Australian Business Traveller reveals the best seats to pick on on the aircraft you're most likely to encounter on your travels.
This week: we review the best business class seats on Qantas' Airbus A380 flagship.
Qantas has ten of the superjumbos in service, all named for Australian aviation pioneers. Its latest, "Bert Hinkler", arrived last week.
The planes fly from Sydney and Melbourne to Singapore (and on to London Heathrow) and Los Angeles.
The Business Class cabin
The business class section stretches most of the way along the top deck of the A380, with twelve rows of fully flat Skybeds in a 2-2-2- layout. (For the uninitated, that's seats A & B to the left of the plane, then an aisle, then seats E & F in the middle, another aisle and seats J & K on the right hand side.)
There are three sections of the cabin: three rows (11-13) at the front, then a set of galley kitchens and lavatories, then seven rows (16-22), then a two-row mini-cabin (rows 24 & 25) at the back in front of Premium Economy.
With 21.5 inches of seat width, and with 80 inches of pitch separating your seat back from the one in front, it's a great option for business class.
Every seat has a mains power point, plus on-demand entertainment. Window seats also have a side storage compartment. At the very front, there's a self-service bar and a lounge area with a sofa.
The best seats on the plane
Row 11: in a three-row mini-cabin at the very front of the upper deck, and away from the traffic heading for the lavatories and galley kitchens behind row 13, these seats are a good bet -- although they're close to the self-service bar and the business class lounge area, so move further back if absolutely undisturbed sleep is a priority.
Rows 12 & 13: slightly less desirable than row 11 on account of being closer to the four lavatories and the galley kitchen behind row 13, these seats are still a good choice for reduced engine noise.
Rows 24 & 25: in a little mini-cabin at the back of the business class section, these seats will have a bit more noise from the engines and from Premium Economy in the rows behind. Bear in mind that the windows by seats 24A and 24K are smaller than normal -- but as a tradeoff, they have direct access to the aisle, since they're emergency exit rows.
Rows 19-21: right in the middle of the main cabin, these seats are likely to be among the quietest on the plane -- a bonus for getting a good night's sleep.
The worst seats on the plane
Row 16: at the very front of the largest business class cabin, these are very close to the business class lavatories and galley kitchens -- plus, they're bassinet crib seats for infants, so there's a possibility of even more noise from babies.
20A 20K: while every other window seat in business class has a storage compartment next to it, these seats don't, so avoid them if keeping your things close to you is important.
Next week: Economy Class on Virgin Blue's Airbus A330.
- Business Class on Virgin Blue's Airbus A330
- Premium Economy on Air New Zealand's Boeing 777-300ER
- Business Class on Qantas' two-class Boeing 747 from Sydney to Perth
- Business Class on Singapore Airlines' A380
- Business Class on Emirates' 777-300ER
- Premium Economy on Qantas' A380
About John Walton
Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.