Did you know that, on one Qantas flight, the airline will actually sell you the remaining seats in your row for a small fee? It’s much more cost-effective than upgrading to Premium Economy or Business, and you’ll get a lie-flat bed in Economy class.
Qantas sells “comfort rows” on flight QF8 from Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) to Sydney. With a flight time of 17 hours, this is one of the longest non-stop flights in the Qantas network… and the world. Due to the extreme length of the flight, the Airbus A380 operating the route is weight-restricted on departure from Dallas/Fort Worth. For this reason, Qantas never sells all the Economy seats on the plane. The exact number of seats left empty depends on seasonal headwinds, but at some times of year the plane will leave with up to 100 vacant Economy seats.
As there are always some empty Economy seats on QF8, Qantas saw the opportunity to monetise these. Comfort rows were born!
Comfort rows are only offered on Qantas flight QF8 from Dallas/Fort Worth to Sydney. They are not officially offered on other flights, including QF7 from Sydney to Dallas (which has a shorter flight time due to favourable tailwinds).
If you’re lucky enough to get a Qantas comfort row to yourself, you’ll be able to stretch out and lie down across three or four seats. Although this won’t be quite as comfortable as sleeping in a proper Business seat – and the armrests between Qantas’ A380 Economy seats don’t lift up all the way – it’s a much more affordable option than upgrading to Premium Economy or Business!
How to request a Qantas comfort row
Qantas comfort rows cost $250. They cannot be booked in advance; instead, they’re offered directly to Qantas passengers at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport on the day of the flight. Comfort rows are subject to availability, and the service is offered only if the flight loads are over a certain amount. In other words, the airline won’t take your money if Economy class is going to be relatively empty anyway.
If you’re starting your journey at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport, you can request a comfort row at check-in. And if you’re connecting through DFW from elsewhere in the USA, you can ask either in the Qantas lounge or at the boarding gate. Your comfort row purchase will be noted on your boarding pass, so that you can prove you’ve paid for the additional seats.
If you’re travelling as a couple, you can still purchase a comfort row. You’ll be guaranteed a blocked middle seat between you.
If you’ve already paid $180 to purchase an extra legroom seat (such as an exit row seat), you can use this payment as “credit” towards the purchase of a comfort row. In this case, you’ll only need to pay the $70 difference to stretch out across several seats on the 17-hour flight.
It’s important to remember that comfort rows are not guaranteed. They’re also not offered on any other Qantas flights. If you want a guaranteed empty seat next to you, you’ll normally need to purchase a comfort seat at the time of booking.
Economy lie-flat beds on other airlines
Several other airlines also provide the option to purchase the rest of the seats in your row at a reduced price. For example, Air New Zealand sells an Economy Skycouch product on its long-haul flights. This is more expensive than a Qantas comfort row, but the seats are specially designed to transform into a couch.
Meanwhile, Air Astana offers an Economy Sleeper class on selected long-haul flights. Thomas Cook Airlines, based in the UK, also recently introduced “sleeper seats” in Economy class which include a mattress and pillows.
Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: Qantas “Comfort Row” DFW