Qantas is refurbishing its A330s with “fully flat beds in business class.” Right now the A330s serve the following routes.

  • Sydney-Melbourne
  • Sydney-Brisbane
  • Sydney/Melbourne/Brisbane to Perth
  • Sydney/Melbourne/Brisbane to Singapore
  • Melbourne/Brisbane to Hong Kong
  • Sydney-Bangkok
  • Sydney-Jakarta
  • Sydney-Manila
  • Sydney-Honolulu
  • Sydney-Shanghai

I have medium hopes for the new beds, which will roll out starting in December 2014. The reason I am not more excited is that the picture accompanying the press release looks to me like an angled lie flat beds, not fully flat beds.

A330-Business-Suite-Fully-Flat-1024x756This jives with my experience in business class on the Qantas A380. I was expecting fully flat, but I got a small and uncomfortable angle.

Still these new beds can be great news for anyone flying between Hawaii and Australia, Asia and Australia, or within Australia.

  • More info about the new beds
  • Which miles to book the new beds
  • The award space picture

More info on the seats/beds:

The refurbished A330s will start flying December 2014 between the east coast of Australia and Perth. International planes will be refurbished beginning in January 2015.

Which Miles to Book New A330s

Qantas partners with American Airlines, US Airways, and British Airways. Different routes will be cheaper with each type of miles.

The shortest hops like Sydney to Melbourne will be cheapest with British Airways Avios, though there’s not much need for a bed for an hour in the air.

From the Aussie east coast to west coast, American Airlines miles are the cheapest at 17,500 miles each way in business class. These flights approach four hours. I would book these in business class for the earliest morning flights, so I could catch a few more hours sleep on the plane.

Screen Shot 2014-10-22 at 9.40.09 PM Screen Shot 2014-10-22 at 9.40.18 PM

Many days have award space on flights in each direction between Melbourne and Perth.

Hawaii to Australia

These beds will be a big improvement on the recliners currently offered by Qantas between Honolulu and Sydney. Unfortunately that route sees almost no award space in Qantas Business Class.

The calendar on aa.com for business class award space on the route is almost exclusively showing award space on Hawaiian Airlines’ routes between Honolulu and Sydney and Honolulu and Brisbane.

Screen Shot 2014-10-22 at 9.58.15 PM

Hawaiian Airlines also offers economy award space almost every day to Australia.

Screen Shot 2014-10-22 at 10.02.54 PM

Bottom Line

Qantas replacing its business class seats with beds on the A330 is good news. My excitement is tempered because the beds don’t look fully flat, and there is almost no award space on those beds from the United States to Australia.

The best use will probably be on flights from the east coast of Australia to Perth for 17,500 American Airlines miles each way.