Qantas 787 Dreamliner Economy Review – Sydney To Auckland


We recently flew economy on Qantas’ new direct route from Sydney to New York on the Qantas 787 Dreamliner, and transited through Auckland. It has been more than three years since Qantas has flown direct to New York from Sydney. The Dreamliner will now fly from Sydney to New York three times per week, increasing to four a week from October.

This new flight is included on our Qantas and oneworld Round the World airfares, along with being a featured route on our ever-popular SWISS and Lufthansa Global Airfares which can cover a variety of stopover options across 3 continents.

Check In at Sydney Airport was a quick and seamless experience as there was a dedicated SYD → JFK check in desk. It also helped that we were there at 5:30am. After checking in, we visited the Sydney International Business Lounge. Due to being early in the morning, it was quiet and easy to find a spot to sit. We found the lounge to be a bit tired looking, however, there was good coffee and a nice amount of food available.

Dedicated SYD → JFK Check In Desk
Sydney International Business Lounge

When it came to boarding our flight, the process was very quick due to the flight being only two thirds full in economy for the Sydney to Auckland leg. Business and Premium Economy both seemed full for both legs.

Qantas Economy Seating
Qantas Economy Seating

After chatting to other passengers on board, the main reason for taking the new Qantas Sydney to New York route was to avoid LAX. When transitioning through LAX you have to clear immigration, collect your luggage and then re-check in for your onward flight to New York, while you jump between terminals and then potentially wait hours to catch your next flight. This direct flight now allows many to skip the hassle of transiting through LAX. 

There was a good range of movies available, but nothing really different to any other international flights. The movies and TV shows were pretty up to date and there was a good selection of ‘classic’ movies.

Qantas Economy Screen

The transit in Auckland was very relaxed, with enough time to go to the lounge, have a coffee and hang out for 30-45 minutes. It was disappointing that the new Auckland lounge isn’t open yet, but the concept photos look amazing (it has an edible herb wall for some reason). 

Our flight from Auckland to JFK was slightly delayed by 20 minutes due to a bird strike. Boarding was however quick after the delay. In general, the crew were friendly and in a good mood throughout the flight, and seemed excited for the new leg.

Food was decent, we had a vegan meal on this flight as Qantas doesn’t currently differentiate between vegan and vegetarian offerings. It still seemed to have a good selection of food with two main meals being provided on the 15 hour flights, along with plenty of snacks and drinks.

Qantas Economy Vegan Main Meal
Qantas Economy Vegan Second Main Meal
Qantas Economy Snack Option

Most of the flight was in dark mode, allowing passengers to sleep on the long journey. This helped us get around 7 hours sleep. There was plenty of space, along with a foot rest/net which helped to get comfortable. This would be less helpful for those who are a little taller. 

Qantas Economy Leg Room
Qantas Economy Amenity Kit

With the flight quite empty, there were a number of spare seats in the economy cabin. With only one person in front, behind and to the side of us, it made the flight seem very spacious. Although this was probably just luck, it was nice to have room to move around the cabin.

Qantas Economy Cabin Space

As a whole, the 15 hour flight didn’t really feel any different from a 10-12 hour flight, and we would be happy to do it again. With reasonable food and good inflight entertainment options, it was well worth the longer time in the air to skip going via LAX. If you’re looking to travel with Qantas to New York on your round the world trip, contact one of our airfare specialists today to book.

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