Here are the best economy seats on domestic Qantas Airbus A330 flights

By Brandon Loo, October 10 2018

While the Boeing 737 forms the backbone of Qantas' domestic fleet, many of the east-west transcontinental routes – along with some shorter hops on the busy  'triangle' between Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane – are flown by the twin-aisle Airbus A330.

Qantas has A330 jets in both domestic and international versions, with three economy layouts as shown below: there's relatively little difference between them, with a standard 2-4-2 layout and at least 31 inches of pitch.

The three most likely configurations you'll see on domestic flights
The three most likely configurations you'll see on domestic flights

Some areas are better than others depending on your needs, so here are some broad rules you can apply to your next flight (the exact seat numbers will depend on what A330 configuration you’re on).

Qantas A330 economy seats with the most room

Seats A/B/J/K in rows 44 or 45 are the only actual ‘extra legroom seats’ on the plane, with no bulkhead partition in front of you.

Taller people will feel more comfortable here with unlimited legroom. We rate the B/J seats to be better than the A/K seats because the emergency exit slide protrudes from the door and may obstruct the legroom if you’re seated at the window.

The downsides: a narrower seat due to everything being stored in the armrest. During takeoff and landing, you can’t use the entertainment screens and have to stow all luggage in the lockers.

To avoid anyone reclining into you

If you don’t mind having a partition in front of you, then the rest of rows 44/45 and 23/24 are also suitable if you want some more knee and head space, but at the expense of being able to stretch your legs in front. D and G seats have slightly more legroom as you can extend them into the aisles, but risk getting them trampled by anyone walking along.

It shares the same downsides as above.

For colleagues/friends travelling together

Thankfully, Qantas has not followed other carriers in adopting a 3-3-3 layout in economy. If you’re flying as a pair, be sure to nab one of the window pairs.

Watch out: The eight A330’s with in-seat screens have a control box located under seats A and K, reducing available legroom for those window passengers.

For solo travellers

You’ll feel most at home perched in an aisle seat – that’s B/D/G/J seats in any row. You’ll be able to have a bit more elbow room to work on a laptop, and have easy access to anything stored overhead.

As passengers tend to avoid middle seats, sitting in a D or G seat closer towards the back of the plane might increase your odds of having a spare seat beside you.

For people with extra carry-on gear

54F or 55F also gets an honourable mention - this is where the middle four seats become three, so you’ll have a whole lot of extra elbow room on your right, plus might be able to store more items under the adjacent seat and in the seatback pockets. Perfect if you have lots of bits and bobs that you’d like to keep handy.

For guilt-free reclining

On long-range domestic flights (to/from Perth usually), the crew rest areas indicated in purple might be blocked off for selection.

If you’re seated one row in front (that’s rows 36, 54 or 55 depending on configuration), then you can utilise the space behind you and recline away for a better snooze.

Qantas A330 economy seats to avoid

Seats E and F in each row have the dubious honour of being middle seats, where you face being trapped by people on either side. It’s best to avoid these if possible. Even if you’re travelling in a group of four, it could be better to select two pairs of windows seats.

One row in each plane also doesn’t have a window, and you can see that indicated on the seat maps above (seats A and K in rows 23 or 25). If you feel claustrophobic, or merely want to enjoy a good view, then move somewhere else.

How to get the best Qantas A330 economy seats

Platinum One and Chairman’s Lounge members have the plum pick of any seat for free, including extra-legroom seats on domestic flights. Anyone else can purchase the extra-legroom row for a fee.

Otherwise, the seats you see depend on status, with higher ranking Platinums being able to pick most of the plane beyond the first few rows, to Bronze members who are stuck towards the back initially.

From three days before your flight, the seat maps might open up, so check back regularly during this time for a chance to get a better option.

Also read: The best economy seats on the Qantas Boeing 737, and how to get them

Upgrading to business class on the Qantas A330

If you're doing the transcontinental trek, upgrading from economy to business class on the A330 is a great use of Qantas points (especially if you're not a Platinum-grade frequent flyer, as the upgrade will also provide access to the Qantas Business lounge).

For example, a business class upgrade from Sydney or Melbourne to Perth (or back the other way) is priced at just 10,000 points if you're travelling on a flexible economy fare, or 25,000 points if you're booked on a lower-priced discount economy ticket.

Also read: Here are October's top Qantas Frequent Flyer credit card sign-up deals

Brandon Loo

Brandon divides his time between Perth and Launceston, with ample hours spent in airport lounges in between. He recently picked up photography and tries to capture the beauty of Tasmanian landscapes, aeroplane cabins and in-flight food, to varying degrees of success.

rencontre

rencontre

27 Aug 2015

Total posts 28

Um....3 toilets?!

Brandon Loo

Brandon Loo

10 Jul 2018

Total posts 83

There's another two at the back, but they got accidentally cropped out of the final image.

AJW

AJW

16 Nov 2011

Total posts 511

"Thankfully, Qantas has not followed other carriers in adopting a 3-3-3 layout in economy"

Thankfully yes, but lets be honest and clear here the only airlines that have done this a few and far between and unless I am mistaken all are very much LLC.

And the picture of the cabin, is a (nominally) international A330. The 'domestic' A330's don't have seat back IFE.

mannej

mannej

QF

21 May 2014

Total posts 24

The actual photo is of the -300, which is the features the fully refurbed Y product. The -200 which is the variant that features on most of the 330 operated domestic flights currently has 3 different Y products (iPad, EBG/L, and Seat back IFE).

AJW

AJW

16 Nov 2011

Total posts 511

Yeah and the A330-300 is not nominally used domestically. The aircraft that are nominally used are as I said the ones without (fixed) seatbadk IFE.

Bigroh73

Bigroh73

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 Feb 2017

Total posts 3

Love seat 54/55F on the A330s. As a big fella, that extra space to stretch one leg out for most of the flight, plus not rubbing shoulders with the person next to me is an absolute blessing. Because of that gap, the drinks cart (& pax/staff) don't bump me at all. Its my first choice on every flight, dom or intl if in economy.

JKH

JKH

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Sep 2017

Total posts 131

Paid the extra for 44 A/B to SIN and back on a recent vacation. As a taller bloke I thought it might help. Actually very annoying. The narrower seats, no screens or personal effect access during T/O and landing, plus seatbelt airbags were all uncomfortable or inconvenient. The screen was flaccid and stupid. Not to mention on the red-eye some drongo thinking the door 3 exit area was personal standing space, waking up in searing pain with him standing on my foot.

From now if not J/C it’s most other window pair of seats.

Big T 42

Big T 42

16 Mar 2014

Total posts 5

Regrettably Mr Loo misses a point on his layout plans. The important difference is between the 330-200 & 330-300.

As explained to me by a cabin attendant -330-200 has just one escape slide per side, 330-300 has two slides side by side on each side thus takes longer lengthwise space at doorway. Thus 330-200 has seats 44 which have minimal

intrusion on "extra legroom". 330-300 only has seats 45 because of extra length of escape slides. However this seat 45A/45K thus becomes the WORST seat on the plane & is DEFINITELY NOT EXTRA LEGROOM. The extra length & (width) of slide provision protrudes into almost half the forward legroom of those 2 seats. (Most suitable seats for dwarfs or midgets but totally unsatisfactory for travellers of

greater than1900cm.) Regrettably Qantas does not pre warn Travellers of this unsuitability & happily charges the extra legroom surcharge. I am not sure that Qantas are aware of the difference. I am booked on a flight to Singapore with stated aircraft as 330-200 but they have given the 330-300 seat plan as the available seats. I have aquatinted them of this anomaly but they insist they are showing the correct seating plan. Interesting times ahead...


Chriistossss

Chriistossss

10 Oct 2018

Total posts 1

Another important tip I give out to people is that if they’re traveling in a group of three and want to have some privacy, there are a few rows at the back with a 2-3-2 configuration which serves perfectly, and being at the back they’re often some of the last seats chosen by passeng

Ladtsmt

Ladtsmt

23 Jul 2017

Total posts 30

Platinum and up benefits - phooey. I've yet to experience any benefits other than the lounge. I'm a life member of that, so the "platinum offer" is no special benefit.

Morgan27

Morgan27

27 May 2017

Total posts 19

2-3-2 at the back

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