Best seats: Qantas Airbus A330-200 Business Suite business class

Best seats: Qantas Airbus A330-200 Business Suite business class

Qantas is now busy upgrading its domestic Airbus A330-200 fleet with all-new Business Suite business class seats, and with the help of the airline's official seatmap we’ve put together this ‘cheat sheet’ to help you choose the best seats.

AusBT review: Qantas Airbus A330 Business Suite

Both the domestic A330-200 and international A330-300 jets have 28 Business Suites at the pointy end, arranged in a 1-2-1 layout so that every passenger enjoys easy access to the aisle without having step over their neighbour.

From 2015 you’ll see the twin-aisle A330-200 aircraft progressively appearing on Sydney-Perth, Melbourne-Perth and Brisbane-Perth transcontinental services, along with some east coast ‘triangle’ routes such as Sydney-Melbourne.

Click here for our guide to the best Business Suite seats on the international Airbus A330-300 jets.

The Qantas A330-200 business class cabin

Qantas’ A330-200 business class is split into two sections: a main cabin of 22 seats at the very front of the plane, and a second smaller cabin (ahead of economy) of six seats.

The solo window seats are labelled as A and K, with the paired centre seats marked as E and F.

Eagle-eyed frequent flyers will notice how the window and middle seating rows are offset, creating a little discrepancy in the row numbers: the window seats run from rows 1 through 5 (in the first cabin) and then jump to 7 (in the second cabin), so that there's no 6A or 6K.

However, the centre seats go continuously from row 1 through row 8.

The 1-2-1 layout of the Business Suites gives every passenger direct aisle access, but the actual physical location of each seat is typically offset compared to the rows in front and behind.

This makes it crucial for fussy frequent flyers to know exactly which seat they’re getting.

Do you want an A330-200 Business Suite that’s directly next to the window so you can enjoy the view? Ask for seats 2A, 2K, 4A or 4K.

Those are the only four seats out of the entire 28-seat cabin which are adjacent to a window.

However, because this puts the Business Suite’s side table between you and the aisle, amply-built ‘passengers of size’ may find it less than comfortable moving from the seat to the aisle and vice versa.

All other ‘window’ seats have the Business Suite’s side table situated between you and the window, while you’re sitting right next to the aisle: those seats are 1A, 1K, 3A, 3K, 5A, 5K, 7A and 7K.

Not too fussed about being near a window? The A330-200 also has eight pairs of middle seats from rows 1 through 8.

None of those double seats are directly next to one another, so it’s not really designed for couples who want to fly together and fully share the journey.

One seat in each pair is located adjacent to the aisle – those are 1E, 2F, 3E, 4F, 5E, 6F, 7E and 8F, as indicated below...

... while the other seat in each pair has a side table between the seat and the aisle (1F, 2E, 3F, 4E, 5F, 6E, 7F and 8E).

The Qantas seatmap shows only one toilet for business class passengers (marked B in the diagram) which is located at the very front left of the plane – so it’s sufficiently removed from the front row of seats so as not to make too much noise if you’re in the first few A or E seats.

The seats we’d describe as our last pick would be those in the smaller business class cabin – 7A, 7E, 7F, 7K, 8E and 8F – because the economy cabin is directly behind, with only a thin wall and curtain separating you.

While the smaller cabin might provide a sense of privacy (especially if you’re at the very front, in row 7) that will be quickly shattered if there’s a screaming infant in one of the economy bulkhead bassinets.

It’s also been suggested to AusBT that left-handers may find it more convenient in seats where the side table is to your left, and right-handers where the table’s at the right of the seat.

If that’s so, then note that the more southpaw-friendly seats are 1A, 2E, 2F, 2K, 3A, 4E, 4F, 4K, 5A, 6E, 6F, 7A, 8E and 8F; every other seat is subtly geared more for righties.

Click here to download Qantas’ reconfigured A330-200 seatmap [550Kb PDF]

Also read:

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

David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.
 

47 comments

  • grov

    grov

    19 Dec, 2014 03:27 pm

    You say that the second cabin is behind the Galley, yet the seat map seems to indicate that the Galleys are up front.
    Also only one loo now for 28 J passengers? Previously there were two loos for 30-36 J passengers. I'm always calling Qantas "Indian Givers", and this appears to be yet another example.

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  • wilsoni

    wilsoni
    Banned

    20 Dec, 2014 09:12 am

    The latest in a long line of insults from Qantas to premium passengers. One loo for 28  J class pax. Really?  Compare same aircraft CX at one loo per 13 J pax, and Air Asia X at one loo per 12 J class. Will AJ ever get it?

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  • gippsflyer

    gippsflyer

    20 Dec, 2014 01:09 pm

    I did raise my eyebrows (and cross my legs) at that change. Maybe AJ is keen to help us strengthen our pelvic floor muscles (holding it in). I hope it's at least a more spacious loo than its multiple counterparts in Economy.

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  • watson374

    watson374

    20 Dec, 2014 03:01 pm

    Perhaps they'll release a Marc Newson-designed white ceramic chamberpot.

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  • wilsoni

    wilsoni
    Banned

    20 Dec, 2014 03:53 pm

    Perhaps they'll charge extra to use the one loo. That should increase its vacancy rate. Or just turn the seatbelt sign on for the whole flight.

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  • gippsflyer

    gippsflyer

    20 Dec, 2014 04:10 pm

    Your comment reminded me that is what AJ's old airline RyanAir tried to introduce before being forced by consumer outrage and negative media coverage (including the amusing headline "Spend a pound to drop a penny!") to backdown on the enhancement (they just ended up taking more toilets out). One of the more "did they really just say that?" moments in airline history.

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  • Craig Dennington

    cdinoz

    22 Dec, 2014 12:30 pm

    Ryan Air never tried to introduce charging. Was all a massive PR excercise by MOL to keep his airline in the newspapers....!

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  • wilsoni

    wilsoni
    Banned

    20 Dec, 2014 03:58 pm

    As well as 28 J pax there are 2 flight crew who'll need to go. And the usual non-J interlopers from the back - QF flight crew seldom do anything to discourage them, compare EK where they get very short shrift.

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  • Flying Fish

    AWA2602

    23 Dec, 2014 07:48 am

    Only one toilet for 28 pax freaks me out and is a big concern.  Hopefully the A330-200 wont see service on any overnight flights when everyone is changing in and out of their PJ's the queue would be horrendous!!  Will the A330-300's have only one loo too?

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  • Ann Callahan

    Ann Callahan

    19 Dec, 2014 04:02 pm

    The layout is extremely couple or business associate unfriendly. My husband likes a window seat and it looks as though the only adjacent seats without a barrier between, although you are separated by the aisle, are 1K and 2F, 3K and 4F or 5K and 6F!  Not conducive to watching movies together or chatting over a meal. 

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  • watson374

    watson374

    20 Dec, 2014 03:05 pm

    Surely you have plenty of time to do that while not on the plane?

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  • Flying Fish

    AWA2602

    23 Dec, 2014 07:44 am

    I think I'd rather the extra privacy this new arrangement provides at the cost of a couple of hours interaction with anybody else.  There are so few places and times you can totally escape in your own company.  This arrangement looks BLISSFUL to me!

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  • smit0847

    smit0847

    19 Dec, 2014 04:26 pm

    Well I'm confused.

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  • gippsflyer

    gippsflyer

    20 Dec, 2014 01:16 pm

    If what AusBT reported earlier still holds, but wasn't mentioned here, the seats will also differ somewhat in widths and fixed/moveable arm configuration depending on where you are sitting, making the choice of best seat a rather complicated series of trade-offs. So if you care about these things, it's like a crazy puzzle.

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  • David Flynn

    David

    20 Dec, 2014 03:36 pm

    Gippsflyer: exactly so! I hope to to update this article after my first Business Suite flights, on which I can check the seat width stuff - as you say, by the time this data is added to the 'which seat?' matrix it gets crazy!

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  • undertheradar

    undertheradar
    Banned

    24 Dec, 2014 11:57 am

    i'm guessing the 1-2inch difference will be more of an 'issue' to some of the male population.....as ive heard...  'every inch counts' ;)  ...  i look forward to your angry replies...lol

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  • reeves35

    reeves35

    19 Dec, 2014 04:38 pm

    The better seats, for everyone except people with limited mobility, will be those with the table between the seat and the aisle.  In these seats you are unlikely to be disturbed by people and trolleys moving up and down the aisle.  

    The proximity of the aisle to the seats located directly on the aisle has already been identified as an area where VA may have created the overall superior experience as no one in their configuration will have this issue.

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  • undertheradar

    undertheradar
    Banned

    21 Dec, 2014 02:10 pm

    and on that note of those who require assistance.... with boarding/seating....thats why there are seats that have the 'aisle armrest', as they can be lowered during boarding/flight to accommodate those pax who require egress from their seat due to their requirements.....we arent all 'able bodied'....and i applaud QF for providing these options in their J/C cabin...makes it much more pleasant/digniified for those that are less mobile.

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  • AgentB

    OzAgent

    19 Dec, 2014 04:39 pm

    Thanks for the heads up on the seating config's.  Can't wait to try it out soon!

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  • Merc25

    Merc25

    19 Dec, 2014 05:37 pm

    Looking forward to using,I have a trip to Darwin next sept will they be on the Melb Darwin flight.also will they be on the melb Syd fights 

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  • watson374

    watson374

    19 Dec, 2014 05:40 pm

    No, they most likely won't be doing the DRW run.

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  • Merc25

    Merc25

    19 Dec, 2014 05:44 pm

    Thanks Watson374 ,pity as its a long domestic flight.

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  • CQ

    MEL Traveller

    20 Dec, 2014 07:28 pm

    Only one toilet in J is going to be a problem - already there are long queues at the start and end of the overnight flights as people get changed into and out of their Qantas sleep suits. Perhaps they can also provide a changing room. 

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  • hutch

    hutch

    20 Dec, 2014 11:18 pm

    The A330-300's primarily used for the Asian flights will still have 2 toilets.  Though the point you raise will be valid for some routes - like SYD - HNL which I understand will use a -200 model. 

    What im confused about is the fabric v leather seats... is QF using leather on one and fabric on other?

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  • Fonga

    Fonga

    20 Dec, 2014 07:30 pm

    I'd be holding fire on this issue. Compared to current configuration on the A330-200 looks like the toilet at front next to the galley has been given over to more galley space. The galley that was at the rear of business though is no longer designated as such. It's not given any purpose on the map published. But the space is large and now separates the rear line of business seats and the main business cabin. 

    Must be used for something in the new set up. Valuable real estate like that will be given something to do.

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  • undertheradar

    undertheradar
    Banned

    21 Dec, 2014 01:14 pm

    that 'oblong block' in front of seats 7 E/F contains the footwells and AVOD screens module of seats 7 E/F.... and as it is located at doors 2, there must  also be a clear 'evacuation route'  between doors L2 and R2 in case of emergency.

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  • undertheradar

    undertheradar
    Banned

    21 Dec, 2014 01:23 pm

    ...just an add on...the 'space' ABOVE this module may or may not comprize a module utilized for stowage of other items required by cabin crew........i suppose all will be revealed soon :)

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  • Fonga

    Fonga

    22 Dec, 2014 06:52 pm

    As it is currently a galley I'm guessing that it doesn't need to be kept free for the adjacent emergency exit doors. Could be used for the footwell for that last row of business seats as you suggested, but that is a lot of useful space given over to that purpose. If that were the case, why wouldn't you just rip it out altogether and fit an additional row of seats in?

    I still reckon it'll turn up as a relocated dunny.

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  • undertheradar

    undertheradar
    Banned

    24 Dec, 2014 11:29 am

    but the galley area still has an unobstructed 'pathway'/floorspace between the doors...which is utilized in evacution scenarios and is a legal/safety requirement of aviation authorites... the placement of galleys/toilets on an aircraft is not a random thing...they are located generally at doors for a reason...as they allow for a cross over pathway that meets the minimum safety/evacuation space requirements...that is also the reason why Y/C, P/Y, J/C seats on aircraft that are at exits have a larger seat spacing compared to all the other seats...because airlines must still comply to safety regulations that are non negotiable...so you can just 'fit an additional row of seats'... sorry for the long post...but just trying to explain as best i can the reasoning.

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  • undertheradar

    undertheradar
    Banned

    24 Dec, 2014 11:34 am

    please replace my 'can' in my second last line to a 'cannot'....ooops...too much typing for me!!

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  • DaveK

    DaveK

    21 Dec, 2014 04:41 pm

    'Late December' is coming up, if not already here (21st Dec is today as I type this).

    Any news on when the date of the first A330 flight with the new business config is? This question is assuming I haven't missed an announcement or reference recently.

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  • mg391

    mg391

    21 Dec, 2014 07:16 pm

    It must be imminent because the aircraft is operating East/West on Christmas Day. 

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  • David Flynn

    David

    22 Dec, 2014 10:30 am

    It's this week, and we're on the flight, but I'm not in a position to offer details right now...

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  • moa999

    moa999

    22 Dec, 2014 12:34 pm

    Current schedule from people looking at seatmaps and things have it positioning to SYD on the 24th and then operating QF575/580/583/648 (SYD-PER-SYD-PER-MEL) on Boxing Day

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  • RealKid

    RealKid

    22 Dec, 2014 01:46 pm

    I have a flight SYD - PER on the 31st.  Have the new seatmaps already loaded?  Mine doesn't show a change so did I miss out?

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  • moa999

    moa999

    22 Dec, 2014 02:16 pm

    Seatmaps have reportedly been loaded.

    On the 31st both the 0810 QF575 and the 1930 QF583 are reported to be the new aircraft

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  • moa999

    moa999

    22 Dec, 2014 12:34 pm

    The second refurb, the Intl A330-300 is loaded from 15-Jan

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  • gippsflyer

    gippsflyer

    22 Dec, 2014 01:34 pm

    Does anyone know what route the first International refurb is doing?

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  • moa999

    moa999

    22 Dec, 2014 02:11 pm

    The loaded schedule shows it alternating between QF35/36 and QF81/82, i.e. MEL and SYD to SIN, but obviously not on everyday

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  • gippsflyer

    gippsflyer

    22 Dec, 2014 02:58 pm

    Thanks moa999. Until the refurb is fully rolled out, you have to take your chances. Even if the seat map confirms you've booked a refurbed bird, it's no guarantee you won't get last gen seating at the gate (a/c goes u/s and a/c get reshuffled as a result, etc). Still, if you want to be an early tester, you got to accept the risk.

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  • David Flynn

    David

    23 Dec, 2014 09:20 am

    Just an update on this: there's been quite some changes to the planned domestic debut of the first upgraded A330, so at this stage, take anything loaded into the GDS with a grain of Neil Perry-approved Himalayan pink salt... not saying it will be wrong but there's no guarantee it'll be correct.

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  • gippsflyer

    gippsflyer

    23 Dec, 2014 11:50 am

    Hi David, is the debut now looking like a Jan 2015 launch?

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  • David Flynn

    David

    23 Dec, 2014 01:25 pm

    As of yesterday, domestic debut remained on track for 'end of December' (the broad target which Qantas has always quoted), with the international mid-Jan for Melbourne-Singapore.

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  • gippsflyer

    gippsflyer

    4 Jan, 2015 12:50 pm

    So, did Qantas actually fly its new domestic business seating for the A330-200 on a publicly available flight in Dec 2014? I can't seem to find any reference that it did. So has it slipped, or not?

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  • gippsflyer

    gippsflyer

    4 Jan, 2015 12:54 pm

    Answered my own question, found the AusBT review of a flight on 31 Dec 2014 (that was a last minute entry). Didn't come up on Google and weirdly nothing posted on the QantasNewsRoom site.

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  • David Flynn

    David

    4 Jan, 2015 12:54 pm

    Yes, they just squeeked in on December 31st, flight QF571 – we were on that flight, see our review here.

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  • kamere

    kamere

    8 Jun, 2016 07:56 am

    HI David,

    Thanks for the article.  If the seat map is showing on my booking in rows 1-6  2-2-2 would that mean it is the older version and not the refit?  Qf594 10 July.

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