When Qantas ran a test of the world’s longest flight, a nonstop from New York to Sydney, Australia, the airline used a brand new 787-9 airplane.
However, the plane only had 40 people on board (including this reporter).
That’s because the plane doesn’t have the necessary range to make it the 9,950 mile flight with a full load of passengers and crew. Instead, Qantas was using the mostly empty flight to research how pilots, cabin crews, and passengers cope with the long flight time.
Qantas uses the 787-9 for its current longest flight, a 9,000 mile jaunt between Perth and London, currently the third-longest in the world.
The plane has three classes — business, premium economy, and coach — and I spent time sitting in all three. On the flight home, which involved a brief stop at LAX, I was in coach the whole way.
The seats in each cabin have a few features to make ultra-long-haul flights more tolerable. Here’s what they’re like to fly in.