine, over half a day cramped into a little flying box which is 32,000 ft above the ground. Hmm. Ok. Fantastic. 😛

Now I am not going to be reviewing the actual plane, nor its facilities, because in that sense, any airline could be given a random plane. No, no, what I will be reviewing today, is how Qantas’ services and food arrangements managed to make a 15 hour flight seem like it was maybe 5 or 6 hours?

The fact that not once did I feel uncomfortable, despite sitting in economy class, feel hungry or lacking in any way. I used to hate travelling by anything except Singapore Airlines. But after my experience, I would happily take Qantas to the ends of the world. Not. Even. Kidding.

we are the coolest travellers... :P

I remember, half my conversation with my parents on this long plane trip consisted of how surprised we were regarding the vast improvement of services for Qantas – Aussie pride was really beaming that day 🙂

On sitting down in very spacious seats (which I would take photos of but couldn’t because people were everywhere!), and getting settled, we found the usual headsets in the front, magazines, and all, but what surprised me considerably was that the screen was touch. And you could use it at ANY time, no take off and landing turning off business. Such simple and up to date technology, I was pleasantly surprised 🙂

Once the plane had gotten up, and we were being whisked through the air, we were given menus onboard. I had my fingers crossed that it applied to vegetarians but it didn’t 😛 – we did receive a special meal (though luckily it was quite similar to the vegetarian option on the menu :D)


I was surprised at the whole idea firstly, of using menus on a flight where food is already given, not a pay-item, but it was just another improvement I was for. Besides the menu, all passengers were also given a complimentary bottle of water – the cutest, little bottle of Mt Franklin’s in existence, to continue to keep us hydrated throughout the trip, from start to finish 🙂


Close into the trip, our food starting coming out – I can’t recall if it was a lunch or dinner, but either way, it was fitting 🙂
Being vegetarian of course, our food came out first, while my brother was still contemplating over the menu. We were served while others eyes greedily watched us, and sullen kids continued to munch through their packets of chips 😉 – there are some benefits to this lifestyle!


Here is when drinks were ordered, with the specialty of apple juice for me of course! Nothing beats plane blues like a drink the colour of molten gold 🙂


Next, checking out the actual meal. I was so happy to see rigatoni pasta with cheese and marinara sauce. The zucchini bits strewn throughout also added both nutritionally and flavour-wise – I was more than very happy 😀


And for the first time in my life, I think, finished a meal on the plane 😉


Now, I was feeling really pleased, happy that finally, an airline understood that being a vegetarian did not mean I was also vegan and devoid of love for any dairy products like cheese. Finally. We always say we are ovo-lacto vegetarian though it rarely works.

Of course, I spoke too soon. We were given soya milk which was low fat. Firstly, what are you saying? Implying something by giving me low fat milk huh? 😉

But in all seriousness – why would you give me a generous helping of cheese in my pasta dish, and then give me soya milk to drink? Think I am lactose intolerant or something? Hmmph. Not. Cool.

The dessert we received in our vegetarian meal was also a bit of a let down. Whoever Rowie is, they should work on these particular cake balls because it tastes like someone melted margarine, put in shredded coconut, made balls and froze them, forgetting about sugar or flavour. A big downer – would it be so hard to give us chocolate? I understand no gelatine in case but come one. A piece of normal cake would not go amiss.


The salad, though of course dry from being on a plane, still looked fresh, the bulbous cherry tomato looking quite nice, and though I did not eat it, the herb vinaigrette alongside would have made all the difference to make it quite a refreshing side 🙂


A final part of the meal consisted of a wholewheat, almost-hotdog-style bun with a side of margarine. Of course, since butter is not for those who eat cheese 😛 – But it was nice, albeit a little dry, but when dipping in the sauce of the pasta, was definitely a fitting side.

IMG_2099My brother also had a bit of a love for pasta, so he ordered it as well. Though his came with a feta topping, it was exactly the same as our pasta – not chewy, smooth sauce and delicious flavour!


However, I was a bit envious of his cool shaped, white crusty bread side! Though his salad wasn’t as fresh looking as ours, considering the carrots looked a little… tired… 😛



But OMG. He got a Boost. Possibly one of the most delicious chocolates in creation. I was jelly. And then, being the nice big brother he is, he gave it to me… after it got squished in pocket from and melted inside from the heat. But I took it, disfigured and all 😉


I would say the highlight of his meal was the extremely, extremely, EXTREMELY gourmet cup of honey pannacotta with fig compote. Photos make it look gukky because of its colour but I promise you, the pannacotta was silky smooth, and the flavours complimented each other so well!


Overall, both meals were pretty good, just looking at them on their own. But I just need to question frustratingly why some aspects of the vegetarian dish cannot remain the same as the normal meals? It continues to elude me…

But let me continue telling you why the flight was so comfortable and wonderful in the face of 15 hours! The drink breaks were continuous, at least every 45 minutes to an hour, if not more frequent, with offers of juice, drinks, hot cocoa, tea and coffee. The hot chocolate rocked my socks. Who doesn’t adore marshmallows right?


Probably half way between meals (we also got a breakfast, though I did not document it), we also received something new to us. A refreshment pack – opposed to the old, boring packets of peanuts, or even the cookies and packaged cakes counter at the back of the plane, we received a goodies bag.

It contained a focaccia, which my mum thoroughly enjoyed, filled with mediterranean vegetables and on a crusty loaf of bread. You almost had to remember you were not being served it in a cafe, rather from a package on a plane 🙂


It also included a sweet biscuit treat full of oats and cranberries, in the shape of a heart – it was quite hearty in taste! And of course, it came with the bane of my existence, some wonderful soya milk 😛


Another highlight in regards to food on this flight was the ice cream they were giving out to all passengers as part of food breaks. Weis’ mango and cream bar is possibly one of the most delicious mango ice creams in existence, I won’t lie, and the Qantas people were so generous, giving out the large sizes – thank you!


Reading back over, I can clearly see why I enjoyed my flight so much. Besides being a genuinely friendly staff, Qantas is one of the most generous airlines I have ever travelled with, in regards to food, snacks and keeping the plane as hydrated as possible 🙂
The fact that they have a back counter with a basket of fruit sometimes, and displays of cookie packets for your convenience is so useful!

A few problems with separating vegan from vegetarian, as every airline has, but hopefully they will fix that up soon as well!

Overall I rate my experience to be:

8/10 – quite fantastic!

Would I recommend travelling by Qantas for a long distance flight? I would recommend them, even if it was a 2 hour flight 🙂 – they make you feel welcome and comfortable on a flight, no matter the length!

Also, as a bit of a plus, and nothing to do with the flight, I was allowed into the actual cockpit with my brother! It was SOOOOO exciting, we felt quite boss!!! My dad knew someone who told the captain, his friend, that my dad would be on the plane so Captain Ian generously showed us around the cockpit! It was so complex and right out of some rocketship! All beeping lights and switches and confusing dials 😀

I even got to wear the captain’s hat!!! 😀


This experience was: 10/10 😉

*Disclaimer: These opinions concerning Qantas’ services are all my own and I am not indirectly or directly influenced by the company in any way.

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  2. Ben May says:

    Nice review. I’ve done QF7/8 before and found them to be some of the best crew Qantas have. I have only done the flight in Business, and you’d have a field day with the tasting plates / options for catering!


  3. SS says:

    Hi Uru

    Sitting in the cockpit looks great! The food looks better than the five green beans and a grilled tomato I have received in the past as a vegetarian option.


  4. How the heck did you get to sit in the cock-pit? Who ARE YOU?
    I know you are amazing, but really, who are you?
    Ahhh, the life of YOU!!
    XXxxxxxxx KISS
    PS. LOVE love love London! I married my husband for the accent!


  5. Eva Taylor says:

    Congratulations on the move to the new blog. I’ve been thinking of it but I’m terrified to lose all of the posts from WordPress.
    Looks like a very special flight, lucky you to get to sit in the cockpit and wear the captains hat.


  6. AWESOME experience! My kids would be thrilled to sit in the REAL cockpit (they have done that in airplane museum etc). I enjoyed reading your review. I always take United (sucks! but fly with husband’s miles) or JAL/ANA (Japanese airlines), so it’s fun to see other planes!


  7. Uru, what a wonderful array of food! Most of the flights I’ve been on were short in duration, so I suffered through the complimentary bag of peanuts. 😉 I’m glad you ended up with a highly rated experience, especially sitting in the cockpit. Such fun!!!


  8. I love London too, even in the rain. I don’t think I’d want to live there permanently but I could happily spend a year or 18 months seeing everything.

    I like Qantas staff too. Their food seems to have moved up several notches in quality by the look of your photos.

    I’m so glad you’re enjoying yourself!


  9. Liz says:

    that’s the best-looking airline food I’ve ever seen! So fresh and colorful. Tell me more about this Boost. Best candy ever? Must know more 🙂 Thanks for sharing your experience–had to have taken a lot of time to put this together.


  10. I’ve never flown Quantas, though I’ve heard it’s a pretty good airline. Would love to visit Australia someday, but that L-O-N-G flight does give me pause. Maybe go by cruise ship one way! 😉 Wit until you check out the Indian restaurants in London – they’re wonderful. Fun review – thanks.


  11. Balvinder says:

    Haven’t traveled by Qantas but in general airplane food ( I am talking of gluten free) is ok…. sitting in the cockpit would be the most surreal experience. Happy New Year!


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