Qantas Reveals Their New 787 Premium Economy

Filed Under: Qantas

I can’t think of a single airline that has hyped a new plane more than Qantas and their 787. At this point the 787 has been around for over five years, though Qantas is taking delivery of their first one in October of this year.


Last October Qantas revealed the details of the business class and economy products that will be found on the 787. The plane will feature Vantage XL seats in business class, much like they have on their A330s. This is significantly better than what they offer on their A380s and 747s.


Then in December Qantas announced that they’d use the 787 to launch flights between Perth and London, which will be one of the longest flights in the world. However, before they launch that new route, Qantas will first operate the 787 between Melbourne and Los Angeles as of December 2017.

Continuing Qantas’ theme of trying to build hype around the plane and trickle out all the details, Qantas has now revealed the details of their 787 premium economy product.


Qantas is calling this their next generation premium economy product, and advertises the following features:

  • A separate cabin of 28 seats, configured in a two-three-two layout to improve aisle access for middle passengers.
  • A seat that is almost 10 per cent wider than Qantas’ existing Premium Economy (and as wide as Business Class on other airlines) as well as increased recline.
  • An ergonomically designed headrest that can be fitted with a specially designed pillow and a re-engineered footrest that significantly increases comfort when reclining.
  • High-definition Panasonic inflight entertainment seatback screens that are 25 per cent larger.
  • Five individual storage compartments and two USB charging points per seat, as well as shared AC power and a personal LED light designed to minimise disturbance of other passengers.

That all sounds great, though I’m a bit surprised they just have shared AC power outlets? Two USB outlets per seat is of course great, but that won’t charge a laptop. Many economy products have a personal AC power outlet, so it’s a bit odd that Qantas doesn’t have that in their next generation premium economy.

Qantas’ CEO claims that the product has a serious “wow” factor, though I’m not sure how much to believe that given that he also suggests that a Vantage XL seat is “mini first class” (there’s a term for that — it’s business class):

“Our Business Suite has been dubbed ‘mini First Class’ by some of our Frequent Flyers and our Economy seat for the Dreamliner has features that some reserve for Premium Economy.

“This new Premium Economy seat has serious wow factor. You have to experience how well it supports you when you recline to realise it’s completely different from anything else in its class.

While you can’t know for sure from pictures, the seat does look quite comfortable to me, so hopefully that’s the case. However, I think it’s a bit of a fib to suggest that this seat is “revolutionary,” as Qantas’ management team has done leading up to this reveal. There’s nothing about this seat that actually looks revolutionary.


What do you make of Qantas’ new premium economy product?

  1. I think it is a solid pey seat.

    As for mini first class… I would choose Zodiac Cirrus or BE superdiamond on any day. I cannot see how Qantas is competitive with SQ CX AA or even UA.

  2. Legroom looks tight. I fly Elite Eva Air (premium economy) 2x a year and I believe they have more legroom. The design looks great though! I’m a big fan of elite in Eva Air so I think I would enjoy this one too

  3. I agree, the pitch looks relatively tight (even though it’s the same as what they already have which hasn’t bothered me in the past). Having seen some other images there seems to be almost an overlap between the top of the seat in front, and the leading edge of the seat behind. Will make it pretty tight getting in and out of your seat or using the tray table at times. The IFE screen looks good, but again will drop down low when the seat in front is reclined. Still beats economy any day of the week, and my biased opinion is that QF offers a pretty good soft product too (in PE)

  4. Seat pitch seems extremely tight for Y+ with the additional recline I wounder if aisle access will be any better…. VA’s 41″ will stay competitive on flights to LA
    Of course I’m only basing these assumptions on pictures.

  5. I wish the airlines would consider the emotional aspect of that person in front of you…. jerking their seat back as far as possible/ as quickly as possible after take-off. Its rude. THE BEST seats are the ones that are contained- when you lean back, your seat moves forward in the incline.

  6. Definitely agree the pitch looks tight. Looks worse than NZ’s premium economy on their 789, which I think is a fair comparison

  7. the privacy wings do have a purpose, that is to provide privacy when your seat is fully reclined while your seatmate is not, and the passenger at the back diagonal to you won’t see you, avoiding the usual awkard eye contact. seat pitch is tight, only 38”, and recline is advertised as 9.5”. by comparison, Cathay’s A350 premium economy has 40” pitch and 9” recline. i’ll choose Cathay over this one.

  8. Pillows that don’t slip and slide is revolutionary. I’m going to fucking worship the airline that brings it to Economy.

  9. Looks spiffy, but the legroom looks pretty poor for Premium Y. At 6’4″, I won’t be begging for this seat on a 14-hour flight, thank you.

  10. You’d think that they could at least have chosen photos that make the pitch seem bigger, but seriously they make it seem almost impossibly tight, even if it might not be like that in real life. #photosmatter

  11. I’m most excited about the tilting seat pan. If you take an Economy seat and just increase pitch and recline, like some airlines do for E+, you sometimes feel like you’re slipping off the seat. An angled seat pan seems like a great way to make things more comfortable, though I guess we won’t know for sure until we try it.

  12. Lucky, check out ausbt’s analysis on the seat. David Flynn from Ausbt went out to check out the mock up of the seat and provided some really interesting feedback.

  13. Pretty revolutionary to have 4 inches less pitch than direct competitors Virgin Australia and Air New Zealand.

    And shared power sockets.

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