Finding a refurbished business-class seat: TPG reader success story

Feb 9, 2020

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We’ve been asking to hear your travel success and mistake stories to both celebrate and help our TPG U.K. community.

This week, I received an email from Sarah who had been trying to work out what type of seat would await her on her next flight with Qantas.

“I know that Qantas is slowly upgrading the interiors of its A380s, and that so far only three aircraft in the fleet have been upgraded. The upgrade features a significantly improved business-class seat.

I booked a flight home to Australia from London in business classs on a Qantas A380, and was trying to find out in advance whether the particular aircraft operating my flight is one of the reconfigured ones or not. I tried to check on Seat Guru but didn’t find a reliable answer. I also tried calling Qantas customer service from London, but was put on hold forever.

Then I read TPG U.K.’s guide to reading an aircraft seat map and compared this to the map on the Manage my Booking section of the Qantas website. Initially, the seat map showed a 2-2-2 configuration, meaning it was the older style seats. However, I kept checking back closer to my flight and then saw the seat map change to a 1-2-1 configuration, so the refurbished business-class seats were displayed. I rapidly selected 24K (a single seat with the armrest on the aisle side).

I think the key message with the seats is to keep checking. The airline doesn’t notify you (or at least Qantas didn’t) of a change of aircraft, even if you have already made a seat selection. So people who made a very early seat selection on the original aircraft but didn’t revisit it at a later date may have been caught out. But I guess there’s not really a ‘bad seat’ on the refurbished Qantas business class!

I’m boarding shortly — just grabbing a salt and pepper squid at the Qantas Heathrow lounge (TPG’s recommendation, naturally!).”

As Sarah has rightly pointed out, it pays to monitor the seat map for your flight so there are no unwelcome surprises when you are boarding. You can either do this manually, or use a tool like Expert Flyer, which will alert you by email if your scheduled aircraft type changes, or if a preferred seat becomes available. (ExpertFlyer is owned by TPG’s parent company Red Ventures.)

Enjoy your time in Australia, Sarah!

Featured image by Zach Honig/The Points Guy.

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