Economy Class on the Qantas Boeing 737-800
Economy Class on the Qantas Boeing 737-800

Subtly, every aircraft is different. If you’re flying in Economy on a Qantas A380, for example, your seat will be much different to a seat on a Boeing 787.

So, what can you expect from your Qantas Economy class seat? And which are the best and worst seats on each different type of Qantas aircraft?

This guide explains what you need to know about Qantas Economy seats, in order from best to worst.

Qantas Airbus A380 Economy Seats

Economy Class on the Qantas A380 lower deck is laid out in a standard 3-4-3 configuration. There is also a small Economy cabin at the rear of the upper deck in a 2-4-2 layout, however this will be removed in the upcoming Qantas A380 refurbishments which begin next month. Many passengers prefer to sit on the upper deck as it is more private and there are extra storage bins by the window seats.

The Qantas A380 seats are perfectly comfortable, as far as Economy seats go. If you want some extra legroom, the exit row seats are a good choice – although Qantas charges extra for these. For solo travellers, the best Qantas A380 Economy seats are 71D, 80A and 80K because there is no seat in front. (The space where seat 70D should be is an emergency exit for the crew rest compartment.)

If you’re flying on QF8 from Dallas/Fort Worth to Sydney, keep an eye out for a comfort row offer. But beware that the armrests on the Qantas A380 do not lift up fully (only a little). If you’re in a bulkhead row, beware that the armrest is fixed as there is a tray table inside it, and legroom can be restricted due to the position of the wall. (This is also the case in the bulkhead rows on most other aircraft types.)

Key facts: Qantas A380 Economy seats

  • Seat pitch: 31 inches
  • Seat width: 18 inches
  • In-flight entertainment: In-seat Panasonic entertainment screens (older generation)
  • Best seats: 71D, 80A, 80K, 35J/K & other exit row seats
  • Seats to avoid: 36D/E (36D is next to a wall)
Qantas A380 Economy
Qantas A380 Economy

Qantas Boeing 747-400 Economy Seats

The Qantas Boeing 747 Economy seats are similar to the A380 seats, with 31 inches of seat pitch and a similar width. The cabin has a 3-4-3 configuration, but there are some seat pairs at the rear of the aircraft with just two seats by the window, which offer a little more room and are great for couples.

The best Economy seats are the exit row seats, but note that the window seats have slightly restricted legroom due to the protrusion of the exit door. The seats in the front row of Economy (row 43) also have extra legroom as there is a cut-out in the bulkhead wall for your feet.

Row 43 on a Qantas 747-400
Row 43 on a Qantas 747-400

Seats 60H/60J/60K also have a wall in front, but the legroom here is more restricted as this cut-out does not exist.

Key facts: Qantas 747 Economy seats

  • Seat pitch: 31 inches
  • Seat width: 18 inches
  • In-flight entertainment: In-seat Panasonic entertainment screens (older generation)
  • Best seats: Rows 43-46, 58A/B/C, 69-73A/B, 69-73J/K
Exit row seats on Qantas 747-400
Exit row seats on a Qantas 747-400

Qantas Airbus A330-300 Economy Seats

The Qantas A330 has a comfortable 2-4-2 Economy Class configuration. The best seats are the exit row seats of 45A/B and 45J/K. Qantas does not charge extra for seats 45A and 45K because the exit door blocks some of the legroom, but this is not a huge inconvenience.

The bulkhead seats in rows 23 and 24 are also good for daytime flights, but there is a wall in front of the seats which prevents you from fully stretching your legs out.

Qantas Airbus A330-200

The Qantas A330-200 Economy seating is more or less the same as on the A330-300 – there are just fewer rows. Once again, the seats by the emergency exits in row 45 are a good pick for extra legroom. Beware that row 26 has a misaligned window.

Key facts: Qantas A330 Economy seats

  • Seat pitch: 31 inches
  • Seat width: 18 inches
  • In-flight entertainment: In-seat Panasonic entertainment screens (newer generation)
  • Best seats: 45B & 45J
  • Seats to avoid: 28A & 28K (window missing on A330-300)
Exit row seats on a Qantas A330
Exit row seats on a Qantas A330

Qantas Boeing 787-9 Economy Seats

The Economy seats on Qantas’ Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner are the newest in the Qantas fleet. They have a great in-flight entertainment system and also have the most legroom of any Qantas aircraft. But with a 3-3-3 layout, these seats are way too narrow for comfort, especially for long flights such as London-Perth. Avoid this aircraft if possible!

If you are booked to fly on a Qantas Dreamliner in Economy, you may consider trying to get an upgrade. Failing that, the up-front bulkhead seats in rows 40 and 46 have a bit of extra legroom. Otherwise, there aren’t really any standout seats. If you’re travelling as a couple, there are two seat pairs by the windows in row 59. If possible, avoid sitting near the toilets because you’ll be able to hear them flushing for the entire flight.

Key facts: Qantas 787 Economy seats

  • Seat pitch: 32 inches
  • Seat width: 17 inches
  • In-flight entertainment: In-seat Panasonic entertainment screens (newest generation)
  • Best seats: Rows 40 or 46
  • Seats to avoid: Rows 44 and 57 do not have a window, and avoid sitting near the toilets.
Qantas 787-9 Economy Seats
Qantas 787-9 Economy

Qantas Boeing 737-800 Economy Seats

Qantas’ Boeing 737-800s offer the least comfortable Economy Class experience of the Qantas mainline fleet. But these narrow-body aircraft are mostly used for domestic flights and shorter international routes. Despite having less legroom than Qantas’ wide-body planes, the Boeing 737 seats are well-padded and perfectly adequate for shorter flights. The configuration is a standard 3-3 layout.

The best Economy seats are in row 4 (which has superb legroom) and the exit rows 13 & 14. Qantas normally charges extra for the exit row seats (unless you have Platinum One status) and blocks row 4 until 80 hours before departure. If a row 4 seat remains unallocated 80 hours before take-off, you may be able to select it for free. Avoid seat 9A because there is no window.

Legroom in seat 4A on a Qantas 737-800
Legroom in seat 4A on a Qantas 737-800

Around half of the Qantas Boeing 737-800 fleet has in-seat entertainment screens (Audio Visual On Demand, or AVOD). On the other half, you’ll be able to stream entertainment to your own device via the Qantas Entertainment App. Aircraft with AVOD are generally used on international flights.

Key facts: Qantas 737 Economy seats

  • Seat pitch: 30 inches
  • Seat width: 17 inches
  • In-flight entertainment: Seat-back screens (some aircraft) or Q-Streaming (some aircraft)
  • Best seats: 4A, 4C, 4D, 4F
  • Seats to avoid: 9A, 10F (missing windows), row 30 (limited recline)
Qantas 737-800 Economy cabin
Qantas 737-800 Economy cabin
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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

You can contact Matt at [email protected]