As Qantas gets ready to formally announce routes operating direct from Australia’s East Coast to New York and London, we thought we’d ask you, our readers, for your thoughts on the option to fly direct from Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane to New York, without a stopover.
While there are serious advantages for business travellers who will save considerable time in not having to transit through hubs such as Los Angeles, San Francisco or Dallas, would the need be as serious for holiday makers who usually enjoy breaking up the trip to add a new destination to their holiday.
Qantas has laid down the challenge to both Airbus and Boeing to deliver an aircraft that is capable of flying from Australia’s East Coast to both London and New York with a full load of passengers and cargo. The expected flight times are approx 19 hours to New York and 21 to London, which in anyone’s language is a long time to spend on an aircraft.
The airline has also undertaken its own project, dubbed Project Sunrise, to ensure the flight is as comfortable as possible for passengers in all cabins. With the successful introduction of the Perth to London direct flights Qantas now has its own real world data to work from in terms of passenger comfort and how they are spending their time in flight, which is forming the basis of the working models they are putting together for flights that will span almost 3/4 of the globe.
On a personal note I am not sure I am still not sure which option I would choose. I really enjoy the opportunity to break up the journey from Australia to New York with a stopover (either overnight or just in transit) in either Los Angeles, San Francisco or Dallas. It gives me an opportunity to stretch the legs and rest before continuing the journey to New York. What adds to the enjoyment is that I know I can still get on a Qantas aircraft from Los Angeles to New York which makes the journey more enjoyable than a normal transcontinental flight on American Airlines. It will be interesting to see whether Qantas will still continue to operate flights from Los Angeles to New York with their own metal (aircraft), or just rely on their OneWorld partner American Airlines to handle the connecting passengers. If this ends up being the case then the decision to fly direct to New York on a Qantas aircraft would be an easier decision to make.
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There have been some revolutionary (read amazingly awesome) ideas thrown around that Qantas is considering introducing in its new Ultra Long Haul aircraft. These include the introduction of sleeper cabins (similar to overnight train journeys), on-board yoga rooms, children’s play areas and more. Of significant note is Alan Joyce’s willingness to explore the cargo area of the aircraft for passenger use, which if it eventuates will certainly be revolutionary.
What are your thoughts. Use the poll at the top of this page and in the comments below as to what you think of flying direct from Australia to New York.