Up close: Qantas' Boeing 787 economy seat

By David Flynn, November 24 2016

Following the official launch of Qantas' Boeing 787, Australian Business Traveller had the opportunity to nestle into the new economy seat as a taster of the what many travellers will experience once the red-tailed Dreamliner takes to the skies from late 2017.

The economy cabin's 166 seats will be arranged in a 3-3-3 layout.

While some of the 'seat elite' set are making their expected grumbles against this nine-across configuration, rather than an eight-abreast cabin (with 2-4-2 seating), the fact is that nine-across is the industry standard for the Boeing 787.

The Qantas Boeing 787 economy seat pitch is set to 32 inches, which is one inch more than the Qantas Airbus A380's economy seats.

And that one extra inch makes quite a difference, not just in legroom but in knee-room.

Bear in mind that hundreds of passengers fly each day between Sydney and Dallas on the Qantas superjumbo – I've done it, and I'll be first to agree that it's not comfortable – so this extra inch will be appreciated, especially on those very long flights which the Dreamliner will be making.

(Touted routes such as Perth-London, Sydney-Chicago and Melbourne-Dallas will all exceed 17 hours.)

And while the Boeing 787 economy seat is slightly narrower than Qantas' A380 benchmark – around 17.2 inches, down from the superjumbo's 17.5 inches – it's not something that anybody will notice. We're talking about less than half the diameter of a 5c coin.

Each economy seat reclines up to six inches, and passengers on those long Boeing 787 flights are certain to spend a lot of time in 'laid-back' mode.

It's quite comfortable, and more importantly, the extra inch of spacing between the seats means that even when the seat in front of you is fully reclined it won't be as intrusively 'in your face' as on other aircraft.

This photo gives you a sense of the practical room between seats, and also shows that I'm not always as po-faced as I may appear.

Qantas has put some thought into other ways to make the long trip slightly less of a trial.

Two netted pockets at the bottom of each seatback hold the airline-issued headphones and a water bottle.

(Our tip: bring your own noise-cancelling headphones, especially something super-compact like the Bose QC20s, and fling the supplied headphones into the overhead locker. Ditto for everything in the magazine pocket, barring the safety card of course, so there's more room for your own reading material or a tablet).

Up top sits an adjustable 12 inch touchscreen for the inflight entertainment system – and we know that's going to get a workout on those long flights.

Directly beneath this is a panel which reveals a nook for holding small personal items such as reading glasses.

The fold-down door to that cubby doubles as a stand for a tablet.

The setup here shows an iPad Mini, but a standard-sized tablet to around 10 inches (which includes most iPads and Android tablets) should also perch there without drama.

Note also the handy location of the USB port, so you can keep your tablet charged up while it's in use.

(There's also a universal AC socket lower down, between the seats, with two sockets for each set of three seats.)

The tray table slides up and out from a recess below the cubby.

This makes it possible to watch videos playing on your own tablet during the meal service.

The tray table flips back into a half-depth table if all you need is some space for your drink.

Also read:

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.

28 May 2016

Total posts 128

Great looking seat, looks like QF has hit the money even though it is 9-abrest.

12 Feb 2014

Total posts 228

That is an excellent design for an economy seat. Some real thought has been put into how people like to organise themselves on a long flight. Be great to see this turn up on domestic aircraft, though I'm guessing the extra legroom for the 787 makes all these clever design enhancements possible in the first place.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

18 May 2011

Total posts 220

Love that little/tray thingy - brilliant idea, excellent thinking.


I can also see from that photo with your keys that you don't drive a Toyota and that all of the magazines on the 787 are one month behind...

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2343

The keys etc were props set up by Qantas, not mine.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

18 May 2011

Total posts 220

You need keys for a 747?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 May 2013

Total posts 33

Have to start the 747 somehow 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Apr 2012

Total posts 303

Hi David, out of interest, how tall are you, so we can put into perspective your height ratio with the seat... Did notice in one of the pics your legs are crossed so there definitely seems like more room between the seats... however, once the seat in front reclines, your tv screen seems to be very low and you are watching the tv from an angle above?

31 Mar 2016

Total posts 644

@highflyer:

"your tv screen seems to be very low and you are watching the tv from an angle above?"

Multiple photos shown the screens are angle adjustable and therefore viewing can still be more or less perpendicular to the screen surface.  In any case, this set-up is no better nor worse than almost all other current Y seat design with screen.

31 Mar 2016

Total posts 644

Re the keys....may be QF does not partner with Toyota.....

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

18 May 2011

Total posts 220

That's right, Qantas partners with RollsRoyce ;)

But I felt a bit silly thinking they were David's keys; I imagine he drives a Bentley.

31 Mar 2016

Total posts 644

@fxdxdy:

"Love that little/tray thingy - brilliant idea, excellent thinking."

Fully agree.  The positioning /location of that mini-tray is ergonomically correct for tablet user.  I had experience using the  airline-provided tablet to watch movie inflight and my neck hurt after a few hrs staring down towards the main tray table where it was the only spot I could place the tablet without holding it. 

To the best of my knowledge, no one else has deployed nor announced similar design feature in Y yet....QF is ahead of the game in terms of catering to the smartphone/tablet-savy  generation in Y.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

18 May 2011

Total posts 220

It is clever. It effectively allows you to have all the space of the usual sized tray but split in two which in some cases is more useful.
I can't think of anyone else that does it but I'm sure it will be copied soon.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

08 Aug 2016

Total posts 59

big shame its 9-abreast like jetstar but at least still looks pretty good, the netting is a big + 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

08 Dec 2014

Total posts 35

It's 9 abreast like like practically every 787 on the planet.  As mentioned in the article it is the industry standard.  People just need to accept it and move on.
It's not the industry standard as defined by the maker. It's what the greedy customers (airlines) have done to bugger up the design intent.

31 Mar 2016

Total posts 644

@parishiltons:

"It's not the industry standard as defined by the maker."

Well it is..sort of.  That 'maker' officially defined TWO 'industry standards' re Y seat layout across cabin for 787: 8 AND 9 abreast and revealed BOTH to the public as early as Apr 2004 when 787 program was launched.  In that year, the 'maker' even distributed photos to the global media of a single Y cabin mockup with 2 sections installed right nex to each other(prepared mainly for easy comparison by airline customers) - 1 with 8 abreast and the other with 9 abreast.  I still have a photo showing that cabin mockup in 1 of my aviation book collection.  9 abreast Y on 787 has clearly never been a secret layout scheme purposely hidden fm the public eyes.

Almost all 787 customers(Except JL) ended-up selecting the 9 abreast option and the rest is history.  Therefore, it's @ least logical to claim that 9 abreast layout in Y for 787 is by far the 'dominant' industry standard as chosen(or bet)  by $ paying customers in that industry.

"It's what the greedy customers (airlines) have done to bugger up the design intent."

By the same token, we can also say those "greedy customers' decided indirectly on behalf of the vast majority of price-sensitive Y pax whose #1 purchasing priority is the lowest possible fare as opposed to greater seat width....

31 Mar 2014

Total posts 293

The features look great and are definitely a big step up, but wheres the padding? Looks like minimal backside cushioning an almost nothing for the back. After 17+ hours, I can imagine lots of very sore passengers.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

05 Oct 2016

Total posts 50

They should put them in the offices at Qantas HQ for all the staff and make them live/play/work in them for 17 hours straight!!!

Then rebuild them according to the feedback and suggestions...

QFF

19 Sep 2013

Total posts 152

Do the headrest sides fold out? And what is the red padding between the headphones and magazines? A padded divider or a QF goodies bag?

20 Apr 2014

Total posts 94

'Seat Elite' - who exactly is the target audience for this article? Business Travellers or Qantas PR trying to get a handle on the negative publicity around the LCC seat configuration on the 787?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Oct 2011

Total posts 327

It's not an LCC config - as David correctly notes, 9 abreast is the industry standard. If you want LCC, then you'd lose probably 2 inches in pitch and - as has been flagged by other airlines - 10 abreast.

31 Mar 2016

Total posts 644

@John Phelan:

"It's not an LCC config".

For some here, seat config is defined purely in 1 dimension=seat width.  Everything else concerning seat config can be conveniently ignored/disregarded.....

"If you want LCC, then you'd lose probably 2 inches in pitch.."

And good luck trying to find an AVOD-enabled screen with USB connection in a Y seat on any LCC....

31 Mar 2014

Total posts 293

And good luck trying to find an AVOD-enabled screen with USB connection in a Y seat on any LCC...."

You mean like Jetstars 787's?

31 Mar 2016

Total posts 644

@Dave:

Yup, like JQ's 787.  Therefore, is it logical to consider QF's Y on 787 hv the same seat std as JQ's Y on 787 simply because they've the same 9 abreast layout & seat width?

Note: Norwegian seems to be the only long/medium haul LCC currently offering AVOD screen in Y on 787.  No threat to QF's 787 though as Norwegian has no plan to fly to AU and its closest destination to AU is @ least 5hrs flight away @ BKK.

The seat width is disappointing but the added amenity is welcome. Still, I don't see why they couldn't have just slimmed the aisles a little and made the seats 17.4" rather than 17.2"...

31 Mar 2016

Total posts 644

@StudiodeKadent:

"I don't see why they couldn't have just slimmed the aisles a little..."

Probably because you also cannot see this little inconvenient piece of int'l safety cert regulation std known as minimum aisle width.

Numerous real-live trials(Sometimes real accidents) over the past 4-5 decades hv statistically proven that aisle width is a key factor in determining total evacuation time for all pax+crew during an emergency.

11 Jul 2016

Total posts 10

I think the extra 1" of pitch has come from less padding on the seat rather than physically putting the seats further apart.

24 Nov 2016

Total posts 1

Thickness of the seat padding has nothing to do with seat pitch.  If you had an extra 1" pitch and the seat back was also 1" thinner, you would have an extra 2" of space. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 May 2014

Total posts 405

I believe that seat pitch is measured as the distance between the same point on one seat and the seat in front.  This means it does not take into account the seat thickness and therefore does not represent the true legroom.  I have no doubt that this configuration is better than other QF seats, but there would not be room for a bottle in front of my knee!

24 Nov 2016

Total posts 2

Hmmmm. Interesting that QANTAS has decided to use the classic Holden bench seat configuration. I suppose it work for busses and trains.

24 Nov 2016

Total posts 2

How can I put this delicately......It's going to be interesting to press thighs/rub butts for 9+ hours with a complete stranger...must admit I do prefer a prefer a more defined seat cushion...

26 Jul 2015

Total posts 44

Wow, they have seats that will recline? Who'd have thought. Be some punch ups on these planes then, won't there be!

04 May 2015

Total posts 242

Err, most airlines have seats that can recline because they're designed that way (and the person behind can recline too), and most passengers manage to get from A to B without punching other people en route. I say "most", because there are always exceptions who learn that lesson the hard way...

26 Jul 2015

Total posts 44

I was actually being sarcastic.....

15 Jun 2013

Total posts 9

The seat itself looks an excellent design and the extra 1" of pitch is great. However the measurement of seat width is misleading as it's taken between the inside of the armrests and this means that by reducing the thickness of the armrest you make the measured width of the sest bigger. It is in no way a figure for comparison.

Width of the seat is an issue at shoulder level and there is significantly reduced shoulder space on 9 across 787's and 10 across 777's. This is caused by sculpting to make the window seats more snug with the fuselage and also by reducing the width of the aisles. How else to do squeeze in the extra seat. This creates increasing discomfort for aisle seat dwellers as they are constantly bumped into by passengers who increasingly go walkabout. Very noticeable on night flights.

The author's claim about minimal difference in space with a A380 is unfortunately nonsense. The moment a passengers shoulder comes in close proximity with another passenger there is a huge decline in comfort, half a centimetre can make a huge difference and in the case of a comparison with an A380 you are looking an increase of 3-6 cms of shoulder space per passenger  on an A380.

In many ways this effects smaller passengers more as the wider the total seat space the more smaller travellers have the ability to turn on their side and sleep on night flights which is a huge benefit now denied to travellers on the 787 or 10 across 777.  In effect a smaller traveller is  'downgrading' themselves from a relative premium economy level of comfort they get for free on an A380 when choosing this aircraft.

Basically you are choosing to fly 'fatter' as in effect this aircraft will make it feel like you are 15kgs heavier in terms of your comfort!

For most travellers width is much more important for their comfort than the pitch of the seat.

The fact that very few people understand this underscores the PR mission Qantas has embarked with the 'nightmare liner' as it is known by regular economy class flyers. 

It was noticeable that the author sat by himself whilst trying out the seat - would be interesting to hear his comments after 12 hours in any of the seats next to normal sized travellers.

31 Mar 2014

Total posts 293

You make a very good point here. The review would have been better with David being up against a cabin wall and the two other seats occupied. Qantas has done well with this review i feel

31 Mar 2016

Total posts 644

@tallinnman:

"..the measurement of seat width is misleading as it's taken between the inside of the armrests and this means that by reducing the thickness of the armrest you make the measured width of the sest bigger..."

And that's precisely the same measurement method+armrest 'thinning' strategy used by Airbus to claim the 18in seat width in Y on 9abreast 350.

Interestingly, I read analysis re the debate of what is the most 'honest' way to measure seat width.  Opinions fm experts in the field seem to be split.  Measure seat width fm mid-point of armrest to midpoint of armrest, as you appear to prefer, is also considered misleading by many.

"For most travellers width is much more important for their comfort than the pitch of the seat."

Again interestingly, I've repeatedly read comments elsewhere about the opposite being true i.e. for most travelers pitch/legroom of the seat is much more important for their comfort than the width.  Go figure..... 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 Apr 2011

Total posts 100

@John Phelan  LCC Scoot's 787-8s have a 3-3-3 config in Y with a seat pitch of 31" but widths between 18.9 & 19.7"
Is that a legitimate measurement? Because frankly I cannot see it as accurate; the 787 is designed for 17.2"-between-armrest 9-abreast seating with 18" aisles and 2" armrests. The only way to get the measurements you're reporting is to include armrest width in the seat width, and slim the aisles to 17" (like on 10-abreast 777s).

12 Dec 2012

Total posts 952

While 9 across economy may have become an industry "standard", it is putting an extra seat per row in an aircraft designed for 8 across.
That is the problem people have with the 9 across.

31 Mar 2016

Total posts 644

@Himeno:

"...it is putting an extra seat per row in an aircraft designed for 8 across.  That is the problem people have with the 9 across."

That's assuming the notion of that aircraft was designed ONLY for 8 abreast is true.  The problem is that people think that notion is true while it is factually not true.

That aircraft cabin has always been designed also for 9 abreast fm day1 of the program per all cert /reg stds.  It's also designed for 7 abreast in PY, 4-6 abreast in J and 3-4 abreast in F(Yes, there's a 3 abreast but no 787 customer adopted it).

Over a decade ago, many people also believed Airbus designed the giant 380 cabin for onboard gym and mini swimming pool.  Today, none of the 198 airframes built hv such features.

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

24 Feb 2016

Total posts 18

Qantas' 32" bring it into line with the long-haul standard - its nothing to be commended on. Its width (17.2" on 9-abreast means the armrests will be very narrow) being compared against the A380 is also a red herring - the industry standard A380 Economy class seat is precisely 18.5" - Qantas employs a full inch below that, and is clearly downsizing again on the B787. Are you incapable of critically analysing Qantas objectively?
"(17.2" on 9-abreast means the armrests will be very narrow)"

Actually, 17.2" seats on a 9-abreast 787 is precisely wide enough to fit standard 2" armrests on economy seats. The 787 is designed for this; 18" aisles, 17.2" seats, and 2" armrests. 

08 Oct 2011

Total posts 45

The A350 has 18" seat, 19" aisle but 1.5" armrests for its 3-3-3 configuration.  So Airbus "cheated" a little by narrowing the armrest. Passengers are no way very much further apart, just a bit more individual butt room.

QF

12 Dec 2014

Total posts 6

I long ago accepted the 9-abreast 787 cabin, but why does it have to be 3-3-3? Why not 2-5-2? The benefits to the latter are obvious - there are only 18 "true" middle seats, whereas in the 3-3-3 there are 54 (using 18 full rows for 162 seats, the four outliers to reach QF's stated 166 Y seats have their own pros and cons). I know...makes the aisles easier to navigate when walking/pushing trolleys between classes, but really, I find the 3-3-3 to be salt on the wound.

31 Mar 2016

Total posts 644

@pzlams:

"...why does it have to be 3-3-3? Why not 2-5-2?..."

Because over the past 20yrs+, the 2-5-2 layout is already proven a mkt failure thx to the op experience of the older brother 777.

777 debuted in 95 with UA.  Until the late 90s, roughly 1 in 4 777s in service adopted 2-5-2 in Y especially among U.S. carriers(Including UA).  By 2005, UA's domestic 777 fleet(No more than 15 frames) along with a tiny fleet @ a few other carriers were the only ones still using 2-5-2 in Y.  Everyone else already converted to 3-3-3 or never used 2-5-2 at all.  Even the asymmetric 2-4-3 layout(e.g. some 77Ws in NH fleet but relatively rare) is a bit more popular than 2-5-2 today on 777. 

Why?  It's true that 3-3-3 theoretically hv more middle seats in total than 2-5-2.  However, the issue is that not all types of middle seats are created equal.  According to pax feedbacks fm formal research done as far back as 15yrs ago, the problem unique to 2-5-2 is that it is the only layout with a "double excuse me seat" without a window side for privacy(If not for admiring the view).  In a full cabin, when a pax tries to reach the aisle fm that middle seat, he/she needs to climb pass 2 other pax and when seated, always sandwiched by 2 other pax.  In contrast, 7 out of 9 seats in a 3-3-3 layout are always no more than 1 seat away(Often occupied by your own travel companion anyway) fm the aisle.  While U still need to climb pass 2 pax on your way to the lav fm a window seat of a 3-3-3, U only hv 1 neighbor while seated and hv a window/sidewall to lean on if U wish.  In a nutshell, any Y seat on 777 in 3-3-3 is @ least tolerable while the middle seat in 2-5-2 is absolutely dreaded.

Both 787 and 350 program planners learnt the 777 lesson by 2005/06.  Result: 2-5-2 not even mentioned in the Dreamliner /XWB mkting brochures....let alone any cabin mockup in such layout @ Airbus/Boeing showrooms.

08 Oct 2011

Total posts 45

I would have thought 2-5-2 is better, because in theory, 8 out of 9 seats (~88.9%) have to be filled before being compelled to put any passenger in the dreaded middle seat. If the aircraft is less than 88.9% full, there should be no need to put anyone in the middle seat at all and those in the middle section can have the luxury of a empty seat in between.
In contrast, for 3-3-3, someone has to be allocated to middle seat once 6 out of 9 seats (66.7%) are filled, though I agree the middle seat for 3-3-3 should be more tolerable than the lone 2-5-2 middle seat.

31 Mar 2016

Total posts 644

@chewkc65:

"...in theory, 8 out of 9 seats (~88.9%) have to be filled before being compelled to put any passenger in the dreaded middle seat."

And that's exactly the "theory" in which Boeing had used to plan Y layouts during 777 development in the early 90s. In fact, most mkting photos of 777 Y cabin in that era shown the 2-5-2 option in cabin mockup.  3-3-3 option was also marketed but with much less emphasis.  But that's the problem with theory: It's basically statistics & assumptions which would not be tested until actual Rev$ op use+response by actual pax yr-round.


While it's true that an annual avg load factor of 80-85%(let alone 88.9%) in Y on a typical longhaul widebody flight is considered very good fm airline op perspective, the reality is that load factors routinely push to 98-99%(Sometimes beyond 100%....U know those horror stories about pax get bump off a flight that has been oversold) during peak travel seasons of the yr anywhere in the world.  Y pax obviously wouldn't complain about that mostly empty middle seat in 2-5-2 during off-peak times but neither do they tend to rave about it(e.g. via various forms of customer feedbacks).  However when the peak seasons come(e.g. summer school holidays, X'mas, etc.), that empty middle seat in 2-5-2 is very often occupied(And also immediately impact/disturb all 4 pax adjacent to that middle seat due to aisle access necessity).  Worst of all, most Y pax are leisure and many tend to fly MOSTLY or ONLY during peak seasons every yr.  For them, flying in 2-5-2 may be their only Y cabin experience on 777 every yr....they rarely or hv never seen an empty middle seat on a 777 with 2-5-2 layout.  That easily create a strong motivation/tendency to provide negative feedback re 2-5-2 on 777.


There's also 1 other key factor for operators to embrace 3-3-3 and ditch 2-5-2 that's totally unrelated to pax preference:  Lower seat manufacturing cost.  For a 3-3-3 layout, almost all seats in a Y cabin are built+stocked in a set of 3.  In a 2-5-2 layout cabin, there're @ least 2 diff sets...1 built+stocked in a set of 5 while the other in set of 2.

QF

12 Dec 2014

Total posts 6

Thanks, FLX, that makes sense. 

I'm upset with 3-3-3 because the 787 is the only aircraft from my preferred airlines that serves my most common routes, and since I tend to book last minute Y tickets, even as Emerald I get stuck in a middle most of the time (no PE product yet). 9 across on any 787 makes for a narrow seat, and while my butt fits into them fine, I have serious shoulder problems. Given the numbers that chewkc65 laid out (correctly), the 3-3-3 requires that middle seats get utilized involuntarily much earlier in the seat selection process than in a 2-5-2 config, but, once you pass that 89% mark and start filling those "true" middles, I can see how bad it could get. *sigh* Oh to be rich or to be traveling on OTP... (Before someone mentions upgrades, I've been on the list for the last seven flights and haven't cleared - it's a heavy mining route with almost every J seat being paid for, so not even last-minute J seats available for purchase.)

08 Oct 2011

Total posts 45

Yup, I guess FLX is correct.  I count myself fortunate to be in the pointy end in most of my B777 flights, paid for by my employer.  And most of my B777 flights are MH where Y class is 2-5-2 in MH's aging planes and which I managed to avoid.  But most fortunate of all is not being a passenger in MH370 and MH17 back in 2014.

25 Nov 2016

Total posts 1

Any chance you could translate inches into cm for those of us who do not live in America?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Jun 2016

Total posts 9

boy I  hope those seats are memory foam as would not like to have a 14hr flight sitting on them.... they look so thin and the arm rests look totally uncomfortable and I am sure there will be a fight over who gets their arm on the internal ones!!lol

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

20 Aug 2014

Total posts 99

SJ: in case you don't have google: 1 inch = 2.54cm
undertheradar Banned
undertheradar Banned

28 Oct 2011

Total posts 662

or a ruler/tape measure....or basic maths skills!!! And I live in Australia :)
Mc
Mc

BA

31 Mar 2014

Total posts 18

Looking at the photo

MT
MT

26 Nov 2016

Total posts 2

Thanks for the review. I think the seat in front should be fully reclined as well to give a true idea of space(or lack of it).It has been proven that cramped conditions like this are unhealthy; Qantas should care for its customers more than its shareholders and management. There was more room on our recent China Southern flight (economy) Sydney to Guangzhou.
MT
MT

26 Nov 2016

Total posts 2

PS A foot rest should have been included

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2343

There's a 'footnet', similar to that of the A380 economy seat.
undertheradar Banned
undertheradar Banned

28 Oct 2011

Total posts 662

MT: There is a footnet, (a la A380 style) but not mentioned in this article. Also not mentioned is an additional (mood/reading) light for pax use located in the seatback under the avod screen pointing down on to your lap area, so minimal light disturbance for neighbouring pax during the night. (as the ceiling reading lights light up everyone/everything around you). Reference Qantas 787 mini site.

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2343

For those wondering: we expect to be on the delivery flight of the first Qantas Boeing 787 from Seattle at the end of next year (and no, there's no date set as yet) and we plan to spend some of that long flight sitting in economy as well as premium economy, so as to give both seats a bit of a real-world trial. Of course, nothing's going to replace doing a full 12-14 hr flight in a seat, but first things first..!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Oct 2016

Total posts 40

I hope they put this seat on the A380's when they finally announce it. I believe it will give Qantas a much better reputation.

23 Nov 2012

Total posts 24

The 3-3-3 layout on Etihad's 787 ex BNE gets very bad reviews with many pax saying it's unsuitable for long haul flights.  Hope Qantas hasn't made the same mistake as the so called 'industry std' or not, passengers will vote with their feet.

31 Mar 2016

Total posts 644

@AussieGuest:

"..3-3-3 layout on Etihad's 787 ex BNE gets very bad reviews..."

Interestingly, despite such bad reviews and strong competitors(e.g. EK's 380 with 10 abreast in Y) ex-BNE, BNE-AUH by EY is not under threat of mkt exit(possibly due to inferior seat layout/std) and in fact, continues to thrive with their 787 Y cabin in the 'awful' 3-3-3 layout continues to be filled with @ least respectable annual avg load factor....

Either Y customers of EY repeatedly ignore/unaware of these reviews or they enjoy being tortured by EY in the 787 dungeon in 3-3-3 layout.....

"...with many pax saying it's unsuitable for long haul flights."

The only EY sector ex-BNE is BNE->AUH which is about 14.5hrs duration.

I wonder UA, deploying the same layout in Y on 787, gets as "many pax saying it's unsuitable for long haul flights" for LAX->MEL and SFO->SIN with both being about 1.5hrs and 2.5hrs longer respectively than BNE->AUH.....


"Hope Qantas hasn't made the same mistake as the so called 'industry std' or not, passengers will vote with their feet."

If we're talking about Y segment travel, actually(or more precisely), pax vote with their wallet /personal disposable income and their feet tend to walk towards the lowest possible fares or  the most convenient schedule+routing much more often than 0.5-1 inch wider shoulder room for their seats.....

23 Nov 2012

Total posts 24

Thank you FLX for your detailed analysis of my post.  I wonder if you've had a look at the reviews published by skytrax?   I did and thus chose EK for my recent BNE-DXB-MAN flight.     

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

01 Apr 2011

Total posts 32

Sorry to be in the minority, but this is still awful. I wouldn't attempt to fly this on any flight over 8 hours, and that would still be torture.  The seats are too thin, which I guess is where the extra inch has come from.  Do you really want to fly 17 hours on that seat.  I think not.

I cannot understand why QF has to cater to the lowest common denominator.  It has lost that battle to the LCC's, and they have DeathStar for the great unwashed anyway.

We have some of the longest distances to travel of anyone in the world.  QF have an opportunity to cater to a different market.  I believe there are more than enough people to service a plane that has wider seats, and more legroom.  More and more older people are travelling now.  They cannot afford PE or J, but like me, I believe they would leap at the chance of a better economy seat at a higher price than LCC's.  8 abreast and say 34 inch pitch will mean less rows and passengers, but surely that loss of revenue can be made up with a slightly higher fare.  They need to stop advertising on price, and switch focus to comfort on long haul.  Couple that with a total retraining of all staff in basic customer services skills, focusing on the fact that they are there for the passengers, and not the other way round, and there is an unbeatable USP.  They've already cut food to basic Coles Cafeteria standard (showing my age there!), so that's not going to be a significant cost.  They could also cut the free luggage allowance to say 20kgs and charge for excess.  They are already experts and nickel and diming us, so revenue won't be a problem I suspect.  Finally, if by any chance they don't fill the flight to London say, then they could discount the last few seats in the last day or so, so as not to canabalise full fare sales.  Only people with exceptionally flexible travel arrangements could take advantage of that.

I know everyone will say I am wrong, but I would like to see some clear unequivocal figures to prove it.

Finally, how long would you give this so called roomy configuration lasting?  6 months? A year at best I suspect.


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