The best economy class seats on the Qantas Boeing 787

By Chris C., December 30 2016
The best economy class seats on the Qantas Boeing 787

Looking for the best economy seats on the Qantas Boeing 787? We've scoped out the official Qantas seatmap to find the seats with the most legroom and least disturbances, as well as the seats that are best for couples.

Qantas Boeing 787 Dreamliner economy class seatmap

Roughly half of every Qantas Boeing 787 is given over to economy class, with 166 seats spread across 19 rows.

Seating is mostly in a 3-3-3 arrangement, except in the final row where it tapers to 2-3-2:

Divided across two sections, the smaller front cabin takes rows 40-44 while the larger main cabin seats rows 46 through 59, skipping row 45.

You'll find the 'A' and 'K' seats by the windows, the 'C', 'D', 'F' and 'H' seats aside the aisles and the 'B', 'E' and 'J' seats in the middle – except in row 59 where 59B and 59J are aisle seats.

Qantas Boeing 787 Dreamliner economy class: best seats

For maximum legroom – rows 40, 46: On ultra-long flights like Perth-London, extra legroom seats become the prized pick for a comfortable journey, with 18 economy class seats proving more spacious than others.

You'll find those seats in row 40 at the very front of economy, and in row 46 by the emergency exits, with row 40 proving the quieter choice being further away from the lavatories and crew seats.

If you have a choice, also consider other seating options before landing on 40C or 40H, as the guests seated here will likely be bumped by passengers and crew moving back through the premium economy curtain, due to these seats' positions in the aisle.

But these seats come at a cos, unless you're a top-tier Qantas Chairmans Lounge member or Platinum One frequent flyer. Expect to pay $180 extra per passenger (or 23,500 Qantas Points) on routes like Melbourne-Los Angeles and Perth-London, or $90 (or 12,000 Qantas Points) between Australia and Asia.

For solo flyers – the 'D' and 'F' seats: Passengers travelling on their lonesome are best-placed in the 'D' and 'F' seats, being next to the aisle in the centre group.

They carry the same benefits as the aisle seats in the outer pairs, but with only one passenger hopping over you (from the 'E' seats), rather than two (from the 'A' and 'B' seats or the 'J' and 'K' seats).

Even then, that middle seat passenger may exit towards the opposite aisle and leave you undisturbed – a great and courteous option for when the aisle passenger on one side is sleeping but the other is awake.

For couples and pairs – the D+E or E+F seats: With the cabin in a 3-3-3 layout, there's no ideal pair of seats for duos, but the next-best thing proves to be an aisle+middle combination in the centre group if you prefer to sit together.

Sure, one of you ends up in a middle seat, but think about it – neither of you will be disturbed by other travellers accessing the aisle, so if you're both planning to sleep at the same time, you'll have a better chance of enjoying that shut-eye.

You could also plant yourselves in 59A+B or 59J+K to avoid that third seat, but these pairs are directly in front of the lavatories and are also at the very back of the cabin:

That means you'll have extra noise and foot traffic to contend with throughout the flight which could keep you awake, and you'll also be the last people served at meal times, be one of the last people off the plane and then be stuck at the very back of the immigration queues after arriving at the gate.

When travelling with infants – 40B, 40J, 46E: If your infant is joining your holiday, ask Qantas to seat you near one of three wall-mounted baby bassinets (indicated by the orange dots below) which can nurse your child throughout the flight, making for a more comfortable flight.

Seats to avoid, if you can: When other options are available, consider skipping 43D/E/F and all of row 44, which border the mid-cabin bathrooms. The same can be said of row 59, with these seats either directly in front of or diagonally across from the rear restrooms.

Light sleepers may also prefer to sit in the middle of the main cabin (such as rows 50-55) to be away from the lavatories and baby bassinets, or in the window seats to avoid being disturbed.

Also read:

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Chris C.

Chris is a a former contributor to Executive Traveller.

23 Feb 2015

Total posts 262

Timely post!        .

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

11 Oct 2014

Total posts 681

Thanks for including a Y seat review, Chris. Good to see that Y class reviews are not being ignored.

One other point to consider (yet unknown) is whether Row 59 will have the full amount of Y 'recline' or have a 'limited recline' due to the proximity of the lavatory / galley wall behind.

From the diagram, it appears that the crew sleep quarters entrance is located behind row 59 D/E, which means additional foot traffic every 4-5 hours. 59 E/F also appears to have the 'self-serve' Y galley behind if I'm not mistaken..

29 Oct 2016

Total posts 35

Best seat on a 3-3-3 B787s is none. Avoid if at all possible and particularly on ultra long haul.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

13 Jan 2017

Total posts 73

Hmmmm 166 passengers. 4 toilets.  41 passengers per toilet.

18-19hr flight to London.

Hope they have a crew member dedicated to re-supplying consumables and cleaning throughout the flight!

And the main baby change toilet is the furthermost point in the cabin away from the bassinet seats DUH!!!

What was the designer smoking when putting this together.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

13 Jan 2017

Total posts 73

Whoops, I was too quick off the mark. 

Just noticed the PE cabin has no toilets at all.

So that's 166 + 28 + say 8 crew = 202 or 50 persons per loo.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

20 Mar 2014

Total posts 132

i'm trying hard to work out it its even remotely a good idea to book the 787 over an A380 for SYD<>LHR...

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