It's time to go fly home from San Francisco to Sydney and we're back on the Qantas Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner flying Business Class. Have a look at the food offering from San Francisco to Sydney and see what the lounge at SFO is like! And what is the thing that you should always order if flying Qantas Business Class?
A few days after the Sydney to San Francisco flight, I am headed home. It has been an incredible 3 days in Napa and I'm a little sad that I'm heading home. This feeling is tinged with a touch of homesickness and missing Mr NQN, Teddy and Milo.
I check in 4 hours early for my late evening 10:25PM flight with Qantas and everything is running on time which is a relief as I have a two hour turnaround once I get home to go to the South Coast. At SFO the business class lounge available to Qantas passengers is the American Airlines lounge. I'm too busy having a look at all of the food and facilities available at SFO and come 9pm I'm in desperate need of a shower having been out all day.
Alas so are the 10 people in the shower queue ahead of me. Against all hope I put my name down for a shower, spend 30 minutes in the lounge sipping a soda water and listening for my name to be called. I look at the buffet available and there are some cold items available and a soup. There's a separate menu at the bar where hot food can be ordered for an extra charge but I have neither stomach space nor time. My luck runs out and I have to leave for the gate and it's a brisk 10 minute walk to the gate.
On this leg I'm seated in seat 2E. The plane is the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner that has just flown in from Sydney and been cleaned and re-fuelled. The business class cabin configuration is 1-2-1 and my seat has a bulkhead in front which is a handy temporary storage area for the box of Crumbl Cookies I'm bringing home. This is also the same plane that I flew over called Emily, named after the indigenous artist Emily Kame Kngwarreye whose work is the livery of the plane.
I'm one of the first to board and the crew is the same one that I flew over to San Francisco with including Harry and Blake. They welcome me back warmly. On my flight over I had a crying toddler behind me but when I checked in on the app I could see that the baby was the second cabin (and it was silent the whole flight).
Pyjamas lay on the side console of the seat but the amenity kit is missing so I enquire about it. This is quickly rectified and I get changed in my pyjamas and fill in the breakfast card and sit back and relax until take off. They offer to hang my dress and jacket in the cupboard so that they stay wrinkle free. I adjust the seat so that it reclines slightly with the foot rest up.
I watch television until the food comes out. The bread selection is a white and wholewheat sourdough with a frisee salad dressed with Chef Neil Perry's palm sugar vinaigrette. There are five choices for supper: two plant based, one fish, one chicken and one beef. I go for the fish which is a seared halibut with Yukon gold potatoes, grilled baby leeks, snow peas, sugar snaps, lemon thyme butter, hazelnuts and black olive tapenade. The fish is a touch dry and I wish I'd just asked for the toastie and soup for supper (I was trying to be healthy). The toastie is very popular and every time that I order it I never regret it.
For dessert I order the fruit plate which has some sweet raspberries, blueberries and pineapple as well as melon. There's also a vanilla bean panna cotta topped with a mint and strawberry salsa and a pistachio tuile. The tuile was a bit wet because it had sat in the salsa and to be honest I was too full to make inroads into this dessert. Instead I turn to the most reliable and beloved dessert of them all: chocolate. They offer squares of dark and milk Varda chocolate.
There are other snacks available during the flight like a grilled triple cheese and mushroom toastie and chipotle pork empanadas with chimichurri sauce as well as a display of packets of kettle chips, cookies, chocolate, almond chips and whole fruit. The frequent flyer in 1A gets his bed made for him then starts bellowing something indistinguishable and then turns off his light and falls asleep in dramatic fashion. Typical 1A's haha.
I take off my make up and use the hand cream and lip gloss provided. While I'm in the bathroom they make my bed with the bedding and quilt and I slip on the socks and the eye mask. After slumbering for 9 hours I wake up and drink half of the bottle of water that the crew have positioned in easy reach for me on the side arm rest. Feeling peckish (it's around 10am San Francisco time) they offer me a drink and something to eat so I take a cup of tea and the mushroom and cheese toastie (which was what I was basically craving the entire time). Nothing comes up as consistently delicious as Qantas's in-flight toastie (I've tried them on United and Qantas and they're both brilliant) and I devour it with gusto, the crispy toasted bread holding in the sauteed mushrooms and melted cheese. They come around offering freshly made piccolos but I decide to have another nap.
I fall asleep again for another couple of hours before waking up to the clink of cutlery against breakfast china and the welcome sight of breakfast. I try the ciabatta with streaky bacon, tomato, lettuce, avocado and aioli and sip my tea, green juice and pick at the fruit salad for the sweetest fruit. With an hour to go I brush my teeth and get changed. We are held up slightly by air control but well rested with 11 hours sleep and I'm off to my next adventure!
So tell me Dear Reader, do you try and choose healthy or comfort food when travelling? Is there another airline that makes a great toastie?
NQN was a guest of Qantas but all opinions remain her own.
Qantas now flies three times a week from San Francisco (SFO) to Sydney (SYD).