Qantas launches new

By David Flynn , January 16 2015
Qantas launches new

Business travellers should be able to eke an extra hour’s sleep on flights from Asia under Qantas’ new 'Sleep Sooner' service.

Launching from this weekend on the new Airbus A330 Business Suite flights from Singapore, Sleep Sooner will see the seat dressed with its mattress, duvet and pillow before passengers board the aircraft.

It also ties into the Business Suite’s ability to be reclined for taxi, take-off and landing, and the new Oroton 'Business Sleep Collection' amenity kit.

Exclusive AusBT review: The Qantas Airbus A330 Business Suite

As business class passengers booked on the overnight flights from Singapore to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane check in at the Qantas Singapore Lounge they’ll be given the option to take advantage of Sleep Sooner.

“If you elect in the lounge that you want to go straight to sleep on the plane, the cabin crew will have your seat already in the recline position (when you board)” says Kylie Morris, Qantas’ Head of Creative Development and Customer Experience.

Kylie Morris: "For international, it's all about comfort and about sleep"
Kylie Morris: "For international, it's all about comfort and about sleep"

“The mattress and duvet will be fitted, the pillow is there, the Oroton amenity kit and even your bottle of water is there.”

The pillow is also 20% larger than Qantas’ standard international business class pillow, while the lighting in the business class cabin will also be softer than usual.

“All those little touches are going to make your experience better if you want to hit the Do Not Disturb button and go to sleep right away, or you just want to be comfortable and feel at home straight away” Morris explains.

“Particularly out of Singapore and Hong Kong we’re seeing customers have their dinner at our new lounges, and when they get on board they just want to sleep” Morris says. “A lot of them are dozing off before we've even shut the door on the aircraft!”

The Sleep Sooner program will be extended from the new A330s to all international Qantas flights “over the next few months,” Morris says.

David Flynn is visiting Singapore as a guest of Qantas.

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David

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.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Jan 2013

Total posts 715

Now this is some sensible smart thinking. I did worry, before getting halfway down the article, that Qantas was doing this for all seats as default (which could be annoying) but thankfully and almost uniquely are asking people want they want (while in the lounge) and preparing it according to their preference before boarding (gold star Qantas!). A "How You Like It" service, more of this please.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Apr 2012

Total posts 304

Would it be bad if all seats were done as default?  The extra padding is still very comfortable even in the upright sitting position.  Plus one can never have too many pillows, even when sitting and watching a movie :)

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Jan 2013

Total posts 715

Because different people have different preferences - some people like soft, some people prefer firm, etc etc.

I can't speak for the new sleep service, but I can advise on the current Skybed mattress pad - while I like the extra padding, it also makes the seat slightly warmer (it breathes less) so I've not bothered with the mattress pad the last couple of flights (plus it has to be set up after take-off and and removed before landing, too fiddly for me, and that has to be the best benefit of this new sleep sooner service in it cuts down on the interruptions).

More to the point, since Qantas aren't doing it that way (mandatory) and haven't been doing that to date (they ask currently, just onboard), isn't the question at bit of pointless navel gazing? Customer service has always been about responding to the customer, not Henry T Fording them. So to reverse the question, is it bad to ask before doing?

So with this sleep sooner service, assuming:

  • You sleep upon boarding and rise just before landing, and
  • Have access to the lounge to eat before departure,

You can easily quantify the value proposition of P(b) - P(e) being the use of a lie flat bed for 7h. Where P(e) is price of economy fare and P(b) price of business fare.

Conversely, it forces us to think if 7h of sleep in a flat position is worth P(b) - P(e).

True flying business allows better SC and points accrual but is the rate of accrual expressed as SC/$ and Points/$ as good as long haul options (e.g. LHR, LAX etc)?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Jan 2013

Total posts 715

So much depends with these things, as its highly subjective. Easier to view through opportunity cost, as in would you personally do something better with the money not used (Business v Economy). For some the journey has little to do with what they consider the trip/holiday (or otherwise are restrained from J by budget, either theirs or their employers), for others the journey is just as (or maybe even more) important.

Absolutely it is very subjective. As a continuation from a BA service from London, these seats are fantastic; you're all fed prior to landing in SIN and it's about snoozing the final leg. But I wonder about the value of a business fare on an discreet Australia/Singapore sector.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 2223

I'd say it's worth it if you have to work a full day finishing at 5:00pm then head straight to the lounge before one of the redeyes like QF82, QF36 and QF52 followed by working a full day.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 2223

With my own money, I wouldn't pay cash for J ex-SIN as I can sleep fine in Y, having done the SIN-SYD route in Y (SQ and QF) for most of my life. I function surprisingly well on arrival, too, as I know how to handle redeyes.

But I think the delta is worthwhile if an executive has to hit the ground running or similar. It's also a very nice experience overall to fly J but when the delta is expressed in points as well as dollars then I'm coming to like the numbers.

Now, about St George...

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Jan 2013

Total posts 715

I almost never sleep on-board, except in extreme fatigue, but I still pay J or F (although I have taken a couple of PY flights). Mainly because my main reasons for travel are my flights. Nothing wrong with Y, just adverse to a full Y cabin (if you end up in a half empty Y cabin, you get to enjoy a great benefit for nix, but it's too much of a lucky dip for me). I've travelled Y before of course, just not this decade.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 2223

I always sleep on board. I have to say, I'm very good at it.

You know, the first time I fell asleep in the Skybed, it was still fully upright as were just taking off. I woke up a few minutes later as we finished climbout.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Jan 2013

Total posts 715

I envy the ease, best I can do is rest unless I am very sleep deprived. On the plus side, I do catch up on a few movies.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Jan 2013

Total posts 715

David, could you, on the International launch flight you're on, take a photo please of your sleep dressed seat for us? I know you've published a photo of one of the mock-ups dressed with the sleeping bag style mattress, but I'd be keen to see it in real action. On the mock up, it bunched somewhat messily on the foot and I'm keen to know if they've tinkered with that since. Look forward to your trip report.

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2405

It'll be hard to get a good pic showing the front of the seat in lie-flat bed mode because of the relatively tright confines of the cabin and that the leading edge of the seat disappears in the 'cubbyhole' created by the seat in front – and tomorrow we'll be boarding along with all other passengers, so photo opportunities will be very limited. But I'll definitely be requesting the 'Sleep Sooner' service at the Qantas Singapore Lounge with the aim of getting what pics I can...

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Jan 2013

Total posts 715

Thanks David, appreciated.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 2223

This will be fantastic for those Asia to Australia redeyes. Even with the flat bed, the flights are so short it's difficult to get a good night's sleep, so every minute counts.

Lufthansa - Miles & More

29 Jul 2014

Total posts 185

Yay nice tough like the VS service on some upper class sates 

24 Dec 2013

Total posts 88

Nice cost cutting exercise. Less people to feed that night, less food and drink to bring on board, maybe in time less cabin crew.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Jan 2013

Total posts 715

I wouldn't call it an "enhancement"/cost cutting exercise (like the very unpopular "cafe breakfast" was), as the choice to elect for Sleep Sooner service rests with the passenger (it's not something forced on everyone, such as you didn't have an option of a normal breakfast with cafe breakfast being the only thing offered). And given it's decided shortly before boarding, they can't really change catering orders in influence of that. Too variable.

24 Dec 2013

Total posts 88

It's not in the interest of any business to have too many unknown variables. They will collect statistics and after a while they will be able to predict how many people will prefer to skip the meal service on board and they will adjust catering accordingly. This development is brilliant in that it is good news to both the airline and the customer.

07 Oct 2012

Total posts 1256

Not everything has to be negative.

20 Apr 2014

Total posts 94

not everyone has to swallow every QF press release as gospel either ;)

07 Oct 2012

Total posts 1256

I'm pretty sure once you see its a QF press release you've made you're mind up by the heading ;-p

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

29 Jun 2013

Total posts 367

It will suit a lot of junior executives that fly a lot but myself I like to enjoy the journey and mainly take day time flights so that means fying on up to four different airlines with no affiliation on any melbourne to Europe  journey, together with stop overs . 

17 May 2012

Total posts 81

I havent flown QF international Business  (or Economy) for some years, but one of the big negatives was the waking you up too early before landing for breakfast and the 'prepare for landing' routine. On TG for example which I travel most, the plane is well into descent and with 30 mins to touchdown before being waken. Particulalry on the routes mentioned above perhaps QF could look at extra sleep time at the other end too.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

29 Jul 2013

Total posts 209

This makes me very happy! Good call Qantas!

20 Apr 2014

Total posts 94

guess this is a benefit in that you no longer have to wait for crew to make it up for you before going to sleep although I have always done it myself as the crew is always focused on supper service which takes forever.

not really that much of a benefit given the new seats cannot fully recline until cruise anyway so really just saves you the time it would take to get the mattress down and pop it on - 3 minutes max?

the amenity kit and water bottle at your seat already? please that's just catch up to CX and others who always do this

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 2223

Amenity kit and water are already at the seat with the Skybed I, and I too put the mattress pad down myself.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Jan 2013

Total posts 715

I don't think it really matters if other airline do similar things or not, unique isn't really a consumer benefit here (although it may be a marketing one to the airline). Ultimately the question is this a positive move or not. I believe it is.

Yes, not unsurprisingly, PR departments of (all) airlines give a lot of fluff to sometimes small things, but Qantas seems pretty measured here and it's a positive addition. I think a well done is warranted. It's not the be all and end all by any means, but deserves credit and will add in a positive way to the experience as a whole.

I'd rather see a QF 738 with domestic business on SIN-PER.  If I were to fly SIN-SYD it would be BA in Y+, in which I can sleep well.  Or I would be in CX Y+ from HKG. True not a choice for everyone, but QF's choice in omitting a a smallish Y+ cabin on planes which fly 7+ hours (esp when overnight)  I think is a long term mistake.  YMMV

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 2223

This is a nice idea but unless both legs run during daylight hours I don't think this holds that much water.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards Platinum

29 Aug 2014

Total posts 38

Brilliant idea. I FLY BUSINESS CLASS TO SLEEP NOT TO EAT AND DRINK. I'd prefer to eat kitchen cooked meat rather than in-flight meal in anyways. 

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards Platinum

29 Aug 2014

Total posts 38

Brilliant idea. I FLY BUSINESS CLASS TO SLEEP NOT TO EAT AND DRINK. I'd prefer to eat kitchen cooked meat rather than in-flight meal in anyways. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Oct 2014

Total posts 5

No good if you live in Perth, thanks to Alan Joyce, he made sure all West Aust's dont have any international flights, now thats foresight, lets cut all international services, thatll increase business and help loyal customers!


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