Here's why you shouldn't rush to book on Qantas' first Boeing 787

By David Flynn, December 27 2016
Here's why you shouldn't rush to book on Qantas' first Boeing 787

As previously tipped, Qantas' pricing for its new Boeing 787 flights between Melbourne and Los Angeles has now settled back to the usual competitive rates with today's release of a raft of discounted 'saver' fares in business class, premium economy and economy class.

PREVIOUS | Qantas' first international Boeing 787 flights between Melbourne and Los Angeles are now on sale – but you shouldn't be in a rush to buy your ticket.

As we've previously reported, the red-tailed Dreamliner will dart across the Pacific six days a week as QF95/QF96 starting December 15, 2017.

But travellers looking to be among the first to experience Qantas' Boeing 787-9 or snare a seat on the inaugural flight are in for a shock, with most tickets priced well above what they're used to seeing.

For example, the Boeing 787-9's business class lists at over $10,300 for a one-way fare, with premium economy nudging $4,300 one-way and the cheapest economy seat at $3,406 – and again, that's just for the Melbourne-LAX leg.

Here's what the Qantas website is showing at the time of writing for business class...

... premium economy...

and economy.

Note that there are also no discounted 'saver' fares listed across all three cabins – all that's offered are the top-rate 'flexible' fares.

That alone is reason to hold back on pressing that big red Book Now button.

Happily, this should change in the next few days – because what you're seeing exposed are the full one-way fares, sans any discounting.

These are automatically-posted rack rates which haven't had the benefit of adjustment by the airline's revenue management system to include the usual discounted fares and aren't married up to a return flight.

For example, here are the Melbourne-Los Angeles business class fares for Qantas Airbus A380 service a few days ahead of the Boeing 787 inaugural (and based on booking a return flight later that week).

As you can see, they're much more within the realm of normality – at least for December's peak travel season.

The take-away? As eager as you may be to book that Qantas Boeing 787 flight between Melbourne and Los Angeles, hold off for a few days to see how the pricing settles down as the usual discounted seats and the QF96 return flights start flowing through the booking system.

PS: And when it's time to make that booking, check out our exclusive Best Seat Guides for the Qantas Boeing 787-9’s business classpremium economy and economy class.


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.


19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1426

Of course one could book the A380 three hours earlier and save a thousand or so. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Feb 2014

Total posts 144

They got to make money somehow with that low density seating :-P .

14 Feb 2012

Total posts 37's cute. Qantas thinks they have the first 787 in the air and are charging appropriately. Maybe someone should give Alan a call to let him know there are 500 of them flying now.

02 Jan 2013

Total posts 142

Im still baffled about the hype of this Dreamliner...considering I've flown atleast 20 of them over the last few years, this one would have to be something special to justify the hype and price for that matter.

Air New Zealand - Airpoints

21 Jan 2016

Total posts 196

I agree with Alexaqua and brobro comments. Qantas is a late comer to the 787 race, so by the time Qantas branded 789's start flying the novelty of them would be waning and the current JQ 788 fleet would need to replaced (sic)


19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1426

Today they all seem to be sorted. The price is the same now for the A380 and the 789. No premium for being on the inaugural flight

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Jul 2011

Total posts 1379

Good to hear... Reality is it won't be the inaugural for Qantas as the first aircraft will likely have spent a month doing domestic flights for crew familiarisation


14 Jun 2013

Total posts 353

Well it's the "international inaugural", I think we can afford not to split too many hairs on this :)

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Feb 2016

Total posts 49

Totally agree with Mal and I struggle to understand the QF bashing over the 787 delivery. It is the first new long haul plane in 8 years after the a380. 

When you look back at new aircraft adopters there was much internet hype for the following:

a380 - Singapore
a350 - Qatar
787 - ANA ??
787 - 9 - Air NZ
787-10 - Singapore

Yes, this plane has been introduced by a number of airlines since it introduction and all airlines have promoted the arrival of these airframes into their respective fleets.

I am looking forward to flying this airframe in 2018.


16 Nov 2011

Total posts 596

Didn't realise Singapore had any of their 787-10's yet, seeing as the first one isn't due until 2018!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Feb 2016

Total posts 49

AJW, you are correct the 787-10 has not been delivered as yet but there is a bit of hype advertising delivery on the internet. I will adjust my previous post to reflect this. 

You article raises an important issue that most people booking a one way fare dont realise - check the same flight with a return leg. 

In your example the same outward leg Premium economy would cost $2583 compared to $3321 one way (they now offer this on their web site). Given you could book a return on the 18th December for $2465 with an ability to get a refund after departure For the second leg less $200 (cancelation fee in fare conditions) there seems no justification for selling the same product packaged a different way.

The case of the ACCC and Nerofen comes to mind. There is no justification for charging $738 more for the same product only packaged differently.


19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1426

The other one is that fares are much higher ex US. In my case rather than book a three month trip with a visit back home at the half way point it is much cheaper to book two return fares ex Australia. 

18 Nov 2015

Total posts 117

The 787 Business Class seats are an order of magnitude better than the A380 dated sad looking Skybed.

787 Business:

- Privacy (versus zero privacy on the A380 Skybed)
- Space
- Much more comfortable non sagging bed.


03 May 2013

Total posts 668

The A380 Business Class seating is a joke now. 

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