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Review, photos: Jetstar Boeing 787 business class

By David Flynn     Filed under: Jetstar, Boeing 787 Dreamliner

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.

Read: How to fly on Jetstar's first Boeing 787 Dreamliner

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.

Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter: we're @AusBT

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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.

 

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1 on 16/10/13 by Joshb

I'm not one to Qantas bash, in fact I am probably the first to defend their actions.... however I cannot help but feel a little cheated by all this.

Sure by giving Jetstar and not Qantas the 787's ensures Jetstar remains competitive in a ultra-competitive market, but I feel like regular Qantas loyal travellers get the raw deal while fickle Jetstar customers (honestly, who'd be loyal) get the brand new planes/technology. 

We've been trundling around Australia/Asia in old and tired A330's/B767's and will continue to do so for at least 2 to 4 more years until A330 refits are completed and (if) they go ahead with the 787 for QF international.

Overall I think they've squandered a game changing oppurtunity by giving the 787 to Jetstar, instead it seems QF would rather react to advances made by Virgin than push the boundary out further

1 on 16/10/13 by Serg

I cannot get why people so keen to fly new planes. I rather wait till they iron out all bugs. Comfort in flight does not govern by plane age, but rather by cabin outfit. So IMHO substandard business seats in QF indeed gave Virgin the edge, but I fail to see how plane type can do such edge.

1 on 16/10/13 by Joshb

I imagine you haven't been on an A380 then followed by a flight on a 747.  Try QF93 then QF107, then you'll appreciate the increased humidity, cleaner air and smoother/quieter flight of a newer plane (despite having practically identical seats in eco, premium eco & biz) 

 

1 on 16/10/13 by Serg

Yes, I yet have to form my own opinion about A380, but I flew 777 and 747 plenty of times each and I do like 747 better.

1 on 16/10/13 by watson374

Yes, cabin matters. I would group things like higher humidity and higher air pressure in the "cabin matters" category; hence, the A380 has an edge over the 747, and likewise the 787 over the existing A330s.

1 on 17/10/13 by DB

I flew Premium Economy in the Qantas A380 to the US 2 months ago and the refurb 747 from LAX to JFK, back to LAX, then home to AU.  I have to say that I didn't love the Premium Economy layout on the A380. I wish it was at the back of the plane instead of that small Economy section.  I understand this is the new layout for the A380 and is being extended to all A380s.  In all honest I didn't mind the 747 refurb. I found it really comfortable.  Agreed, the A380 seems a little fresher and brighter for some reason, but it just didn't rock my boat as much as I thought it would.  We're going Business Class next time so maybe that'll do it LOL.  I still love the 747, just something about them.

1 on 17/10/13 by Chrisor

I'm with you DB, I wouldn't waste points on an upgrade to premium economy, business yes, but the difference from economy to premium is not worth it in my opinion.

 

1 on 17/10/13 by Serg

IMHO PE does make sence only when they have super-sale when PE twice cheaper of normal price. But as standard price goes I agree, it does not worth points or money.

2 on 18/10/13 by DB

Yes we got the fares during a PE sale.  I wouldn't pay full price for PE,.  From memory it cost about $3,100 from SYD - LAX, LAX - JFK, JFK - LAX, LAX - BNE.  PE all the way.  We will definitely look at Business fares next time (on sale of course). The cabin crew were really great actually, we found them to be very friendly and proactive. That AA lounge in LAX is pretty average though. Coupons for drinks? What's with that?  Lady at the front counter was incredibly rude. Unsure why. Anyway, a great trip as always. Looking forward to the next one.

2 on 17/10/13 by eugoose

+1 Joshb

I just flew on an unrefurbished 747 a couple of weeks ago. Nothing majorly wrong with it, but it's annoying how those Jetstar pax who bring in screaming kids into the lounge who just punch, hit one another and mess around with their food as their parents are trying hard to shove it into their mouths. I have never seen so many kids in a SIN lounge in all my life... 

NOW, they get to hope on brand new metal too? Seems like Jet* perks keep going up whilst Qantas just keeps falling. :/

1 on 21/12/13 by dawesi

If you had higher status you would have a quiet lounge, otherwise you're one of the plebs your compaining about who hog a 4 person table with a laptop and an ego.

Guess you haven't had the amazing blessing to have kids. It takes you from being a self-centred jerk into a well rounded person.

1 on 21/12/13 by eugoose

Have you been to the SIN lounge? Why don't you try and see the difference between what Oneworld Emerald gets you, and what Oneworld Ruby gets you. And post your findings here. :) 

The worst part of the lounge experience (worse than the individual egos) are the self-centred parents who let their kids roam free, harras other pax trying to mind their own business, and can't control their 'precious little ones' because it apparently 'makes them a well rounded person'. Lovely.

Even worse are those people who use the their kids as the 'well if you had kids, you'd think differently about them' card, as an excuse to avoid any parental responsibility.

So to sum it up: You don't know whether I have kids or not. Dump that 'if you had kids' card, it's honestly pathetic. A person who is used to two kids compared to TWENTY in one enclosed space is entitled to whine about an annoying lounge experience.

But I guess being a parent, and saying ANYTHING bad about a gaggle of kids, messes up your rose-tinted glass. ;)

 

 

2 on 10/2/14 by CL9

+1 dawesi 

Totally agree, anyone who has the status has the right to bring whoever the want, wether that would be children into the lounge or aircraft.

Selfish jerks have no right to complain that families shouldnt be allowed to fly on newer aircraft either. How ridiculous!

2 on 16/10/13 by AusFlyer

Interesting that they have such a small 'Business' cabin.

Can't say I'm rushing out to fly Jetstar just because of the 787 though.

3 on 16/10/13 by TheRealBabushka

I once asked a Jetstar cabin crew this question: If a seat in the economy cabin cost $100, how much extra would you spend to fly in Business. Her response was all up $150. Enough said.

1 on 16/10/13 by Hugo

A rough value, for me, would depend on how much extra space I'm getting. What's the floor area of a "business" class seat versus an economy seat? Well, business is seven-abreast compared to nine-abreast, so it's 1.28 times wider. Then, it's 37 inch seat pitch compared to 31 (?) so it's 1.19 times in that direction.

That means your personal space is 1.19*1.28 times what you'd get in economy, so your seat is 152% the size of the economy seat, so I'd definitely be willing to pay 52% more for the seat. Throw in a little bit  for meals, drinks, and marginally improved service.

Actual prices? Well, looking at the MEL-HNL route on random days it seems like Jetstar wants $529 each way in economy or $1199 each way in business class (on the A330), a factor of 2.3 times more. So yeah, this is what I'd call drastically overpriced.

1 on 22/10/13 by Alvin

Not to mention - better meals - 1.05 better than Econ, service - 1.10 better than Econ, drinks - 1.05 better than Econ, free entertainment - 1.10 better than Econ. (The ones you mentioned.) So that adds up to 203% - 103% more than the seat. That comes to 30% under price, but it's called business...

2 on 19/11/13 by mb68

Yep Jclass on JQ is a very average to say the least. Is everything still served in plastic?

4 on 16/10/13 by Colin

Yeh, nice plane.  But back in cattle class I'd still prefer the seating of A330 & 767, being 2-4-2.  I hate having to move for or move a stranger to get to the loo.

5 on 16/10/13 by Alvin

The crew normally gets proper beds, like what they get on Cathay's 777s.

It's a nice hop from the A330s, but it's still not up to the standards of AirAsia X. It beats SQ's ScootBiz though.

1 on 16/10/13 by David

That's something else - no crew rest bunks in JQ's 787 (unlike these ones: http://www.ausbt.com.au/photos-inside-the-boeing-787-s-funky-crew-rest-loft)!

2 on 16/10/13 by Alvin

You can't expect that much from a low-cost carrier - an 11" recline seat suits most people's needs for a short-to-medium haul flight, and for the 10h30m trek from MEL to HNL, it's good enough.

6 on 16/10/13 by moa999

Weird seat numbering with AB/HK pairing... AB/JK or AC/HK would make more sense.

Assume none of the other Row 3 seats have the additional recline... Are the walls in differing alignment?

7 on 17/10/13 by Alvin

How was the flight TO Seattle like?

8 on 18/10/13 by PLATY

One hopes the aircraft won't be affected by the suspected "rivet flaws" reported for the Air India 787, which lost a fairly large panel.

1 on 18/10/13 by Darkavid99

Its pretty similar to the Virgin business class domestic product which they also use on shorthaul international by the look of it; I have flown to Bali a couple of times and for a 5-6 hour flight is fine.

2 on 21/10/13 by Phalanger

That has more to do with the airline in question when it was found it was reattached with only 5 of the required 17 screws after the previous flight.  They suspended the engineer but I think many more questions need to be asked about them since they have had terrible reliability compared to other airlines running the same fleet.

9 on 18/10/13 by Gary

No seat maps available yet; does anyone know the number and location of the lavatories on the Jetstar 787?

1 on 18/10/13 by David

Gary: by memory there's one less lav than on the A330, with only one loo for business class (smaller cabin than the A330, mind you) and the rest for economy.

1 on 18/10/13 by Gary

Thanks For that David. From Seatguru I see two lavatories in the A330 at the front for Business, Three mid-economy and two at the back, making a total of 7. But using the (what appear to be) standard lavatory position options on the 787, Jetstar's seating appears to allow for only 4 - the one in the front, one on the starboard side behind the small foward Y cabin and 2 in the centre between the two larger Y cabins - the latter backed up by footage I have seen on that area. The rear of the cabin has potential locations for 2 additional lavatories just in front of the doors, but this area appears to be taken up by seats. Even the rear galley appears to be size-reduced by additional seats. It is frustrating me no end because I want a seat map and Jetstar have yet to issue one. Could the number of lavatories be so rediculously low (only three for over 300 Y pax) that they don't want to highlight it, or am I missing something?

10 on 18/10/13 by TonyinMelbourne

What a total dissapointment this is - after the years of talking it up by Qantas ...MEL/HNL on JQ for 11hrs i dont think so.... oh the price does not reflect these shortcomings....  

Welcome Cathay, Singapore, Malaysian, Qatar, Emirates, Etihad who develop there product with the customer comfort is what it is all about.. 

A former  Gold QF Flyer that has not flown QF internationallly for 5years now because QF was taking too many shortcuts and now Jetstar 787 is another classic example ... of bad management 

Bring in a management team that is customer focussed from the Board down.. 

Looks like another 5 years on Airlines that get Customer Service

Tony 

1 on 19/10/13 by Gary

Hi All

i don't want to unfairly criticise Jetstar at this point, but would genuinely like to know the number and locations of the WCs onboard their 787s.

Does anyone have a detailed response please?

2 on 28/10/13 by Andy

I agree with what you're saying in some ways, but to be fair a comparison of JQ products and CX, SQ or any of the other carriers which you have stated is a little bit unfair.If anything, the only real fair comparison should be Scoot or AirAsia. 

11 on 24/10/13 by eminere

What a disappointing use of the B787.

12 on 20/12/13 by Frank

Hi Hugo - have just come across this issue about seat sizes which you commented on in october.  You said you were happy to pay 52% extra over the $100 for an eco seat,   However, I thought the poser put to you the cost of the upgraded seat was $150 ETXRA, not total, making the cost $250.  This might make you reconsider.

 

Regards

 

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