back to all news

Best business class seats: Qantas Boeing 737-800

By Chris Chamberlin     Filed under: qantas, business class, best seats, guides

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.

Also read: Qantas Boeing 737 business class review, Sydney-Brisbane

Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter: we’re @AusBT


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!


Have something to say? Post a comment now!

1 on 11/7/16 by Darren

What I don't understand with the QF B738 is that they have a fixed Business Class cabin.  So why do they continue to have those ugly dated drapped bulkhead?  Something that akin to what VA have on their B738 would look a lot better.

1 on 11/7/16 by Harry

Most of their older 737s are now being refitted with new seats and an extra row. With that comes a different style plastic divider which removes the need for a curtain.

2 on 11/7/16 by moa999

Only about 20 aircraft with drapes left, and I expect they will all be gone by the end of the year.

Should also be noted that only about half the entire 737 has seatback IFE (and pullup in Row 1).  The remainder will rely on Q Streaming which is almost (only two aircraft remaining) fully insdtalled

2 on 11/7/16 by sgb

Pretty poor state when only 2 of 12 Business  class seats are the goodies.  I had to climb over my partner in 2C and was appauled how little space there was to get out of 2A. For Trans Tasman these aircraft are shockers.

1 on 11/7/16 by bsb

That's so funny.  What do you propose they fly across the Tasman, the 330's?  I'd rather have frequency than one flight a day. 

1 on 11/7/16 by sgb

I'd rather decent Business class options.

1 on 11/7/16 by Michael

I think QF rely on EK for decent trans-Tasman decent J class. You have once daily full flat seats with direct aisle access and inflight bar! 

1 on 11/7/16 by sgb

Yes, arn't EK FABULOUS 'Trans Tasman' - so stylish and spacious in J and with a 1st offering as well. I've done the Melbourne Auckland A380 heaps of times. Such a shame no service from Melbourne to Wellington or Christchurch. The alternative Airlines choice of aircraft are just awful.

2 on 11/7/16 by moa999

You don't get much better in a narrowbody -- and its a lot better than what they class as Business in Europe.

1 on 11/7/16 by Serg

Cannot agree more – Eurobusiness is utter [email protected]

2 on 12/7/16 by Michael

In US they do have lie flats on narrow body air crafts tho. AA has reverse herringbone and JetBlue even has suite in their mint class. So it's doable but only on really premium routes.

2 on 11/7/16 by Aleks

Think about those in Y who can only get one type of seat whether its the 737, 330, 380, etc. 

You at least have more room in J

1 on 11/7/16 by sgb

For the price of a J ticket the extra space you get is minimal. The recline and screen size is also very mean.

2 on 11/7/16 by sgb

Poor Y's,  how unfortunate.

3 on 11/7/16 by Serg

J Perth to Singapore in those seats? Come on, Qantas!

1 on 11/7/16 by Chris_PER

Fingers crossed the service gets re-instated to A330

4 on 11/7/16 by Alex_upgrade

Compared to what constitutes Business Class in Euope - both QF and VA offer a fantastic product.

Try flying Athens to London (4 hours) in a business class seat with 30-31 inch pitch (like all the majors do now). The empty middle seat is pointless if you can't feel your legs !! 


Related News Items


Australian business traveller newsletter

Get Updates as they happen, tailored to your preferences, right in your inbox


What topics interest you?