I never expected this flight to be fun, but it really was! A 16 hour flight was not what I had in mind when we decided to venture further than Fiji with the kids, but it could not have gone better. Read on for my full Sydney to Dallas flight reviews.
Sydney to Dallas flight reviews and tips
Starting off in Qantas Club was the most fun part. I do love this perk of being married to David, who bought a lifetime membership before I knew him.
We got through all the checking in, passport control and security lines ridiculously quickly and were immersed in this heavenly place within an hour of parking the car. Make sure you take a practical carry on bag to help the whole process go smoothly. This guide is helpful for choosing the right one.
There is plenty of food and drinks to help yourself, including alcohol, barista-made coffee, ice cream and a particularly delicious baked cheesecake. The Nickolodeon kids’ zone is in a separate room, so you don’t need to worry about annoying anyone with your noisy kids. We broke the rules and left the kids in here eating in front of the tv while we snuck out to sit in the light-filled and peaceful adults area.
Long haul outfit
Here I am in the kids’ zone. I couldn’t be bothered with make-up for the flight (ie taking it off, moisturising, reapplying), so didn’t wear any. I prefer to put my flight socks on at home, but I only took three pairs of shoes – these sneakers, sandals and heels for dressing up on the cruise – and none of them look good with socks, so I put them on once on board.
If I’d planned a bit better I would have spent another hour in Qantas Club. When you’ve been planning your holiday for a year, got everyone packed, paid all the bills that are due while you’re away and checked into exactly the seats you wanted, you need to take a breath. The relief to know that you made it is only surpassed by the joy of taking off and being on your way.
Wait til the kids are older
I can highly recommend flying with 8 and 6 year olds. This was perfect timing for us. I’m sure we could have done this trip when they were younger, but it was so easy now! With wonderful Qantas hosties bringing endless food and drinks, and a massive entertainment system, as long as you take them to the toilet occasionally, they pretty much take care of themselves.
BOSE noise-cancelling headphones
These changed my life. No kidding. I love travel, I love flying, but the constant noise and people around completely exhausts me. Putting these on made me realise how noisy a flight is! Instead I was inside my own little cocoon of quietness. I had them turned on almost the entire flight, whether I was listening to something or not (take extra batteries!).
Yes they are expensive and perhaps cheaper brands are just as good, but I say don’t risk it. Close your eyes and hand over your money.
I had rung Qantas about our seats beforehand and the lady I spoke to seemed a bit apologetic about us being down the back of the plane, but this was the best spot!
We were in the second back row – row 87. The back of the plane had about 5 toilets, enough space for a few people to stand around and chat, a snack bar to help yourself and a water fountain for filling our drink bottles. It was perfect! There was rarely a wait for toilets but there was space to wait if needed, so you never had people standing next to you in the aisle.
The hosties were amazing. So helpful, so welcoming, relaxed and ready for a chat. They were a professional mature team, who offered to take our photo, took my water bottle to refill it, remembered how I like my coffee and seemed to be always coming along with drinks or more snacks. Nothing seemed too much trouble.
I ordered the kids’ meals online before the flight, so they got their food first which worked really well.
Chick Flick Festival in seat 87D
In between watching Pitch Perfect 2 and Far From The Madding Crowd I got about 4 or 5 hours sleep!! Yay! The kids got a similar amount. Unfortunately David didn’t sleep well even though he also had the same BOSE headphones which I think made all the difference to me. But he is very tall and feels a bit squished in standard economy seats. With the headphones on I felt I could relax into my quiet place and fall asleep much more easily. Considering I hardly slept at all on our last trip to Europe, this was such a relief!
It was chilly though. I was surprised that I needed my fleece on the whole time, and tucked myself under the blanket when sleeping.
I couldn’t really hear anyone talk to me with my headphones on, but then the kids couldn’t hear me either when they had their (non-noise-cancelling) headphones on. We would just give each other a tap whenever we needed to talk. They were well able to operate the entertainment system, so mostly I was superfluous anyway.
The most important role I played on board was running the countdown. The holiday countdown we used before we left worked so well that I made a simple one for the flight. I wrote down the numbers 16 to 1 and the kids took turns crossing them off. It was surprising how quickly each hour came around and it made the flight go more quickly for the kids.
Read about the rest of our trip here –
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