How to book domestic flights on the Qantas Boeing 787

How to book domestic flights on the Qantas Boeing 787

EXCLUSIVE | Qantas will fly its new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner on selected routes between Sydney, Melbourne and Perth from Friday November 3 to Thursday December 14, giving domestic travellers a chance to try out the new jet before it swings onto the Melbourne-Los Angeles QF95/QF96 service from December 15.

The six-week schedule – which Qantas has revised from an earlier widely-circulated draft schedule, and confirmed to Australian Business Traveller – will serve as familiarisation runs for Qantas pilots, cabin crew and ground staff, as well as a provide an added blast of publicity for the red-tailed Dreamliner.

Qantas is rostering the Boeing 787-9 onto routes usually flown by the Airbus A330, with a leaning towards Melbourne and Perth as both those cities will serve as hubs for the Dreamliner’s flights to Los Angeles and London.

Travellers can catch Qantas Boeing 787-9 on Monday through Friday on these flights:

  • Melbourne to Perth on QF775 (departing 7.10am, arriving 8.20am)
  • Perth to Melbourne on QF772 (departing 9.55am, arriving at 4.30pm)
  • Melbourne to Sydney on QF460 (departing 6.30pm, arriving at 7.55pm)
  • Sydney to Melbourne on QF497 (departing 10pm, arriving 11.35pm)

Weekends will see the Boeing 787-9 visit other capital cities including Adelaide and Brisbane as part of Qantas family days, but the airline currently plans for the Dreamliner to fly a Melbourne–Sydney return service on Saturday November 4, November 11, November 25, December 2 and December 9.

The flights to look for on those dates are:

  • Melbourne to Sydney on QF422 (departing 10am, arriving 11.25am)
  • Sydney to Melbourne on QF439 (departing 2pm, arriving 3.35pm)

However, Qantas understandably cannot provide a 100% guarantee that the Dreamliner won’t be swapped back for an Airbus A330 on those flights – and all of the Dreamliner's domestic flights are subject to regulatory approval.

If travellers book with the hope of flying on the Boeing 787 but an Airbus A330 rolls up to the gate, Qantas says that the usual rules for changing or cancelling a ticket will apply.

No ‘Dreamliner surcharge’, plenty of reward seats

The fares on flights earmarked for the Boeing 787 are in line with their Airbus A330 and even Boeing 737 counterparts – so if your travel schedule has sufficient flexibility to choose the Dreamliner, why not?

At the time of writing there were plenty of frequent flyer reward seats available, at 16,000 Qantas Points for Sydney-Melbourne business class and 36,000 Qantas Points for the pointy end on the Melbourne-Perth and Perth-Sydney legs.

Booking the Dreamliner’s premium economy seat

As the Boeing 787-9 will move onto some services flown by Airbus A330 jets, which don't have a premium economy cabin, Qantas will sell only business class and economy class on the Dreamliner's domestic legs.

AusBT review: Qantas Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner business class seat

The 28 premium economy seats will be available via Advance Seat Selection to selected customers with economy bookings.

AusBT review: Qantas Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner premium economy seat

Here's how the Boeing 787-9's premium economy appears in ExpertFlyer: it's still treated as being part of the economy cabin of an Airbus A330-200, with the 2-3-2 premium economy seating from rows 20 to 23 and the conventional 3-3-3 of economy starting further back at row 40.

Australian Business Traveller understands that top of the list will be Platinum One and Chairman’s Lounge frequent flyers, who will be able to choose a seat in the Dreamliner’s premium economy cabin – identified as rows 20 to 23 – while other travellers will only be able to select seats in the economy class cabin starting from row 40.

Qantas says that premium economy seats which remain empty on the day of the flight will be assigned to travellers based on their frequent flyer status. 

Boeing 787 business class upgrades 

The Dreamliner boasts a significantly larger business class cabin of 42 seats compared to the 28 seats in the Airbus A330s it will replace.

This means there’s a much higher chance of scoring a Classic Upgrade Reward from economy class using your Qantas Points, although we'd not rule out some ‘surprise and delight’ bumps afforded to top-tier frequent flyers.

Upgrading from economy to business class on the Dreamliner’s Sydney-Melbourne leg will cost between 5,000 and 10,000 Qantas Points depending on the type of ticket you’ve purchased (10,000 points for a discount economy ticket, and 5,000 points for the more expensive flexible economy fare). 

That’s fairly decent value, even though this is just a 90 minute flight – and the proposition is improved if you don’t hold Platinum frequent flyer status, as the upgrade will also include access to the Qantas Business lounge.

Upgrading to business class on the Boeing 787’s four-hour transcontinental Melbourne-Perth and Perth-Sydney flights will cost you 10,000 Qantas Points on top of a flexible economy ticket, or 25,000 points on a discount economy ticket.

You’ll be trading up from this…

… to this…

… and also enjoy access to Qantas’ excellent Perth Business lounge on the Perth-Melbourne flights.

Additional material by Chris Chamberlin 

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.
 

24 comments

  • mviy

    mviy

    26 Oct, 2017 10:10 am

    Disappointing that Platinum won't be able to select the PE seats at the time of booking.

    The main point in trying to book one of these flights would be to try out the PE seat and if one can't lock that in, I'm not sure I'd want to go too far out of my way to book it.
    No member give thanks

  • dano282

    dano282

    26 Oct, 2017 10:39 am

    I think you need to read the article again, Platinum will be able to select seats in the PE cabin.
    No member give thanks

  • Steve987

    Steve987

    26 Oct, 2017 11:11 am

    Who needs to re-read?

    “Australian Business Traveller understands that top of the list will be Platinum One and Chairman’s Lounge frequent flyers, who will be able to choose a seat in the Dreamliner’s premium economy cabin – identified as rows 20 to 23 – while other travellers will only be able to select seats in the economy class cabin starting from row 40.”
    No member give thanks

  • Bob Burgess

    Bob Burgess

    26 Oct, 2017 10:48 am

    I would expect the premium economy seats to open up to everyone a day before the flight, I think that's what happens on other 'reserved seating' rows such as Row on the Boeing 737s which is normally kept for CL and P1 members?
    No member give thanks

  • Hamish

    hamletpri2

    26 Oct, 2017 10:36 am

    Are we expecting to see 789 listed as the aircraft when booking through their site? It still lists an a330 for some of the ones I've looked at, figure they just haven't updated that?
    No member give thanks

  • dano282

    dano282

    26 Oct, 2017 10:42 am

    I have recently booked a PER-MEL via SYD and leaving SYD on QF497 and couldn't select my seats for that sector which was weird, so I went and did a "dummy booking" and didn't know it was the 787-9 until I went to select my seats and noticed the difference in the seating plan. All the way through the booking it maintains that the aircraft is a A330.
    No member give thanks

  • Bob Burgess

    Bob Burgess

    26 Oct, 2017 10:46 am

    I think it'll remain listed as an A330, but one give-away besides knowing the flight numbers in this article will be the front 'economy' cabin with 2-3-2 seating, well also the size of the business class cabin of course too.
    No member give thanks

  • watson374

    watson374

    26 Oct, 2017 11:20 am

    The Android app now displays 'Boeing 787-9' as the aircraft type for my booking.
    No member give thanks

  • Bob Burgess

    Bob Burgess

    26 Oct, 2017 10:44 am

    Fantastic, I saw a Qantas Boeing 787-9 schedule a few weeks ago on some other websites listing different flights and thought "I'll wait until AusBT posts it" because that schedule was apparently a preliminary one. Good work guys, this is what I've been waiting for, I have some Perth flights coming up in November so will try to get onto the Dreamliner flights.
    No member give thanks

  • Chris_PER

    Chris_PER

    26 Oct, 2017 11:10 am

    Jeez, that economy section looks average.

    Also, I know that more or less every airline does it, but why is there a gap of 17 rows between PE and economy?

    No member give thanks

  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    26 Oct, 2017 11:53 am

    Gives the airline future flexibility in expanding the number of rows in the forward cabins without needing to re-number the entire economy cabin (just delete x rows at the back).

    Some airlines also try to use the same numbering patterns across different aircraft to make things more 'familiar' to passengers - such the very front row of business class on Singapore Airlines' A330s and A350s is row 11, despite there being no row 1 and no first class.
    No member give thanks

  • watson374

    watson374

    26 Oct, 2017 12:10 pm

    There's also the consistency of Qantas two-class medium widebodies (current A330s and previous B767s) having Economy start with Row 23.
    No member give thanks

  • reeves35

    reeves35

    26 Oct, 2017 04:55 pm

    The legroom sounds OK at 32" but those armrests are anaemic.
    No member give thanks

  • PaulST

    PaulST

    26 Oct, 2017 11:24 am

    Interesting. My Nov 11th booking for QF439 which was booked yesterday as an A332 is now listen as a 787-9 on the QF app.
    Member who gave thanks

    Linkson

  • Noel Patterson

    noelp

    26 Oct, 2017 12:54 pm

    I'm a Platinum, just booked myself on the Mel-Per 787 route, allowed me to select a seat in PE :-).
    No member give thanks

  • davar98

    davar98

    26 Oct, 2017 01:58 pm

    Are there any Sydney-Adelaide flights on that schedule?
    Member who gave thanks

    wdeguara

  • watson374

    watson374

    26 Oct, 2017 02:04 pm

    No, ADL is not on the schedule.
    No member give thanks

  • Bob Burgess

    Bob Burgess

    26 Oct, 2017 10:31 pm

    Seriously, does the article show Adelaide on the schedule? No. So why on earth ask a question like that?
    No member give thanks

  • wdeguara

    wdeguara

    27 Oct, 2017 04:17 pm

    Hi Davar98,

    According to the Qantas web site the 787 services to/from ADL are:

    QF673 MEL > ADL Saturday 18 Nov

    QF595 ADL > PER Saturday 18 Nov

    For folks in BrisVegas, your flights are:

    QF608 MEL > BNE Sunday 12 Nov

    QF637 BNE > MEL Sunday 12 Nov


    Happy trails !
    Member who gave thanks

    nige00160

  • PaulST

    PaulST

    26 Oct, 2017 02:38 pm

    Oddly enough, I now have access to the entire cabin while the front rows were all blocked off last night. It seem that in the process of changing it from an A332 to a 789 (while the seat map has been 789 the entire time), it appears to have opened up the entire J cabin. Helped myself to 6K. (I'm Gold btw)
    Member who gave thanks

    David

  • Bob Burgess

    Bob Burgess

    26 Oct, 2017 10:30 pm

    Update: I'm QFF Platinum and was able to book into the QF 787-9's premium economy cabin on MEL-PER.
    No member give thanks

  • turbojezz

    turbojezz

    27 Oct, 2017 11:33 am

    i just booked a seat in PE on a MEL > SYD flight and selected my seat. i am gold. i completed to booking first, then went in and selected my seats for my two flights, easy as that :)
    excited to try PE on this plane short haul before booking a 17h treck in PE!
    No member give thanks

  • Shaun Matthews

    ShaunM

    27 Oct, 2017 04:16 pm

    Chris, The dates in the article says til Tuesday 14th December. Is this meant to be Thursday 14th December or is it just Tuesday 14th November as there is no Tuesday 14th December.

    Thanks

    No member give thanks

  • samueljones561

    samueljones561

    27 Oct, 2017 04:22 pm

    I have just booked SYD-MEL through classic rewards. I booked economy and was able to choose 2 premium economy seats for myself (gold) and my partner (silver). It’s great to see Qantas changed it’s mind.
    No member give thanks

Guest

26 May, 2019 11:56 pm

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