The best business class seats on Fiji Airways' Boeing 737 MAX 8s

By Chris Chamberlin, December 28 2018
The best business class seats on Fiji Airways' Boeing 737 MAX 8s

Now appearing on selected flights to Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide and soon to replace all other Boeing 737s in its fleet, Fiji Airways' new Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft brings with it a new business class cabin, with more legroom, fixed inflight entertainment screens and more.

But which seat should you select on your next business class trip? Whether you're jetting only from Australia to Fiji or are venturing onward to places like Honolulu – where you'll spend upwards of 10 hours onboard across your one-stop journey, when seat selection becomes more important – here are the seats we'd choose first, and those we'd choose last.

Fiji Airways Boeing 737 MAX 8s: seat map and cabin

As on Fiji Airways' older Boeing 737-800s, its Boeing 737 MAX 8 business class comes in a two-row, 2-2 configuration:

Each seat measures at 21 inches wide, with a large central armrest and cocktail space separating passengers...

... and with a generous 51-inch seat pitch, reaching the aisle from the window seat is much easier than on other aircraft:

Fiji Airways Boeing 737 MAX 8s: best business class seats

Best seats for sleeping: 2A, 2F. Perched in the second row of business class, there's nobody behind to bump your seat and disturb your sleep, and being at the window, there's nobody walking past or over you either, giving you the best chance at maximising your rest.

Separating business class from economy is also a solid bulkhead wall, so you're free to recline as far as your seat will allow, without annoying or obstructing anybody behind: shown here from the aisle, albeit of seat 2D:

Best seats for getting work done: 2C, 2D. With direct aisle access, it's easy to retrieve and return items in the overhead locker, and unlike the first row, smaller items can also be stored underneath the seat in front of you for easy access, too. 

Even if the passenger in front fully reclines their seat, the generous seat pitch means there's no impact on your laptop work, and if you happen to have the 'moving map' open on the inflight entertainment screen in the background, you can tilt your screen to match your eyeline.

Best seats for legroom: row 2. You could say that row 2 is top overall pick of where to sit, not only for working or relaxing, but also when it comes to stretching out on long flights.

That's because the legroom here is practically limitless, with ample space to stretch forward...

... whereas in the first row, the bulkhead wall in front does limit your foot space (pictured below): not uncomfortably so, but taller travellers may well prefer the additional room afforded further back.

Best seats for couples: take your pick! With a 2-2 layout, you'll never have a stranger as a seatmate when sitting with your significant other, so all you have to do is decide who gets the window and who gets the aisle, and whether you'd rather sit in the first row or behind in the second.

Fiji Airways Boeing 737 MAX 8s: seats to choose last

Due to noise and light: 1C, 1D. Even though your choices are limited in an eight-seat cabin, personally speaking, my last preference would be an aisle seat in the first row, where the galley is right in front, ditto the noise and light that it generates, including when the curtain is opened on overnight journeys.

If the first row is the only option available on your flight, I'd recommend the window seats (1A and 1F) instead, which don't have that light problem, and also don't have anybody stepping past you.

Just consider how far you recline if intending to sleep: not because the passenger behind you won't have enough room, but because your seat can be bumped more easily (even unintentionally) when your fellow passengers access the aisle.

Also read: Fiji Airways Boeing 737 MAX 8 business class seat review

Chris Chamberlin travelled as a guest of Fiji Airways.

Chris Chamberlin

A Brisbane-based contributor to Executive Traveller, Chris Chamberlin lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins not just with a single step, but also a strong latte, a theatre ticket, and later in the day, a good gin and tonic.


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