The best seats in business class on Thai Airways' Boeing 747-400

By John Walton, December 20 2011
The best seats in business class on Thai Airways' Boeing 747-400

Flying on one of Thai Airways' Boeing 747-400 planes? Here's our guide to help you pick the best seats in business class on Thai's jumbo jets, which will replace the A340 it currently flies into Sydney from 16 January 2012.

The business class cabin

Thai uses three configurations for its Boeing 747 fleet, with varying degrees of leg room, seat pitch and comfort, but it's not clear which version will be sent to Sydney. Seating also varies from angled lie-flat seats to older recliner-style offerings.

(Take a look at our primer guide on what seat pitch is and how it affects your leg room and personal space if you need a refresher.)

So, we've provided you with a guide for all three Thai configurations. You'll be able to tell which is which by the number of rows of business class. Just take a look at the left-hand side seats (A+B) on the lower deck (starting at row 22):

  • high-density: six rows of A+B seats, 22-27
  • medium-density: five rows of A+B seats, 22-26
  • low-density: four rows of A+B seats, 22-25

We'll split out our seat recommendations accordingly.

High-density configuration

The best seats on the plane

17A 17B 17J 17K: these emergency exit row seats on the upper deck are the best pick: they have extra legroom, the quiet upper deck and are as far as you can get away from the bathrooms and galley kitchens.

22A 22B: a good second best, these emergency exit rows right behind first class might have some noise from the bathrooms to their right, but the extra legroom (and the fact that the window passenger doesn't need to disturb the person in the aisle to get out) makes them a good choice.

11A 11B 11J 11K: these bulkhead seats upstairs have extra legroom and it'll be easier for the window passenger to nip out to the aisle. Bear in mind that they're near the upstairs bathrooms, though, so they won't be as quiet as you might expect.

23E 23F: while these bulkhead seats do have some extra legroom, the F seats are a bit of a lost cause since there's no window, just a wall next to them. They're also right behind the bathrooms.

The worst seats on the plane

Row 27: right next to the downstairs bathroom and the galley kitchens, these seats don't have any redeeming features. Avoid them if you can.

Row 21: similarly, these seats are on the upper deck right next to the stairs and galley kitchen, without any redeeming features either.

Medium-density configuration

The best seats on the plane

16A 16B 16J 16K: these emergency exit row seats on the upper deck are the best pick: they have extra legroom, the quiet upper deck and are as far as you can get away from the bathrooms and galley kitchens.

22A 22B: a good second best, these emergency exit rows right behind first class might have some noise from the bathrooms to their right, but the extra legroom (and the fact that the window passenger doesn't need to disturb the person in the aisle to get out) makes them a good choice.

11A 11B 11J 11K: these bulkhead seats upstairs have extra legroom and it'll be easier for the window passenger to nip out to the aisle. Bear in mind that they're near the upstairs bathrooms, though, so they won't be as quiet as you might expect.

23E 23F: while these bulkhead seats do have some extra legroom, the F seats are a bit of a lost cause since there's no window, just a wall next to them. They're also right behind the bathrooms.

The worst seats on the plane

Row 26: right next to the downstairs bathroom and the galley kitchens, these seats don't have any redeeming features. Avoid them if you can.

Row 19: similarly, these seats are on the upper deck right next to the stairs and galley kitchen, without any redeeming features either.

Low-density configuration

The best seats on the plane

16A 16B 16J 16K: these emergency exit row seats on the upper deck are the best pick: they have extra legroom, the quiet upper deck and are as far as you can get away from the bathrooms and galley kitchens.

22A 22B: a good second best, these emergency exit rows right behind first class might have some noise from the bathrooms to their right, but the extra legroom (and the fact that the window passenger doesn't need to disturb the person in the aisle to get out) makes them a good choice.

11A 11B 11J 11K: these bulkhead seats upstairs have extra legroom and it'll be easier for the window passenger to nip out to the aisle. Bear in mind that they're near the upstairs bathrooms, though, so they won't be as quiet as you might expect.

23E 23F: while these bulkhead seats do have a fair bit of extra legroom, the F seats are a bit of a lost cause since there's no window, just a wall next to them. They're also right behind the bathrooms.

The worst seats on the plane

Row 25: right next to the downstairs bathroom and the galley kitchens, these seats don't have any redeeming features. Avoid them if you can.

Rows 18 & 19: similarly, these seats are on the upper deck right next to the stairs and galley kitchen, without any redeeming features either.

Also in our extensive series on the best seats to pick for your journey:

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.

17 May 2012

Total posts 81

If you are talking about pure space the best seats are 23 E & F on the low density. ( Thats the only config Ive had on over 10 flights SYD_BKK_SYD) 22 A & B second best as its on the exit and virtually no thru trafic in that cabin anyway.


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