The 5 Best Airlines for Business Class Airfares

If you haven’t flown business class in a while, you’re in for a pleasant surprise. The major airlines are trying harder than ever to win your loyalty, so you can expect more comfortable seats, luxurious bedding, thoughtfully designed privacy features and stellar service.

Here are five airlines that are going the extra mile in the sky.

Emirates Business Class

The Emirates experience starts long before you strap yourself into your seat and order a drink. When was the last time you were grateful for a long layover? You will be when you see the Emirates business class lounge in Dubai International Airport. There’s a lot to like about it:

  • Gold-plated Rolex clocks
  • Marble floors
  • Numerous bars and restaurants
  • Spa and massage
  • Private rooms designated for sleeping or prayer
  • Conference rooms

On the plane, the seats could be described as semiprivate cubicles with creature comforts. There’s a generous tray to one side for working or enjoying snacks, and a console is provided for watching movies.

Check out the many amenities:

  • Restaurant-quality lunch and dinner
  • International wine list
  • Fine china, utensils, glassware and linens
  • Full-service bar
  • Toiletries kit featuring Bulgari products
  • Large, spotless restrooms
  • Eye mask, socks, and earplugs
  • Fully reclining seat with fluffy mattress and duvet cover

Finnair’s Nordic Business Class

Finnair, which was a class act to begin with, is doing even more to wow its business class passengers.

A redesign has taken the cabin décor to new Nordic heights. The beloved Finnish design company Marimekko has furnished the airline since 2012, but the new seat fabrics, blankets, pillows, tableware, linens and amenity kits are even more sleek and iconic. The planes’ exteriors also sport the colorful, eye-catching patterns. The rich greens and blues are reminiscent of the Northern Lights and Finland’s landscape.

The menu, too, has taken on more Finnish flavor. Look for cinnamon buns and locally-made chocolates rather than peanuts.

A business class ticket will get you all this and more:

  • Priority check-in, security check, and boarding
  • Award-winning meals and fine wines
  • Full-flat seats with privacy features
  • Large, panoramic-view windows
  • Adjustable lighting and color technology for different seasons and times of day
  • Noise level 16 decibels below requirement
  • Onboard duty-free shopping

Nordic design combines luxury and practicality.

Delta One

The headliner here is the sliding privacy door. When you’re seated with the door shut, you’re completely invisible to other passengers. It’s easy to open when you feel like socializing again.

Delta rolled out the new Delta One business class on Airbus A350s, but it has plans to add the spacious, suite-like configurations to its Boeing 777s soon. The cabin design is somewhat futuristic-looking. The vaulted ceiling and oversized windows are nice touches that make the cabin feel spacious and airy.

The full-flat, memory foam seats might be the most comfortable in the skies, and the steel-blue and black color scheme is very conducive to rest. The bed is 24 inches wide and 81 inches long. Snuggle under the oversized duvet, and you’re on your way to sweet dreams.

Delta One has a surprisingly eclectic, chef-curated menu. Seasonal, locally sourced options include pear, pecan, and goat cheese salad, teriyaki beef tenderloin and porcini mushroom soup.

There’s much more to get excited about:

  • Dedicated flight attendant
  • Adjustable ambient lighting
  • 18-inch entertainment monitor
  • Westin Heavenly bedding and hypoallergenic pillows
  • Pajamas, socks and eye mask
  • TUMI amenity kit with Kiehl’s Since 1851 skin-care products
  • 110-volt outlets and USB ports at every seat

Delta has been at this for 85 years and shows no signs of relaxing its high standards.

Turkish Airlines

Turkish Airlines is famous for attentive, personalized service. A flight attendant will set your table for meal service and offer to make your bed.

Another thing that business class travelers appreciate is the generous legroom and ample storage space. In the sleep position, an ottoman connects to the lie-flat seat. There’s plenty of room inside the ottoman for your travel gear.

At mealtimes, an adjustable rotating table is set with a nice tablecloth, cutlery, a bread basket and olive oil for dipping. The finishing touch is a flickering, battery-powered candle. The menu is ambitious. Start with traditional Turkish meze and choose from grilled sea bass, fillet of beef, or red-pepper gnocchi. Your meal will be served with a selection of herbs and spices on the side.

Other conveniences include the following:

  • Predeparture beverage
  • Attractive restrooms with green plants and Molton Brown amenities
  • Complimentary slippers
  • Bentley amenities kit
  • Movies, TV shows, and video games
  • In-chair massage
  • Extra baggage allowance

From lounge to landing, Turkish Airlines has thought of everything.

LATAM Premium Business Class

LATAM boasts comfortable seating, a state-of-the-art entertainment system and an award-winning sommelier.

The seats are more than comfortable in both sitting and sleeping positions, and the distance between seats was recently increased to 74 inches. That’s more than 30 percent more wiggle room than most competitors offer.

Many airlines have removed the overhead bins over the center seats to make the cabin feel more spacious, but LATAM opted to keep them. Passengers appreciate the convenience, and the planes’ bright interiors don’t seem to suffer for it.

You can control the LCD entertainment system by either touch or remote. The movie and music libraries are extensive.

LATAM gets high marks for its friendly, attentive flight attendants. It’s well-reviewed for lavish meal service with choices such as sun-dried tomato soup, spinach-ricotta ravioli, saffron couscous and dulce de leche flan made from scratch for dessert. The wines were selected by Hector Vergara, the only master sommelier in Latin America.

The Boeing 787s have cutting-edge air humidification technology. It keeps the air clean and fresh so that passengers are alert during the day and sleep better at night. The Salvatore Ferragamo goodies include earplugs, a sleep mask and moisturizers.

It’s getting harder to choose the best airline for flying business class, and that’s a good thing.

Sorbis / Shutterstock.com

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