Flying in Business and First Class is a luxurious experience, some even more so than others depending on the airline you’re on. From The Residence apartment-like suites on Etihad, showers aboard Emirates, to the onboard bar on Virgin Atlantic—upper class cabins almost never disappoint. Nonetheless, there are always a few carriers that take the top when it comes to business and first class seats. Here are the best ones in both categories based on the Business Traveller Awards. How surprised are you?
Best First Class:
(Image source: Emirates, First Class, A380)
The First Class experience on Emirates is over-the-top. You can sit back and relax in your own private space by sliding the doors closed and sipping on a glass of exclusive wine or champagne. You can always access your personal mini bar beside you if you need another drink to help you unwind.
Once you’re ready to settle into your private space, turn the lights down, choose your film, and enjoy your private cinema. Need to sleep? Turn your seat into a flat bed with a comfortable mattress and plush bedding.
If you’re hungry, you can choose from a mouthwatering à la carte cuisine or a midnight snack whenever the time feels right for you.
How about a shower to freshen you up before you sleep or arrive? Reserve your spot, and pamper yourself exactly how you want to—it’s like having your own apartment 30,000 feet above the clouds.
#2: Singapore Airlines
(Image source: Singapore Airlines, First Class, 777)
Singapore Airlines became the first and only commercial airline with a double bed in the sky. The seat is designed with curved barriers to give you the utmost privacy, and are made with lush seat back cushions to cradle your body. Once you’re ready to catch some zzz’s, extend your seat into a fully flat bed complete with linen, duvet and pillows.
You’ll never have to worry about eating when you don’t want to. Reserve your main course up to 24 hours before your flight, where you can dine on cuisines designed by internationally renowned chefs, in a restaurant setting. Plus, all foods are paired with the finest wines, champagne and spirits.
#3: British Airways
(Image source: British Airways, First Class, 787)
Just recently, British Airways came out with their new first class cabin on their Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners. These beauties were designed with elegance in mind and equipped with your own private suite, a fully flat bed with a mattress and duvet, and five-star dining experience. It’s so slick it feels like you are riding in a $500,000 car.
#4: Etihad Airways
(Image source: Etihad, First Class, A380)
Passengers on Etihad can enjoy their own apartment in the sky, equipped with a wide armchair and a separate 6-foot 10-inch fully-flat bed, all made from the finest leather.
If you’re famished, know that all meals have been created with the freshest ingredients by award-winning chefs. Your private dining experience could include a dish from their ample a la carte menu, a steak cooked as you like from The Grill menu, or something unique from the pantry.
Want to get away? Why not join other passengers in first class in The Lobby—the perfect place for you to relax or socialize. Grab your favorite drink, sit in the comfortable couches, and watch the latest show or game on the large entertainment screen.
Best Business Class:
#1: Qatar Airways
(Image source: Daily Mail, Business Class, A350)
Qatar Business Class is the best in the world, and it should not be a surprise that all passengers are catered to their every need. The seat is designed to bring you the best comfort, and adapt your personal space to suit your needs—regardless if you’ll be sleeping or working on your latest project. If you do decide to rest your eyes, you can do so in ultra-comfortable 100 percent cotton sleeper suits and slippers from The White Company.
Like many airlines, passengers in business class on Qatar can dine on the finest dishes whenever the time is right. Enjoy mouthwatering flavors presented on luxurious table linen and elegant cutlery, all of which make dining with Qatar an unforgettable experience.
#2: Singapore Airlines
(Image source: Singapore Airlines, Business Class, A350)
Singapore Business Class is just as an amazing experience as Singapore First Class. The airline now offers you “two new seating positions—the Lazy Z, a cradling position that ensures your weight is centered and balanced when you’re sitting down, and the Sundeck, a lounging position that extends the base and foot of your seat so you can stretch and rest your legs on the ottoman”. If you’re ready to hit the sheets, you can convert the seat into a fully flat 78-inch bed, complete with luxurious linen, duvet and pillows.
Feeling ravenous? Make sure to use their Book the Cook service, where you can reserve your main course up to 24 hours before your flight. Dine on cuisines designed by internationally renowned chefs in a restaurant setting. Plus, all foods are paired with the finest wines, champagne and spirits.
#3: Cathay Pacific
(Image source: Cathay Pacific, Business Class, 777)
Cathay Pacific prides itself in having one of the best business class experiences. You are given a spacious and comfortable seat that converts into a fully flat bed, which also comes with soft and full pillows and an exquisite duvet to help you ease into a restful sleep. If you’re traveling alone or with a companion, you can adjust the side panel for the right amount of privacy between you and your neighbor.
When breakfast, lunch or dinner is served, you’ll be able to choose from a selection of dishes prepared with locally sourced and sustainable ingredients that are in season. Award-winning selection of wine, beverages and fine chocolates are served with your cuisine as well.
(Image source: Emirates, Business Class, A380)
The Emirates Business Class experience is fit for a prince. The beds can be reclined to a fully flat bed that comes with a comfy mattress and a blanket or duvet that will help you arrive feeling refreshed and ready to conquer the day.
The seat is equipped with a personal mini-bar so you can enjoy a cocktail within reach. When you’re ready to dine, know that all meals are prepared with locally sourced ingredients served on Royal Doulton bone china plates with exclusive Robert Welch cutlery. Pair your meal with fine wine, or choose from their list of complimentary cocktails, champagne, beers, spirits, and more.
And since you’re in the upper-class cabin, you can get away from your seat and join other passengers in The Lobby to relax or socialize. Grab your favorite drink, sit in the comfortable couches, and watch the latest show or game on the large entertainment screen.
#5: Virgin Atlantic
(Image source: Virgin Atlantic, Upper Class, A380)
Virgin Atlantic’s Upper Class cabin is designed to give you the right amount of privacy, regardless if you’re flying for business or pleasure. The comfortable seat converts into a fully flat 6-foot, 6-inch bed, and when you’re ready for a restful sleep, request their turndown service.
Regardless if you’re flying shorter or longer routes, Virgin Atlantic has created a meal service that caters to your body clock with customized meal options. These can include afternoon tea or their flexible Graze menu.
Need a change of scenery? Head over to the bar located in the back of the Upper Class cabin, which will be stocked with drinks and snacks for you to enjoy. It’s the perfect place to socialize with your fellow passengers or travel companion.