November 30, 2022

What sitting in economy on Qantas’ 20-hour flights will be like

6 min read


Editor’s note – Monthly ticket Is a CNN travel series that sheds light on some of the most exciting topics in the travel world. In June, we’re going to the skies to take a look at the latest developments in aircraft interior, including those working to change the way we fly.

(CNN) – The world’s longest flight: non-stop, 20 hours, when you lean back in your wide chair and decide if you want to relax with the best champagne, enjoy a chef-designed meal that includes travel Sit down with your partner, or prepare yourself with the staff. Exquisite soft bed with fresh fabric.

Qantas’ Project Sunrise has been offering direct flights from London and New York to Sydney for six first-class passengers for three years now, and they can expect to pay the best part of the five figures. ۔

What will happen to the 140 economy class passengers behind the 12 Airbus A350-1000s that the airline has ordered to operate the service?

Qantas is not telling. A spokesman told us: “We do not have any updates at this time, but we look forward to hearing from you, and will share more when we have.”

However, we do know that Qantas is already planning a wellbeing zone, which seems to be an area around one of the wet kitchens where you can stretch, maybe do some yoga poses. And maybe for a while.

And of course, Qantas will work hard to make the best choice of movies and TV shows for you to enjoy on the big new flight entertainment screens, as well as the food and beverages that will enhance your health, especially on long flights. Will design for

But it is possible.

Ian Petchenk, host of the EV Talk Aviation podcast, told CNN: The original differentiator will be soft

“You can only improve the economy of nine equals so much, so finding ways to fly 20 hours on one of these seats will show what else Qantas can offer these passengers.”

I am an aviation journalist who has been in-depth with over a decade of airlines, aircraft manufacturers, designers, and set makers of all kinds to find out that every inch of an airplane How to use And since Qantas is not talking, here are some of my professional deductions that could potentially be made on board.

First of all, nothing really revolutionary is more likely. The three years to 2025 are not long in aviation, especially when it comes to seats. Unless Qantas is planning any major bank disclosure – which would require a large amount of security certification work – it seems certain that economic travelers will only be in the general seats.

Knee and shin

The A350 is one of the most comfortable economy class options.

The A350 is one of the most comfortable economy class options.

Wendell Tudoru / AFP via Getty Images

Back to the first principle, comfort levels in economy class seats are largely based on seat style, pitch, and width.

In terms of seat style, Qantas can be expected to acquire the best economy class seats from the top design and engineering firms on the market, such as Recaro or Collins Aerospace.

These are called fully featured seats, with comfortable engineered seat foams covered with special fabrics, plenty of tilt, plenty of headrests, underset footrests, and a small foot cushion in the case of Qantas.

In recent years, designers and engineers have worked hard on the backs and bases of airplane seats to give the occupant ample space, especially for their knees and shins.

They figure out how to make a pillow under a chair, called a seat pan, to make it clearer when leaning, to change the pressure points on the occupant’s body when they lean back. Are

The Qantas Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, launched in 2016, used a customized version of the CL3710 set by German manufacturer Riccardo.

The CL3710 is from 2013, and Recaro updates every year, but it would not be surprising if it is working on a special version for Qantas.

There could even be a brand new set – from Recaro or someone else – with even more comfort. The Qantas could be ready to launch by the end of 2025.

Extra legroom

In 2019, Qantas launched an experimental research flight to test the London-Sydney stretch. CNN’s Richard Quest reports from the flight deck of one such extremely long-haul flight.

The second element of comfort is the pitch, which measures the point of a seat immediately on the same seat in front of it, so it is not a complete league room at all because it has a setback structure. Or two inches included.

Qantas has promised that its economy class seats on board will offer a 33-inch (84 cm) pitch.

This is one inch more than the 2016 Dreamliner seats, and by 2025 I would expect the seat engineering to narrow the seat structure by an inch to provide more knee space.

It wouldn’t be surprising if Qantas also offered extra legroom sections, which could be as wide as 35 or 36 inches, like the United Economy Plus or Delta’s Comfort Plus – not the premium economy, but the more common leagues. Economy seats.

What about the width?

Whether it’s good news or bad news for passengers, it depends on how many seats the Qantas A350 has in each row.

Larger twin-corridor aircraft can have either nine seats per row, which has been the standard offered by full service airlines such as Qantas, Delta and Singapore Airlines, or 10 seats per row, which is mostly extreme. Rides at low cost. And recreational careers such as the French Air Caribbean and the French fly.

In terms of width, the A350 is one of the most comfortable economy class options in the nine-cross air with more than 18-inch-wide seats. Beyond 10, it is one of the least comfortable, with seats barely 17 inches wide and extremely narrow corridors.

As you can imagine – and Qantas’s published cutway certainly shows – that a full service airline like Australia’s flag carrier would naturally go for a nine-cross configuration.

But Airbus is quietly planning to reduce the cabin sidewalls to one or two inches of extra space. As a result, some full-service airlines, including the Abu Dhabi-based Alliance, plan to install 10-scratch settings on some future A350s.

Non-stop vs. stopover

More exercises Qantas

Passengers were getting exercise classes on an experimental flight from London to Sydney in 2019.

James D. Morgan / Cantas

Qantas says it plans to add 140 economy class seats to its A350. It will be 14 rows of 10, but this number is not neatly divided into nine, whether you try to add some extra seats in the sides or in the middle.

It would still be amazing to see Qantas do so, especially for those super long flights. But the airline has fitted its Dreamliner seats almost as tightly as non-stop flights to London-Perth for almost a long time, so check this out for details.

At the end of the day, every inch counts when it comes to economy class comfort. Many passengers – including – thought of flying more than 20 hours, even in business class.

I did almost the same thing in business class on Singapore Airlines non-stop from Newark to Singapore almost 10 years ago, but it wasn’t much fun, even with the ability to sleep through the movie and come back.

Whenever we talk about it, people always come up with the other option, from New York to Sydney, halfway to Los Angeles or San Francisco, or between Sydney and London, one of the top dozens of airports in Asia. In someone

But people have always thought of spending more time on one seat: first on the idea of ​​a single hop kangaroo route flight, then on the idea of ​​a flight lasting 12, 14 or 16 hours.

Before the epidemic, there were dozens of longer flights, with regular economy class seats at the rear, and people seemed ready to board.

The only question is how much difference the extra three or four hours of travel on the London-Perth Qantas 787 Dreamliner flight will make for passengers – and, most importantly, in their opinion.



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