Why the Upper Deck of the 747 is Worth Your Attention!


Starting the ‘Round the World’ Adventure with the 747

As I left the Qantas first class lounge I was incredibly excited that this amazing round the world experience was about to start.  In a few short minutes I would be on the Qantas 747 upper deck in business class. What a fantastic way to start the journey!

Awaiting me was an intimate cabin with only 18 seats on the jumbo, the Queen of the skies. Excitement overload!

747 Business Class Configuration – Why It Matters

Qantas business class on the 747 is located over the upper and lower decks. On the lower deck the seating is in a 2-3-2 configuration.  I wouldn’t be keen to be stuck in one of the middle seats  there, especially on a long flight like this!

On the upper deck it is a much better, 2-2 layout and in a far more private cabin.  Consequently I was so glad I had made the choice to sit on the upper deck!


When I arrived at my window seat, in the exit row, an enormous amount of legroom and plenty of storage space awaited me.

The Qantas 747 Welcome

I was warmly welcomed by the two cabin crew working the cabin. They allowed me to settle in, then offered me a drink so I chose champagne! The crew made everyone feel welcome in this beautiful cabin.

Of course I knew coming into this experience that Qantas’ business class was quite old in it’s design and layout. There really is no comparison to many of the newer Middle Eastern and Asian airlines offering a far better product.  Even with this knowledge I was still interested to see how it would stack up.

On the 12 hour flight the seat was extremely comfortable especially when reclined.  It provided a large amount of privacy from your seat mate, making for a pleasant experience.  As a result of this design feature, if you happen to be seated next to a someone you don’t know, you still maintain privacy.


Qantas 747 Comfort

Qantas provides a good sized pillow and a nice comforter to use on the flight. In this business class set-up the television monitor comes out from the seat, as does the tray table. The tray table is sturdy so I was able to work on my laptop comfortably during the flight.

There’s a useful privacy divider located between the seats, and when you have your seat reclined, you can’t even see the passenger in the seat next to you.  So the 2-2 configuration in this cabin worked very well from that perspective.


There were multiple controls to adjust the seat, including a massage function, all available in the armrests of the seat.

Qantas is one of the few airlines that still offers pyjamas in business class.  However, I didn’t particularly like the look of this new brand. While the pyjamas were presented beautifully wrapped up in ribbon, they somehow still looked a little cheap.

Noise cancelling headphones and a small amenities kit were also provided, although neither was very high-quality. The 747 still provides air vents above your seat. I value this as I find many cabins these days are almost always too warm.

Soon after takeoff passengers are provided with a mattress protector for the seat, which gives you an added level of comfort for sleeping.

The Good Stuff – Qantas Food and Drink

Menus were presented and drink orders were taken not long into the flight. I decided to start with a Bloody Mary before going onto wine with my soup and tortillas. I was  really starting to get into the mood for South America!

Qantas offers a good range of drinks in their business class cabins. Starting with Jacquart Champagne , which I enjoy, through to a good range of Australian red and white wine.

Two meals were served on the flight.  Lunch shortly after take off, then near the end of the flight, breakfast was served before arrival into Santiago.

Rest and Relaxation on the 747

For the majority of the flight the cabin lights were dimmed, which made it perfect for resting, sleeping, watching a movie, or just relaxing.  Bearing in mind the time difference, which has the flight arriving into Santiago on the same day, but actually before you had left Australia time wise.

This makes getting into the time zone of your destination quite challenging.

When it came time for sleeping, I found the reclined position of the bed, which is fully flat, to be very comfortable and quite private. I was able to sleep well for a few hours. Adding to this of course, is the quietness of this cabin.   As you only have a limited number of people around you, and not much movement in the aisle, the cabin was more conducive to rest and sleep.

Downstairs I’m sure there was more noise, and perhaps more sleep disturbance in the larger business class cabin.

The crew were attentive with regular drink refills and helped make sure everyone was as comfortable as possible.


Expert Traveller Recommends..

It’s a real joy to fly on the 747 and Qantas do an excellent job of making you very comfortable in business class on the upper deck. There won’t be many more years left of these beauties flying, as many airlines are starting to retire them.  Qantas is planning to slowly phase them out as the Dreamliner comes into operation.

Although the Qantas 747 business class product is a little dated, I found it to be very comfortable and certainly one I would more than happily use again in the future.

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