Five Business-Class Seats That Will Make Your Next Trip Unforgettable
The cost of business-class seats (like airfare) can vary widely by airline, route, and date. Even planes from the same airline can have differing configurations. Some business-class seats can range between $5,000 and $10,000 for a roundtrip ticket, so it’s understandable that discerning travelers will want to make sure that the experience is worth the splurge.
With a little advance homework, you can find yourself in the best business-class seats offered by an airline if you know which routes to book. For example, you’re likely to find the best seats on busy routes to major cities.
For most travelers, there are multiple benefits to business class, including maximum privacy, as well as the ability to work, relax, and rest in a fully flat bed. Not all seats are created equally, and comfort sometimes can come in surprising forms. Finnair’s new business-class seats turned heads since they don’t recline but turned out to be just as comfortable as lounging on a sofa at home.
Here’s how you can maximize your time above the clouds in the best business-class products in the sky.
Qatar Airways Qsuites
Considered one of the best business-class products in the air, Qatar Airways offers Qsuites on most of its long-haul aircraft. They provide a private space behind a sliding door with seats alternating between forward and rearward-facing. There is also the ability to set up a larger suite by combining Qsuites where passengers can dine and chat with one another in sets of either two or four seats. Some can even combine to make a double bed. With dine-on-demand meals, including afternoon tea on fine china, and homemade pasta, bread, and omelets made the day of the flight, Qatar passengers are in for a culinary delight. Other perks include Diptyque amenity kits plus pajamas and slippers for added comfort. Qatar’s Qsuites feel more like first-class, but at a business-class price.
Where to find it: Qsuites are on the airline’s Airbus A350-1000s, as well as some of its Boeing 777-300ERs, 777-200LRs and Airbus A350-900s. Its Airbus A380s and Boeing 787 planes do not have Qsuites, however. Most Qatar Airways flights to North America have Qsuites, but be sure to double check as aircraft routings can change. On planes without Qsuites, the setup does not have as much privacy as having a door separating the seat from the aisle. A good indicator that the plane does not have Qsuites is if the cabin is in a 2-2-2 configuration; QSuite planes only have one seat by the window (a 1-2-1 configuration).
ANA “The Room” business class
While only available on certain aircraft, this is one of the most spacious business-class products flying between Japan and the United States. Sliding doors assure protection from commotion in the aisle, and the seat feels more like a first-class seat with wide shoulder room facing an enormous entertainment screen. Three-dimensional cushioning from Nishikawa is designed to evenly spread body weight for a more comfortable rest.
Seats alternate between facing forward and backward on the plane, but all have ample interior storage space. Laid out in a 1-2-1 configuration, there is a sliding panel in the center section so that couples can sit together. Its Japanese in-flight dining comes from top Michelin-starred chefs and is a favorite of repeat passengers. Luckily, travelers can pre-order one before boarding the plane.
Where to find it: For now, it is operating on flights from the U.S. to Tokyo that use the Boeing B777-300ER aircraft. ANA brands this product as “The Room,” and it’s worth looking for that verbiage if you want to secure this new product. It operates most regularly on flights to and from JFK, but also appears on other routes.
Singapore Airlines business class
If you want to try another of the widest business-class seats in the sky, Singapore Airlines’ Airbus A380s should be top of mind. After tucking into meals designed in partnership with Golden Door Spa, ask a flight attendant to make up the bed with pillows and a duvet. Couples in some of the center-section seat pairs can convert it into a double bed.
Similarly spacious are the seats on the A350-900s operating the airlines’ longest nonstop routes from the U.S. to Singapore, but these seats don’t convert to double beds. Still, all the airline’s other swoon-worthy amenities like its Book the Cook dining service (lobster Thermidor, anyone?) are available.
Where to find it: Only A380 flights, like those between New York JFK and both Frankfurt and Singapore, feature seats that convert to a double bed.
Emirates business class
Emirates has more than one iteration of business class, and its refurbished Airbus A380s have more than just snazzy first-class suites with showers to impress. Its new business class may not have privacy doors, but they do feature leather seats and wood grain surfaces plus a personal, non-alcoholic minibar at each seat.
While meals are not dine on demand, passengers can help themselves to snacks and refreshments in the private bar and lounge at the back of the plane. After all, some of the best business-class seats on ultra-long-haul flights come with an alternative place to sit and relax in a social space. These onboard lounges feature large screens showing sports, a staffed bar with top-shelf beverages, and a menu of food available any time.
Where to find it: Reconfigured A380s are not yet flying to the U.S.—although New York JFK will eventually be the first destination to get them. For now, London Heathrow to Dubai offers these new seats on certain flights. All A380s should be reconfigured by late next year.
Delta One Suites
Delta SkyMiles fans will be happy with Delta One Suites, but you’ll have to know which planes and what routes have the swankiest design. Delta is the only U.S. carrier to offer business-class seats with a door, but they’re only on certain planes.
Among the perks in Delta One Suites are restaurant-quality meals (often in a partnership with well-known chefs at its destinations) and memory-foam cushion seats that transform into a lie-flat bed. Close the door, and it’s like you’re in a private room.
Where to find it: Delta’s Airbus A350s and A330-900neos are most likely to have these private suites whereas Boeing 767-300ER and 767-400ER planes do not. Note that Delta has a subset of A350s (that came from partner airline LATAM) flying to certain destinations like Honolulu and Santiago, Chile, without suites with doors. Luckily, Delta makes it clear on its website by labeling suites with a private door as a “Delta One Suite” versus the standard “Delta One.”