Business travellers and frequent flyers know the value of choosing their seat well in advance, especially when setting out on a long international flight.
Along with their passport number they can reel off a list of their preferred seats, plus a few to avoid at all costs.
If you’re flying on your own, when it comes to Qantas’ fleet of refurbished Boeing 747-400s, here are two seat numbers to etch into your memory: 5B and 5J.
These are prime spots for solo travellers booked on one of the revamped jumbos which long ago dropped first class for an enlarged business class cabin that extends into the aircraft’s nose.
Row 5 is the first row behind the wall which used to separate business class from first class, with exits to the left and right sides.
However, while the rest of the 747‘s lower deck business class cabin has a pair of seats by the windows, 5B and 5J are on their own.
There’s no need to share the armrest with your neighbour because you have no neighbour – what would usually be the 5A and 5K window seats are located too close to the exit door and the protruding bulk which contains the emergency slide.
In place of that seat is a customised module with its own magazine bin and what amounts to a personal locker.
The magazine bin is wide enough to keep a slim laptop bag at hand.
And while Qantas uses the locker to stow your pillow, blanket and duvet, relocating those into the overhead bin frees up this space for more of your carry-on kit.
What business travellers will love about the locker is that when you close the lid you’re rewarded with a large secondary workspace where you can spread out your documents and folders or temporarily park your laptop.
And the space in front of the missing 5A and 5K seats is ideal for parking your carry-on bag if you want it to remain within easy reach throughout the flight.
Being located at an exit row, 5B and 5J also boast insane legroom. And while they’re technically aisle seats you’ve still got your own window.
To score one of these prized two spots you’ll need to be travelling on one of the refurbished 747-400s which regularly fly between Sydney and Los Angeles (and then on to New York), as well as Sydney to Santiago and Johannesburg, and Brisbane-Los Angeles.