One Airline's New Economy Section Definitely Beats Whatever You're Flying

G'head and stretch out

By Diane Rommel

 
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01 November 2016

The last upgrade we got was an American flight from Vegas to Philly, on an old ex-US Air plane. You know: the airline that merged with American but left some of its bad-news gear behind. Like this plane. Minimal space. Nary a personal entertainment system to be seen. It smelled weird.

And this, we reiterate, was in business class. 

U.S. carriers get a lot of guff for travel experiences exactly like that one, especially from flyers who've had the chance to experience vaunted Asian brands like Cathay, Singaporean and JAL. Add to that list: Aussie national carrier Qantas, which reminds us, in a preview of its new Dreamliner product that will begin flying in October 2017, of why it so consistently wins best and/or safest airline awards. 

The Dreamliner 787 is a long-haul plane, which means if you're flying one on Qantas you'll be going to or from destinations like L.A., Moscow, Cape Town, Bangkok, New York, Dallas and Tokyo. You will also be flying in comfort: Qantas is so confident that they've developed a microsite dedicated to nothing but its Dreamliner service

Forget about the biz class amenities; for once, those flying in economy are getting some of the cream off the top. Mostly because there will be fewer of everyone: the Qantas seat configuration will provide seating for 236 passengers, which is about 60 below the maximum capacity of 300.

Additionally: more luggage space, "foot nets" for happier feet (though we'll kill you if you take your shoes off), larger windows (which CEO Alan Joyce says reduce jetlag), and most crucially on the endless, battery-draining flights to Australia from the U.S., the most extensive personal entertainment system we've ever seen. (Yes, sure, there are USB chargers, but if you forget a wire or device, it's good to have a backup.)

Because if anything's going to get us through a 15-hour flight from L.A. to Sydney, it's the best of last-year's first-run movies. 

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