How important is your seat when flying long haul? Virtually all travellers would agree it is one of the most important aspects of any flight. Australia is a long way from most places so it is vital that people have excellent choices when flying overseas.

Qantas is Australia’s long haul specialist and the world’s second oldest airline. In 2018, the airline commences non-stop flights between Australia and Europe for the first time. The Boeing 787-9 is the aircraft of choice and a new Premium Economy seat will keep passengers happy during the long flight.

Qantas Premium Economy

Skytrax rate the current Qantas Premium Economy very highly. It is marketed as Business Class “light” rather than an enhanced Economy Class product. It is an excellent experience in every way.


Each seat has 38″ to 42″ of pitch, a cocktail table between the seats and are quite comfortable for long flights. Meal service is distinctly premium as these pictures show. It is very much a Business Class on board service.


The product has evolved since then – these photos are from 2009 – and continues to be rated very highly. In my experience it is the best Premium Economy I have flown.

A New Premium Economy Seat

Initially I was underwhelmed by the look of the product until I checked out the details. Seat width is important and these are 10% wider than before. I found the previous seats to be quite wide and comfortable so this will make it even better.


Inflight entertainment will be displayed on a 25% larger screen which is always welcome. Interestingly there is a lip where you can place your tablet so you can watch your own movies in the same location as the existing screen. This is a huge plus over using the tray table to rest your device.


What I really love is the fact that the pillows attach to the head rest. Nothing is more annoying than having your pillow shift and squirm and try to get away from you when you’re reclining in an upright position praying for sleep. No more will people need a travel pillow either so this is a massive plus.

According to the press release the foot rest and design of the seat is to hold your body at the best points when reclining. Effort has been made to try to give people the best sitting up sleep experience possible.

Overall Thoughts

Rightly proud of the new design, the company touts the new seat with lines such as, “You have to experience how well it supports you when you recline to realise it’s completely different from anything else in its class” and “genuine comfort through design elements not seen before on aircraft”.

Clearly the only way to really know is to give it a try. That opportunity arises in December when the Boeing 787 is deployed on the Melbourne to Los Angeles route, with the Perth to London services following in 2018. I’m looking forward to giving them a try myself sometime.

Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

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Images of the new Premium Economy via Qantas.