Which aircraft is best for an overnight flight: Airbus A330, A350, Boeing 777 or 787?

By Sparksy | Jun 26, 2019, 02:25 PM
Yes I know that's a lot of aircraft to choose between but if I am doing an overnight flight and wanted to really get a good sleep, which aircraft should I be preferencing if I have the chance?
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By AsiaBizTraveller | Jun 26, 2019, 02:33 PM
The A350 is definitely the quietest of these, there's so much less ambient cabin noise and I find that makes a big difference for me when it comes to sleeping. I don't use those rubber noise-protecting earbuds though, never liked the feel of them, so if you use those then cabin noise could be less of an issue.
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By s4172249 | Jun 26, 2019, 02:33 PM
With what airline and class? The product will vary between each and every airline no matter sort of plane you choose.
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By Grannular | Jun 26, 2019, 02:33 PM
What cabin? What airline?
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By Sparksy | Jun 26, 2019, 02:40 PM
What cabin? What airline?

Sorry, it would be business class. I'm flexible on the airline, it's just that having to step off a 'red-eye' flight and pretty much go straight to work means I really need to make sure I get a good sleep. I appreciate that each airline has a different business class seat but this was more a top-level aircraft question which I can factor into my decision. Thanks everyone!
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By Anna80 | Jun 26, 2019, 02:45 PM
I've flown Cathay Pacific's A350 and B777 to HKG and I can tell you that the A350 is so much quieter! I also felt a lot better on arrival, as the A350 has a lower 'effective altitude' in the cabin that's more like 6,000ft above sea level compared to the B777's 8,000 feet, this is similar to the B787 and it means there's less overall fatigue. The A350 also has higher humidity levels in the cabin and that also meant I felt better because on other flights my skin and throat tend to get dry. So even with the same business class seat, well okay the CX A350 one is better than the older B777 design, there's a big difference. My schedule means I do a lot of overnight flights to and from HKG so sleep is vital to me and I would now always choose the A350.
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By Mal | Jun 26, 2019, 03:00 PM
My order of preference would be A350, B787, then toss a coin between the A330 and B777, at that stage it more comes down to the actual business class seat as well as where you are sitting in the cabin, eg away from galleys and lavs.

I avoid overnights from SIN because it's so hard to get anything resembling a decent sleep, which means flying with SQ in order to be on a daytime flight.
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By MELflyer | Jun 26, 2019, 03:02 PM
I'm the same as Mal, these days I go for daytime flights from Asia which means SQ and CX. For Hong Kong it's less crucial than Singapore because it's a longer flight but I really do like the daytime Cathay Pacific flights. I can really enjoy my last night in HK, get a good sleep at the hotel and an early breakfast, then head to the airport and dedicate a lot of the time on the flight to working on my laptop even without WiFi plus a nice catch-up nap at some stage during the flight.

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By AsiaBizTraveller | Jun 26, 2019, 03:11 PM
The best tips to get a good sleep on overnight flights from Asia are
* have your dinner in the lounge, plus a drink or two if that helps you relax!
* if you are taking a sleeping pill, and there are no issues with alcohol interactions in case you have that drink mentioned above, take it when you leave the lounge or get to the boarding gate, but before you get on the flight, so by the time the flight takes off it's taking effect
* get a comfortable eye mask to block out the cabin light from everybody else's dinner service

Also, put your PJs and amenity kit into a seperate bag, the ones they have in the wardrobe at most decent hotels for shopping etc are great for this. As soon as you are on board, drop your bags at your seat and then head to the WC to change into your PJs, brush your teeth or whatever. If you still have lots of economy passengers boarding along your aisle, wait until the crowd thins out or they announce boarding is complete and then make your move. The whole idea is to be in your PJs and ready for sleep before the plane takes off.

All this can mean you get a good hour of extra sleep, and on SIN-SYD for instance I find that really helps.
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By AsiaBizTraveller | Jun 26, 2019, 03:11 PM
My order of preference would be A350, B787, then toss a coin between the A330 and B777, at that stage it more comes down to the actual business class seat as well as where you are sitting in the cabin, eg away from galleys and lavs.

I avoid overnights from SIN because it's so hard to get anything resembling a decent sleep, which means flying with SQ in order to be on a daytime flight.

I'd agree with that order of preference. You can really tell the difference between an A350 and B787 when it comes to cabin noise!

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By Anna80 | Jun 26, 2019, 03:14 PM
Adding to AsiaBizTraveller's suggestion of an eye mask, I use one of the CX ones from their first class amenity kit, it's very comfortable, and I have a calming sleep-inducing pillow spray which I use at the hotel to help me sleep, so I spritz just a little of this onto the bottom of the mask near where my nose will be. It all helps!
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By David | Jun 26, 2019, 04:01 PM
I'm loving the practical advice here – thanks to everyone for sharing your insights! – and don't honestly have much to add, except that I'd endorse the Airbus A350 as being the best of this bunch when it comes to passenger comfort and thus helping you sleep.
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By drsimon50 | Jun 26, 2019, 04:01 PM
i dont fly as much as some - and am a bad sleeper on any flight (my other half is often asleep before take off - god knows how!) - but like Anna80 i too use sleep pillow spray (emirates) and the sleep oil which seems to work for me (as well as a glass of something with eye shade and ear plugs) - all noise on the plane is annoying for me so its with these extras i tend to have to cope

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By Mikana | Jun 26, 2019, 05:07 PM
A350. No contest. Very quiet in the pointy end. Great aircraft which leaves every other wide body in the exhaust of its RR Trents.
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By AJW | Jun 26, 2019, 07:19 PM
My order of preference would be A350, B787, then toss a coin between the A330 and B777, at that stage it more comes down to the actual business class seat as well as where you are sitting in the cabin, eg away from galleys and lavs.

I avoid overnights from SIN because it's so hard to get anything resembling a decent sleep, which means flying with SQ in order to be on a daytime flight.

I'd agree with that order of preference. You can really tell the difference between an A350 and B787 when it comes to cabin noise!


Disagree with that. To me A350 noticeably quieter.
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By pointyendmark | Jun 26, 2019, 08:31 PM
IMHO the 787 is far superior to any there aircraft because it's the only one with clean, fresh cabin air. All other places take the air from an engine bleed.
787, A350 and A380 have the 6000ft cabin altitude, which is superior to 8000ft because it contains more oxygen and water vapour.
Each of the above are quiet, but I find noise a red herring because the brain adjusts to ignore background ambient noise.
For me, a major influencer on sleep quality is the cabin temperature. Usually it's too high, so I ask the crew to set it to 21 degrees in my part of the cabin. On my last flight on a QR A350 the purser claimed they can control temperature a few rows at a time, not just in different cabins.
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