*Qantas does not fly directly to Tokyo (Haneda) Airport from Brisbane.
The 28 business class seats on the A330-300 are arranged in a 1-2-1 configuration and provide aisle access from all seats. Each seat folds down into a completely flat bed and has a side table with pull-out dining table, storage under the side table for larger items and above the table for smaller personal items, a mirror, personal lamp and USB charging points.
The ability to recline the business class seat to a preset reclining position during taxiing, takeoff and landing is an outstanding feature. This made for a comfortable trip from the moment we sat down, and was much appreciated on the evening flight. Because of this reclining option, it is necessary to attach a belt to the waist belt during takeoff and landing.
TIP: Press and hold the button until your seat is firmly locked into the preset reclining position; then the green light on the side of your seat will illuminate – you will be prompted to sit up if the light is not illuminated.
Row 1 or close to it is a good choice for evening flights, as the galley is in the back of the cabin. Despite being close to the crew area and cockpit, there was very little movement in the front of the aircraft throughout the trip. Row 7, on the other hand, might be a bit more restless, as both the restroom and galley are located behind it.
Rows 1, 3, 5 and 7 – in aisle seats. This arrangement provided a larger storage area for personal items under the side table than other seats. During the day, sitting directly on the aisle was not a problem, but since there is no side screen and little buffer between you and the aisle, this may not be the preferred choice for overnight flights (this also applies to middle seats with the same arrangement).
Rows 2, 4 and 6 – true window seats. You do have a slightly smaller storage area under the table, but this configuration provides more privacy to the aisle and a buffer between you and passersby, a potential benefit for passengers who want to sleep.
Like the window seats, the two middle seats are alternately located directly on the aisle (1E, 2F, 3E, 4F, 5E, 6F, 7E) or with a side table between you and the aisle (1F, 2E, 3F, 4E, 5F, 6E, 7F). In 1F, the positioning of the side table for the neighboring seat 1E made me feel like I had a table on either side of me. If you are sitting in an aisle seat, be aware that your seatmate may accidentally bump into your table.
If you’re traveling with a partner or colleague, it’s important to note that the privacy screen between seats is not movable. Although it is only a half privacy screen, this makes it difficult to interact with your seatmate, but allows for a good rest and relaxation.
See the full seating plan for Qantas’ A330-300 here.
Qantas’ business class service is among the best in the industry. From the warm and welcoming greeting upon boarding to the cabin manager personally visiting each seat to thank each passenger and shake their hand.
Once on board, we were immediately asked if we would like a drink, including champagne, and our food order was taken shortly thereafter. Shortly after takeoff from Brisbane, the crew offered to put mattresses on our seats to make us more comfortable during the flight, even though it was a day flight to Tokyo (Narita). On both flights, the staff responded to the call signal in seconds and fulfilled every request promptly and graciously; there was no 5 to 10 minute wait for a drink or snack.
The Business Class amenity package is presented in a zippered pouch featuring artwork by one of 16 Australian artists. It includes an eye mask in the same design, earplugs, socks, toothbrush and toothpaste, and a kit from ASPAR with lip balm, facial moisturizer and hand cream.
Qantas’ sleep suits have improved significantly since my last pair, which I received in early 2016. The newer style of pajamas appear to be made of a softer material and stretchy, and have a slightly more generous fit that provides total comfort. You only receive a set of the coveted Qantas pajamas if you take an evening/night flight.
There are two lavatories available exclusively in the business class cabin, one in the front of the aircraft next to the cockpit and one in the rear; when selecting your seat, note that it is located directly behind seat 7K, next to the galley.
Each seat is equipped with a large entertainment screen that is operated via the touch screen or a small wired remote control in the side table. Business class passengers also enjoy noise-canceling headphones, so our conversation was never interrupted by cabin noise.
Qantas offers a wide selection of new and recently released Hollywood and international movies, as well as movie and television box sets, a selection of various comedy, drama, documentary and reality television series – Japanese cinema and television were also prominent on our flights to and from Tokyo.
Food and Drinks
Food orders are taken before or shortly after departure to ensure you receive your meal on time. You can also order food and snacks from the menu during the flight.
The menus, designed by the well-known Neil Perry restaurant Rockpool, featured a choice of three to four main dishes, entrees and desserts. Traditional Japanese options for each of the three courses were also available on the flight from Tokyo.
Dinner was served about an hour after takeoff. The food on board was delicious and thoughtfully presented on the plate. The portion sizes of the main courses were impressive for an in-flight restaurant, and these were the only long flights where I didn’t ask for several snacks or another main course.
Champagne and a variety of wines, spirits and aperitifs were available throughout the flight, and the beverage cart is brought through the cabin shortly after takeoff. Sake is also available on flights to and from Japan, but please note that only three to four small bottles are loaded per flight.
After the food service, the wine cart and sommelier offered a range of drinks from champagne to handpicked Australian wines with suggestions on what would pair best with our meals; the champagne and shiraz were both fantastic.
TIP: The cabin crew pointed out that on select flights with Menu Select, you can also pre-select meals so you can take care of everything before boarding.
Qantas Business Class passengers enjoy full lounge access to Qantas Business Class lounges, where available; in locations without a dedicated Business Class lounge, they have access to the standard Qantas lounge. Qantas frequent flyers on Platinum and Platinum One levels can also use the Qantas First Lounge, if available.
Overall, our stay in Qantas A330-300 Business Class was very pleasant, with the friendly and prompt Qantas service particularly standing out. I would recommend selecting seat configuration and position based on day or night flights and desired storage space at seat level.
The Qantas A330 (200 and 300) currently operates international flights from Australia to Asia, Hawaii and major domestic destinations.