Qantas seat selection tips: Book the best seats!

This article was published some time ago and content may be out-of-date.  Airlines are continually changing their loyalty programs. Always double-check with the airline. 

QantasSeat selection guide

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Overview

Everyone has their Qantas seat selection preferences, so in this guide, we show you how you can best land an aisle, window or exit row when flying with the nation’s favourite airline!

Selecting a great seat on a Qantas flight used to be a much easier task, however, you can still give yourself the best chance by looking at the right time

If you’re selecting a seat, it’s also beneficial to know where the best seats are located.

Guide contents

Qantas Reward Seats

The traditional Qantas points redemption method – individual Classic Reward seats.

oneworld Reward

Redeem a 16 flight, 35,000 mile itinerary from just 140,000 Qantas points. Presents much more value that a standard Classic Reward.

Qantas Points Earn Guide

Find out how to best search for Qantas Reward Seat, including oneworld partners whose inventory isn’t always listed in the qantas.com search engine.

The Qantas seat selection process explained

Domestic

Qantas seat selection on domestic flights is complimentary for all travellers, however, gone are the days of getting in early and securing an exit row for free. Unfortunately, the most desirable seats, which naturally include extra-legroom pews, are blacklisted for those with premium status. Therefore, if you’re not a Platinum or Gold member, your choices will be limited at the initial booking stage. However, there is a fix!

You cannot select seats on regional QantasLink services (only an aisle/ window seat preference, which is free).

Extra legroom seats are available, however, you’ll have to open your wallet. Premium seat selection starts at around $20 for short domestic flights. Learn more in our Qantas seat selection fee section.

International

For international flights, Qantas seat selection is limited to those travelling in Economy on the Red Roo’s ‘Saver’ and ‘Flex’ fares. You’ve booked in Premium Economy, Business or First, you’ll also be able to shuffle yourself around the cabin. Those holding Silver, Gold or Platinum membership can also select their seat at the initial booking step.

Ultimately, this rules out seat free seat selection if you’ve purchased the cheapest Qantas international ‘Sale’ ticket, and don’t hold status above Bronze.

Extra-legroom seats on international flights start at around $60 and can reach over $200 for long-haul trips. Learn more in our Qantas seat selection fee section.

Qantas seat selection fee structure

Here’s the Qantas current seat selection fee structure. As you can see, seat selection is complimentary for all domestic journeys.

Seat selection on Qantas international flights is free for all ‘Saver’ and ‘Flex’ tickets, however, if you’ve booked Qantas’ cheapest ‘Sale’ fare (and you’re not a Silver frequent flyer member or above) you’re up for a small fee.

You can also pay for Qantas seat selection with Qantas points. We don’t recommend this, however, as it offers poor redemption value.

Sale Sav/Flex Extra-Leg
Domestic Free Free Frm $20

(3,000pts)

Int.short

NZ

Frm $15

(2,000pts)

Free Frm $25

(3,500pts)

Int.med

Asia, UAE

Frm $35

(4,500pts)

Free $80

(12,000pts)

Int.long

UK, US

Frm $35

(4,500pts)

Free $160

(23,500pts)

Qantas seat selection: Try again closer to departure

Qantas now heavily restricts their desirable seats, which include ‘up-front’ seats and the always-in-demand exit rows. These extra-legroom seats are made exclusively available to Qantas Frequent Flyer members with Gold or Platinum status. For everyone else, Qantas seat selection is unfortunately restricted to the back of the plane.

The Flying Kangaroo usually holds onto premium seats until the days leading up until departure. This ensures that customers with premium status have the flexibility to choose their position. If these seats are not selected by high-status customers, they may be released to Silver and Bronze members.

The golden rule? Search often, in the week prior to your departure (up until 24 hours before your flight, when seat selection closes for everyone). You might get lucky.

Qantas seat selection - 80 hours

Give yourself the best chance of selecting a desirable seat by searching in the week leading up to your departure

Qantas seat selection online

During your initial booking (Qantas website)

If you’d like to select a different seat during your initial booking, simply follow the prompts (it’s on the third booking screen) and select your seat from the seat map. You’ll see your available seat selection options, including any premium seats that require additional payment (along with the price to select them).

Qantas does not charge any premium for seat selection, however, if you’re not a Platinum or Gold member, your choices will be limited. For extra-legroom seats, you’re looking at between $20 (Domestic) and $200 (long-haul International).

Step #1

After you have selected your flights via the Qantas search, click through to ‘Passengers’. Towards the bottom of this screen, click on the ‘Select Seats’ button.

Qantas seat selection - booking - stage 1a

Qantas seat selection - booking - stage 1b

Step #2

The plane’s seat map will now appear, along with the seat selection fees for each seat zone. Below’s example is a domestic flight, so standard seat selection is complimentary, and extra legroom seats are $20. Select your desired seat and press the ‘Confirm’ button to return to your booking.

Qantas seat selection - booking - stage 2 - seat map screen

Step #3

All done! Continue our booking via the payment screen. Remember, you can change your seats after booking, up until 24 hours before scheduled departure.

During your initial booking (online travel agent)

You generally can’t change your seat when purchasing via an online travel agent (like Webjet, Aunt Betty or STA Travel). However, you can manage your seat selection preferences after booking by logging on to the Qantas website. Learn more here.

After booking seats

If you’ve already booked a seat, you can open your reservation by logging in to your Qantas Frequent Flyer account online (or, if you’re not a Frequent Flyer member, by using your booking reference number). You can manage your seat selection for any Qantas coded (QF flight #) flight. This includes Qantas flights purchased via online travel agents (like Webjet, Aunt Betty or STA Travel).

Step #1

Simply navigate to your booking and click ‘Manage’. From here, go to ‘Seats’ and click on ‘Change Seats’.

Step #2

The plane’s seat map will now appear, along with the seat selection fees for each seat zone. Below’s example is a long-haul flight (the popular QF1 Sydney – London A380 service). In this example, we booked a ‘Saver’ fare, so standard seat selection is complimentary, and extra legroom seats are $160. This is pretty reasonable if you can find a good seat, especially given a similar seat configuration (Premium Economy fare) is at least $1,000 more expensive! On the A380, aim for the exit rows in rows 51 or 66 or 24 on the upper deck (avoid row 79 as it’s near the refreshment bar).

Select your desired seat and press the ‘Confirm’ button to return to your booking.

Qantas seat selection -after booking - stage 1 - seat map screen

Remember to check the Qantas seat selection page at the 80-hour mark to give yourself the best shot at selecting a desirable spot!

What are the best seats on Qantas flights?

Jump straight to:

We all want the exit row, and on Qantas operated domestic and international flights, the popular seating location can add a valuable 3-4 inches to your legroom!

Unfortunately, you’ll have to pay for the privilege. Qantas seat selection will set you back between $20 (short domestic flights) and $160 (long international flights). You can select these seats when booking your fare on the Qantas website, or at a later stage. Depending on your height, this could still be a good deal.

The best way to check the overall quality of any Qantas seat, including just how much additional room you’ll score, is SeatGuru.com. Let’s say we want to find the best seats onboard a Qantas A380 flight to London. Simply locate the Qantas A380 seat map and hover over each seat!

In this example, seat 66A features additional legroom. However, there’s also a note about its proximity to the restroom (travellers passing frequently). SeatGuru.com also allows user comments. These can be very helpful, as you can read real-world reviews of the seats you’re considering!

Read on for direct links to the most popular Qantas domestic and international aircraft. You can locate your aircraft by clicking on the flight number in your Qantas search results.

For example, this flight from Sydney to London is QF1.

If we click on QF1, the ‘Flight Information’ popup appears. We can then locate the aircraft, in this case, the A380-800.

Best Qantas seats on domestic flights

SeatGuru.com reviews every seat onboard the most frequently operated Qantas domestic flights. Select your aircraft to begin your search.

Best Qantas seats on international flights

SeatGuru.com‘s database reviews every aboard Qantas international flights. Select your aircraft to begin your search. You can locate your aircraft by clicking on the flight number in your Qantas search results.

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4 Comments. Leave new

  • I would like to book a window seat in the last row of all my flights from London Heathrow to Brisbane e-ticket number [DELETED]. For some reason it’s charging me a lot of money for this. I have been flying to Australia on a number of airlines and this is the first time I have this problem. Merle Frew

    Reply
    • Just for future reference Merle, not usually wise to put personal name, flight route, and ticket number publicly online.

      Reply
  • Hi, I’m wondering if anyone got any info on whether I can select my seat during online check-in (24h prior to departure) for free with an international Sale Fare ticket? I understand that there’s a fee if I want to select the seats before the check-in opens, but the info on complimentary seat selection during check in is a bit vague on Sale Fare tickets. Thanks!

    Reply
    • flyerpoints.com.au
      July 10, 2018 8:16 am

      Hi Samantha, you should be able to select your seats when checking in online (not via the app). However, it’s likely that there won’t be much available.

      Reply

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