Best seats: first class (business), American Airlines Boeing 757

By John Walton, February 13 2012
Best seats: first class (business), American Airlines Boeing 757

If you're connecting in the US on Qantas' oneworld partner American Airlines, you may well end up on one of the airline's venerable Boeing 757 planes.

And if you're in business class over the Pacific, you'll end up in AA's domestic first class (which is similar to domestic business in Australia). Here's how to pick the best seats on the plane. 

The plane and the first class cabin

Since the 757 never really caught on with Australian airlines, you may not be used to this long, narrow-bodied single aisle plane. Think of it as an extra-long Boeing 737 or Airbus A321 and you won't be far off.

American has over a hundred 757s in use, and you'll find two domestic cabin layouts while the airline refurbishes its planes.

AA's domestic first class sees two seats on either side of the aisle, and stretches from rows 1-6 of the 757. On the non-refurbished planes, there's no row 6 on the left-hand side.

Seats are the standard American domestic first class recliners, with entertainment only via overhead screens, although each seat does come with a power port.

The best seats on the plane

Row 3: In the middle of the cabin, this row is furthest away from the lavatories and galley kitchens at the front and back of the cabin.

Row 1: If you're especially tall and value knee room over being able to stretch your legs out fully, you'll like the bulkhead seats at the front of the cabin. (Despite the seat map diagram, there's not really any extra room on the left hand side of the plane compared to the right hand side.) Bear in mind that it might get noisy with the galley kitchen and lavatory.

The worst seats on the plane

Rows 5 and 6: Since these are closest to the rear lavatory and galley kitchen, and further towards the engines, you're more likely to be disturbed by noise and people squeezing in and out of the bathroom.

Previous guides in AusBT's series of Best Seats articles

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.

13 Feb 2012

Total posts 1

What about AA's FEBO policy?

Meal orders are taken from the Front for even numbered flight numbers  "FE", and from the back for odd numbered flight numbers "BO".

Depending on the flight number, this can influence seating preferences, as it will ensure your choice of meal.

03 Jan 2011

Total posts 665

You're right that AA operates "Front Even Back Odd" meal ordering. But in honesty that's much less likely to be a major consideration for Australian travellers connecting to or from an international flight.

When you have Qantas' international business class food (and lounge offerings) available, domestic food pales somewhat, especially in comparison with the chance to get a bit of extra sleep or to get some quiet work done.

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