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How to improve your seat on a Qantas flight 80 hours before departure

Selecting the best possible seat on a flight is an important part of getting ready to travel.

Those of us who spend a lot of time in the air tend to have a strong preference for where we sit (unlike the less-frequent traveller, perhaps), and that’s typically near the front of the cabin next to the aisle or window – and never in a middle seat!

When you fly with Qantas, you can usually choose your seat during the booking process. But as savvy frequent flyers know, by reviewing your seat choice 80 hours before departure, you may be able to significantly improve your position in the cabin.

This opportunity arises because Qantas restricts access to certain parts of the cabin to elite frequent flyers until close to departure.

The most sought-after seats at the front are usually reserved for platinum-level customers and above, while the next few rows are accessible to gold status holders and above, with silver and bronze members only able to select seats further back.

Those restrictions are usually lifted 80 hours before a flight, which means all passengers can access the seats that remain unallocated.

If you want to get the best possible seat, that’s the time to review your options.

I have gold status with Qantas, so I can almost always select a decent seat when booking. Despite that, I still check what’s available 80 hours before departure.

It’s a habit, and it often serves me very well.

For example, there have been occasions when the aircraft has changed after I initially booked, and Qantas has reallocated me to an undesirable seat.

Even if the aircraft hasn’t changed, the airline has previously moved me to accommodate someone else (a celebrity, on one occasion, who I won’t name!)

The point is, if you wait until check-in, not only may you discover that you have a bad seat, but by then there may be no other good options left. So set a reminder for 80 hours before departure to maximise your shot at a comfortable flight.

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  1. I’ve been doing this for years with all airlines and it mostly works a treat. You’ve now let the cat out of the bag! Lol

  2. Hi Kris
    Just did q’a training update and seats allocated once tickets issued via NDC pac can’t change seats. Doesn’t make sense but that’s what the training said. Anynideas


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