Business class: Qantas Airbus A80 vs United Boeing 787-9

By boyd_11 | Jun 12, 2019, 09:29 AM

Hi AusBT community,

I have an upcoming business/work trip which my employer is nice enough to put my family (2 adults, 3yo and 1yo) all up in J class from MEL-LAX. I have a choice between QF (A380 - pre refurbish) and United (787-9 – Polaris seats). I am not loyal to either FF program so just want the best seat/experience. It looks like both have 2-2-2 layouts. Is there much of a difference between the two? Or does the community feel one is better than the other?

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By djtech | Jun 12, 2019, 09:32 AM
I'd say the a380 since the untied 787 'faux-laris' business seat has really tight footwells which are less good for sleeping. The Qantas Skybed II doesn't have this issue so I'd go for that. Plus there is a bigger area to move around which could be good for young children.
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Robert James

By nix584 | Jun 12, 2019, 10:28 AM
UA's 789 on the MEL-LAX route doesn't have Polaris seats, plus it's UA so personally I'd avoid them anyway. If you're only other option is QF go with that (and their seating is 2-2-2, so easy to pair a parent with a child each). But if you want the best option to LAX, it's VA.
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By eminere | Jun 12, 2019, 10:50 AM
Definitely QF. And what a lovely employer too, I might add.
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By ChrisCh | Jun 12, 2019, 11:10 AM
The Qantas A380 also has the inflight 'lounge' up the front of business class which the six of you might enjoy using, whereas the United 787 doesn't have a comparable space.
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By boyd_11 | Jun 12, 2019, 11:12 AM
Thanks for the quick reply AusBT community. I apprecaite your feedback
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By jubbing | Jun 12, 2019, 08:49 PM
Honestly, the soft product on UA is one of the best I've used. Their Saks Fifth Avenue bedding pillow and blanket is better than some of the First Class flights out there, though their seats and service are pretty poor since it's not Polaris. Having said that, I was pretty comfortable on the 14 hour flight to LA in UA Biz, and I've had no issues with it on that route. Haven't flown Qantas on this route so I can't compare but even Qantas would have better flight attendents than UA.
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By devilish | Jun 12, 2019, 09:49 PM
If possible, the VA 777 is by far the best option of those 3.
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Tim Davies

By BigD | Jun 12, 2019, 10:32 PM
Qf95 , 787 leaves in the evening arriving into lax in the evening is another option. 1,2,1 configuration. Excellent seats.
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By pab2025 | Jun 12, 2019, 11:18 PM
Qantas is leaps and bounds better than UA in terms of soft product. If you can get on the 787 flight out of Melbourne (only flies Mon & Fri at the moment) on Qantas, then there is definitely no comparison - the QF 787 seats are awesome.
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By Wingflex | Jun 14, 2019, 04:40 PM
Avoid UA at any costs!!
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By Madhatter49 | Jun 14, 2019, 05:19 PM
Definitely go Virgin. Why did you only want to consider UA or QF if you're not allied to any FF program?
1. Virgin Australia. VA easily blows the other 2 choices away.
2. Qantas, their A380 is good, and yes the lounge area could be a good place to get the group together, but until the refurb happens the lounge is quite average.
3. United is the worst by far out of the 3 choices.

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By Rod H | Jun 15, 2019, 06:31 AM
My son has tried both QF and Virgin and Virgin was by far the very best in his opinion. From what others have said give UA a big miss .I have flown VA Business Class across to Perth on the A330 quite a few times and their service is as good as it gets so if that's replicated on their B777 you could not go wrong flying with them. You will be very pleased with Virgin
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By Boeing-Tragic | Jun 20, 2019, 12:00 PM
If possible, the VA 777 is by far the best option of those 3.

Cabin service on QF is far superior to UA, but the best seats and service will be in VA's 777-300ER with a staffed, stand-up bar to get drinks, mingle, etc. (assuming you're taking a baby-sitter and don't leave the kids 'locked in their seats' !!! :-) ).
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By Boeing-Tragic | Jun 20, 2019, 12:01 PM
My son has tried both QF and Virgin and Virgin was by far the very best in his opinion. From what others have said give UA a big miss .I have flown VA Business Class across to Perth on the A330 quite a few times and their service is as good as it gets so if that's replicated on their B777 you could not go wrong flying with them. You will be very pleased with Virgin

Sadly, no bar on the A330 (certainly not that used on MEL-HKG sector).
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By Mikana | Jun 21, 2019, 04:19 PM
Skybed II on A380 is rubbish. I haven’t had one that doesn’t need Viagra to prevent sagging and/or doesn’t malfunction. So uncomfortable. Lousy IFE technology. Food not bad, service very unpredictable. A380 always better to fly than any other equipment except A350 and 747-800. UA seat is much better even in this version of the business product. Food, amenities, and IFE excellent but delivered by FAs who often don’t do their jobs and when they do, it’s shoddy. You have to charm them to get them to work properly. Business cabin on 787 feels tight and looks appalling by the time you deplane. 787 in general: total meh. VA is the business class standout on this route right now, though I’d take the QF 787 over the aging VA 777. Choices, choices.
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