Qantas’ upgraded Airbus A330-300 jets featuring the airline's flagship Business Suite business class seats are now seen on most international routes from Australia to Asia, so here's how to choose the best seat for your next flight.
(Domestic flights on Sydney-Perth, Melbourne-Perth and Brisbane-Perth transcontinental services, along with some east coast ‘triangle’ routes such as Sydney-Melbourne, will run on Airbus A330-200 jets – click here to discover the best Business Suite seats on those aircraft.)
Read the AusBT review: Qantas Airbus A330 Business Suite
The international A330 Business Suite is identical to its domestic cousin, with two exceptions.
Firstly, the international seat is covered in covered in cloth while the domestic versions are clad in leather.
The international seats also have a slightly greater recline in the taxi, take-off and landing position: you'll get a snooze-friendly 7 inches, equivalent to 25 degrees, compared to 5 inches or 21 degrees on the domestic models.
"Slight nuances between the domestic and international configuration means that the gate-to-gate recline position for take-off and landing are pre-set slightly differently," Qantas tells us – indicating that the longer business class cabin of the A330-300 makes for a bit more room between the suites, in turn allowing for that extra recline.
The Qantas A330-300 business class cabin
The A330-300's business class cabin contains seven rows of seats in a 1-2-1 configuration.
All business class seats on the Qantas A330-300 are contained within a single cabin, unlike the smaller A330-200 which splits them across two cabins.
The solo window seats are labelled as A and K, with the paired centre seats marked as E and F.
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.
If you want an A330 Business Suite that’s directly next to the window so you can fully enjoy the view, ask for seats 2A, 2K, 4A, 4K, 6A or 6K.
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 in fact 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 A330-300 also has seven pairs of middle seats.
None of those double seats are directly next to one another, so the Business Suite isn't really designed for couples who want to fly together and fully share the journey.
One seat in each pair is located directly next to the aisle – those are 1E, 2F, 3E, 4F, 5E, 6F and 7E, as indicated below...
... while the other seat has a side table between the seat and the aisle (1F, 2E, 3F, 4E, 5F, 6E and 7F).
The first and last rows in the A330-300's business class cabin are likely to be subject to noise, light and activity from the front and rear crew areas, which could be especially bothersome if you’re trying to sleep on an overnight flight.
As with the Qantas A330-200, there are baby bassinet mounts directly in front of seats 1A and 1K.
Seats 7F and 7K are also directly ahead of the second business class toilet, so those seats would be the very last on our list.
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, 6K, and 7A; every other seat is subtly geared more for righties.
Click here to download Qantas’ reconfigured A330-300 seatmap [1.8MB PDF]
- AusBT review: Qantas Airbus A330 Business Suite
- Best seats: Qantas domestic Airbus A330-200 Business Suite business class
- Up close with Qantas' next-gen business class
- 10 things you didn't know about the new Qantas Business Suite
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