28 Best Business-Class Airlines

Are you a company or frequent business traveler searching for the best business class seats? Travelers are increasingly choosing to fly business class instead of reserving more expensive (and not necessarily better) first-class tickets. Business-class tickets range around $3000-$5000, depending upon factors like when you book, special discounts, and which carrier you choose. However, frequent flyers can pay significantly less by redeeming points and taking advantage of last-minute cancellations.

The demand for business class travel has provoked airlines to vastly improve their international business class seats. So, we’ve researched all of the world’s best business-class products so you can choose the highest quality business-class airlines.

If you get the opportunity to fly business class, you can expect some of the following perks from the top international airlines: 

  • Privacy
  • Gourmet food
  • Comfortable lie-flat seats or private suites
  • Practical cabin configurations
  • Airport and inflight business-class lounge access
  • Direct aisle access
  • Window seats
  • Stylish design and finishes
  • A wide range of routes 
  • Enhanced amenity kits
  • Ability to use earned points
  • Friendly and attentive service
  • Competitive prices
  • High availability of business class seats

So, without further ado, here is our list of the 28 best business-class airlines for international passengers. 

Air Canada

Air Canada’s Signature Class features a business-class cabin with a standard 1-2-1 reverse herringbone configuration. The seat is 21” wide by 75-78” long and comes with a plush mattress pad, duvet, and pillow. The amenity kits include a range of useful products, and the food appeals to Canadian and stateside tastes. 

Unfortunately, Air Canada has no inflight Wi-Fi and offers a limited awards program on its most popular routes.

Air France

For transatlantic travel, you can’t beat Air France’s business class. You’ll have plenty of business-class products to choose from on the company’s 777 planes. The reverse herringbone 1-2-1 arrangement allows for 21.5” x 61” seats. 

The airline provides a thick duvet and pillow with an amenity kit featuring Clarins toiletries. Inflight catering is impressive with exquisite French cuisine.

Air France maintains one of the best awards programs in the industry with partnerships with Chase, Citi, Marriott, and American Express.

Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand offers comfortable business-class seats that lie flat with cozy bedding. Customers consider the food and beverage program similar to other business-class offerings. 

You’ll find herringbone 1-2-1 arrangements on the company’s 777s and incredibly private seats on their 1-1-1 configured cabins on the 787 airplanes. The seats of both business class cabins measure 22” wide by 80” long when adjusted to sleep mode. The most significant customer complaint is the diagonal orientation of the seats, which face away from the windows. 

Your flight attendant will need to help you convert your seat but will also provide you with a comfortable mattress pad, duvet, and pillow. Amenity kits feature Antipodes products, and the case fits iPads perfectly.

Drawbacks include a dated 12” entertainment screen and only 1-2 dates per year when you can book a business class seat with rewards points.

All Nippon Airways (ANA)

All Nippon Airways won Nerdwallet’s award for Best Business-Class Seats. ANA’s new business class suite, “The Room,” emerged to rave reviews. The suite offers plenty of space, privacy, and direct aisle access. Details like the lighting system, artfully designed tray table, and 24-inch 4K screen delight travelers. The amenity kits feature products from France’s popular L’Occitane brand.

You’ll find The Room business class cabins on ANA’s Boeing 777-300ER airplanes. Renowned Japanese architect Kengo Kuma and British designers from Acumen created the suites to replicate modern Japanese living areas. The international business class seats can be converted into several positions to accommodate couples, families, or inflight business meetings. 

American Airlines

American Airlines offers a solid business-class flight experience. The company has improved upon its Admirals Club lounges, including better meals and more attentive service. Customers seem especially pleased with American Airlines’ top-notch entertainment systems and reliable Wi-Fi. 

Asiana Airlines

Asiana Airlines travels between the United States and Asia on A350 airplanes. While clients say that the seats are comfortable and the crew is attentive, some travelers complain about the entertainment system and so-so meals.

British Airways

British Airways Club World offers suites for business class clients that conform to the “Yin/Yang” seat plan, which is basically a reverse herringbone configuration with the addition of a door. All of the suites provide plenty of privacy for relaxing, working, or sleeping during your flight.

Perks include comfy seats and bedding, world-class catering, and elegant amenity kits. British Airways Club Suites on its A350 planes have a privacy door, fully lie-flat seats, a mirrored vanity, and 18.5-inch entertainment screens. Passengers flying business class will find these seats on British Airways A350s, 787s, and some 777s.

Cathay Pacific Airways

Based in Hong Kong, Cathay Pacific offers popular business-class cabins on its A350 planes. Cabins come with comfortable beds, duvets, and pillows. A 1-2-1 herringbone arrangement allows for seats over 2 meters long, including a 6.5-inch extension for sleeping. 

Business-class cabins include lie-flat seats, sleek finishes, and Jurlique amenity kits.  Onboard meals feature Hong Kong dishes like chow mein and dim sum. Cathay also provides excellent inflight entertainment with noise-canceling headphones.

Although most business clients praise Cathay’s friendly flight attendants, some have complained about inconsistent food and service. Some of Cathay’s B777 and A330 planes offer business-class service, but reviews reveal that the service is inconsistent according to region. However, Cathay Pacific’s Hong Kong airport lounges deserve 5 stars.

China Airlines

Taiwan-based China Airlines offers business-class service on their 777-300ER planes with direct flights to and from the United States. Business-class cabins are arranged in a reverse herringbone 1-2-1 configuration, allowing for direct aisle access.

Seats are roomy, and the airline provides plenty of duvets and pillows. Business class seats include a 23” monitor, charging ports, and ample storage space. The company also gives business clients with an amenity kit featuring products from The North Face. 777 business class passengers also have access to a mini-library and onboard lounge for cocktails and reading.

The food and beverage program is adequate but falls beneath its competitors, ANA and Japanese Airlines. Another drawback is a lack of adequate awards through China Airlines’ SkyTeam partners.

Delta Air Lines

Delta Air Lines offer Vantage XL business-class seats and Delta One Suites. Delta’s business-class cabins include all the amenities of the Vantage XL seats but have sliding privacy doors, top-notch inflight entertainment systems, plenty of storage space, and thoughtful details like Westin bedding that give the suites a homey feel.

The seats are somewhat narrow, measuring 21” wide. However, the other luxuries compensate sufficiently for most business class passengers.

Delta One business-class cabins feature gourmet meals with wine pairings chosen by one of the world’s top sommeliers. Delta’s business-class passengers also receive a generous TUMI amenity kit which includes skincare items from Kiehl and loungewear for your comfort. Make sure you book your flight on one of Delta’s A350 or A330 airplanes to get the full experience of the company’s best business class seats.

Emirates

Emirates business class area on its A380 planes features staggered 1-2-1 seats with aisle access, advanced inflight entertainment systems, motorized window shades, and a personal minibar. Business-class travelers receive Bvlgari amenity kits with everything they may need during the flight. Planes are also equipped with an upper-deck business-class lounge serving luxurious cocktails and fine wines. 

However, passengers frequently complain about poor bedding and so-so food. Additionally, the business-class services on the company’s Boeing 777s have far fewer amenities and limited aisle access.

Etihad Airways

Etihad business class seats are a more refined version of British Airways Club Suites. You’ll find elegant Business Studio suites on the A380 and 787 Dreamliners. The suites feature 22-inch forward and rear-facing seats with designer upholstery and direct aisle access. You can convert your seat into a 6-foot-long bed, and the cabin has ample storage space

A380 planes feature lounges that can accommodate six guests, a bar, and outlets for working during your trip. You can also purchase adequate business-class seats on the A320, A330, and B777 planes.

Ethiad offers a limited number of business class routes and a disappointing rewards program, making the airline fall behind its competitor, Emirates.

Ethiopian Airlines

Ethiopian Airlines offers comfortable business-class seats and bedding. Clients say that the food and other amenities are favorable, but the 2-2-2 configuration is behind the times compared to other companies’ business-class seats.

EVA Air

Based in Taiwan, EVA Air runs an international business-class program called the “Royal Laurel Class.” You’ll find Royal Laurel Class seats on the company’s B777 and B787 aircrafts. Seats are arranged in a 1-2-1 reverse herringbone style, maximizing space. EVA is a member of Star Alliance, giving you the opportunity to redeem points through partner airlines.

EVA Air’s business class seats are ample, measuring 26” wide, and business class passengers can convert their furniture into a 2-meter-long lie-flat seat at the push of a button. Other convenient features include a shoe cabinet, coat hanging area, and a retractable cocktail table. 

EVA’s business-class product provides designer Rimova/Salvatore amenity kits with Fiji water, noise-canceling headphones, and complementary Apujan pajamas. The friendly crew is always available to take your order for gourmet meals, snacks, and beverages. You can reserve your meals in advance through EVA’s “Book the Cook” program. Dishes include traditional Taiwanese delicacies and a wide selection of Western recipes.

Japan Airlines

Japan Airlines provides semi-private business-class suites with a top-notch menu and service. These Apex Suites are arranged in a 2-3-2 configuration and can be booked on the company’s 777-330ER airplanes. ANA partners with Virgin Airlines, so you can earn miles and merge points from both companies.

The lie-flat seats are comfortable at 25.5” wide and 74” long with large footwells. If you select a seat near the bulkhead, you’ll get even more room to stretch your legs. You’ll also receive fantastic bedding and an extra-large monitor for entertainment or work.

Some drawbacks of flying business class with Japan Airlines include limited entertainment options and a lack of storage space. However, Japan Airlines provides outstanding customer service and a boutique amenity kit, exemplifying the meticulousness and hospitality of Japanese culture. You’ll also enjoy world-class Japanese cuisine and can redeem rewards on unoccupied seats 1-2 days before your trip for additional savings.

JetBlue Airways

JetBlue was the first airline to offer business class seats with privacy doors. The company provides two excellent options for business class flights: Vantage XL seats and Mint Suites. JetBlue Airways placed 8th on One Mile at a Time’s World’s Best Business Class Seats List.

The JetBlue business-class cabin uses a staggered configuration with a Mint Suite on every other row. The Mint Suites provide plenty of privacy and storage, but taller clients complain about the small size of the footwell used for sleeping. You’ll find JetBlue’s Mint Suites on their A321s. However, the seats sell out fast, so you’ll need to book your trip well in advance if you want to enjoy a business-class Mint Suite.

Korean Air

Korean Air also provides Apex Suites for passengers flying business class. The seats are 21” wide and 75-80” long. The suite includes a 17” monitor and an amenity kit with DAVI toiletries. The inflight meals on Korean Air are exceptional, offering both Korean and international options.

However, previous passengers have complained about poor ground service, thin bedding, and limited entertainment options. On the other hand, Korean Air maintains an excellent mileage and points system through its partnership with SkyTeam.

Oman Air

Oman Air placed 11th on One Mile at a Time’s World’s Best Business Class Seats List. The planes offer excellent Apex Suites arranged in a 1-2-1 configuration on their A330 planes. The company features the same Apex Seats as Japan Airlines. Oman Air’s Apex Suites haven’t changed much in the past 10 years, but they remain popular with business travelers.

Qantas Airways

You’ll find Qantas Vantage XL business-class seats on its A380, 747, and 787-9 planes that fly between Australia and the U.S. The 787-9 planes offer a more comfortable experience with direct aisle access and seats measuring 24” wide and 80” long. You’ll also receive a thick mattress topper for sleeping during the long flight.

Unfortunately, customer reviews mention drawbacks like inconsistent service, small foot space, and a limited rewards program, making Virgin Australia a better option for flying to the South Pacific.

Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways ranks in the top ten of most business-class product lists. All of Qatar’s Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners offer comfortable, fully lie-flat seats, and A350s offer QSuites with sliding doors for privacy. Keep in mind that Qatar’s QSuites are only available on selected routes.

Although they have similar services, Qatar Airways consistently ranks above British Airways, and most customers consider the airline the best choice for family travel. Qatar placed first in both the World’s Best Business Class and World’s Best Business Class Seat competitions on Skytrax

Skytrax also endowed the company’s Al Mourjan Business Lounge in Doha as the Best Business Class in the World in 2021. Qatar Airways’ Doha lounge offers outstanding service, excellent food and beverages, and several private areas for relaxing or working.

When lying flat, Qatar’s business class seats measure 21.5” wide and 79” long, which is slightly smaller than you’ll get with Singapore Airlines. However, Qatar’s luxury bedding makes up for the slight shortfall in seat size. 

Qatar Airway’s business class QSuite amenities include double beds for passengers traveling together. Groups of families, friends, or business colleagues can transform their Qsuites into a 4-person cabin for socializing, working, or enjoying inflight entertainment.

Details include handcrafted leather seats with rose-gold satin finishes. The food and beverage program continuously offers new innovative cuisine and cocktails so that frequent business-class passengers won’t get bored. You’ll find Qatar’s Adient Ascent QSuites on their 787-9 aircrafts.

Qatar partners with American Airlines and British Airways through their membership in Oneworld Alliance.

Singapore Airlines

Singapore Airlines is universally considered the most luxurious airline to fly, offering critically acclaimed international business class seats. Singapore Airlines’ business class program scores a whopping 9.57, according to reviews on Business Class.com, making the company the world’s best business class provider. Singapore Airlines has won a host of awards, including earning Nerdwallet’s Best Business Class for Amenities and placing in several categories in Skytrax’s World’s Best Business Class Airlines 2022 competition.

Singapore Airlines’ phenomenal business product features larger seats than other business-class airlines. The business class seats are a full 30 inches wide, but some customers have complained that the seats are uncomfortable for sleeping unless you’re lucky enough to score a bulkhead seat. However, the seats are laid out in a 1-2-1 configuration, offering direct aisle access to all business class passengers. If you’re traveling with a partner and need to get a good night’s sleep on a long flight, go for the A380 aircraft suite with double beds.

Singapore Airlines’ food and beverage program features a fine-dining experience with dishes curated by world-famous chefs. You can order your meals in advance through the “Book the Cook” program. 

Singapore Airlines’ inflight entertainment is exquisite, featuring 18-inch monitors and lightning-fast Wi-Fi. The business-class amenity kit includes toiletries, slippers, and noise-canceling earphones. Unfortunately, Singapore Airlines’ business class seats are only available on a limited number of routes.

Swiss International Air Lines

Swiss International Airlines won Nerdwallet’s Best Business Class for Travel Reward. As a part of the 26-member Star Alliance, Swiss International Airlines seats can be purchased with points from Chase, Capital One, American Express, and Air Canada’s Aeroplan programs.

Thai Airways

If you’re heading to Southeast Asia on a business trip, you can’t beat Thai Airways. The planes feature quiet engines, smooth rides, and excellent cabin-air quality. Before take-off, business class travelers receive soothing massage treatments. The friendly service and mouth-watering food exemplify Thailand’s spirit of warm hospitality.

Turkish Airlines

Turkish Airlines excels in its food and beverage service, winning the Best Business Class Onboard Catering award from Skytrax. Turkish Airlines also has an extensive route network connecting more than 200 destinations in 120 countries. The company won Nerdwallet’s top position for Best Route Network for Business Class Flyers.

Turkish Airlines is also a member of Star Alliance, allowing travelers to reserve business class seats through United Airlines.

United Airlines

United Airlines provides Zodiac Aerospace Optima Seats for its Real Polaris Business Class members. You’ll find the Optima Seats on the company’s 777 and 787 aircrafts. Arranged in a staggered configuration, every other row includes a window seat. Couples traveling together will also find “Honeymoon” seats in the center of the plane. United Airlines uses the same seat as Air France’s A350 business class planes.

Virgin Atlantic

Virgin Atlantic’s Upper Class program is available on their A350 airbuses. Each suite faces the window and features a privacy screen and an 18.5-inch monitor that you can control with your cellphone or laptop. The A350 planes also have an onboard lounge called “The Loft,” which garnered Skytrax’s World’s Best Business Class Airline Lounge Award. As we’ve mentioned, you can combine earned miles and redeem points through Virgin Atlantic’s partnership with All Nippon Airways (ANA).

Virgin Australia

Virgin Australia remains the top choice for flying to destinations “down under.” Seats are 23” wide and 76-80” long, making them especially suited for taller business-class clients. You’ll also receive a thick mattress pad and high-quality bedding for optimum comfort.

The company runs an award-winning culinary program featuring recipes from internationally renowned chefs. Unless you make frequent trips to Australia, you’ll have a difficult time accruing points from their Velocity program. However, you can combine mileage points with the Virgin Atlantic Flying Club program.

Xiamen

Although Xiamen is relatively unknown, the airline earns a spot for its exceptional business-class product. Cabins are arranged in a 1-2-1 reverse herringbone configuration with wide 26” and 78” long seats. 

Business class passengers receive excellent service, delicious meals, and free Wi-Fi. The amenity kit includes Crabtree and Evelyn products, slippers, and noise-canceling headphones. Thick bedding makes sleeping comfortable, even without providing a mattress pad. 

Xiamen offers some of the most economical business class seats in the industry, and the airline’s membership in SkyTeam allows you to combine points with Delta and Air France.

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