Qantas redemption seats on a Boeing 787 delivery flight?

By QFP1 | May 13, 2019, 01:20 PM
Seeing this morning's story about Qantas making a whole A380 available for frequent flyer bookings, https://www.ausbt.com.au/qantas-opens-up-an-entire-airbus-a380-for-points-based-bookings?utm_source=hero for those who missed it, I wonder if one of the next initiatives might be to offer seats on a Boeing 787 delivery flight from Seattle to Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane? This would be an amazing experience!

I reckon Qantas could charge a lot more points than usual to take part in this. Maybe they set aside a limited number of business class seats on the flights to LAX and then LAX-SEA plus SEA back to Australia, with hotel included, and they offer the whole package for something like 250,000 or even 500,000 points.
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By sanj747 | May 13, 2019, 01:28 PM
And tag on a tour of the Boeing factory.
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By mviy | May 13, 2019, 02:00 PM
QF has a special exemption to be allowed to sell seats on LAX-JFK and then only for passengers connecting to/from flights to/from AU. I do wonder whether the necessary approvals could be too big a hurdle to selling points seats on a delivery flight.
Last edited by mviy at May 13, 2019, 02.01 PM.
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By Pcoder | May 13, 2019, 02:41 PM
There's all kind of issues that most airlines probably don't want to deal with to offer seats on delivery flights.

Firstly airports like Renton wouldn't have catering facilities like most airports as it doesn't have regular scheduled services. Boeing would probably have some catering facilities, but since these flights usually only have a few crew members on them, there's probably not too much on offer besides sandwiches.

Secondly, the plane might only have pilots onboard, so getting attendants for an passengers might be a pain. And thirdly, organising a one off flight might be a bit of a pain and end up costing the airline a bit.

Now Qantas did have journalists on the first delivery flight, but I think that was a special PR mission that would have cost the airline a bit.
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By VHOEJ | May 13, 2019, 02:46 PM
It won't happen - a delivery is a moving flight and can change very frequently in the last week. All sorts of things can go wrong and they also want to get the aircraft to Australia as soon as possible to do pre-service modifications so it can go into service. The fleet doesn't have the slack it used to.

Plus there are a lot of things to be organised to depart from the Boeing facility that it wouldn't be worth it. All of the work needed for the media junkets is bad enough. The aircraft can fly direct to Australia so it doesn't need a stop somewhere.
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By flychrisfly | May 13, 2019, 04:52 PM
They also keep the weight down on the delivery flight so it can comfortably make it all the way. So fewer/ no pax or luggage
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By ChrisCh | May 13, 2019, 05:17 PM
I can't imagine the likes of Boeing or Airbus being too thrilled with airlines 'selling' seats on these private flights direct from the manufacturer's HQ, for a variety of reasons.

Here's a fun fact about Airbus delivery flights, though: airlines are now prohibited from filling up their delivery aircraft with wine as cargo. Apparently lots of airlines used to do this (particularly those that don't have regular flights to France, given the reduced cost of flying cargo on the airline's own plane, and the cost savings of buying French wine in France), but it became so popular that these huge shipments of wine began to impact on delivery times as the loading and security process was taking too long, so Airbus put a stop to it, citing that their priority was to get the aircraft off to the customer in good time, not to have their private terminal used as a cargo bay, haha!

(So, anything that adds unnecessary weight or time to a delivery flight isn't going to go down well with the manufacturers, not to mention that the airline would need traffic rights to carry commercial passengers on the route, and so on.)
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By patrickk | May 13, 2019, 05:25 PM
There may also be accreditation issues by local regulators to make sure the plane is up to scratch and approved to take fee paying passengers.
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By Anjan | May 13, 2019, 05:34 PM
Many years back I had a relative come to Syd on a brand new 747-400. So it has been done. QF had a ridiculous return fare at the time. I just don't recall if it was ex Boeing or LA or SF.
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By TJS | May 13, 2019, 07:47 PM
It won't happen - a delivery is a moving flight and can change very frequently in the last week. All sorts of things can go wrong and they also want to get the aircraft to Australia as soon as possible to do pre-service modifications so it can go into service. The fleet doesn't have the slack it used to.

Plus there are a lot of things to be organised to depart from the Boeing facility that it wouldn't be worth it. All of the work needed for the media junkets is bad enough. The aircraft can fly direct to Australia so it doesn't need a stop somewhere.
"The Fleet doesn't have the slack it is used to." This is something I have been wondering recently... with 6 more B787s to replace 8 B747s, as well as Qantas starting up SYD to CTS in December, are they going to run short of A330s and other wide bodies...? I'm sure they have it in hand, but I do wonder....

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By patrickk | May 14, 2019, 07:30 AM
I suspect they may lease a couple of A330s to plug the gap pending a 787-10 order to replace them all from 2022.
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By sid | May 14, 2019, 01:57 PM
I can't imagine the likes of Boeing or Airbus being too thrilled with airlines 'selling' seats on these private flights direct from the manufacturer's HQ, for a variety of reasons.

Here's a fun fact about Airbus delivery flights, though: airlines are now prohibited from filling up their delivery aircraft with wine as cargo. Apparently lots of airlines used to do this (particularly those that don't have regular flights to France, given the reduced cost of flying cargo on the airline's own plane, and the cost savings of buying French wine in France), but it became so popular that these huge shipments of wine began to impact on delivery times as the loading and security process was taking too long, so Airbus put a stop to it, citing that their priority was to get the aircraft off to the customer in good time, not to have their private terminal used as a cargo bay, haha!

(So, anything that adds unnecessary weight or time to a delivery flight isn't going to go down well with the manufacturers, not to mention that the airline would need traffic rights to carry commercial passengers on the route, and so on.)

At the terminal in Toulouse I saw a couple of pilots from a Chinese airline checking in pallets of milk powder!
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By charlie18 | May 14, 2019, 02:46 PM
Great idea - but not sure how it would go with CASA? I suspect that it would be more a regulatory hurdle.
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