Discover the airlines with the best business class

by Visagov | April 24, 2020
seats in an airplane

Would you like to discover the best business class airlines? If you are an avid traveller you'll already now that many airlines have frequent-flyer programs designed to encourage airline customers to accumulate points (also called kilometers, miles or segments) which may then be redeemed for air trips or other kind of rewards.

If you need to travel to long distance destinations as US, Canada or Asian countries (Singapore, United Arab Emirates, etc.), you will need to find out which business class airline suits you best.

Which are the top best business airline loyalty programs?

These are the top airline loyalty programs, according to a study carried out by Forbes magazine:

JetBlue Airways TrueBlue

This program is oriented to travellers based in East Coast cities of the US, who mainly fly domestically and to the Caribbean. Members earn points for every dollar spent on JetBlue flights and JetBlue Vacations packages, as well as on flights booked with seven partner airlines, hotels, car rentals and purchases with retail partners.

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan

The Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan is oriented to those who travel to Alaska, West Coast cities, major transportation hubs like Atlanta and New York City, and other destinations in Canada, Costa Rica and Mexico. With this plan, you can earn miles on every flight you take with Alaska Airlines, and also with its 18 partner airlines, including American Airlines, Emirates and British Airways. 

Delta Air Lines SkyMiles

This plan is handy for frequent flyers based in big United States cities like Atlanta, Detroit, Los Angeles, Minneapolis and Seattle, and for passengers who often travel to and from New York City. By becoming a member you'll earn miles based on the amount you pay for your flight with Delta, Delta Connection or Delta Shuttle; and also when flying with any of Delta's partner airlines, which include KLM, Air France and Virgin Atlantic among others.

airplanes stationed in an airport

Where can we find the best business class seats?

Since some airlines around the world are pulling back on offering First Class seats for passengers, the competition for business class passengers is high. These are some of the best business class airlines you can fly with:

Eva Air

Taiwan based EVA Air Business class is named ‘Royal Laurel Class’ and provides passengers with comfortable sleeping space, free from disturbances. The onboard EVA’s B777s and B787s are configured in a reverse herringbone 1-2-1 layout to maximize the space. Fixed panels help to create your own personal area and by pushing one button, each seat converts into a nice long bed.

Singapore Airlines

Singapore Airlines has always been considered one of the most luxurious airlines and its business class does not disappoint. Its carrier’s Business Class seats on its A350 and B777 aircraft are the widest in the world (30 inches or 75 cm) and a large back shell on every seat creates a cocoon-like feel for more privacy while the central divider can be fully lowered to form double beds.

Ethiad Airways

The national carrier of the United Arab Emirates does not fail to impress either. The Business Studios on Etihad’s A380s and 787 Dreamliners can be customized to suit every stage of the journey in a stylish, simple and functional manner. The cabin has a unique dovetail design with facing seats that creates a sense of space and freedom, with direct aisle access and convenient storage spaces. 

Which airline has the best business class?

Qatar Airways’ business class seat continues to be on top of most best business class airlines rankings of the world. It has been dubbed “First In Business”. The airline raised the bar with the unveiling of its revolutionary Qsuites three years ago. These were the first suite-style business-class seats ever, complete with closing doors and layouts that could be configured into four-person family rooms, work areas and even double beds.

However, the Japanese airline ANA is ready to bring some competition. Asides from reasonable prices for a business class seat, particularly between certain airports in Europe to South-East Asia, passengers can expect to receive a first-class experience. ANA’s new business class seats look and feel huge, with a closing door similar to the Qsuites. 

plane ready to board people on

Which airline has the worst business class?

We have done our research and, according to websites like Air Travel Analysis or The Points Guy, the dubious honour goes to United Boeing 777-200 “Polaris”. The airline crams eight business class seats into a row on the same plane. While the seats do lie flat, passengers are squeezed into groups of four in the middle of the rows that are arranged 2-4-2. Fortunately, United is retrofitting their 777-200s with their new Polaris seats.

How to fly first class for cheap?

Not such a long time ago, a “surprise” flight upgrade wasn’t as rare as it is today. In fact, if you travelled enough, it was just a matter of time before you were rewarded with one of those. Nowadays, is way harder than it used to be. The procedure for getting upgrades has become almost 100 percent automatic and hands-off, and with all flights being full in both cabins, chances are pretty limited. Still, it’s not impossible. You will have more chances if you try selecting a less-popular flight, like the first one of the mornings, or the overnight one, as they tend to be emptier. 

Also, if you fly frequently with the same airline, your options will definitely increase. High mile/point travellers are the first eligible for most upgrades. An airline credit card will allow you to rack up miles too, including sign-up bonuses, that you can apply toward upgrades.

Finally, if your itinerary is botched or implodes for some reason, particularly if it affects only you and no other passengers, pleasantly, but firmly let the gate agents know that if an upgraded seat is available on your rebooked flight, you would greatly appreciate getting it. Your chances will never be higher.