Best business class seats: Virgin Australia Boeing 737s

By Chris Chamberlin, August 1 2016
Best business class seats: Virgin Australia Boeing 737s

Virgin Australia’s Boeing 737s are the mainstay of the airline’s domestic, trans-Tasman and Asia Pacific fleet, offering eight business class seats spread across two rows at the front of the aircraft.

Appearing on flights as short as the hour-long hop between Melbourne and Canberra, you’ll also find them jetting cross-country between Sydney-Perth plus across the pond to New Zealand, over to Tonga, Fiji and Vanuatu and up to Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.

It’s those longer flights where choosing the best seat delivers the most benefit, but even on briefer journeys like Sydney-Melbourne, there’s reason enough to choose some seats over others.

Virgin Australia Boeing 737: best business class seats

Virgin Australia’s seating layout is quite straightforward: the ‘A’ and ‘F’ seats are by the windows while the ‘C’ and ‘D seats are at the aisle:

Which one you should pick, however, can vary based on the length of your flight and how you plan to spend the journey.

1A/1C, on shorter flights and for dining: Cabin crew normally take meal preferences from passengers based on the order in which they’re seated (1A, 1C, 1D, 1F, 2A etc.) and also deliver meals in that same order.

On a one-hour flight, choosing 1A or 1C provides the most time to enjoy your food as you’re the first to be fed – and on voyages of all lengths means your first meal choice is near-guaranteed.

Don't be the last served and the last fed: choose row one over row two...
Don't be the last served and the last fed: choose row one over row two...

Row 1, for laptop work: Another advantage to row one is that there’s nobody in front to recline into your space, so there’s plenty of room to type away and remain productive.

Bags and large laptops need to be stored overhead during take-off and landing in these seats, but tablets and smaller devices such as the Microsoft Surface can be used and held throughout the flight, provided external keyboards aren’t attached during take-off and landing.

Row 2, to stretch out and relax: Separating the rear of business class with the front of economy is a mini bulkhead wall – meaning you can recline all the way back without fear of being ‘in the way’ and having your seat bumped as passengers behind access the aisle.

There’s also more space to stretch your feet forward in this row than there is in row one, with no bulkhead wall to get in your way:

Failing that, window or aisle? We naturally prefer aisle seats on longer flights or when needing easy access to the overhead lockers during the trip, but on shorter journeys where remaining seated isn’t a problem, views from the window seats are always pleasant.

Also read: Virgin Australia Boeing 737 business class review, Sydney-Auckland

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Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller, and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins not just with a single step, but also a strong latte, a theatre ticket, and later in the day, a good gin and tonic.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

13 Dec 2012

Total posts 50

As a person 190cm - tall but not absolutely tall, I avoid Row 1 as there is not enough leg room.

I recently did a very quick trip to Fiji (flew out Sunday and returned Monday afternoon) to provide a 1/2 day lecture.  The return flight being just over 5 hours, I did find the seats became quite uncomfortable.

01 Jul 2011

Total posts 10

VA's 737 really is the let down of their hard product......they need to invest some money into gettng the 737 up to scratch espeically when you can be doing 5+hr flights in them.

It is a budget seat, very uncomfortable for flights more than around the east coat triangle. Done a couple of Perth flights in these, sends your bum numb. Now Virgin America - that's more like it!

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

06 Nov 2012

Total posts 24

Unfortunately, VX's first class seat has not been able to stand the test of time. If you travel on a well used plane right now the seats are dirty (white leather was a terrible choice IMHO), clunky, uncomfortable, and many of them have limited or no recline. When the FA was asked they said that due to the AS merger no money was being spent on hard product.


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