The best business class seats on the Qantas Boeing 787

Looking for the best business class seats on the Qantas Boeing 787-9? We've used the official seat map to reveal the choice picks.

By Staff Writers, May 5 2022
The best business class seats on the Qantas Boeing 787

Cruising the skies since 2017, Qantas' Boeing 787 Dreamliner currently covers a wide range of domestic and international routes including routes between Australia and Europe, Asia and the United States. Executive Traveller brings you a new addition to our series revealing the best seats in the sky

The Flying Kangaroo's Boeing 787 Business Suites are largely similar to those found aboard the airline's Airbus A330s but with a few traveller-friendly tweaks.

Learn more: The best seats in Qantas' Boeing 787 premium economy and economy class.

Qantas Boeing 787 Dreamliner business class seat map

Business class takes pride of place at the front of Qantas' Boeing 787s with 42 seats spread across two distinct zones, offering every traveller a fully-flat bed and direct access to the aisle.

Most of these seats are found in the forward eight-row cabin (rows 1-8), with an additional three rows (10-12) behind the first galley.:

'A' and 'K' seats are adjacent to the windows, while 'E' and 'F' seats are in the centre.

You'll also notice that from one row to the next, seats alternate between being next to the aisle and then further from it, allowing the legs of one traveller to extend underneath the (closed-off) side table of the passenger in front when stretching out in bed mode.

Qantas Boeing 787 Dreamliner business class: best seats

Different travellers have different needs, so we've highlighted the best choices for solo flyers, couples, those hoping to sleep and those wanting to work – but as Executive Traveller observes below, your dominant (writing) hand also plays a part in the decision.

For solo travellers – the 'A', 'K' seats: When jetting about on your lonesome, why perch yourself in a middle pair when you can nab a solo Business Suite by the windows with a view to match?

For duos – the 'E' + 'F' seats: Couples and friends travelling together will naturally gravitate towards a pair of seats in the centre.

To make conversation easier, Qantas' Boeing 787 Business Suites offer a retractable privacy divider between these centre pairs...

...

... as opposed to the unfriendly fixed wall found on the Roo's Airbus A330 Business Suites flying today:
 

For working and productivity – it varies: This is where your dominant hand influences your seating choice, as some seats feature a shelf to the passenger's left, while for others, this is instead on the passenger's right.

This little platform proves to be a great writing and working surface – so right-handed passengers will likely prefer seats with the shelf to the right, while southpaws will gravitate to those with the shelf on the left.

You'll find these divided as follows:

  • Shelf to the left (left-handers, yellow): 1K, 2A/E/F, 3K, 4A/E/F, 5K, 6A/E/F, 7K, 8A/E/F, 10A/E/F/K and 12A/E/F/K

  • Shelf to the right (right-handers, green): 1A, 2K, 3A/E/F, 4K, 5A/E/F, 6K, 7A/E/F, 8K and 11A/E/F/K

Some seats also enjoy a larger shelf than others due to the cabin layout, so if you're a traveller who likes to spread out their papers and books, aim for one of these seats, as applicable:

  • For left-handers: 2A, 2F, 4A, 4F, 6A, 6F, 8A, 8F, 10F, 12A and 12F
  • For right-handers: 2K, 3E, 4K, 5E, 6K, 7E, 8K, 11E and 11K

For sleeping – aim for mid-cabin: When your flight plan centres around sleep rather than work, the location of your seat within the cabin plays a bigger role than the orientation of your side table.

That's because you'll want to position yourself away from the typical sources of noise and light, such as the lavatories, baby bassinets and crew galleys.

You'll find baby bassinets at seats 2E and 10E in business class, with premium economy bassinets also located directly behind business class seats 12A and 12K, indicated by the orange dots:

Lavatories (blue and purple, above) are less of an issue with no seats directly in front of or behind, but could prove a disturbance for passengers in rows 1-2 and 10-11, due to others passing by. Bursts of light shining in from the galleys when curtains are opened may also prove bothersome.


Galleys (in green) also sit directly behind row eight and are diagonally across from seats 8A and 8K, leaving mid-cabin rows 4-7 as the best to choose when hoping to snooze.

Light sleepers may also prefer to rest away from the aisle to further minimise noise and to avoid being bumped, making 4E, 5A, 5F, 5K, 6E, 7A, 7F and 7K the ideal picks here.

The Dreamliner's business class 'mini cabin'

As we noted earlier, there's a compact business class cabin behind the main doors, with just three rows (numbered 10 through 12).

Many frequent flyers prefer the more exclusive feel of a mini-cabin when it's at the front of the plane – such as on the Qantas Airbus A380 – but reversing the layout, as is the case on the Boeing 787, introduces some downsides.

For starters, you're directly in front of the premium economy cabin and its two baby bassinet positions, which could make any seat in row 12 a questionable choice.

We've also noted that the premium economy cabin has no dedicated lavatories – which means that if premium economy passengers are invited forward to use the business class loos, as is done on Qantas' Airbus A380s, you can expect a lot of traffic past your seats.

With maximum carry-on baggage – avoid rows 1-3: On international flights, Qantas business class travellers can bring up to two bags with them on board – such as one full-sized cabin bag, two smaller 105cm bags or one smaller 105cm bag  plus a handbag, laptop satchel or duty-free goods.

However, it's unlikely that overhead lockers will be fitted above the centre seats in row two and possibly row three due to the presence of a crew rest loft compartment directly above the seats.

This means the passengers in those rows will need to store their bags elsewhere in the cabin, such as above the window seats, reducing the space available for these travellers. If you're heavily-packed, consider a seat further back to keep things close.

Also read:

Connect with other business travellers in our Qantas discussion group

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1443

When I got upgrades to Business Class it invariably was to 1A. Then once some year back I ran into a former colleague who was a senior executive with BHP and he go that seat. Then I wondered if that was the 'BHP seat'.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 May 2016

Total posts 36

Sorry Patrickk but BHP severed their relations with QANTAS years ago over the latter's failure to fly direct into  Houston instead choosing DFW (QF7 & 8).

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1443

Thanks BJ it was a few years back.

United Airlines - Mileage Plus

12 Sep 2011

Total posts 346

789 Business is just passable  I'd give it a 3 out of 5

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 May 2016

Total posts 36

Refurbished Business in A380 - fabulous!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer P1

23 Aug 2014

Total posts 103

From memory, if I'm correct I noticed a wider footwell in row 1 and was able to stretch my legs more when sleeping - I think these may sometimes be preferential tally available to P1

United Airlines - Mileage Plus

12 Sep 2011

Total posts 346

Yes 1 A and 1K have larger footwells, have treid both, but they are just slightly larger.  Like Swiss' newest Bussiness, thrones are better than Qantas 1a, 1K  but equally require you to sleep on your side unless you are less than 5ft9 

30 Nov 2016

Total posts 19

My favourite seat is 1K. It is adjacent to window, window aligns with the seat in the upright position, has a larger foot well and the fact that you're opposite a wall / ahead of 2F means that I find the seat very private. Oh and also the little 'drawer' under the screen in front is good for keeping phone, charger when not in use, airpods etc. Not much light or galley noise comes from ahead of the seat. I've also never had an issue with overhead locker space above this seat even though the article suggests rows 1-3 may face challenges. Row 1 is currently blocked until (I believe) T-80 for CL / P1 so generally am able to secure the seat. 

ji
ji

14 Jan 2013

Total posts 15

I am also a fan of 1A and 1K - larger footwell area seems to provide a longer bed for my 194cm height.

23 Aug 2011

Total posts 65

I am bit worried about seating  as my wife and I are flying out of Perth to Rome on the 1 August and the only seats available are 11E and F, experienced these seats once before on JFK/LAX and PE pax used these toilets all the time and it was a a real pain. Hoping to be able to move further forward when  as we get closer to the departure date. 

United Airlines - Mileage Plus

12 Sep 2011

Total posts 346

Good chance you will get better seats.  To see the acutally allocated seats (which Qantas hides on their website, choosing to just block them all out even if  cabin is very undersold so they don't look so bad ) use your booking reference and check on RJ.com or Qatar Airways or cathaypacific.com to see which seats are actually free 

10 Jan 2011

Total posts 4

Until our flight was just cancelled, we had 4A and 5A and 4K and 5K as our preferred seats for an overnight flight from Haneda to Melbourne on July 28.  Good quiet seats for sleeping on the last night of our holiday; we don't need to sit next to each other :).

SHA
SHA

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

13 Dec 2016

Total posts 3

All very well discussing the best seats-but the last time I flew with Qantas, I fell foul of their blocking of  some of the business class seats-so ended up in 12 k which has an overhead locker that is used by the crew. The catering was inadequate for the requirements-supplies had run out by the time they reached me, I was very cold ,and the whole experience was less than that which I had hoped for given what I had paid for the ticket. So, despite the time saved, I probably won,t fly with Qantas again.

9 months ago, I paid for 2 Business Class tickets, Perth/Vancouver return.

We were automatically seated in Row 4 on the A330’s Domestic and Row 7 on the 787.

Despite all efforts to move forward, it was impossible as those seats (still unsold) were held for “special” customers, even through I am a Life Member of the Qantas Club.

Then a couple of the flights were altered, to out disadvantage, the A330 Sydney/Perth was changed to a 737 and we were expected to put up with all of this.

Qantas can do all of this, but any change I try to make, imposes a penalty.

Then I discovered the new SIA flight, Singapore/Vancouver non-stop, so have cancelled Qantas and booked SIA ,AND saved $1000.00 each.

How dare Qantas treat people like this.

I am pleased that we will be flying with a REAL airline.

Qantas do not deserve (or need) my business.


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