The complete guide to Qantas Boeing 737 business class

From airport lounge access and a comfortable ride to your destination, here's your guide to Qantas' Boeing 737 business class.

By Staff Writers, July 9 2021
The complete guide to Qantas Boeing 737 business class

There is an excellent chance that, if you're taking a Qantas flight within Australia, you'll be boarding one of the airline's Boeing 737s, which appear across the majority of domestic routes, both short and long.

From a quick hop between the east coast capitals, to transcontinental or trans-Tasman treks, the Boeing 737 is the airline’s workhorse and makes up more than half of Qantas' domestic fleet.

Regardless of destination, each Boeing 737 comes equipped with business class seats. Here's what you need to know about flying business class on a Qantas Boeing 737. 

What is Qantas Boeing 737 business class?

Qantas’ Boeing 737 business class is the highest level of cabin service available on these single-aisle jets, with 12 recliner seats in a 2-2 layout over three rows.

The Boeing 737s are the workhorse of Qantas' domestic and trans-Tasman fleet, but they're also commonly seen on flights to New Caledonia, Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Indonesia on selected services to Bali.

The Qantas Boeing 737 cabin has twelve seats in three rows of four.
The Qantas Boeing 737 cabin has twelve seats in three rows of four.

Qantas Boeing 737 business class pre-flight experience

A Qantas business class ticket gives travellers many valuable perks before they've even boarded the aircraft.

Check-in and baggage

At the airport, you'll be able to use premium lanes to check-in and drop off baggage – which incidentally, includes a higher allowance than economy class passengers receive.

For domestic flights, that starts from 2x32kg bags, while on international Boeing 737 routes, business class limits begin at 40kg.

Qantas Club membership and Qantas or Oneworld Frequent Flyer status can increase those allowances even more.

Security screening

After going through priority security screening (where available), it's off to the lounge, but at Brisbane Airport, things are done a little differently.

Here, 'Premium Lounge Entry' welcomes business class flyers and offers a private check-in space, security screening point, and direct access to the lounge precinct.

Speed through Qantas Premium Lounge Entry at Brisbane Airport.
Speed through Qantas Premium Lounge Entry at Brisbane Airport.

Qantas lounges

Qantas maintains domestic business class lounges in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Canberra.

In other cities, business class flyers can instead visit a Qantas Club lounge, where available.

The Qantas Domestic Business Lounge in Brisbane.
The Qantas Domestic Business Lounge in Brisbane.

For international flights, a Qantas International Business Lounge or partner lounge would normally await, depending on the port of departure.

If you're flying internationally out of Sydney or Melbourne and also hold a Platinum-grade (or other Oneworld Emerald) frequent flyer card, then the Qantas First Lounges would serve instead.

When it's time to depart, business class ticket holders are invited to board first through priority boarding lanes.

Qantas Boeing 737 business class onboard experience

When it comes to the onboard experience, here's what you'd typically expect in Qantas' Boeing 737 business class.

Qantas Boeing 737 business class dining

Shorter domestic flights normally offer a single-tray service with a main course, plus sides, snacks and a drink. Meals are typically divided into breakfast, lunch, dinner, or refreshments, depending on the time of day. The Qantas website shows what type of meal is offered for each flight.

'Refreshment' flights – usually those mid-morning, mid-afternoon and late evening not really aligned to one of the day’s three main meals. These are usually lighter cafe-style choices such as sandwiches, soups and cheese boxes

Soup is often a refreshment meal on Qantas Boeing 737 business class.
Soup is often a refreshment meal on Qantas Boeing 737 business class.

Flights during dining hours will offer heartier meals. Most flights – except for the shortest ones – will serve a hot dish available, but it's not uncommon to see the hot option run out first.

Longer Boeing 737 flights, including the transcontinental Perth treks and services to New Zealand, where offered, traditionally provided a proper three-course dining experience with a menu of starters, mains and desserts to choose from..

Longer transcontinental and international Boeing 737 flights can have more restaurant-style dining.
Longer transcontinental and international Boeing 737 flights can have more restaurant-style dining.

The exception to this are 'supper' flights - otherwise known as ‘red eyes’, which take-off very late at night and arrive at the crack of dawn. Business class travellers on those journeys will only have a selection of finger food available after being able to dine in the lounge, as the focus is on sleep.

A supper menu on an overnight Qantas Perth-Melbourne flight.
A supper menu on an overnight Qantas Perth-Melbourne flight.

Business class passengers have access to a wide variety of beverages, including a selection of beers and wines on demand.

Qantas Boeing 737 business class seat

With a seat pitch of 94cm (37") and a width of 56cm (22"), business class seats are considerably more spacious than what you'd find in economy class just behind.

Each chair comes comfortably padded, and features an adjustable headrest as well as a swing-out leg rest and footrest. They are, however, not lie-flat. 

Some, but not all, Qantas Boeing 737s have laptop power outlets available between seats in business class. A centre console between each pair of seats provides ample space to place drinks when the main tray table is stowed.

Qantas Boeing 737 business class WiFi & entertainment

Just about every Qantas Boeing 737 now has free and fast WiFi from tip to tail, including for all business class passengers. It's only available on domestic flights for now, but future evolution of Viasat’s global satellite system may see Qantas finally connect its long-range passengers to the world below.

Of course, many domestic Qantas Boeing 737s also fly short-range international hops to the likes of New Zealand, Fiji and Noumea – but even if the actual aircraft have been fitted with WiFi, this can't be used outside of Australia.

Not all of Qantas' Boeing 737s feature seat-back screens.
Not all of Qantas' Boeing 737s feature seat-back screens.

Those Boeing 737s without personal screens are instead equipped with wireless Q Streaming, which allows you to stream inflight entertainment content straight to your compatible phone or tablet. Download the Qantas Entertainment App and see more information here.

Qantas Boeing 737 business class post-flight experience

After landing, you'll be one of the first people off the plane.

Business class passengers have priority-tagged luggage, which should be among the first on the belt (at least, in theory!).

Best Qantas Boeing 737 business class seats

With only 12 seats in Boeing 737 business class, there's not exactly a lot of choice when it comes to picking a 'best seat'.

The seating layout near the front of Qantas' Boeing 737s.
The seating layout near the front of Qantas' Boeing 737s.

1A, 1C: These look great on a boarding pass, but on some aircraft, the locker above is reserved for emergency equipment, which means your bag needs to go elsewhere – and that can’t be in front of you, because you’re at a bulkhead.

As with 1D and 1F, legroom here is acceptable but without the ability to stretch all the way forward.

Taller passengers are better off sitting in rows 2 or 3 and stretching their legs under the seat in front of them, versus row 1 with the bulkhead wall in front.

Bulkhead seats have less room to move, but no-one to recline into you.
Bulkhead seats have less room to move, but no-one to recline into you.

2C, 2D: These are our top picks on longer routes or when you want to sit back with a good movie from gate to gate, offering seatback entertainment screens on newer aircraft, direct aisle access on all variations, under-seat storage and a still-prompt meal service.

2A, 2F: We generally avoid these unless planning to remain seated throughout the flight as you lose the benefit of direct aisle access enjoyed in the C and D seats and the lack of a reclining passenger in front of you as in the first row.

3A, 3C, 3D, 3F: While there’s no denying that any business class seat is still markedly better than a great spot in economy, we also prefer to skip row 3 if other choices are available.

That’s because these seats are the last to be served meals, making chow time more rushed than enjoyable on the airline’s shortest routes.

Passengers at the front of economy also sometimes stash bags above these seats when the nearby economy lockers are full, minimising your storage space.

How to book Qantas Boeing 737 business class with points

You can book a business class ticket with Qantas Points, or through other partner frequent flyer programs such as American Airlines AAdvantage, British Airways Executive Club, Emirates Skywards and Cathay Pacific’s new consolidated ‘Cathay’ program.

British Airways tends to offer better rates for shorter flights using Avios, whereas American Airlines miles are best utilised on longer flights and multi-trip itineraries.

Those miles and Avios can even be purchased during promotional periods to nab a Qantas business class seat for less.

Qantas flights can be booked with British Airways Avios.
Qantas flights can be booked with British Airways Avios.

If using Qantas Points, you'll need at least 18,400 points to book a business class ticket on the shortest flights, and more points on longer routes. The Qantas Classic Reward table has all the rates.

How to upgrade to Qantas Boeing 737 business class

Just 5,400 Qantas Points could see you move up from economy to business class on a short domestic flight. The strategy for upgrading to Qantas Boeing 737 business class with points depends on whether your flight is domestic or international.

For domestic flights, upgrades can be confirmed immediately if there are business Classic Reward seats available on that flight.

For international flights – or domestic flights without immediate upgrades available – then you can join a waitlist. Upgrades may be confirmed in order of frequent flyer status.

Check the Classic Upgrade Reward table to see how many points you'll need to move up on your next flight.

Many employers and clients book flexible economy fares for work travel, which is great if you're looking to upgrade. Flexible economy fares require fewer points to upgrade than Red e-Deal or Saver economy tickets.

Qantas Boeing 737 business class FAQs

Is Qantas domestic business class worth it?

Qantas domestic business class offers a great experience for business travellers who want to travel in comfort and speed through the airport. Passengers are usually looked after with food and drinks, and will have more space to work during the flight.

The Qantas Boeing 737 is the workhorse of the Red Roo's fleet.
The Qantas Boeing 737 is the workhorse of the Red Roo's fleet.

It's easy to upgrade to business class with Qantas Points, or to book a business class reward seat outright with Qantas Points and the points/miles of other partner airlines.

What's the best Qantas business class?

As the Qantas Boeing 737s are single-aisle, its business class cabin is relatively simple. The Qantas Airbus A330s and Boeing 787s offer a much better lie-flat business class seat, and occasionally fly the same routes as the Boeing 737.

Where you have a choice, try to pick the Airbus A330 or Boeing 787 business class.

Does Qantas business class have WiFi?

Almost all domestic Qantas flights now have WiFi. This includes the Boeing 737s which are the workhorse of Qantas' domestic fleet, along with the twin-aisle Airbus A330s often seen on east-west routes.

How does Qantas Boeing 737 business class compare to Virgin Australia?

There are a number of differences between Qantas and Virgin Australia Boeing 737 business class: read our full comparison here.

Joe
Joe

03 May 2013

Total posts 671

Great for a max 3 hrs. Any longer than that i.e. Perth or Darwin even Bali the seat becomes painful and only slightly more comfortable that an economy seat.

Hopefully Qantas will scrap these old pre designed planes once Allan J decides to get some brand new Airbus A321 Neos, about time. Don't know what it is but our Aussie airlines seem to love the old out of date 737.

It's Alan Joyce, not 'Allan', and if you think that Qantas which has basically been gutted by COVID19, is burning through $40m per week and has taken out a loans worth $1.5 billion against its Boeing 787s, trying to raise another $1.5 billion, if you think at this point Qantas is about to retire its perfectly servicable Boeing 737s and take delivery of new A321neos and have pilots and crew retrained, then you really don't have a solid grip on commercial reality.

Regardless of what aeroplane Qantas are flying at the end of the day pilots do need to be upgraded on simulator work for that type of aircraft whether it's a 737, 787, Airbus A350 or A380 etc. So when Qantas bought their Boeing 787 Dreamliners, Airbus A330's and other jets your telling me that the pilots were not simulator trained, seriously lol. You know what let's face it the 737s are old, they have served their time well and truly good and one day Qantas are going to have to retire them and eventually upgrade to the new Airbus A321 Neos and as a fact I know they will and you know what when they do their pilots will have to go for training on this aircraft regardless of what. So really coming back to your previous answer I honestly don't know what your on about. Yes off course I know Qantas are going to have to train their pilots on new aircraft that they get. You mentioned about COVID-19 well how come is it that Emirates, Qatar and SIA are already planning to put their planes back into the sky very soon while Qantas are sending their planes to the Mojave desert. 

Etihad - Etihad Guest

21 Jul 2019

Total posts 168

@AsiaBizTraveller

You probably make some valid points. But is it too burdensome to ask you to be slightly more professional, pleasant and not resort to personal sniping in framing your reply? BTW: 'correcting' another adult's honest naming mistake in public rarely impresses other adults. @Albinonil967 did ask a perfectly valid question, without resorting to any personal nastiness. We are (supposedly) thinking adults here in search of aviation info and would like to be treated as such; not as moronic teens to be talked down to. Dwell on that point, please.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

14 Mar 2018

Total posts 26

@AsiaBizTraveller
@Albinoni1967

Well, didn't you two get out of the wrong side of the bed this morning. Joe's was a perfectly reasonable comment and then you're all high and mighty about it.  Maybe time to rethink your dismissive and patronising style.  BTW if you want to get into correcting someone's spelling then you might start with proofreading your own drafts before posting.

AT
AT

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

14 Sep 2012

Total posts 381

I've flown few times now on QF business 737 and honestly they do a great job for domestic. Practically there is only so much room on a 737, the real estate is finite but when CV is over and there is budget available for refurbishment would be good to see the seat 'modernised' if that's the right word, and by that I don't mean lie-flat rather new leather, improved padding and an extra row would be great on high demand routes like PNG.

ACM
ACM

05 Sep 2017

Total posts 11

Clearly difficult times to comment as neither Qantas nor I are going anywhere internationally at present. My experiences on the Qantas 737 in business were predominantly trans Tasman when I absolutely for schedule reasons had no choice.  The A330 or latterly pre Covid the 787 into Auckland or the Emirates A380 to Christchurch are a world apart in the quality of the offering for the same money.  I often thought the 737 business cost should be discounted to reflect the significantly lower product offering on this route.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Jul 2017

Total posts 15

Completely agree. If I am flying PER-SYD or PER-MEL, the quality of the 737 doesn't come close to the 330. If I'm being slugged $1,200 each way, then for a 737, there should be a discount on this to something closer to the economy end of $200 rather than the premium 330 end of the price spectrum.

11 Jan 2019

Total posts 6

Having travelled on them several times I find their service lacking (slow), not a first world problem but when you're paying that kind of money I expect speedy service given the small cabin. The food lacking considerably compared to pre-administration Virgin Australia 737 business. See what Bain does with VA business longer term. Hope to see QF lift their game. 

United Airlines - Mileage Plus

12 Sep 2011

Total posts 329

No Business Class checkin line at SYD T3, at least there wasn't one in early March.  Staff member who assisted my checkin at the self checkin  said I should complain and that staff were not impressed it had been removed either.  On the way over at ADL,  staffed Business Checkin still working

I do find the self checkin a bit of a slap in the face after you pay for a C ticket - but its a way many airlines have reduced staff requirements or reducing outsourcing to airport operator eg Swissport - I do not consider this is something a full service airline should offer - the only time I've found it appropriate is in the USA, Switzerland and Germany when doing a day trip  or mileage run and I'm travelling without luggage 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

19 Jul 2017

Total posts 20

I have flown business on a 737 many times from Perth to Adelaide ( try to get on the bigger planes if going to MEL or SYD). I wouldn't pay for the seat as the difference is nowhere near enough to justify the extra cost (especially as I am platinum ff and would get all of the pre-flight benefits) . I use points to upgrade as there are nearly always upgrades available on that route. The seat is more comfortable and the service is generally pretty good if you fly during meal times the food is decent. The planes are a bit tired.

The one thing I struggle with though is that the points charged for the up grade (27200) is the same as it is for an upgrade to Sydney which is half as far again from us. I flew yesterday from Port Hedland to Perth and upgraded to business for 8100 points for a flight only 30 mins shorter than the flight to Adelaide.  I suppose that is why the upgrades are easy to get but it seems odd that the points required aren't based on distance flown.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer P1

23 Aug 2014

Total posts 140

It will never be ethical or fair for Qantas to charge the same fare in J for the PER-SYD/MEL/BNE (and return) legs on the A330 vs the 738, especially on the red eye! 

I would agree, although of course aircraft changes can and do happen, it would make more sense for Qantas to charge less for a Boeing 737 business class and more for an Airbus A330 business class on the same route to reflect the very different standards of seat, and if your A330 is swapped down to a Boeing 737 then Qantas should refund the fare difference in cash or travel credit.

QFP

22 Jan 2013

Total posts 94

Just for info….did Brisbane to Darwin last week in J, 3hrs20min. Meal was all on one tray, with choose of two hot or one cold.  Wine service was great. 


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