The best seats in Business Class on Qantas' Boeing 767

By John Walton, June 30 2011
The best seats in Business Class on Qantas' Boeing 767

The Boeing 767 is the workhorse of Qantas' domestic fleet, at least until the much-delayed Boeing 787 Dreamliner takes over from mid-2014.

That leaves plenty of flights where you'll appreciate knowing how to pick the best seat in the 76's business class cabin -- and also knowing which seats to avoid.

The plane

The Red Roo has two different business class configurations on its 767s: one for domestic flights, the other for services from Sydney to Noumea and Honolulu. Both have five rows of business class seating.

Most of the 767 fleet are in the domestic configuration: a familiar 2-2-2 option. Seats A & B are on the left, E & F in the middle, and J & K on the right.

The international layout has an unusual 1-2-2 configuration: seat A is on the left, then an aisle, then seats E & F, then another aisle, and seats J & K on the right hand side of the plane.

So you'll be able to tell the international layout from the domestic one if there's a single seat on the left hand side of the plane.

The cabin

The international layout contains 25 Dreamtime model seats, which have a 48-50-inch pitch (the distance between your seat back and the one in front). It's really a last-generation recliner-style business class, and shouldn't be confused with the newer Skybed seats.

Of course, the international layout is much more spacious than the 37-inch pitch domestic seats (which is an inch less than international premium economy), which use the Millennium model seat. 

The international planes get a personal TV with looping (not on-demand) video, while the domestic version has only shared TVs mounted above the aisles.

The best seats on the plane

International configuration

1A: with nobody reclining back into you, and only a single seat, this is definitely the best for a solo traveller.

2A 3A 4A 5A: These are (in order) the next best pics for the solo traveller.

1E 1F: for aisle fans, these bulkhead seats have nobody reclining backwards into you, and there's no middle seat passenger to climb over you either.

1J 1K: good for colleagues travelling together if one of you enjoys a window seat: again, these bulkheads don't have anyone reclining from in front.

Domestic configuration

1A 1B: these bulkhead seats have nobody in front. They aren't bassinet crib positions, so if you pick these seats you won't be moved for a baby.

1E 1F: for aisle seat fans, these have no middle seat passenger climbing over you, and nobody reclining backwards either.

1J 1K: these bulkhead seats are similar to 1A and 1B, but they're the designated baby bassinet seats. So you're more likely to be disturbed by an infant in flight -- or even moved to another seat to make way for the baby.

The worst seats on the plane

Row 5: on both layouts, these are at the back of business class and closer to the noise and potential disturbance from Economy. 

5J 5K: these are particularly bad on the international configuration because the only Economy bassinet crib position is immediately behind them. We'd still pick international layout seat 5A over any of the other E, F, J or K seats when travelling alone, though.


John Walton

Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.


15 Apr 2011

Total posts 580

I find the best seat on any 767 is one at the airport waiting for an A330 service...

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