Best seats: Premium Economy, Qantas' refurbished Airbus A380

Best seats: Premium Economy, Qantas' refurbished Airbus A380

Flying premium economy on one of Qantas' Airbus A380s? You'll want to check your booking to see if you're on the new standard configuration for the Red Roo's superjumbos, since there are major changes to the premium economy cabin.

We've already detailed Qantas' refurbished A380s so here are our recommendations for choosing your seat in premium economy.

How do you know if you're on the refurbished plane?

To check this is the plane you're on in premium economy, see whether the Qantas website lets you choose seats in rows 24-29 or 34-39. If you're in the 20s, you're on this plane.

If you can see any seats in the 30s, you'll want to refer to our best seats guide to premium economy for the older A380 layout, which will be discontinued over the coming months as the planes are refitted.

The best seats on the plane

24A 24B 24J 24K: for legroom, these are the best seats in the cabin, since they're right behind the emergency exits. Bear in mind that this area is commonly used as a stretching zone, though, and if you're sensitive to the cold you'll want to wrap up warmly in case there's a draught.

24D 24E 24F: the legroom in these seats is curtailed slightly by the bulkhead wall in front, which also contains the only bassinet crib position in premium economy in front of 24E. We'd still pick it for the ease of getting in and out, though -- even in the middle E seat.

A and K seats: on the upper deck of the A380, there are window bins for each window passenger. That gives you a bit of extra elbow room, space to store your carry-ons, and somewhere to stash your laptop or tablet if you're watching something during a meal.

D and F seats: if you're an aisle fan, you're best off with one of the middle trio of seats: the middle seats will be the last to fill up, so you might luck out with an empty seat next to you. Even if there is a middle passenger, you should only be bothered half as often if they need to get out, since they could turn left or right to head to the aisle.

The worst seats on the plane

Row 28: right in front of economy, these are likely to be relatively noisy. Fortunately, there's no set of bassinet cribs behind you, but avoid the row if you can.

E seats: who wants a middle seat when six out of seven seats are either a window or an aisle? Nobody, that's who.

Also in our Best Seats series

John Walton

John Walton (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.


  • htc


    11 Jul, 2012 09:22 pm

    I was supposed to be on one of these new configs on Sunday from HKG to SYD. It must have changed at last minute. As such, they needed to bump high status PAX from W to J. And when I checked in I was told I'd been bumped to F. I declined as I was travelling with someone else and we wanted to sit together in J. However worth noting, this may happen if equipment type changes close to departure. 

    No member give thanks

  • tt7


    12 Jul, 2012 09:44 am

    The "old" A380 PE was an excellent product, particularly if you could get 38 J or K (or 38 D or F) - a nice mini-cabin at the back of the plane, lots of leg room, easy access to the rear self-serve galley and to the two toilets.  This revamp has totally destroyed that - now stuck with a buch of economy seats behind, reduced legroom and only one toilet, shared with economy.  A perfect example of how to take a great product and trash it. I have three upcoming trips booked - unfortunately. Hopefully, I'll get the "old" layout.  Now that the CX PE is coming online, I'll try that next time, so goodbye QF.

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  • Michael


    12 Jul, 2012 01:32 pm

    I think you will find that there are two toilets in front of the PE cabin that will be shared with Business plus the one you mention that is shared with Economy passengers. Also, as far as I know and have read, seat pitch has not been affected in PE with these changes.

    No member give thanks


17 Jan, 2018 08:09 am


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