Jetstar is now flying Australia's first Boeing 787 Dreamliner, and there's 13 more to follow as the low-cost airline shifts its entire international fleet to the net-generation jet over the next three years.
Following our ride on the Dreamliner's delivery flight from Seattle to Melbourne, we've put together this guide to Jetstar's Boeing 787 business class seats.
The take-away? Despite the 787's many advances, Jetstar's choice of seating doesn't represent any significant step forward compared to the Airbus A330s which the airline currently flies.
As with the A330s, this is business class in name only.
With a 9 inch recline, 38 inch pitch and 19 inch wide seat cushion – and allowing another two inches for your turf on the arm-rests – it’s closer to premium economy seating on a Qantas A380 or the revamped Boeing 747s.
That’s entirely appropriate for Jetstar, as a low-cost airline which has the leisure traveller in its cross-hairs, although Air Asia X still takes the crown for the angled flat-beds in its Premium cabin.
Jetstar’s business class cabin is the smallest of any Boeing 787, with just 21 seats across just three rows configured in a 2-3-2 layout (those seats are marked as AB-DEF-GJ).
The well-padded Recaro seats are covered in a charcoal-grey leather with adjustable headrests.
Each seat gets its own 10.6 inch touchscreen with a modest selection of content which can be viewed from gate to gate.
The screen flips out so you can adjust the viewing angle to suit your height or the seat’s recline (also featured in the photo below – the 787's electronic window tinting).
The 38 inch pitch affords enough room to cross your knees, with a fold-out footrest to park your pads.
One drawback is that there’s absolutely no personal storage space space to keep your own items close at hand during the flight, unless you empty the contents of the seat pocket and toss them into the overhead locker.
The tray table is sufficient for a 13 inch notebook although there’s significant wobble when typing – and as soon as the person in front of you reclines their seat, you’ll have to shift that laptop into your lap.
That said, I’d expect travellers in Jetstar’s premium cabin would be more likely to pack an iPad or similar tablet for watching videos.
Each seat gets it own AC and USB socket so you can top up your laptop, smartphone or tablet during the flight.
The best seats in Jetstar’s Boeing 787 business class
The prize picks in Jetstar’s Dreamliner business class are 3G and 3J – the right-side seats in the last row of the cabin.
The reason? Both seats sport an extra two inches of recline because they have been designated as 'crew rest' seats for the flight deck team.
That translates to a more relaxing 11 inch rake compared to the nine inches of all other Jetstar 787 business class seats.
3G and 3J won’t be available to passengers when Jetstar launches the Boeing 787 onto the Melbourne-Honolulu service, as these seats will be reserved exclusively for the crew on this long flight.
But they’ll be up for grabs on shorter 787 flights including Bali, Singapore, Phuket and Japan.
Australian Business Traveller visited Seattle and travelled on Jetstar's Boeing 787 delivery flight as a guest of Jetstar and Boeing.
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About David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.