Qantas Flight Review: Hong Kong to Melbourne with kids

For our New Zealand road trip, I booked too late and missed the boat on direct flights from Hong Kong to New Zealand.  Not that you can actually fly direct to our first port of call, the nation’s capital Wellington.  So my travel agent gave me a few indirect options, the cheapest one being Qantas.  It’s been a long time since I’ve flown Qantas (my ozzie friends fondly refer to it by a rather rude nickname.. too lewd to write on a family travel blog)  Anyway, here’s how we found it and some tips for anyone taking this flight in future:
Departing QF30

Me, husband, Daisy (4 years old) and Sky (2 years old)

QF30 Hong Kong to Melbourne, departs HKG 19:30, arrives MLB 8am + 1 (9.5 hrs flying time)

Pre-flight tips!
Qantas is part of the OneWorld Alliance so don’t forget to sign up for one of the schemes, if you haven’t already.  My husband and I are Cathay Marco Polo members and I’ve signed both of my daughters up for British Airways Avios, which you can do from 2 years of age.  You can also join Qantas Frequent Flyer club for free until June 2014.
Don’t forget to pre-order your children’s meals, my travel agent did this for me.

Hand Luggage
I took my Picos Pack (androgynous so my husband will carry it). Daisy had her Skip Hop Zoo Rolling Luggage and I let Sky carry a random little bag containing a few crayons.

Getting to the airport
We took the Airport Express from Hong Kong station.  You can’t beat it for efficiency!  Kids 3 and under travel free.  If you buy a group ticket, you get a discount.

Checking In
Escaped the queues with my husband’s fancy pants Diamond Marco Polo card and went to the Qantas business check-in desk, despite the fact we were in Economy.  Check in was friendly and quick.

At the Airport
Don’t do what we did and drag your kids to the Disney store promising to buy them items from the film Frozen.  They don’t have any of the Frozen range in there.
Despite the disappointment, we cheered ourselves up by blagging our way into the Cathay First Class lounge (my husband is only really allowed one guest.. not two extra rugrats).  Kids happily munched on chips whilst I drank Bloody Marys.
I’ve written a post on this before, it’s always worth checking your credit cards as you might have lounge access you didn’t even know about.  Some of the Cathay American Express cards will let you gain access into the Plaza Premium/Traveler’s etc.

For all you plane geeks out there (i.e. you Adam), we were on an A330-300 although I was secretly hoping for an A380.

Economy configuration is 2-4-2 so we were nicely nestled in a 4.  Seats are ok although the TV screens in comparison to Cathay and BA are tiny!  The staff were very friendly.

For anyone trying to get kids to sleep, they keep the cabin lights on for ages so if they don’t fall asleep on take off, they might be up for a while…  Dinner was served about two hours after take off.  The kid’s meal was pretty good – chicken salad, pasta bolognese, orange mousse, bread roll and a chocolate bar.  

Qantas Kids Dinner Meal

Breakfast is served about two hours before landing and I can’t really remember too much about it as I was drifting in and out of sleep.

Entertaining the kids
No kids pack was offered although no surprises there.  You can start watching the entertainment immediately, which is brilliant.  There’s loads of choice for TVs and movies for kids, mine were pretty happy.  I did also bring with colouring, stickers and a chalkboard/whiteboard which all got used (quick plug – I sell kids travel kits so please contact me if you’re interested!)

Entertaining kids on Qantas

Getting the kids to sleep
My 4 year old is now a great traveller.  We put the armrests up and she lay her head on my husband’s lap and went to sleep.  My 2 year old is a different story.  I’ll put my hand up here and say I did administer phenergan as we got onboard the plane.  However, I don’t think it had any effect (I gave her 3/4 of a recommended dose). At around 10pm HK time, she demanded to lay down on the floor, which we let her do. She slept there for ages until finally we got told off by a cabin attendant and had to put her back on the seat.

Sky asleep on Qantas

Unless you’re flying business class, economy across all airlines is much of a much (although I am a huge fan of Air New Zealand).  For a longhaul economy flight, Qantas did the job and we hadn’t paid through the nose for it.  I would have no reservations in flying with them again.

1 comment

  1. mommyhoodhk

    We flew to Brisbane from HK on Quantas and had an ok experience as well. It must be their age because my 4 year old slept awesome and my son who is 2.5 years old, didn’t fall asleep til midnight our time and loved the entertainment.

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