What it's like to be on Qantas' New York to Sydney non-stop Dreamliner flight

Last Sunday morning a group of around 40 people, including journalists and Qantas staff, landed in Sydney after nearly 20 hours of non-stop flying.

Qantas has a goal to be operating commercial non-stop flights from Australia's east coast cities of Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, to New York and London by 2022. 

The airline ran a test flight from New York to Sydney to carry out research on how such a long flight affects the bodies and minds of people on board, including the crew.

Among those onboard was David Slotnick from Business Insider.

Slotnick described the journey as one of a kind.

"It was truly a unique experience. It's not every flight that you see an airline CEO doing calisthenics in his pajamas," he said.

Slotnick said as there were only around 40 people onboard, everyone was given a business class seat. 

"The flight would obviously be a different experience in coach with a full plane."

He also talked about the unique way those onboard had their sleep cycle altered to try to deal with jetlag.

As soon as the flight took off from New York, despite it being late at night, passengers were kept awake for a few hours to adapt to Sydney's local timezone.

Around six hours into the flight, passenger Laurie Kozlovic told the Sydney Morning Herald he felt wide awake and comfortable. 

"I'd normally watch a movie and have a glass of wine and my meal and then go straight to sleep," he wrote. 

The 50-year-old is a frequent traveller who was due to fly back to Sydney via Los Angeles but took up an offer from Qantas to take part in the research flight.

"I think the lighting has had a reasonable effect, and the exercise was great."

As nighttime fell in Sydney, the flatbeds and pillows came out onboard the Dreamliner too.

The light and spicy food offerings made way for more sleep inducing cuisine and a bar service.

David Koch from Channel 7's Sunrise walked straight off the flight into a live interview about the experience.

"I feel great!" he told his television audience. 

"One of the secrets is to get up during the flight, and they even had exercise classes." 

Despite the test flight receiving positive feedback from those onboard and a massive seal of approval from Qantas' CEO Alan Joyce, the airline still has to come up with a way of making the flight financially viable, as well as convince aviation authorities to change laws around crew working hours, before they can take this ultra-long haul service to market.