The complete guide to Qantas Boeing 737 business class

From seat selection to airport lounge access and other pre-flight perks, here's your guide to Qantas' Boeing 737 business class.

By Brandon Loo , August 11 2020
The complete guide to Qantas Boeing 737 business class

If you're taking a Qantas flight within Australia, there's a good chance you'll be boarding one of the airline's Boeing 737s, which appear across a range of routes both short and long.

From a quick hop between the east coast capitals through to transcontinental treks – when border openings and closure allow these, of course – the Boeing 737 is the workhorse of Qantas' domestic fleet.

Regardless of destination, each Boeing 737 comes equipped with business class seats, and as some business travel slowly begins to ramp back up, here's what you need to know about flying Boeing 737 business class with Qantas. 

 

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 fleet, and when international borders aren't locked down, they're also commonly seen on flights over to New Zealand, New Caledonia and Fiji, as well up to Papua New Guinea and even Indonesia, on selected flights to Denpasar/Bali.

The Qantas Boeing 737 cabin has twelve seats.
The Qantas Boeing 737 cabin has twelve seats.

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, and that's no different for flights on the Boeing 737.

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 much higher allowance than economy 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.

(At the time of writing, Melbourne's Business Lounge remains closed, with a view to re-opening from September 2020.)

The Qantas Domestic Business Lounge in Brisbane is one of the airline's newest.
The Qantas Domestic Business Lounge in Brisbane is one of the airline's newest.

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

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 – but for now, these remain close, as do the Roo's international business class lounges.

With the right status (and at the right time), you could be enjoying this view before an international Qantas Boeing 737 flight.
With the right status (and at the right time), you could be enjoying this view before an international Qantas Boeing 737 flight.

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

Talking point: How important is priority boarding on domestic, international flights?

Qantas Boeing 737 business class onboard experience

As you settle into your seat, you may be able to enjoy a drink before departure – usually water or juices on domestic flights, and the addition of sparkling wine on international flights.

While current service reductions are in place due to COVID-19, the experience may differ to that described below, but 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 drinks. The 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.

'Refreshment' flights – usually those mid-morning, mid-afternoon and late evening – 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 have heartier meals. Most flights – except for the shortest ones – will have 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 international services to New Zealand and Bali, where offered, would normally provide a proper three-course dining experience with multiple starters, mains and desserts to choose from.

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

The sole exception to this is 'supper' flights, which take-off late at night and arrive at the crack of dawn. Red-eyed 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. 

COVID-19 reminder: Qantas is temporarily reducing its inflight meal services. Read more here.

Qantas Boeing 737 business class seat

With a seat pitch of 94cm (37") and a seat 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 a swing-out leg rest and footrest. 

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, as the service utilises the NBN Sky Muster satellite system.

Read more: Your complete guide to Qantas WiFi

However, as with many aspects of the business class service, WiFi may be unavailable on some aircraft even where the technology is installed, as the airline works to reactivate the service across its fleet after previously being paused.

As far as other inflight entertainment, roughly half of Qantas' 75-strong Boeing 737 fleet have individual entertainment screens for all passengers, including those seated in business class. Those jets are usually prioritised for transcontinental and international flights.

An entertainment screen on Qantas Boeing 737 business class. Not all jets have them.
An entertainment screen on Qantas Boeing 737 business class. Not all jets have them.

All Qantas Boeing 737s are 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.

COVID-19 reminder: Availability of Qantas inflight entertainment and WiFi may be limited during the coronavirus pandemic. Read more here.

Qantas Boeing 737 business class post-flight experience

After landing, you'll be one of the first people off the plane. For international arrivals, your business class ticket may come with an Express Path or similar card that enables you to take shorter queues through immigration and customs.

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.

While having '1A' on your boarding pass may seem fancy, bear in mind that Row 1 occupants can't stash anything around their legs, and have to stow all items into the limited locker space above.

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.

Seats 2C and 2D, both aisle seats in Row 2, are our top pick as they have the best mix of aisle access, storage space under the seat, and still reasonably fast service.

We'd recommend avoiding Row 3 as you may miss out on your first choice of meal, and your locker space may be used by economy passengers if others are full.

Read more: Best business class seats on Qantas' Boeing 737s

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, Cathay Pacific Asia Miles and Emirates Skywards.

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 also available on that flight.

Upgrading to Qantas business class on a Melbourne-Perth Red e-Deal ticket.
Upgrading to Qantas business class on a Melbourne-Perth Red e-Deal ticket.

For international flights – or domestic flights without immediate upgrades available – then you can enter 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.

Learn more: The ultimate Qantas upgrade guide and how to get them

Qantas Boeing 737 business class reviews

Flight: Qantas Boeing 737 business class (Sydney-Brisbane)

Qantas Club Lounges Domestic Business Lounges International Business Lounges
Adelaide
Broome
Perth
Brisbane
Melbourne
Perth
Sydney
Brisbane
Melbourne
Sydney

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.

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.

Brandon Loo

Based in Perth, Brandon enjoys tucking into local delicacies, discovering new cocktails, and making aeroplane food look good on camera.

Joe
Joe

03 May 2013

Total posts 516

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. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

14 Mar 2018

Total posts 15

@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 310

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 9

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 13

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.

This ad proudly bought to you by Qantas.....honestly, articles like this is what turns off readers. Trying to put lipstick on a pig of a seat that should have been pulled out years ago. Let’s see Bain will ramp up the competition.

11 Jan 2019

Total posts 4

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. 


Hi Guest, join in the discussion on The complete guide to Qantas Boeing 737 business class