Review: Qantas Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner premium economy, Perth-London

By James Fordham, March 26 2018

Last year, Australian Business Traveller reviewed Qantas' new Premium Economy offering on the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, and while there was a lot to like about the product, the lack of legroom once the seat ahead of you was reclined was a worrying issue – especially for upcoming ultra-long-haul routes.

In fact, the lack of seat pitch was an issue for us when we first tested the seat on its delivery flight from Seattle to Sydney, and again when travelling from Melbourne to Los Angeles.

Over the weekend I was on board the inaugural Perth to London service in Premium Economy, ferrying passengers over 14,000km across the Indian ocean on a journey that takes a little over 17 hours and truly puts the comfort factor of Premium Economy to the test. While our other reviews were conducted by the smaller statured writers of Australian Business Traveller, this time our test subject is taller and larger.

My journey actually began in Sydney, where I boarded a flight to Perth and stoped off in the brand new Perth International Transit Lounge (with access exclusively for passengers heading to or from London on this new route) before hopping on QF9 for the London service.

Passengers travelling in Premium Economy receive priority boarding, however lounge access isn’t included as part of the ticket – you’ll need to be Qantas Gold or above (or the equivalent Oneworld status) to have access to the Perth International Transit Lounge.

Seat

We’ve previously covered the seat features in great depth here, and here. As someone that’s over 6-feet tall, I found the seat to be surprisingly comfortable considering the issues that previous Australian Business Traveller reviewers brought up.

One of the main contentions was the footrest netting, which is clearly hit-or-miss when it comes to comfort – for my smaller colleagues it was undoubtedly a miss, but I found it to be comfortable for the duration of the flight. A full-fare paying seatmate that was a similar height to me also found it to be comfortable, so it seems that taller passengers will appreciate it more than smaller passengers who may have trouble extending their legs far enough to get the full benefits of the netting, which provides support to the legs without restricting them against a hard material.

Seat pitch could do with some improvement – while there was sufficient room to not have my knees touching the seat in front even when reclined, it didn’t feel meaningfully more spacious than being in economy.  

The tray table was also slightly annoying – if you’re a larger passenger, the table is not high enough to sit on its own, and will instead rest on top of your legs. Thankfully it’s large enough to get some work done on your laptop, and the handy in-seat charging port means you can keep your devices powered up.  

Flight

Qantas has been heavily promoting its efforts to make ultra-long-haul routes more palatable for consumers, including their partnership with university researchers to improve passenger comfort when they’re in the air for long stretches of time.

While I’m not quite sold on the benefits of multi-coloured LED lighting just yet, the Dreamliner’s higher humidity content and lower equivalent-altitude pressurisation makes a clear difference to overall comfort on the flight.

Generally I’ve found that about 8 to 9 hours into a standard flight on older generation aircraft, you’ll start to feel the nasal dryness and irritated eyes that come with being in a dry, pressurised environment. On this Dreamliner flight, I didn’t feel that until the 14.5 hour mark, which is a noticeable improvement and a factor that truly does make these longer flights more bearable.

Premium Economy passengers also receive a Country Road amenities kit, with a sleeping mask, socks, and a dental kit, and on this flight we were permitted to use the Business Class lavatories.

All in all, I managed to get around 6 hours of sleep, broken up into 2-hour and 4-hour blocks, which meant that I didn’t feel too jetlagged on arrival into London. After landing at 5am, we went straight into a press conference, following which a 30-minute power nap was sufficient to keep me going through the day – a remarkable feat considering the length of the journey and the time difference.

Dining

The dining options are definitely a cut above what is offered in Economy, and cements Premium Economy’s status as a ‘Business-lite’ offering.

Three choices are offered for the main dish during your first meal, including:

  • Salad of cumin spiced beef, with zucchini, corn and a citrus dressing
  • Chicken with red rice, with roasted Mediterranean vegetables, soya beans and thyme jus
  • Grilled pork sausages with spiced fig sauce, soft polenta and seasonal greens

I opted for the chicken with red rice, which was tasty and filling. The main dish is accompanied by a salad of garden leaves with Rockpool vinaigrette, as well as cheese and biscuits. Dessert is an orange polenta cake.

Throughout the flight, snacks are also available, with a decent range of both savoury and sweet options. Savoury options include:

  • Sausage roll with tomato relish and green leaf salad
  • Tomato and mushroom puff pastry tart with corn salsa
  • Smoked trout and zucchini frittata with roast asparagus and tomatoes

Those with a sweet tooth can choose from:

  • Weis ice cream
  • Chocolate pretzel cookie with pecans
  • Lemon shortbread biscuit
  • Fresh whole fruit

I couldn’t go past the classic sausage roll, which was well presented and satisfying.

Before arriving into London, breakfast is offered, including the following choices:

  • Rhubarb Danish
  • Coconut Banana Loaf
  • Continental breakfast, consisting of a seasonal fruit plate and cereal
  • Hot breakfast, consisting of a feta and spinach omelette with pork and apple sausage, bacon, hash brown and braised beans accompanied with a fruit salad

The hot breakfast was my choice, and I appreciated that it wasn’t too oily or heavy.

Entertainment

It's important to have something besides work to keep you entertained on such a long flight, which is why I was disapointed with the movie catalogue on board. I counted only around 70 movies, including international releases. While there were many new releases, the back catalogue of films could do with some filling out. I did enjoy the classic Bond movies, and the television selection with plenty of box sets was well curated. 

Being able to have a tablet sit in front of the IFE screen was also handy, as was the provided active noise-cancelling headphones in case you forget to bring your own pair. 

Overall

All things considered, I was happy with the flight – while 17 continuous hours can be daunting, I found the seat to be both wide and comfortable enough to relax and get some sleep on the way to London.

The seat pitch is still a sticking point, and increasing this by even a couple of inches would improve the experience considerably. The controversial netting was also comfortable for me and my seatmate, so it seems that taller passengers may have better experiences with it.

Sid Raja travelled as a guest of Qantas

james_fordham

James has been interested in aviation ever since his first flight. When he’s not travelling, he’s still on the road indulging his motoring hobby, or trying a new whisky.

TZB88

TZB88

QFF

16 May 2016

Total posts 42

"while there was sufficient room to not have my knees touching the seat in front even when reclined, it didn’t feel meaningfully more spacious than being in economy".

This is exactly my issue with Premium (across any carrier). Let's face it, most people buy it for the perceived extra space, but I don't believe the difference in price represents value vs, say, an exit row economy seat.

John Phelan

John Phelan

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Oct 2011

Total posts 322

Qantas has increased the pitch in Economy for the 787, but seems to have left it the same for Premium - meaning that there's hardly any difference in pitch between the two. But the big difference between the two classes is in seat width - Premium is 7 seats per row; Economy is 9.

TZB88

TZB88

QFF

16 May 2016

Total posts 42

And like other Premiums - this includes a hard, immovable armrest taking up lots of that perceived width!! No raising the armrest for a bit more space/sleep/recline comfort when the seat next you is empty.

I'm sure the Premium is a good product, i just find it's overrated/overpriced across the industry for what you really get (want).

Private Pilot

Private Pilot

26 Sep 2017

Total posts 43

Try Air New Zealand premium economy...I came back from Los Angeles on Saturday on their B787-9 in premium economy. It's nothing like QANTAS at all. I have used QANTAS premium economy a lot on their A380 and quite like it. But Air New Zealand sets the bar very high. Not possible for the person in front to encroach on your space because their seats are self-contained 'pods' with a very generous pitch. I could easily see why Air New Zealand consistently rates very well in Skytrax reviews. Also the dining on Air New Zealand premium economy was way better than my experiences on our QANTAS planes (but of course dining is subjective).

DGP

DGP

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Jan 2012

Total posts 169

That's a lot of Country Road branding on the Amenity Kit. Can't see anything that reflects QF.

TheHawk

TheHawk

10 Jan 2017

Total posts 9

Nothing reflects Country Road either, just a form of advertising

Alex Moris

Alex Moris

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Jan 2017

Total posts 39

Save yourselves the $$ and fly Emirates. Qantas premium economy is Emirates Economy.

patullose

patullose

08 Jul 2015

Total posts 10

You’ve obviously never flown Qantas Premium Economy

patrickk

patrickk

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 399

I for one prefer QF premium economy (and QF economy) as it both are far superior to EK economy especially the very cramped 10 across on the 777, okay for the Intra Asia regional flights but not 10+hr sectors.

SteveCF

SteveCF

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

15 Aug 2012

Total posts 170

I've flown both, and that comment just doesn't hold up.

The premium economy product in my experience is actually very good.

It's what it's meant to be, better than economy but not business.

Dale

Dale

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Dec 2011

Total posts 90

That's like the comment about Qatar installing Y+ in their planes, CEO AlBaker said their Y seats were as good as Y+ on other airlines. Talk about laugh, just shook my head and laughed.

worldwanderer

worldwanderer

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

13 Jan 2017

Total posts 71

"Save yourselves the $$ and fly Emirates. Qantas premium economy is Emirates Economy."

A totally fallacious comment .


I've flown EK - Y long haul 5 times and absolutely certain it is very inferior in both soft and hard product to QF - Y let alone QF - PE (even the old fitout) which is leagues ahead.

So much so, my partner and I now always alternate routes / airlines (QF, CX, SQ, MY, QR) to avoid ever having to board an Emirates flight again even if it takes longer and costs more.

I cannot comment on EK - J, have heard it is good, but my experiences with EK crew in Y have put me off totally from trying.

clarkysdonga

clarkysdonga

18 Aug 2015

Total posts 49

I have flown EK and QF many times and EK economy always wins. More leg room, better food, much better drinks service (Bloody Mary comes with all individual ingredients and not just a pre mixed can), and I prefer the fresh lighter colour scheme.

Private Pilot

Private Pilot

26 Sep 2017

Total posts 43

Hi Worldwanderer...you should give Emirates one more chance...in business class long haul. It's uplifting, friendly and amazing how the trip goes when you're leaning on the bar having a drink, meeting new people. I concur with the skytrax public traveller survey which has put Emirates top of the list in Business class. Give it a go....you won't be disappointed, I'm sure!!

traveller90

traveller90

29 Jan 2012

Total posts 108

Totally agree with Alex. Yes, we all have different tastes and requirements when travelling, but I am definitely on the side of EK for long haul. Their balance just seems to work where QF just seems to make the lower limits - especially with their catering, bar service and of course the almighty seat arrangement.

The crew also are a big factor for the airlines and have been let me down on both EK and QF, but QF just seem to keep the standard lower on more occasions. So once again it is up to the seasoned travellerl to make the decision and this is where this forum makes for interesting reading when comparisons are made.

Happy flying!

lind26

lind26

24 Apr 2014

Total posts 269

Agree, Qantas have issues with consistency in Customer service and the food is pretty poor and lacking in volume in economy. I also dislike the way they serve you food in bits, rather than all on a tray and well presented like Emirates.

Private Pilot

Private Pilot

26 Sep 2017

Total posts 43

Alex...I concur.
Actually, when one looks at the results of Skytrax's public traveller surveys on many airlines, QANTAS hasn't rated well for many years; QANTAS could not in my view therefore be classed as a 'premium' airline.
The only thing QANTAS does well is premium economy...and only on their A380. I use this on QF7 and 8. Unfortunately though, their A380 cabin feels about as uplifting as the inside of a submarine...it's dull, dark and grey.
I fly often...in all classes, and my experience leads me to the same conclusion that skytrax's surveys all show, and that is Emirates overall offers the most highly regarded product.

rebekkap

rebekkap

27 Sep 2011

Total posts 34

While I don't necessarily agree with the consistent customer service comment, I agree about the volume of food issue, and it's not just in economy - I often feel half starved at the end of a J flight too. You can fill up on bread (which I don't eat) but the portions are tiny (and I'm a 5'5" small-ish woman so it's not like I'm demanding huge man-sized portions!)

Alex Moris

Alex Moris

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Jan 2017

Total posts 39

When the ticket cost on Qantas is sometimes more then Emirates, my investment will be based on value for money.

My family recently flew QF1 and returned to SYD on EK metal. We noticed a significant difference in product offerings and overall experience to which we felt Emirates was superior.

I.e Emirates economy cabin offered:

*bar service (liqueurs - ie. baileys /cognac was available in economy- however on QF this reserved for premium cabins).

*hot towel service

*polariod photos for the kids

*inflight wifi

*children’s activity kit which was presented in a backpack. (We were not offered this on QF)

*nicely presented meal tray with metal cutlery and meal service was completed in a calm and reasonable time frame.

Whereas on Qantas meal service took a very long time to complete and no meal trays - just separate items given to you to juggle and at one point crew were yelling across the cabin to each other looking for spare meals. In my opinion overall experience on Qantas was what I expected from a “premium” airline.

stmaus

stmaus

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

20 Nov 2017

Total posts 103

AM - there's a "not" missing from your very last par.

mancho90

mancho90

United Airlines - Mileage Plus

13 Mar 2015

Total posts 76

If you compare with AC, CA, ER, SK, LH I might say that yes but not even with those... I have flown EK and their economy product is not even a shadow of what used to be... Even worst with 10 abreast in economy for the 777 and narrower seats in the 380 high density....and QF is much superior than many Asian and gulf carriers.yes QF don't fake smiles but Dam they are very good in service and kind and genuine Australian

Joeiaquinto

Joeiaquinto

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Aug 2014

Total posts 1

Nice to see that pork is back on the menu

jrfsp

jrfsp

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Mar 2014

Total posts 111

Slightly ironic the sausage roll is served over the UAE...

sgb

sgb

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

30 Nov 2015

Total posts 745

The PE dental kit with the tooth pick will be handy for those corn on the cobs consumed back at the Perth Lounge.

Skipp

Skipp

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

20 Aug 2012

Total posts 126

Thanks Siddharth Raja for the special inaugural review - much appreciated!


However, I look forward to AUSBT also completing a premium economy review in future on this flight leg, which isn't an inaugural flight, where typically special beneficial treatment is given to the guests on board (i.e. Press, politicians, CEO's etc), including access to other cabins, extra staff etc. Also with these inaugural flights time goes by much quicker because people are up and about (less time stuck in their seats) conducting interviews and celebrating the occasion, which is to be expected.

sid

sid

07 Jan 2011

Total posts 39

Hi Skipp,

I did not need to interview anyone so spent most of the time in my seat. Yes, service did start later than usual but the rest was fairly standard.

Davedownunder

Davedownunder

19 Aug 2011

Total posts 51

Not revolutionary then Sid? Your description sounds like seat was OK but not what Alan Joyce promised. I assume he did not sit it it for the flight either

sid

sid

07 Jan 2011

Total posts 39

I'll agree with our previous statements that this is a good seat looking for some extra pitch to make it a great seat.

sven

sven

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

09 May 2013

Total posts 6

Seems like Australian Aviation had the exact same dinner and breakfast mains as you (according to their recently posted review), albeit seated at the back of the bus. So aside from plating, not a huge differentiation food wise. Although the P.E. mid-flight snacks menu does look substantially better.

Dale

Dale

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Dec 2011

Total posts 90

Looks like the seat is reclining, meaning that the passenger behind you has the back of the seat in their lap. Something that puts me off of Y+. I like the fixed back better, like they have on China Airlines A350. No front seat in your lap, but some might disagree, that this is a problem. Still it does look better than cattle class, but then anything is better than Y.

JKH

JKH

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Sep 2017

Total posts 128

Sid. Did that calf-rest device work for you? It looks like legs are squished into it.

sid

sid

07 Jan 2011

Total posts 39

The designer of the seat explained that the net is better for taller people and the calf rest better for shorter. I'm approx 6" so I used the net.

jenko13

jenko13

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

08 Feb 2011

Total posts 12

I am suprised QF did not go for the shell design in PE, I flew Japan Airlines last year on a 787 and the legroom is fantastic with the seat sliding within the shell. Although I did have trouble sleeping the legroom and personal space was terrific

Metoo

Metoo

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Nov 2016

Total posts 67

That looks very ordinary and not worth the money

Bruce777

Bruce777

Aegean Airlines - Miles & Bonus

17 Sep 2017

Total posts 17

I think Qantas dropped the ball here... the legroom is a serious issue, and if they cut out one row from economy and increase the pitch by maybe just 2-3 inches in PE, it would make a huge difference. Now it just looks cramped and uncomfortable, despite the rest of the seat being of high quality design.

sgb

sgb

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

30 Nov 2015

Total posts 745

Sid, please tell us more about the footrest netting. Can't see a good picture of it, I conjure up an image of having to place feet in an old string bag type thing. Surely it's better than that.

SeaVisionBurma

SeaVisionBurma

Thai Airways International - Royal Orchid Plus

13 Jan 2017

Total posts 33

How is the tablet able to perch on front of the IFE screen?

mviy

mviy

05 May 2016

Total posts 527

When are you going to review economy (what most people will be flying) on this route?

Phil Young

Phil Young

Qantas

22 Oct 2012

Total posts 263

"Australian BUSINESS Traveller" reviews Business class seating, not Economy. You'll need to find another website/blog for such reviews.

TheHawk

TheHawk

10 Jan 2017

Total posts 9

Business traveler, not business class traveler. Most people traveling for business these days are flying in economy.

David

David

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2333

We don't review international economy class. Plenty of mainstream websites and newspaper travel sections do this already. Our primary target audience are those who travel in premium cabins, which centre on business class flanked by first and premium economy.

docsimonm

docsimonm

29 Mar 2017

Total posts 14

I am surprised and the negativity around the seat. I have flown the old hard product multiple times in PE on 747 and A380 and I find it wide and comfortable with a good amount of recline. Yes when the seat in front of you reclines it can encroach on your space a little, but that's the trade off for the recline you personally get. Seat pitch is never going to be business class but I've always found it much better than economy. I can only imagine that the new seat should be an improvement on the last, so I'm not sure why there's so much negativity. Seat pitch is never going to be business class but I've always found it much better than economy. "Business-lite" is a fair moniker.

The rest of the product is great - food and wine wise - with the traditionally Qantas highly variable quality of customer service.

hutch

hutch

07 Oct 2012

Total posts 1222

@docsimonm - but as you point out, that was the old PE product. QF changed seats.

Timmy22bc

Timmy22bc

18 Oct 2015

Total posts 34

They also reduced the pitch from 42 inch to 38 on the new seat, I believe.

Smithy

Smithy

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

05 Apr 2012

Total posts 54

Premium is the sweet spot for earn & upgrades as well.

Row 20 is the sweet seat imo with the extra leg room.

Food looked good as well. Look forward to the homeward report. :)

serfty

serfty

08 Jul 2017

Total posts 17

Did the author keep their seat belt on while eating?

flyingdr

flyingdr

22 Dec 2017

Total posts 22

And how was the service?!

Service is such an integral part of the flying experience. Please start including it in your reviews Sid.

sid

sid

07 Jan 2011

Total posts 39

Hi flyingdr, thanks for your question. Service on this inaugural flight was excellent, but then again you would expect it to be with a hand picked crew that are excited to be on a historic flight. I've always found QF service to be friendly and casual, but not always perfect. I would not expect this to be any different on a standard QF9/10 flight.

mrmaxwell

mrmaxwell

17 Jun 2011

Total posts 66

Best thing about this seat is the minimal amount of points needed to upgrade to J!

VZ1_60

VZ1_60

QFF

03 Sep 2014

Total posts 11

being a tall person, and having flown Emirates economy from Dubai to Perth in a 777 (4 wide in the middle), I can't see how PE would be equal or worse. It is so squeezy in Emirates economy, and people including the crew keep bumping into the isle seated passengers. Some of the airlines are simply squeezing too many passengers into Ecnomy and it makes for a terrible experience, no matter what food or drinks they dish up.

Sula

Sula

07 Jun 2016

Total posts 29

How about the much discussed low lavatory/pax ratio? Any experience or reports of lengthy queues in J or Y+? Any indication of the crew not being able to maintain and restock the lavs given intensive usage?

sid

sid

07 Jan 2011

Total posts 39

Didn't have too many dramas. Yes, it can get busy at the end of a flight with people changing out of PJs and brushing their teeth etc, but it wasn't worse than any other recent flight I've been on.

Booster

Booster

United Airlines - Mileage Plus

17 Feb 2016

Total posts 47

Good to see them rocking the Country Road toothpaste. A brand synonymous with oral hygiene since...when? It just tastes bad!

Can't believe they just don't do a deal with Colgate so I don't have to lift it form the showers in HKG.

Sr Batrill

Sr Batrill

04 Dec 2017

Total posts 25

787 for 17 hours - I don't think so, even if it were business. If it was the A380 maybe. As for all the Qantas loyalists voting down anything negative against Qantas please remember Qantas hasn't won any awards of note for any portion of its hard or soft product in the recent past. I think the wine cellar is it. The fact they charge as much as the industry greats of Emirates, Qatar, Singapore for fares in most classes means you really aren't getting true value for money - in any class of travel. Also, their lounges are slowly morphing into 'one size fits all' and for me as a senior teir member who flies first it's a thumbs down. I'll keep flying Emirates metal - QF ticketed as long as that partnership is around.

SteveCF

SteveCF

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

15 Aug 2012

Total posts 170

In my opinion I'd take the 17 hour flight on a Dreamliner over a 13-14 hour flight on the A380. I didn't think I'd say that, but I've flown the Dreamliner a few times now and their strategies around jet lag works. I feel much better at the other end.

I'd challenge you to give it a go, you might be surprised.

Private Pilot

Private Pilot

26 Sep 2017

Total posts 43

Hi SteveCF...I fly on B787 once every 3 weeks. (usually Air NZ or LATAM) and on A380 once every 10 weeks (QF7/8) and on Emirates A380 twice each year SYD-Birmingham or Manchester. I have flown twice on A350 (LATAM).
Lowering the cabin altitude from 8000ft to 6000ft does not affect passenger comfort (Clinical studies in UK have already established this). Aircraft travelling below 40,000ft will have a cabin pressure equivalent to about 7,000ft, so the difference is hardly noticeable.
It is cabin sound pressure level, wing stability and RATE at which the cabin pressure changes, that have the most significant effect on comfort. Airbus planes (A330, 340, 350, 380) slow the rate of pressure change down as the aircraft approaches its planned altitude. Sound pressure levels I have measured are generally lower in Airbus aircraft. B787 is the most quiet Boeing I have measured (68.4 dbA). A380 is the most quiet Airbus (57.3 dbA). Measured in economy sections immediately on the leading edge of the wing, centre of plane.
Moisture control is another aspect of comfort approached in a different way by different manufacturers. B787 maintains approx 10% to 15% relative humidity in the whole passenger cabin partly by circulating cabin air through the space between the hull and inner lining. (If you sit in certain window seats on a B787, you will hear noise from the recirc system). A350 provides about 20% to 25% relative humidity in First and Business. Economy section in an A350 still sits at about 18% relative humidity, depending on passenger load.
After reading all this, your comfort is further and considerably impacted by the seating class and position, the fluids you drink and the food you eat.

SteveCF

SteveCF

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

15 Aug 2012

Total posts 170

Thanks Private Pilot, Great information.

Ultimately I can only go by my experience hence stating my opinion after flying multiple aircraft type and carriers over the years. What Boeing and Qantas has put together for long haul worked very well for me and I think it's well worth trying the option rather than discounting altogether, which you're not saying, but providing instead some great science behind the product.

Thanks again.

Travelwell

Travelwell

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 Oct 2017

Total posts 75

With all the promoting and fanfare of this aircraft aside, I much prefer the A380 product to travel on from a comfort and logistical point of view. The more serious problem is with less capacity now out of Melbourne on QF9 787, it is difficult to find seats out of Melbourne especially for those of us who book seats on relatively short notice due to business arrangements. This is a loyalty road block resulting in alternate carriers/less status points. Is Qantas listening.??
This lower capacity affects QF1 availability as well before someone suggests it. Whichever way one looks at it total capacity out of the eastern seaboard has diminished. I'm having to fly alternate carrier early April now. So much for low season.
Hope Qantas IS listening to its FFlyers.!

Traveller14

Traveller14

17 Sep 2015

Total posts 391

TZB88 made the first and third comments and hit the nail on the head. "Premium economy" on any airline is way overpriced. The armrest in between seats means that if the seat next to you is vacant you can't lie across two or three seats. In economy class, sometimes it's possible to lie across four seats.

I concur that ABT should review the Y class experience. Majority of passengers including some businessmen fly that class. My inkling is it would not be pleasant.

Six hours sleep in the blocks described (two plus four) is insufficient. Doubtful it was 'proper' sleep. We need eight hours a night.

Given the high fares Qantas charges, other airlines offer better value.

hutch

hutch

07 Oct 2012

Total posts 1222

I love the A380, but again, I suspect the majority of people flying economy don't even check what plane they are flying. If they are getting 90%loads on these flights, then at least for the time being, it indicates it's been a wise decision to start the direct LHR flights. Hopefully Paris and Frankfurt follow in the coming years.

Skipp

Skipp

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

20 Aug 2012

Total posts 126

I’m assuming why the loads are so big for the QF9/10 Perth - London route for the immediate future is due to a mixture of curious passengers trialling the route, combined with a lot of passengers who were transferred onto the new route by Qantas after originally booking themselves on the previous QF9 A380 aircraft (via Dubai).

sid

sid

07 Jan 2011

Total posts 39

AusBT is not designed to cater to the "majority" of travellers.

Traveller14

Traveller14

17 Sep 2015

Total posts 391

Agreed, but a fallacy that every businessman always travels in business, premium economy or (where it exists: becoming rare) in first class on flights.

For a range of reasons (cost, paying for it out of one's pocket, what seats were available, company or government policies...some actually travel economy class on airlines.

Herb33

Herb33

Air Canada - Aeroplan

02 Sep 2015

Total posts 11

It should be compulsory for airline CEOs to fly the longest route on their system in the worst economy seat and incognito. Maybe once a year for everybody at VP level.

Fat chance!

oruspicarous

oruspicarous

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

18 Jun 2015

Total posts 60

Probs too hard for the CEO to go incognito, but I’m willing to give it a go if QF’s willing :)

NBen

NBen

26 Oct 2017

Total posts 4

Thanks for the review Sid.

On a related issue, I believe there is a

problem with pricing policy for PE on QF9/10. (Apologies if too far off topic.)

I’ve booked these flights from MEL-LHR for Jul/Aug this year. I live in Melbourne but am from Perth and wanted a stopover in Perth in one direction to see family and friends. This type of stopover was promoted by QF in its media lines when announcing the route.

However, a PE ticket with a stopover in either direction would have cost $500 more than without stopover AND the domestic leg into or out of the stopover would have been in Y, not PE.

Effectively - pay more get less.

(Didn’t get the stopover but did get a great PE sale fare.)

I guess this is something to do with classifying the MEL - PER segment as domestic when linked to a stopover.

But whatever the reason, I believe this is a problem QF needs to fix for that small band of travellers who want a PE ticket with a short stop in Perth.

I have passed that feedback onto QF.

Libertyscott

Libertyscott

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

19 Aug 2011

Total posts 150

If it were the same pitch as NZ has in PE (41-42" with 8.7" recline), it would be pretty much a winner all round. The price premium would be much more acceptable, but as the first commenter noted "while there was sufficient room to not have my knees touching the seat in front even when reclined, it didn’t feel meaningfully more spacious than being in economy". Obviously 3-3-3 in economy means PE has demonstrably more lateral space, but when reclined the extra pitch is functionally lost. 5 inches more is enough to be able to move adequately.

mancho90

mancho90

United Airlines - Mileage Plus

13 Mar 2015

Total posts 76

There is a BIG question that it seems no one is mentioning here or almost ANY PE review, videos or photos, mainly for this new on board of QF 787-9. Front row it seems that don't have Calf/feet-rest as the good PE seats should have. Can someone confirm that? Basically that makes a difference in the front/bulk head row for PE. I have tried other PE including the "cheap" Economy Plus cabins (and service) of AC and BA that don't have it.. CX had it in the old design and now all seats have that, NZ, NH and SQ have them in all rows as well... AA, LH have the foot/leg rest for the bulkhead or row only and footrest for other PE rows. JL, AF and AZ have similar "shell" seats with foot/calf-rest with great service. I haven't tried QF (New), SK nor SK. If Qf don't have is a big minus on those "bulkhead seats".

sid

sid

07 Jan 2011

Total posts 39

QF provide portable foot rests for bulkhead seats on the 787.

Peter F Model

Peter F Model

25 Oct 2013

Total posts 11

Just a note, Beware: emirates economy on their 777 is worst than qantas, 380 is slightly better.
Based on seat guru the seat pitch is 38inches and is typicably twice the cost of economy. Its not very good value and this is common across most airlines. United is the exception, where economy plus is 10-15% more expensive. However the seat pitch is 34 inches and the width is the same.
17 hours, even in a 38 inch pitch seat, is not a pleasant experience - but is tolerable. However in standard economy it can only be horrible. It will be interesting how well this flight does, as economy seats are the normal bread and butter of airliners. I would prefer to stop in singapore or bangikok or HK on my way to the old blighty if i had to do it in economy.

andrewdouglas

andrewdouglas

09 Apr 2018

Total posts 1

The new 787 premium economy sounds much worse than the existing, adequate, 747 premium, which has comfortable seats with ample leg room, a dedicated lavatory, and access to the snack bar. I will fly ANZ, Air Canada, or Cathay until they resolve the situation.

livejon

livejon

12 Jan 2016

Total posts 13

Just flew QF9/10 787 in PE and have mixed feelings. The seat is quite comfortable and wide so good for daytime comfort: work, food, films. Definitely more spacious and comfrable than Y. Sleep was ok on PER-LHR since the time of day is conducive as an overnight with an evening departure. But the seat itself is not great for sleep. And the pitch issue is terrible if/when the person in front of you reclines all the way (it actually feels like their head is right in your lap). Personally, I do like the foot rest and basket and found that helpful for finding support. So the seat is a 3/5, the pitch is a 1/5 and food and service were 4/5. My seat 21A on the return leg LHR-PER was actually broken (!) and I could not control it; the flight attendants manually moved it using a tool to force it into the recline position about four hours in and then ratcheted it back up for landing. The crew were good about it, and friendly, but to have a broken seat was very disappointing for a brand new plane and ‘revolutionary’ new PE. That, it was not. I really wanted to love it. But... overall: 3/5 (that is not considering the broken seat which I’m hoping Qantas give me a call to explain themselves, as the senior flight crew suggested they would).

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