These airlines take ‘Business Class’ to the next level.
The competition for the best business class has never been tougher. Airlines are upgrading their suites to offer the most luxurious extras to entice more passengers into the luxury cabins, and with most of us feeling like booking a holiday as soon as travel restrictions are lifted, why not consider giving yourself an upgrade on one of these luxury airlines.
Business travel is becoming increasingly popular with passengers looking to relax in top-tier style, for mid-tier prices. Earlier this year, Asiana, the South Korean airline, overhauled their business class offering by completely removing the first class seats to increase the number of business class passengers on board – while still offering many of the same services enjoyed previously by those in first class.
Here’s a look inside some of the best business class cabins from around the world.
Singapore Airlines A350
Comfort doesn’t get much better than this. With some of the widest seats in the skies, Singapore Airlines’ business class cabin is good enough to rival many first class cabins. Available on their new A350 aircraft, and some A380 aircrafts, you’ll be able to get plenty of sleep thanks to the flat bed and excellent privacy; it’s like a hotel room in the sky.
The seating configuration is 1-2-1 in business class, and in fact on the A350 there’s no economy seating at all. The cheaper seats are the premium economy, situated behind the business class area.
Food can be pre-booked online prior to your flight, to ensure you don’t miss out on your preferred dish. A popular lunch time meal on board Singapore Airlines is the lobster, of course.
Etihad Business Class Studio A380
Unlike Singapore Airlines, there’s no closing doors on board Etihad’s business class seating, however the comfort of the seat is enough to send you asleep as soon as you settle down, so chances are you won’t notice any lack of privacy anyway.
The good news is Etihad Studio Suites are available on the majority of Etihad’s fleet, not just a few aircrafts. Passengers on the A380 aircraft can enjoy use of a manned bar area too.
Storage by your seat is plentiful, with cupboards running alongside the entire length of your cabin, leaving you with lots of legroom.
The menu consists of a choice of starters including Arabic mezze, which is a delicious selection of hot and cold food. That’s followed by a large selection of mains, including seared salmon served with roast potatoes. If you’ve got room for dessert try the indulgent chocolate soufflé.
EVA Air Royal Laurel Class Boeing 777-300ER
This multi-award winning class is one of the lesser known on our list, but certainly one that won’t leave you with any complaints.
Their long-haul “Royal Laurel” suites boast 26” wide seats, set up in a 1-2-1 reverse herringbone formation and are good enough to rival many first class cabins. Passengers are greeted with a selection of magazines and newspapers just before boarding the aircraft – a nice touch not offered by every airline.
You’re certain to get a good night’s sleep thanks to the complimentary Apujan pyjamas. Not to mention the Rimowa amenity kit – little extras normally reserved only for those in the most expensive seats.
On the menu you’ll find a starter of smoked salmon served with goose liver moose. There are no less than 15 main dishes to choose from, including a prime beef steak, which can be pre-ordered online prior to flying. A cup of coffee and a vanilla mousse fruit cake complete the three-course meal.
Regarded by many as the best in the world, Emirates’ latest offering on the A380 has all you’d expect and more from the Dubai-based carrier.
Passengers have no less than three of their own window seats to stare out of, each of which has a motorised blind for when you’re ready to get some shut-eye. That is of course, if you can tear yourself away from the state-of-the-art entertainment system offering the latest in movies, TV shows and music on your very own big screen.
Open arrival, guests are handed a drink and a large menu ahead of a first-class three course meal coming your way, (the spicy Malwani chicken is the number one choice for most) which you can enjoy with a selection of drinks from your very own minibar. If you want to stretch your legs there’s a full in-flight bar to enjoy too.
Japan Airlines 777-300ER
At first glance Japan Airlines’ business class doesn’t appear to offer anything that unique, however once you take a seat in one of the Apex Suites, you’ll understand why it’s one of the best around. Space and privacy. Unlike other configurations every seat has aisle access and the lie-flat seats are an impressive 25.5” wide.
The size of each seat and the layout mean it’s the closest thing to flying on a private jet, on a commercial airline. You barely have to see another passenger for the duration of your flight, unless you want to that is.
There are different menus for different cuisines. On the Western menu you’ll find favourites like Wagu beef, snow crab and lobster. Desert is a choice of ice cream or a cheese board.
Cathay Pacific 777
Food in business class is generally miles better than that in economy, and if Asian dishes are your thing, then this is the business class for you. Passengers have a plentiful selection of mouth-watering Hong Kong classics, including dim sum, noodles and seafood to choose from making sure you arrive at your destination ready to go.
Also impressive is the in-flight entertainment and storage space, meaning you can watch the latest movies stretched out in comfort on the lie-flat seat. Even up-right there’s a lot of legroom when you’re not ready for bed, and the TV pops out so you can angle it however you like.
In terms of the layout, Cathay Pacific’s business class is a 1-2-1 configuration, which is smaller than other aircrafts so ultimately there are less people you’re sharing the space with. Beds are 21” wide and 81” long and set at an angle facing the window.
Virgin Australia – The Business
The 80” lie-flat seat is the product of years of design and development in this private suite, which allows you to fully recline from the moment you reach your seat. Those sat in the middle have a retractable screen for added privacy. A night’s sleep isn’t complete without a set of comfy pyjamas – designed by Australian fashion designer Juli Grbac.
On board you’ll find a fully manned bar where you can sit and enjoy a drink with fellow travellers, while back at your seat, the large touchscreen monitor offers the latest movies and games to keep you occupied.
The cabins are not the most private of all the business class airlines in the world but the seats do have a wrap-around headrest giving the illusion of privacy when you’re sat down.
QANTAS Business Suite A380
Last year Qantas gave its A380 business class a facelift, which is now available on its 787 Dreamliner’s and Airbus A330s adding a new level of luxury to the airline. What’s new? Mainly the level of comfort. The redesigned seats can be fitted with a comfy mattress so the chances are you won’t want to stand up at all during your flight.
The improved layout of your cabin means you can eat, work, sleep or watch the inflight entertainment in complete comfort, and you’ll have aisle access no matter what seat you’re in thanks to the 1-2-1 configurations.
British Airways Club Suite
You’ll find the latest offering from BA on its new A350s and a select number of Boeing 777s, and you won’t be disappointed with the offering. You’ll be enjoying the in-flight entertainment on the 18.5” flat screen with noise-cancelling headphones.
There are also privacy screens separating you from the person next to you so there’s no need to worry about any awkwardness with your neighbour. The table for working, or eating, pulls out from underneath the big-screen TV, making it easy to get in and out of your pod without knocking things off the table – which can happen in other business class suites.
Food on board is served from a world-class menu, fine-dining dishes like Scottish smoked salmon is offered alongside British classics like a traditional English breakfast and tea and scone.
Oman Air Boeing 787
It’s been called the most underrated Business Class in the world, outshining many other airlines’ first class offering – according Oman Air themselves that is. So does it deliver?
Yes, in a nutshell.
Beds are fully flat measuring 77.5” long and 22” wide so there’s no complaints about the size. There’s also plenty of charging option with two USB sockets per seat, along with a 17” monitor to watch the in-flight entertainment on.
Guests each receive an Amouage kit with a selection of moisturisers and creams, along with pyjamas and slippers on long-haul flights. Dinner is served with a selection of a la carte cuisine choices from around the world, served on newly designed dinnerware. This includes Massaman curry, king prawns and seared tuna. There’s also an extensive vegetarian menu too.
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