The Boeing 737-800 is the workhorse of Qantas’ domestic and trans-Tasman fleet.
The red-tailed single-aisle jets feature on flights as short as Sydney-Melbourne and as long as Brisbane-Perth and even Perth-Singapore, on which you’d spend upwards of five hours in your seat.
That’s when the comfort of choosing the best spot in the 12-seat business class cabin available really becomes noticeable... but even on those 90-minute hops, there are still advantages to selecting some seats over others.
Qantas Boeing 737 business class: best seats
All Qantas Boeing 737s offer 12 seats in business class, arranged in a 2-2 layout spanning three rows…
… with some seats ideal for shorter flights and others showing their strengths on longer journeys – here are our top and bottom picks for your next flight.
1A, 1C: These look great on a boarding pass, but on some aircraft the locker above is given over to emergency equipment which means your bag needs to go elsewhere – and that can’t be in front of you, because you’re at a bulkhead.
As with 1D and 1F, legroom here is acceptable but without the ability to stretch all the way forward...
... and on aircraft with personal inflight entertainment screens, those in row 1 must be stowed during take-off and landing.
Upsides? There’s nobody to recline in front of you, making it easier for the window passenger to access the aisle.
2C, 2D: These are our top picks on longer routes or when you want to sit back with a good movie from gate to gate, offering seatback entertainment screens on newer aircraft, direct aisle access on all variations, under-seat storage and a still-prompt meal service.
2A, 2F: We generally avoid these unless planning to remain seated throughout the flight as you lose the benefit of direct aisle access enjoyed in the C and D seats and the lack of a reclining passenger in front of you as in the first row.
3A, 3C, 3D, 3F: While there’s no denying that any business class seat is still markedly better than a great spot in economy, we also prefer to skip row 3 if other choices are available.
That’s because these seats are the last to be served meals, making chow time more rushed than enjoyable on the airline’s shortest routes.
Passengers at the front of economy also sometimes stash bags above these seats when the nearby economy lockers are full, minimising your storage space.
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About Chris Chamberlin
Chris lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, an opera ticket and a glass of wine!