I booked a flight from BOM (India) to CPT (Cape Town) with a lay-over at DOH (Qatar) using Qatar Airways. The flight numbers are QR 557 and QR 1369. While making the booking, there is an option of seat-selection which I used, the seats were shown in 3-4-3 configuration. I did see that on the Qatar Airways Wikipedia page that they have both Boeing and Airbus but just like trains, I am guessing there would be the same aircraft which flies the same route. The first hop is a short-haul 3 hour flight while the next one is biggie 9 hour long-haul flight. I also believe this is routinized to a large degree as you need to have the staff, captain and the ground staff intimately familiar with the aircraft for taxing purpose, weight issues (as I read in some other thread) hence would make sense to have familiar aircraft.

I would understand if there is now secrecy about these sort of facts as terrorists knew which airplanes they were on and did take training before doing what they did on 9/11.

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    There's no secrecy: but the exact aircraft will only be selected a few days in advance. However the intended model of aircraft (including the interior cabin design) will be known now, although it could change. Crew can be switched out with no more difficulty than aircraft, they know that there is always a small chance they aren't going where they hoped to go that day.
    – Calchas
    Jun 9, 2016 at 17:42

2 Answers 2


If you go to http://flightstats.com and enter the airline and flight number, you can select a particular day, then select the event timeline tab. On that, you may see an aircraft equipment designation (AEQP), e.g. 77W (Boeing 777-300ER) for QR557 yesterday and 788 (Boeing 787-800) for the QR1369. You can see this for a few days prior to today but have to register an account to see earlier dates.

For future dates, you can usually see what the anticipated aircraft is when you allocate your seat or buy your ticket, but this is subject to change. Viewing the flights on your route might show you how likely the anticipated aircaft is.


The plane being used for a trip will almost always stay the same; the airline will have made precise calculations on how to spread out their fleet, and a change would cause issues with load capacity, passenger capacity, pilot training and is even potentially limited by whether an airport is able to support the plane (the Airbus A380 being an obvious example for this).

TripAdvisor's Seat Guru matched with Flight Aware can be used to find the model of plane that has historically flown under a given flight number (and even future scheduled flights) and then match it to a seating plan. It appears that Seat Guru has even recently updated to allow you to do this from one single site, but I can't do that without knowing when you fly.

Using these sites, we can discover from your flight data that the code QTR557 relates to a Boeing 777-300ER (twin-jet). If comparing this to the Qatar fleet in Seat Guru, we can then see the seating layout for that plane. Your only issue here is that the Qatar fleet has 3 different seating layouts for the B777-300; using your flight details should take you to the correct one however.

I have flown in the Qatar 777 from Doha to Bangkok, and can inform you that I prefer Quatar Airway's Airbus 330s (I prefer the 2-4-2 layout), but the 777 is still a great plane to fly in. Do try and avoid seats A, D and K with the media computer in the footwell however; these are recorded on Seat Guru.

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    I think "almost always stay the same" is too strong. Mechanical problems occur with aircraft quite often, as do scheduling problems caused by aircraft out of position. If ticket sales have been lower or higher than expected then the planners may do a deliberate swap and tolerate the consequences of upgrades/downgrades/offloads. If you use a tool like MyFlights to monitor your bookings, you'll see the intended equipment is certainly not guaranteed.
    – Calchas
    Jun 9, 2016 at 17:37
  • Could you elaborate on your seat selection? A, D and K are probably the best ones to sit in.
    – AKS
    Jun 9, 2016 at 20:50
  • @AyeshK if you had looked at seatguru, at least for A and K it is easy to know the reason as shared above, while you have the window seat for both and that is cool, leg room is sacrificed due to a box for IFE (In-Flight Entertainment) . Also because of curve of the airplane, some area at the armrest area is sacrificed as well. Hence for both those reasons, as you have constricted space, it probably is not a good for a long-haul flight, for short 1 hour flights it hardly would make a difference.
    – shirish
    Jun 9, 2016 at 23:41
  • @shirish D too? It's an aisle.
    – AKS
    Jun 9, 2016 at 23:42
  • 'D' is of course also a question for me as to why it isn't is a good seat. It seems 'D' also has that IFE in the footwell, apart from that, seems good. I did read some reports on seatguru which proclaimed that the IFE box has become smaller over time. If this is true, then with improvements in electronics esp. CPU and GPU, I am sure that annoyance will not be there anymore.
    – shirish
    Jun 9, 2016 at 23:42

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