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The best seats to pick on your flights in and from Australia

By John Walton     Filed under: business class, Premium Economy, Airbus A380, Boeing 747, Boeing 777, Boeing 737, Boeing 787, Airbus A330, economy class, Airbus A340, Airbus A320, best seats, worst seats, Boeing 767

We're often asked what the best seat is to pick on a reader's flights -- on Qantas, Virgin Australia, Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Emirates and many other airlines from Australia.

We've pooled our collective decades of business travel experience, pored over seat maps and cabin plans, and snapped pictures across more than a dozen airlines from AirAsia X to Virgin Australia -- that's nearly A to Z!

So if you want more legroom, easier access to the aisle, a quieter flight, and undisturbed sleep, here's the full list of our insiders' guides to picking the best seats in first class, business, premium economy and economy on the planes you'll most frequently see on your trips.

AirAsia X

Air Canada

Air France

Air New Zealand

American Airlines

British Airways

Cathay Pacific



Garuda Indonesia



Malaysia Airlines




Singapore Airlines

South African Airways

Thai Airways


Virgin Atlantic

Virgin Australia

Get the latest updates for business traveller and frequent flyers: follow @AusBT on Twitter.


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 21/12/11 by Billichka

A great summary of ABT's excellent seat selection guides - it has gone to the top of my "favourites" list!

2 on 18/7/12 by aero-seat

I really love AusBT's seat guides. I always give a peak at reviews when I select my flights and if they haven't covered my plane, they have a guide that tells me how to choose the best seats on planes. This is one thing AusBT stands out from other Australian Airline Review websites.

3 on 1/8/12 by dinkydie

What a great guide. Thank you! The only significant ommission I could spot was the absence of South African. They fly Perth-Johannesburg with fully-flat seats.

4 on 28/8/12 by 521303

Having given up on Qantas, we're giving Qatar Airline a try on a trip from Perth  to London at Christmas.  777 on both legs.  Anything views on their seats?

5 on 22/9/12 by Tristan

Can i ask why all the north/east asian airlines were left out?(Ok apart from Cathay )

I am a frequent flyer for China airlines (Sky team). But also missing is the new routes by the big 4 mainland China airlines. Eva, JAL, Korean, Do I need to continue. Still was a very interesting article. But it does seem most of these airlines are ones you would take to Europe or the America's from Australia.


1 on 24/9/12 by John

Hi Tristan,

Our prioritisation for airline picks is a mixture of the likelihood of Australians travelling on them for business, the number of the aircraft in the airline's fleet, the number of flights from Australia, the relevance in terms of partnership with Australian airlines, the availability of seat information and a bit of an X-factor in "is this an airline that's particularly bad at swapping aircraft at the last minute". We also try to keep a mixture of long haul trunk routes and short haul connections in there, and to spread airline coverage around -- so, for example, if we've been writing a lot about Qantas, say, we'd pick another airline to be next on the Best Seats list.

As you can see, it's a bit of an inexact science, but I hope that gives you some insight into how we pick them!


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