Making a better case for flying on a 20 hour non-stop flight

Making a better case for flying on a 20 hour non-stop flight

We’re now drawing closer to an era of travel which some high flyers will look forward to, while more will dread: the age of ultra-long flights.

Earlier this month Singapore Airlines snatched the crown for The World’s Longest Flight with its non-stop service between Singapore and New York.

Crossing 13 timezones and darting halfway around the world, it’s a marathon 18 hours and 45 minutes, although the benefit of jetstreams and tailwinds has seen he first few flights come in under 18 hours.

AusBT review: Review: Singapore Airlines SQ22 Airbus A350 business class Singapore-New York

And there’s more of these flights to come. Qantas wants to begin direct flights from Sydney and Melbourne to New York and London from 2022 under its ambitious Project Sunrise – and those tests of humans endurance will stretch to 18-20 hours.

Last week I travelled twice on Singapore Airlines’ epic journey, once in each direction – almost 36 hours and some 33,400 miles – in both business class and premium economy.

This gave me some first-hand insight into the passenger experience on an ultra-long flight and where we need to go from here.

The first take-away: airlines which want to launch globe-striding flights need to rethink flying. What has in the past worked for 12-14 hours shouldn’t apply to 18-20 hours. This is not only up to 50% longer than those conventional long haul flights, but it really pushes the limits of endurance or at least tolerance.

A better business class

Secondly, standard business class isn’t good enough. An 18-20 hour flight needs to have the very best business class. Right now I rate that as Qatar Airways’ impressive Qsuite – with its sliding doors, high levels of comfort and superb finish, the Qsuites offer just about everything a business traveller could want.

Yet even that private suite could seem like a well-appointed cell towards end of a 20 hour flight. Airlines need to consider a business class suite designed from the ground up for 18-20 hours, rather than tweak an existing design.

Mini-first suites?

I’m beginning to wonder if this needs to be something between business class and first class suites. A larger footprint with a seperate seat. Something like Lufthansa used to have on its Boeing 747s...

... or a very downsized version of the latest first class Airbus A380 suites of Etihad (below) and Singapore Airlines.

It doesn’t need to be as large, nor as plushly appointed – but we’re taking of a mini-suite with a bit more space beyond just a seat.

And yes, this would require more precious real estate on the aircraft and that in turn would mean higher prices – but if airlines are confident of demand for non-stop routes, this would allow them to deliver a truly premium product to match that premium price.

Economy-free zone

On the modified Airbus A350 which Singapore Airlines uses to fly between Singapore and New York has just two classes: business and premium economy. There are no fancy first class suites and no super-cramped economy seats.

I found my New York-Singapore flight in premium economy to be surprisingly bearable, if a bit tough on posture for the amount of time spent in the seat.

But economy, as we know it, doesn’t belong on an 18-20 hour flight – and I doubt any airline would reinvent economy to the point where it becomes too close to premium economy. I'd be worried they would simply lowball economy to retain a gap to premium economy and justify the that cabin’s higher pricing .

Qantas says it wants all four cabin classes on the Project Sunrise jets, from first though to economy, and is already casting around for new-design seats.

I’d rather airlines keep the cheap seats on the regular routes such as Sydney or Melbourne to London via Singapore, but non-stop to London? Just give me a choice between a super-sized business class suite and a comfortable premium economy seat.

‘Second space’

Beyond those seats, passengers will need an alternative space so they can change their scenery, stretch their legs and break up the mental monotony of the journey.

This could be some raised round tables where you stand near a self-serve snack bar and chat with fellow travellers.

It could be a cafe-style lounge, similar to what Qantas is planning for its Airbus A380s from March next year (below).

Also read: Six reasons I'll use the new Qantas A380 inflight business lounges

It could even be like the little business class bar on Virgin Australia’s Boeing 777s to Los Angeles.

Qantas is already thinking ahead on this, with notions of using part of the cargo hold of its Project Sunrise jets for everything from lounges to relaxation zones for stretching.

Also read: These photos show how Airbus plans to put passengers in the cargo hold

Dine on demand

It’s good to encourage eating at certain times to help passengers adjust body clock to the destination of their timezone.

However, I’m a fan of the 'dine on demand' approach – letting passengers choose anything from the menu to have at any time during the flight. This is not only more personal but it avoid the whole cabin being woken up when not everybody wants to eat.

Yes, inform passengers of ideal meal times – but then let them take responsibility for their own timetable and inflight schedule, because not everyone has the same needs.

Wellness meals

Inflight meals need to be geared towards wellness. Yes, it’s that dreaded buzzword – but science-based wellness works.

Qantas and Singapore Airlines are both delving into this, but in my opinion Qantas is doing it much better. I far prefer the taste and diversity of Qantas’ wellness meals, developed by Neil Perry and The University of Sydney.

Qantas also has the right idea in making some of these dishes available in the airport lounge before you fly. After all, what you eat in the lounge will be digested during your flight, so it makes sense to start on the right foot with wellness meals.

There’s still a place for comfort food, but the more healthy tasty wellness meals and drinks on offer, the better.
I’d also suggest that airlines move away from large main meals and encourage smaller servings more often.

There’s no sense tucking into a four-course meal when you’re going to be sitting for the next eight hours.
A handful of smaller dishes throughout the flight – again, tied to dine on demand – would be lighter on your digestive system but keep the metabolism humming along.

Even on ‘normal’ flights today I often feel that a simple tasty baguette with prosciutto, cheese, tomato and basil would hit the spot nicely.

Amenity kits

While airlines are rethinking meals, they should rethink amenity kits too. Go beyond the basics. Instead of regular socks, consider compression socks. Rather than a small vial of moisturiser, how about including a moisturising face mask?

What practical passenger-centric changes would you like to see on ultra-long range flights of 18-20 hours?

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.
 

57 comments

  • Pcoder

    Pcoder

    22 Oct, 2018 10:19 am

    Some basics I'd like to see for a flight that long would be an economy seat that is at least 18" wide and 33" pitch. Water bottle holder for each seat (I've found sipping on water very helpful) and an area to stretch out.

    For economy pax, you could have a meal scheduler function in the ife, where if you felt like a meal at a time, you could schedule one for the next hour.

    Also Qantas could have a meal preference profile on their website, to get a better understanding of what meals the passengers want (eg: hate fish, love pasta)
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  • Dudleigh Oakes

    Oakboy21

    25 Oct, 2018 04:28 pm

    I would like to see all Economy seats locked off after the first two recliner notches. If you can't get comfortable at either one there is something wrong with you. There is nothing worse than having the ignorant person in front of you push their seat back into your face. I might sometimes move mine back one notch, but mostly leave it upright as I am conscience of the person behind me and I know how it annoys me.
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  • V Champion

    Vulch

    25 Oct, 2018 10:09 pm

    Well I don’t agree with that on a 20 hour flight. Aside from meal times my seat will be fully reclined the whole way, and so will everyone else’s!

    Suggest not flying long hurl if you don’t like that.
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  • Ricardo

    Ricardo

    22 Oct, 2018 11:00 am

    The thing I truly don’t understand is why no first class? Philosophically I’ve always thought, the longer the route, the better the class.

    I am comfortable enough in economy for 45-75 minute flights
    Business for mid length daylight flights up to 7-8 hours
    First class for longer than 7hrs or anything overnight.

    Works well until you get to all of these ULR flights that top out at J.
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  • humanuscomotose

    humanuscomotose

    22 Oct, 2018 11:34 am

    A good article David. Thank you.

    I personally can't see airlines eliminating economy from their ultra-long-range cabin mix, well at least not in the short term. As long as there are still options for stop-overs e.g. Singapore or Hong Kong, leisure travellers and business travellers on lean travel budgets may well steer clear of these non-stop flights. Flying economy for a 20-hour non-stop flight is a great idea...said no one ever.
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  • fxdxdy

    fxdxdy

    22 Oct, 2018 11:49 am

    CASA doesn't allow Australian registered carriers to put doors on their business/first class seats to they?
    That might prevent the 'comfy cell' problem.
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  • Vik Jay

    MarkivJ

    22 Oct, 2018 12:01 pm

    I doubt I’ll ever choose a non stop longer than 14 hrs unless there’s no other choice. Good thing is, these non stop flights will probably also be pricier so I can use the cost to justify my reason at work, If I have to ;-)
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  • James O'Mahony

    Ourmanin

    22 Oct, 2018 02:29 pm

    MarkivJ. It’s pretty hard to imagine any route greater than 14 hours (or indeed considerably shorter than that) where you wouldn’t have the choice to stop over if you really wanted to. I guess if you wanted to fly, say PER to LHR, you could drag it out to half a dozen legs quite easily if you really wanted to. If you skyscannered that route I suspect you’d get plenty of options with at least two stops, which would be no more expensive than flying direct. Ultimately I suspect the cost of direct flights will start to look more attractive than stopovers as airlines such as Qantas (given this is largely a Aus based readership) can reduce costs by having direct flights and reduce the costs of intermediate stops.
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  • oliverkeighley

    oliverkeighley

    22 Oct, 2018 02:44 pm

    I'm assuming he means he'd rather a one-stop that non-stop in economy.

    Qantas PER-LHR return in economy in mid November is about $1,400, whereas one-stop is $1,000-$1200 (Thai or Qatar).

    If my company was paying for economy I would take the one stop. If my company was paying for premium I would consider the Qantas flight.

    Back to the article, I agree, don't see how people would be able to do economy for 19/20 hours.

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    Gazza129

  • James O'Mahony

    Ourmanin

    22 Oct, 2018 04:05 pm

    Oliverkeighley- completely agree. 20 hours economy would be hell. I don’t care how “revolutionary” anyone claims it will be!! Personally I don’t disagree. I fly MEL to LHR approx once a month. I have avoided the PER option simply because if I have to stop I’d rather do it somewhere nearer to halfway whatever class I’m travelling in. Once non stop from MEL becomes possible I’d certainly look at it in J. At some stage I do wonder where the limits will come in terms of what passengers will pay for in Economy. The reality is that the sole driver for many is simply price. Ultimately if you can fly MEL / SYD to anywhere in Europe nonstop you take away a potentially expensive slot at an airport like SIN or HKG.
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  • Tristan

    tris06

    24 Oct, 2018 05:30 pm

    Also you will find quite a few 1 stop options from BNE/SYD/MEL on the east coast offering flights to London for as low as 1000 AUD. Amazing considering when 20 years ago the lowest price was usually more like 2000AUD. I was also amazed when a family member bought a return flight on Qantas for just 570 AUD including taxes. My guess is economy on a 18-20hr flight will attract quite a few people at first until then they tried it then economy will get a bad name and may even cause a few more blood clots. The good thing is we can continue to expect premium economy and business class for most airlines to either get gradually more spacious for the same price or drop in price if the comfort levels do not improve.


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  • patrickk

    patrickk

    22 Oct, 2018 05:10 pm

    I can imagine such flights as I regularly use DFW to SYD (against the wind) or Perth to LHR (against the wind) which both can be 17 hours as a stop in between is more disruptive. A long leg and a short leg is much better than to long legs to me and the passenger loads on both (on all classes) I think bear me out.
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  • autvlr

    autvlr

    22 Oct, 2018 12:22 pm

    Dine on demand should be served with (biodegradable) plastic plates and cutlery so that it minimises noise in the cabin. When I've travelled on dine on demand airlines, although in theory it shouldn't wake the whole cabin, the whole cabin gets disturbed by the clinking of corckery and cutlery.
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  • Stm Aus

    stmaus

    22 Oct, 2018 03:45 pm

    Yes, that is a very good idea. Clinking at meal service is quite intrusive if you are trying to sleep, and it's definitely a big issue for these ultra-long flights.
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  • Jon W

    Jon W

    22 Oct, 2018 12:23 pm

    I'm glad that there are calls for better business class due to longer flights but the reality is most business travellers are now required to slug it out in economy, no matter how long their flight. How about a few articles that actually acknowledge this reality? Spruiking up the beneftis of J or F is great, but not really useful for the bulk of us, and not always transferable (Etihad is a great example here - lauded for its suites, but is one of the worst airlines to fly in Y that I've ever experienced, even as a VA Platinum)
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    Agfox

  • John Phelan

    John Phelan

    22 Oct, 2018 01:21 pm

    I'm not a fan of doors on suites in F or J. When I have travelled in such suites, I always leave the doors open. I like open, airy cabins, which I think is even more important for these very long flights, so you don't feel too cooped-up in your little box!
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  • simon drakeley

    drsimon50

    22 Oct, 2018 01:25 pm

    i always leave the suite doors open too - i dont like feeling cooped up too much - thought i was the only one

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  • Ross

    Ross

    22 Oct, 2018 03:58 pm

    I prefer them open on the QR J suites but closed on the EK and EY larger F suites.
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  • Vik Jay

    MarkivJ

    22 Oct, 2018 03:19 pm

    Ditto! Qatar FAs asked me if I’d like it closed and I refused.
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  • anthony watts

    anthony watts

    24 Oct, 2018 10:11 pm

    I too thought I was among the very few that find "doors" neither pleasant or useful. As for a "bed with separate seat", really? It may be a long flight, but it's still only 20 hours. A chair that converts is just fine.
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  • Jason Hamilton

    JKH

    22 Oct, 2018 01:36 pm

    As you stated David, economy class has no place on these flights. A premium cabin seat on a ULR flight for business trips and such, but not in cattle class for that self-funded holiday booking. It would be nothing short of a health hazard.
    It almost seems like airlines want to penalise and punish the lowly cattle class leisure traveller.
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  • Jason Hamilton

    JKH

    22 Oct, 2018 01:39 pm

    I read an article in the latest Australian Aviation (hard copy, sorry) about an Australian fellow who proposes a most plausible Y-class seat design with adequate pitch and recline for ULR flights. Perhaps airlines should have enough decency to consider this if they persist in offering cattle class and want to achieve greater than 75% yields.
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  • David Flynn

    David

    22 Oct, 2018 02:47 pm

    Qantas says it's put the call out for new 'next generation' economy and premium economy seat designs for the Project Sunrise jets, so we can only hope..! See https://www.ausbt.com.au/qantas-plans-new-next-generation-premium-economy-seat for more on this...
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    JKH

  • mviy

    mviy

    22 Oct, 2018 04:21 pm

    Well after QF's "revolutionary" PE seat for the 787 has proven to no live up to the hype I'm not expecting them to do a better job for the Project Sunrise jets.
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    JKH

  • V Champion

    Vulch

    24 Oct, 2018 10:29 pm

    The seats of course are largely irrelevant. It’s all about space, space, space. And airlines won’t give us that, even on 17 hour flights.
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  • aggie57

    aggie57

    22 Oct, 2018 02:39 pm

    Good article David. The point about common areas resonates with me, I do appreciate the Emirates bar area in their A380’s and the open spaces at the front of Qantas A380 business and first.
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  • Ed Sawkins

    ed779

    22 Oct, 2018 04:31 pm

    I wish they actually reached out to some of their long term economy flying passengers to design new economy seating etc - I could do a much better job - Ive sat in one of those seats for many many flights and know what they are lacking. But no, they will persist with things like the useless foot basket thing and no where to store a water bottle with the tray up. Maybe I'm wrong and they will ask some passengers, but probably not.
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    JKH

  • ILIKEPLANES101

    ILIKEPLANES101

    22 Oct, 2018 07:10 pm

    David, I'd like to respectfully disagree with the statement below;

    "I’d rather airlines keep the cheap seats on the regular routes such as Sydney or Melbourne to London via Singapore, but non-stop to London? Just give me a choice between a super-sized business class suite and a comfortable premium economy seat."

    If airlines had a standard or slightly tweaked economy cabin on the aircraft, it wouldn't necessariy stop you from choosing between J or PE. What's the issue with having more choice?

    I think it would be good for QF to put a Y cabin on their MEL/SYD-LHR flights for those who'd pay a bit more simply to save the time and hassle of connecting even if it turned out to have less seats that the other cabins.

    Take someone like my father for example: Travels MEL-LHR once a year or so. He'd argue that the overall time saving from stopping over and a more direct routing, no risk of missing connections, reduced likelihood of loosing baggage, lower likelihood of being affected by localised weather ie. at a hub among other reasons would be enough to swing him over to a non-stop option.

    Sure he may be a fairly unique personality (I'd definatley be taking the stop over) but I'm sure he's not alone so perhaps a Y cabin shouldn't be ruled out so quickly?

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  • vantage03

    vantage03

    22 Oct, 2018 07:29 pm

    David this is a really good and well thought out article, great to draw on insights from your own experience on the SQ flights.

    You allude to just needing a better business cabin and a PE cabin, but I’m keen to understand why you (and SQ) don’t see the need for a First Class cabin on these flights. I would have thought that the longer the flight, the more likely passengers (or corporates) will pay full fare for First Class, let alone being the most aspirational point redemption opportunities.
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  • David Flynn

    David

    23 Oct, 2018 11:40 am

    Hi Vantage03 - I didn’t say that I don’t see the need for first class on these flights, my article was more built around the configuration choices of Singapore Airlines. I would agree that a good first class suite could be very appealing on ultra-long range flights and note that Qantas definitely wants this for Project Sunrise. It’ll just come down to the price plus differentiation against a ‘better business class’ in not only the suite but also the service. I’d suggest that airlines would be less interested in first class as a points redemption play on these flights, however - they’d prefer paying passengers.
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  • Tim Davies

    Boeing-Tragic

    24 Oct, 2018 01:44 pm

    No matter how long the journey, most companies would limit "Fist-class" flights to the CEO and, perhaps, Divisional Directors. It's not so much the cost as the message that would be given to shareholders if they knew 'staff' were flying first. That straight away limits the size of the market. A 'Business Class' fare on the other hand, no matter the cost, won't offend shareholders provided the corporate is meeting performance hurdles. This presents a broader market. Can't speak to Government employees and their travel policies, but suspect a similar philosophy would apply.
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  • IAN ASSUMPTION

    ian62

    22 Oct, 2018 09:12 pm

    Thanks David. Useful, practical suggestions.
    I'd be interested to know what fellow readers think about the capacity of cabin crew on the airlines you describe in the article to deliver on some of the soft product suggestions (eg., more frequent meals with smaller portions - I would add more proactive frequent rounds with water top ups and general interaction enquiring about well-being during almost a day in a metal tube in the air).
    Reliable, consistent service and a culture of serving well are not always evident and although I understand it is outside the scope of this article, it does impact on the premium ultra long haul experience.
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  • Steve987

    Steve987

    22 Oct, 2018 09:49 pm

    Aside from the comfort factor, I wonder if any liability assessment has been done re increased DVT risk for economy travellers on ULH. That factor alone could be sufficient to see the MVP be PE?

    Quite separately, could QF establish non-stop flights to destinations relying on prevailing winds with a one stop return? No idea if the winds are strong enough or if some other economic factor prevents this being possible, just legitimately interested!
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  • Timmy22bc

    Timmy22bc

    23 Oct, 2018 09:52 am

    It’s been done before, the original SYD-DFW-BNE-SYD loop.
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  • rebekkap

    rebekkap

    24 Oct, 2018 05:21 pm

    Except that DVT actually seems to be more likely in premium cabins... https://www.ajol.info/index.php/samj/article/view/132175

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  • Timmy22bc

    Timmy22bc

    23 Oct, 2018 01:00 am

    Somethings not discussed is adequate (comfortable) toilet to seat ratio & how to properly staff such flights, so that staff remain fresh, friendly & attentative throughout the flight.
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  • Jason Hamilton

    JKH

    23 Oct, 2018 04:24 pm

    QF certainly needs to tweak (or overhaul) it’s 787-9 PE seating. It hasn’t been the Godsend Joyce made it out to be.
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  • Jason Hamilton

    JKH

    23 Oct, 2018 04:30 pm

    To my above note, 3” more pitch per W class seat (equating to 1’ scraped up overall) plus a usable leg rest + foot rest would be quite adequate.
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  • Otto Van De Velde

    OttoV

    23 Oct, 2018 06:00 pm

    A thought provoking article, David. I am booked to fly Perth to London next year on a B 787 which regrettably has little capacity to provide my following suggestions to motivate passengers to move: first of all a small place to meet with a drink or a chocolate or whatever. The proposed revamp in the A380 by Qantas, as suggested previously will still look like a dentist waiting room unless it is staffed and drinks are poured. Plus a passenger friendly galley where hot drinks or soups are readily available. Chicken soups is alleged to be a cure all, so why isn’t available on an 18 hr flight or a hot chocolate? I reckon that all readers of your articles need a hot line directly to Alan J, who undoubtedly would be receptive to good suggestions from his key clients, don’t you think?
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  • Flying Fish

    AWA2602

    24 Oct, 2018 03:53 am

    I think if QF is looking to assign part of the cargo area for passenger use, it would be great if "dine on demand" meals were served in a cafe-style dining area below the main deck. This would give people wanting to eat outside the main meal service times the opportunity to stretch their legs and change their scenery all without the noise and disruption to other passengers who are sleeping, working or watching movies. This could also mean, potentially smaller galleys on the main deck and giving that space to roomier seats.
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  • elemist

    elemist

    24 Oct, 2018 01:40 pm

    Something like a cafe dining area is a great idea, and it would alleviate so many other problems.

    1. Noisy meal services whilst people are sleeping
    2. Reason to stretch legs and get a change of scenery
    3. Practical way to manage serving food/drinks for FA's
    4. Makes it essentially any time dining
    5. Not everyone drinks - but everyone eats
    6. Make for a quieter cabin for sleeping
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  • elemist

    elemist

    24 Oct, 2018 01:42 pm

    Continued from above..

    I think the biggest thing though on these long flights is some type of distraction or way to prevent boredom setting in. For me it's not so much the sitting in a seat for so long, it's just there's only so many tv shows and movies to watch, and so many books/magazines to read.

    People need some other type of stimulation or entertainment.
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  • Stephen Jose

    fensonjoseph

    24 Oct, 2018 02:06 pm

    I found it difficult flying Emirates Dubai-Brisbane. How could people endure19 hours non stop, I don't comprehend. Emirates flight which I took was the worst flight of my life.

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  • Bruce Seitanides

    Bruce777

    24 Oct, 2018 02:38 pm

    I think Singapore are doing the bare minimum for their ultra long haul to Newark... many faults lie in the business class seat itself and they didn’t bother to even modify it a little after it had complaints from customers. They are supposed to be the world’s best airline. And for some reason they don’t plan on changing anything. Their product relies too heavily on style rather than substance, contrary to Emirates and Qatar Airways.
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  • Gazza129

    Gazza129

    24 Oct, 2018 02:42 pm

    I can't imagine sitting at an angle sideways of about 35 degrees in SQ J while trying to watch a (non touch) TV screen with my feet in a little pigeon hole. I hope they bring in yet another (but improved) J seat
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  • Peter Keenan

    PJK

    24 Oct, 2018 03:01 pm

    With the emergence of ultra long non stop flights such as Sydney to London how is it economical to carry a full load of fuel the total distance rather than having a fuel stop 1/2 way ( eg Bangkok ) .
    I confess my ignorance regarding exact fuel burn rates,but working on 7 tons/ hour and as weight is considered the enemy of fuel burn rates, how can it be more economical to carry an extra 70 tons of fuel to a Bangkok waypoint rather than fly to there with a lighter load and take on fuel there for the second 1/2 of the trip.
    Additional to my fuel question, I would have to question whether people really want to save a couple of hours on such a long trip, I understand it’s probably OK for people in Business class, but the 90% passengers (economy) on the plane would probably prefer a stop and a bit of a walk around rather than be stuck in an economy class seat for 20 hours .

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  • BrisbanePE

    BrisbanePE

    24 Oct, 2018 03:18 pm

    I think 20 hours in regular economy would lead to significant physical and mental health issues. As noted once you get past a certain length of flight the extra hours become much more significant - there's a threshold were the impact is a big jump, not just an increment.

    I don't think dine-on-demand is feasible other than for a smaller J class. Doing an entire plane on-demand seems completely impractical given current food service processes and capabilities - and even staffing levels. It would result in continual disruption through the flight.

    A "second space" also seems unlikely for anything but small J class. The space available for a "second space" is simply too small - you can only deal with a very small number of pax. If you allocate more space for the "second space" then yield goes down and costs must go up. The things that make these flights bearable may well price them out of reach for most travellers.

    Unless I win lotto I don't see me ever doing a 20+ hour flight. :)
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  • Boman

    Boman

    24 Oct, 2018 03:36 pm

    for 20hrs you need to sleep, and economy sleeping (even in premium economy) sucks. to make economy work i reckon they put a bunch of bunks in the hold and figure out how to make these bunks safe for take off and landing. when you book the ticket you chose a "sleeping shift" - so if you chose the first shift you board directly to a bunk, spend the first 9hrs or so in a bed, then the stewards wake you up, change over the sheets, and send you upstairs to a chair for the rest of the flight. you might need some sort of lounge/bar area to make this a bit more comfortable, but that's it. i reckon you'd get equal passenger densities (and hence economics) to current flights and it'd be a lot more comfortable.
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  • Hugh Fenton

    Hugh Fenton

    24 Oct, 2018 03:55 pm

    Re the fuel load issue. It ways amazes me how many hours the plane has to fly before it is light enough to reach full (and efficient cruising altitude.
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  • Bavarian

    Bavarian

    24 Oct, 2018 05:35 pm

    On such a long flight, the digestive system of the passengers will do its job - even more so than on a 12 hrs flight. Looking at how the restrooms look on that rather "short" long haul, I'm curious on that part of the concept on the 18-2 hrs flight.

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  • V Champion

    Vulch

    24 Oct, 2018 06:04 pm

    Great article. You pretty much summed it up in one line...”There is no place for economy” .... on these flights.

    No doubt qantas though will jam in their nightmare 17” wide seats. Should be illegal.
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  • Ric OSHEA

    holden

    24 Oct, 2018 07:41 pm

    I flew BNE-DBX-LHR last year on EK. The trip over was in J and the trip back was in F. I found very little difference in the experience. The F seat was not really much more comfortable than the J and the real difference was the quality of food, alcohol and customer service

    What I did appreciate was the bar area at the back of the J class section where I could spend a few hours talking to my fellow passengers before heading off for bed. A service like this on any long trip makes a huge difference as it reduces the possibility of DVT and also allows you to use up some time.

    The timing of the flights is essential. I'm going to the UK on QF 9 next year. Talking to people who have done this flight they liked the way the sleep interval was timed into the middle of the flight. If you sleep for eight hours (which I probably will) then I only have to put up with a 4-5 hour flight either side of my sleep. As hanging around airports waiting for connections, even in lounges, isn't my cup of tea I am relishing the non-stop flight. I handled the fourteen and a half hours to Dubai with ease. A couple of extra hours shouldn't be a problem. I'm going to find out anyway.
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  • Lisa Cann

    ljcoz

    24 Oct, 2018 08:59 pm

    As someone who does LHR-MEL-LHR 3-4 times a year I haven't yet had the pleasure of the Qantas flight. We've been trialling other airlines due to cost.
    For a 20 hour flight agree there should be no economy.
    I'd like to see a closable couple of spaces to do some yoga style stretching and activity - maybe guided by a tv screen. The difficulty of stretching nexks, backs, legs and bodies generally is real and desperately needed. I often see the 'lounge' and 'bar' spaces either empty or intimidatingly full of 'groups on a bender'.
    No member give thanks

  • Joe Finnigan

    Thai Traveler

    24 Oct, 2018 09:05 pm

    I fly to Europe 3 to 4 times a year and the States at least 2,so no First Class on that long a flight,not for me.
    And for Qantas to update the so called lounge space,it needs some thing better than the pics.
    No member give thanks

  • Russjking

    Russjking

    24 Oct, 2018 09:47 pm

    Lots of very good ideas from contributors here. The idea for a restaurant in the hold area rather than service to each seat in particular strikes me as an award winning idea.
    The ausbt website is well respected so hopefully the combined brains of the contributors will be seen by the airl
    No member give thanks

  • Otto Van De Velde

    OttoV

    22 Feb, 2019 09:16 pm

    Having flown on the Emirates A380,Both of us have found the genuine break of a visit to the bar a game changer. Getting out of a comfortable J seat is necessary after 6 hours and three movies. So, Alan, design the spare space to be like your typical, friendly (Irish) bar, enough room for no more than 12 folk and I will be signing up for 18 to 20 hours: no sweat. Having just returned from NZ to experience the new 787 J suit, perhaps an extra 5 square feet of elbow room and perhaps a game of cards in the proposed lounge for the A380 ( still looks like a dentists’ waiting room) could make a big difference. Will still fly Qantas, but with perhaps a bigger smile on our face,
    No member give thanks

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21 May, 2019 03:13 am

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