Qantas 787 Dreamliner will become the backbone of the airline’s fleet opening up new routes and adding frequencies to other. Qantas plans to fly to London nonstop from Perth in 2018 and will also start the 787 on the Los Angeles – Melbourne route on December 15, 2017. The Dreamliner may also open other nonstop destinations for Qantas, such as Chicago or New York.
Qantas 787 is currently flying between Melbourne and Perth daily as cabin crew get use to the aircraft before it is deployed long-haul. I was fortunate to fly the plane and get a private tour once everyone disembarked. I flew on the first Qantas 787, dubbed “Great Southern Land”, tail registration VH-ZNA.
Qantas 787 business Class
I flew in business class from Melbourne to Perth, so the majority of this review will cover business class, as I was able to get up close and personal with the seat and service in Business class.
The business class section of Qantas 787-9 covers the forward end of the plane and three rows after door 2L/2R. There are 42 business class seats in a 1x2x1 configuration. The smaller mini cabin only has 12 seats. Some people may like this smaller cabin better, but it is also closer the the engines and the more crowded economy and premium class cabins.
If you are familiar with the business class seat on Qantas’ A330, this seat is nearly identical. David Caon, Qantas’ lead designer took the Thompson Aero’s Vantage XL seat and enhanced it. The similar seat will mean Qantas customers will have a more consistent hard product experience. Once the A380s are updated, all of Qantas long haul and medium haul business class product will offer a similar product.
The seat goes 100% flat in bed mode and makes into a bed that is nearly 6 feet 5 inches. It’s also a bit wider than most seats. The cushion is 22 inches wide, or 23-24 inches from arm rest to armrest, making it a very wide seat and wider than American Airlines 787 Business class.
Your feet do go under the seat’s desk/work area in front of you. Although the cubby looks small, it’s actually quite large. During take off and landing my backpack easily fit here, and while laying down I was very comfortable.
For entertainment each seat comes with a large 16 inch tv screen fully loaded with the newest easy to use technology and hundreds of movies, shows, games, and more. There is no reason a 17 hour flight to London won’t fly by!
Fix your make up, take photos for a model shoot, or clean the mess off your face! Qantas has business class suites equipped with a mirror. There’s no need to run to bathroom now! Well of course, unless nature calls!
Control the seat at a touch of the button. The seats can even be slightly reclined during take-off! Or if you want to be left around, hit the Do Not Disturb button and relax. There’s even a massage function built into every seat!
Personal lighting is also controlled from both here and the remote. Each business class passenger has two overhead lights, a reading light above the shoulder, and mood lighting. The mood lighting lights around the display case and foot cubby.
The Qantas 787 business class seat doesn’t have tons of personal space for extra items when in bed mode, but there is a few places to store extras. The seat has a built in pocket for safety materials and magazines from the airlines. This open up the seat storage area around the shell for personal items.
With all the Qantas supplied materials out of the way, you can store your passport, wallet, books, tablet, etc in the space around the shell. Qantas even has a hook provided for their headphones and a water bottle holder in the seat shell.
Business class on the 787 is not earth shattering new, but it is VERY comfortable for longer flight!s On longer flights a sleeping pad for the seat is also provided to guests in business. This enhances the bed and makes it even more comfortable!
Qantas 787 Premium Economy
What really makes the Qantas 787 shine is the new premium economy seat. Qantas did a total brand refresh and nailed it! The 787 has 28 premium economy seats directly behind the smaller mini business class cabin. There is only four rows in the small premium economy cabin.
Qantas premium economy cabin has a 2x3x2 configuration. Seats are tighter in the back of the airplane and offer only 38 inches of pitch. I personally sat in the premium economy seat and found it very comfortable!
The revolutionary foot hammock relieves pressures on calfs and prevents DVTs. Not to mention, at 5’10”, even with the seat reclined in front of me I still had room to move my legs.
The seats are also very spacious from hip to hip. The seat cushion is 19.5 inches wide just 2 inch more narrow than Business class. Meanwhile, the armrest-to-armrest is 20.5 inches. Each seat also has two armrests. The armrests are attached to each seat but are twice as wide as typical. This allows both passengers to use them without fighting over space!
Although I only sat on this plane for a few minutes in premium economy, I would gladly fly it long-haul!
I honestly prefer the new premium economy over Qantas A380 Premium Economy product.
Qantas 787 Economy
Let’s face it, the majority of passengers will be flying in economy. Qantas 787 is a premium heavy aircraft and only has 166 seats in the economy class cabin. The planes seat are nothing revolutionary and are a typical 3x3x3 configuration.
The seat on the 787 doesn’t look any different that other Qantas aircraft, but it does boast a larger TV screen and an extra inch of pitch. An extra inch of leg room doesn’t sound like much, I know, but if you’re tall, you will notice the difference. Qantas offers 32 inches of pitch in economy on the B787. On their A380s economy is only 31 inches! In addition, like premium economy, the foot hammock is at every economy seat!
Qantas 787 Crew Space
Qantas is not just making passengers life more convient, they are trying to make sure their crew is comfortable too. On the 787 all economy class service is done from a large rear galley. The space takes up the entire rear of the aircraft. Therefore avoid the back of the plane if you’re sitting in economy and want a quiet experience
In the rear of the plane is also the Cabin Crew bunk rest. There are 6 bunks for all the flight attendants to share. The bunks are not as comfortable as other planes are they are tightly aligned and you have to crawl into them from the bottom of the bunks. Pilots have their rest in the forward part of the plane.
When in comes to cabin service for business class cabins there are two galleys. They are smaller than other galleys, so expect service to take a little more time. On Qantas, in business class the first meal service is from the forward galley and the second meal service is prepared in the smaller galley. Service typically begins in the front of the plane and goes backwards.
Qantas 787 Final thoughts
Qantas 787 is a game changer for Qantas. For a while, I was scared that Qantas would not be taking the 787, as they announced a 787 deferment in 2012 Yet now, several years later, Qantas first 787 is flying across Australia, and several more will follow so Qantas can grow their reach and open new routes.
The Qantas 787 business class product is great, the premium economy is a game changer for the airline, and their economy is pretty standard with some nice touches for long haul flights. Overall I think the aircraft is a win for both passengers and the airline. Updates to all products across the cabin ensure a better flying experience. I just wish the 787 had first class, like British Airways’ plane.
Have you or will you flown the Qantas 787 yet? What are your thoughts on the airplane?