A388 F versus 789 J

Old Mar 3, 20, 5:52 am
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A388 F versus 789 J

Due to some medical tests and an overabundance of caution, I reluctantly relinquished my F Award this week on the A388 from LAX to MEL. In anticipation of a good report I've put a couple of Award flights on Hold. The soonest F Award on the 388 across multiple departure and arrival cities is about 3 weeks out. The problem is my Australian itinerary pretty much requires a complete revamp with the new departure date, including likely eliminating some places highest on my list I wanted to go as part of the trip.

There is Award availability a week earlier on Qantas's 789 in J however. For want of a week, everything can be realigned almost seamlessly on my itinerary. Actually in a couple cases better than it was before. The thing is, flying in the F cabin on the 388 was such as big part of the Trip experience for me. Landing that award ticket was the entire impetus for planning the trip. It's hard for me to be enthusiastic about the re-booking to a 789 so I'm dragging my heels on it. Considering trying to wait out the F Award ticket even it means postponing the Australia part of my trip indefinitely. I'll keep stalking an earlier F Award of course in the interim but not holding out a lot of hope. The F cabin is virtually empty many days that would work the earlier week but those F Awards seats aren't being released.

So .... looking for any feedback on how Qantas's two cabin 789 J experience compares to the 388 three cabin F experience? The biggest factors for me being wide and roomy seats and uncramped lie flat position for side-sleeping. Trying to assess whether the F experience and hard product is worth postponing for or will I probably be just as happy with the J experience. Or happy enough anyway. Data points or thoughts anyone?
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Old Mar 3, 20, 10:59 am
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The J seat is better on the 789 because you can recline at various angles. The 388 First seat has very limited recline and the bed has to be set up by an FA. The food is better in First but it doesn't approach the level of SQ First/Suites. First has somewhat nicer amenities including PJs. Perhaps because I've taken QF First a few times and am "over it" but I would not rework an otherwise ideal itinerary just to take it. QF J on the 789 is quite nice in its own right.
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Old Mar 3, 20, 11:06 am
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Both A380 and Boeing 787 aircraft (as well as the A350XWB) offer lower cabin altitude / higher pressure and moister air than other aircraft, so there’s no advantage between A390 and 789 in that regard.

on the other hand, the 789 has superior Business Class seats to the A380.
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Old Mar 3, 20, 11:39 am
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I like a fancy plane trip as much as the next person and think the Qantas First experience is pretty nice (although it's better departing from Australia then heading there), but there's no way I would restructure my overall travel plans around doing the flight in first versus a fairly high quality business class offering. I'd definitely recommend booking the earlier 789 flight.
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Old Mar 3, 20, 12:08 pm
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Originally Posted by JDiver View Post
on the other hand, the 789 has superior Business Class seats to the A380.
While business on the B787 might be superior to business on the A380, it is still business. The food is horrible; the only thing I found somewhat edible was a bowl of tomato soup (I kind of wish I had taken a picture of some of the slop they tried to serve me that I handed right back to the FA).
F on the A380 is an experience. It is a small cabin, high FA to pax ratio, and the food is certainly edible (though not nearly as good as QR biz).

If at all possible, I'd work the schedule to allow for F on the A380.
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Old Mar 3, 20, 2:30 pm
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The A380 is a much nicer flight than the 789. Its quieter. Much quieter. Don’t believe the QF spin which is trying to describe the J seats as “just like a mini First Class”. F real estate is much bigger than J. Meals are / should be better than J. You get F lounge access (assuming you can’t get it through status). Its an easy decision assuming the cost in $ or FF miles is not part of that decision. And there has been earlier comment suggesting that F FF Award seats booked and later cancelled do not go back to award inventory (so not available for others to get on miles).
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Old Mar 3, 20, 2:59 pm
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[mod hat] This has been cross posted in the AA forum which is against FT rules. As this is thread is focused on the features of a Qantas plane and not the use of AA miles I will keep this thread open. [/mod hat]

And to answer the OP. I am with og on everything he says here. Qantas J however is still an enjoyable experience and I wouldn't jeopardize missing out on some Australian highlights for any F experience if you can get a QF J class seat.
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Old Mar 3, 20, 5:09 pm
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Thank you all for the thoughtful replies on this.

Just curious.... how does AA's 789 J product on the Aussie routes compare to the Qantas 789 J product? (hard and soft, but hard concerns me more, particularly on overnight flights.)

I'd have to fly into Sydney for AA metal, but since my first itinerary stop is Tasmania, I'm taking another flight same day from Melbourne anyway. Not a significant difference doing that from Sydney.

I'm intrigued by AA showing they have WI-FI on 789's to Sydney. Last I knew they did not on pacific routes. That would be a serious consideration if so for a 16 hour flight, as Qantas does not. However I can't count on one hand the number of times I've been burned on AA flights claiming to have WI-FI, and either don't have it, or have it but no one knows why it isn't working.
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Old Mar 3, 20, 5:18 pm
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The AA 789 hard product is very good. I'd vote better than Qantas, but different people might have different opinions about this. The food is medium--not really different from any other AA business class route. I think Qantas has a better wine list than AA. AA service is, on average, pretty bad.

Overall, I don't think AA vs. QF J on these two planes has a ton to differentiate between them. I'd probably choose mostly on convenience
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Old Mar 3, 20, 5:41 pm
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I have done both. The hard product in F is just slightly better than 787 J. The main difference is that the F seats provide a little more privacy because they're more enclosed and angled away from the aisle. Obviously the F soft product is better.

The 787 J seat isn't "mini first" compared to other airlines' F class suites. But Qantas has really fallen behind on the F hard product. If Qantas F is the standard then arguably the 787 J seat is "mini first".
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Old Mar 3, 20, 6:01 pm
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Personally I rate QF F highly. The best crew member I have ever encountered was in F on QF10 a few years back.
the service in both F and J have always been very good in my experience on QF.
I have not yet flown the 789 in J so cant make a direct comparison, but other similar products do not provide the same amount of space as you will find in the F suite.

Being someone that often includes the flight as a large part of the trip, I would say if you can find a way to make it work with F tickets, then do it. But perhaps not at the expense of a large part of your trip.
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Old Mar 3, 20, 7:30 pm
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Please note that FT Rules do not permit cross-posting: https://www.flyertalk.com/help/rules.php#crossposting

As the discussion is about QF equipment, the Qantas forum is the best place for this query. Normally we would lock this thread, but as it already has several
responses, we will move this over to the QF forum, where it will likely join the extant discussion. Thanks. /JY1024, AAdvantage forum co-moderator
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Old Mar 3, 20, 8:40 pm
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Thanks for inputs everyone.
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Old Mar 3, 20, 10:13 pm
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Can’t say I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing F on the QF A380, but I did recently get to fly in J on the 789 and I was very pleasantly surprised.

It was a late night flight so I didn’t really eat much, but the seat was comfortable, with plenty of footwell room for sleeping.

Also, the IFE was one of the best that I’ve encountered (considering both selection and screen quality).
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Old Mar 3, 20, 10:54 pm
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Originally Posted by JDiver View Post
Both A380 and Boeing 787 aircraft (as well as the A350XWB) offer lower cabin altitude / higher pressure and moister air than other aircraft, .......
Although this is claimed and repeated far and wide, I cannot duplicate the claim of lower cabin altitude by checking with the “pressure” or “altitude” reading on my watch and comparing a 787 with earlier readings in a 380 or 747. These being “like with like”. Of course all 3 (above) aircraft types are way different to the 737 which consistently has a significantly higher cabin altitude at end of cruise.
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