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The best seats in Business Class on Qantas' Airbus A380

By John Walton     Filed under: qantas, business class, Airbus A380, a380, best seats, worst seats

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.

The plane

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.

The A380 business class seat is the second generation Qantas Skybed, which extends fully flat (unlike the sloped lie-flat seat on Qantas' 747s).

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.

Previously: 

Profile

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.

 

Have something to say? Post a comment now!

1 on 15/12/11 by frenchglen

"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."

So uh, what's the advantage of these seats? can't see one listed :S - they seem worse, they have more noise..... I'm in the position of choosing what I want for this, any insights welcome, thanks :).

1 on 15/12/11 by John

Well, Row 24 is useful because the window seats have direct aisle access. They're also as far as you can get from the bassinet crib points in row 16 and from the galley kitchens, so quieter. (Of course, there's the prospect of noise from premium economy to counteract that.)

I would also surmise that they'd be among the last that people would normally pick, being at the back of the cabin, so you're more likely to have an empty seat next to you (useful if you're in the window or aisle of row 25).

1 on 15/12/11 by frenchglen

ahh decisions, decisions....they all have their little advantages and disadvantages.hard to know what's best to pick: my top priority is getting sleep. All things considered, I've selected 19A which I think is the best choice for my priority - as there's always the divider which gives some (and guaranteed), solitary privacy anyway. if you think there's a better seat for sleep do chime in, thanks.

1 on 15/12/11 by John

Good choice! If your priority is sleep then a window is a good option because you're far away from disturbances. 19A's pretty smart because it's in the middle of the cabin and away from noise and passing people.

If you (like I) tend to like to stretch your legs  without having to climb over the person next to you, you might consider an E or F seat. I'm a huge fan of windows on day flights, but on a night flight I'll take a centre aisle to avoid the clambering.

Of course, you're closer to the trolley and to the aisle, so noise is likely to be slightly higher.

 

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