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.
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...
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.
- Up close with Qantas' Boeing 787 Dreamliner business class seats
- The best premium economy seats on the Qantas Boeing 787
- The best economy class seats on the Qantas Boeing 787
Connect with other business travellers in our Qantas discussion group