In a few hours' time, the first Qantas 787 Dreamliner will make its inaugural flight into Sydney. We were lucky enough to get a sneak peek of the Business, Premium Economy and Economy seats ahead of its maiden voyage. Here are the photos!
Qantas' first 787-9 Dreamliner - dubbed 'Great Southern Land' - officially joined the Australian airline's fleet this week. The first commercial flight, which will take Aussies from Melbourne to LA direct, is scheduled for mid-December.
Specifically built to meet the demands of long-haul flights, the 787-9 aircraft cabins boast a range of comfort-focused features including larger windows, improved air quality, quieter engines and new 'ride dampening' technology that can detect and counteract turbulence. This will help to reduce the effects of jet lag and motion sickness - which is important when you're stuck on one of the longest non-stop routes in existence.
The Qantas Dreamliner interiors were designed by Australian industrial designer David Caon. This included everything from the Business, Premium Economy and Economy seats to the inflight tableware. In all, there are 236 passenger seats on the Qantas 787-9: 42 in Business, 28 in Premium Economy and 166 in Economy.
We'll be on the Great Southern Land as it touches down in Sydney tomorrow morning - look out for an in-depth review, coming soon. In the meantime, here are some photos from the official unveiling.
Qantas 787 Dreamliner Business Class
The Business Class cabin has been affectionately dubbed "Mini First" by Qantas. The privacy panels are suitably isolating.
The 1-2-1 seat configuration provides singular seats for people who really want to be isolated. Note the much larger windows, which have been designed to create a greater sense of space. (There's also no physical window shades - instead, window passengers use a window dimmer.)
The entertainment units retain Qantas' recent UI overhaul. If you forgot to load your tablet with fresh content before the trip, these units will definitely get the job done.
The luggage compartments on the 787-9 have been redesigned to enable vertical bag storage. This allows more items to be placed stacked together.
Qantas 787 Dreamliner Premium Economy
Qantas is especially pleased with its Premium Economy seats which it has described as a "quantum leap". If the airliner can be believed, the initial prototypes were mistaken for Business Class seats by multiple onlookers.
Improvements over Qantas’ existing Premium Economy seats include more personal space, a more comfortable recline, improved lighting and bespoke storage for mobile gadgets. Naturally, Premium Economy also get the new big windows.
If you're taller than average, the additional leg room offered by Premium Economy makes for a tempting offer - especially if you have Qantas points to burn. There's also a redesigned footrest that promised to significantly increase comfort when reclining.
The Premium Economy seats sport an ergonomically designed headrest that can be fitted with a specially designed pillow.
The inflight entertainment seatback screens were designed by Panasonic and are larger and brighter than previous Premium Economy offerings.
Qantas 787 Dreamliner Economy
As you'd expect, things get a bit more crowded in cattle class. With that said, there are still some improvements in the 787-9 including the aforementioned new windows, which are 65 per cent larger than the windows of comparable aircraft. There's also an extra inch of seat pitch (the space between a point on one seat and the same point on the seat in front of it) compared to the same class on its A380.
If you can't afford Premium Economy and have inconveniently long legs, the front rows are definitely the way to go!
The seat in the foreground is set at maximum recline. We're guessing that 17 hour trip to London won't be a lot of fun. On the plus side, cabin lighting, temperature, meal timing and recipes have all been developed in conjunction with the University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre (CPC) to reduce the effects of jet lag - even for people in Economy.
Lifehacker travelled to Seattle as a guest of Qantas.