A guide to the best business-class flights

Looking for a luxurious flying experience without the exorbitant rates of first-class tickets? This guide looks at airlines with some of the best business-class flights in the world to help you make the right choice.

Not all business-class flights are the same. Image credit: RossHelen/iStock
Not all business-class flights are the same. Image credit: RossHelen/iStock

From pre-flight champagne, to exclusively catered meals, to fully-flat beds, guests on business-class flights enjoy a raft of luxurious comforts before arriving refreshed at their destination.

Taking entertainment and dining to an entirely new level, business-class guests enjoy premium treatment from attentive staff from the time they step into the aircraft. Personalized attention and exceptional service are the cornerstones of some of the top business-class airlines in the world.

Qatar Airways – Ticks all the boxes

Qatar Airways is one of the youngest and fastest-growing airlines connecting to all six continents and is also a great business-class airline. Business-class guests enjoy fully-flat 180-degree beds with footrests, along with massage options, power supply, spacious dining areas, luxurious amenities, and Wi-Fi.

Qatar Airways also provides fantastic in-flight entertainment offering large monitors with a vast selection of movies, and television shows.

One of the biggest highlights of traveling with Qatar Airways is the food. There is a large selection of a la carte options available on all business-class flights, with an emphasis on quality, care, and refinement.

With well-designed seats, plenty of room, delicious food, and great service all-round, it comes as no surprise that Qatar Airways consistently ranks as one of the top business-class airlines in the world. In fact, the airline was rated as the top in the Skytrax 2019 Best Business Class Airline awards.

Servicing more than 160 destinations from its hub in Doha, your choice to fly business-class on Qatar Airways couldn’t be better.

Singapore Airlines – world’s most awarded airline

Singapore Airlines has one of the best business-class offerings out there, which makes it a highly sought-after choice on international short and long-haul flights.

Recently, the airline introduced business-class seats with two seating positions for optimal comfort at all times. Business-class guests can benefit from the Lazy Z cradling position, which centers and balances your weight while sitting, or stretch out to the Sundeck lounging position, which extends the base of your seat for a better stretch.

A fully-flat bed comes equipped with a cushioned headboard, pillows, linen, and a duvet, which means you’re sure to get some much-needed sleep before reaching your next destination. You can even request for additional bedding for more comfort while you rest.

Every business-class seat comes with a side console designed above the armrest for your electronic devices, accessible whether you’re in the seating or sleeping position. You’ll also be able to charge your mobiles, tablets, and laptops on board with access to different USB and power ports.

Business-class guests can reserve their main course meal up to 24 hours before flying, with dishes created by renowned chefs from the airline’s International Culinary Panel. There is also an onboard dine-in option with full table service, which pairs wines for the food selection and altitude. Singapore satay is a popular local dish and is usually served as an appetizer in business-class on select flights. Other dishes often served onboard include grilled steak, lamb loin, and lobster Thermidor.

The carefully curated entertainment content brings an impressive repertoire of over 1,000 selections – from movies and television to music, games, and programs on an 18-inch screen.

You’ll also have Internet connectivity on selected flights to stay on top of business or keep in touch with friends and family while you’re in the air.

Generous room and plenty of privacy combined with exceptional service, from booking to check-in to on-fight, a business-class flight with Singapore Airlines is unlike any other.

Emirates – More than 30 years of great service

If you’re thinking of great business- class flights, you can’t go past Emirates. This Gulf-airline is consistently rated one of the best in the world, and for good reason. From the world’s only Moet & Chandon airport bar to Wi-Fi onboard, to live sport, the Emirates experience starts from the time you leave for the airport.

With seats that recline 180 degrees into fully-flat beds, complete with soft mattresses and comfy blankets, you’ll get tremendous rest on board before reaching your next destination. There’s ample space between each business-class seat so you needn’t worry about privacy.

The menu consists of an extensive repertoire of locally-inspired gourmet dishes from the arrival destination to give you a taste of what to expect before you get there. Guests get a choice of three starters and three main courses. In-between meals, hot and cold snacks are available at the bar or you can order them to enjoy in your seat. The airline focuses on sourcing food from local producers for every meal. Some wines onboard are exclusively found only Emirates flights.

The award-winning entertainment on board an Emirates flight is truly noteworthy. Its top-notch iCE entertainment service has more than 4,000 selections to choose from. Business-class seats in the Airbus 380 and Boeing 777 are fitted with 23-inch monitors, taking the onboard viewing experience to another level. You can opt for movies, TV shows, and documentaries. The plush noise-canceling headphones make the whole experience even more exceptional.

Every business-class seat also has a mini-bar with a range of drinks on offer, personal air conditioning vents, and seat controls, all available at the touch of a button. Helpful flight attendants are always available to serve you and make your onboard travel experience as superior as possible.

ANA Nippon Airways – privacy and direct-aisle access

Rated number two at the 2019 Skytrax World’s Best Business Class Airlines awards, ANA Nippon Airways is right up there with the top.

The fully-flat seats in business class can be adjusted to any angle, guaranteeing comfortable sleep so you feel well rested and relaxed by the time you arrive at your destination.

The meals available for all departures from Japan are created by The Connoisseurs, a culinary panel exclusively consisting of world-renowned chefs,, along with ANA chefs. Many of the dishes feature the use of seasonal ingredients. The wines onboard are carefully selected from different wineries across different parts of the world, and perfectly accompany the meals.

All Nippon’s in-flight entertainment is peppered with a wide range of movies, television programs, games, and music on a touch-panel LCD screen.

The flight attendants provide attentive and personalized services to make sure all your needs are well taken care of during your journey. 

United Airlines

United has one of the most comprehensive networks in the world, operating to 210 destinations in the United States and more than 120 destinations across the world. The airline operates more than 4,500 flights daily across five continents. United is a sought-after airline for its array of destinations and excellent business class service from the United States and international airports.

The business-class seats are spacious and welcoming – offering a new level of comfort for onboard guests. You’ll even enjoy luxurious bedding from Saks Fifth Avenue in New York. The fully-flat premium beds are perfect for relaxing on long-haul flights with plenty of privacy and elbow room available so you don’t feel like you’re in anyone’s way.

For those who need to work on board, there’s enough space for laptops, documents, tablets and other devices, along with in-seat power connections to keep everything fully charged as you conduct important business on your trip.

As a business-class guest, you can sample some of the most inspired dishes with distinctive flavor combinations. You can pair your food with a selection of wines, champagnes, beers and any other beverage of choice. After your meal, choose from a selection of delectable desserts to complete a genuinely satisfying dining experience in the sky.

Throughout your flight, you’ll have a variety of beverages to choose from whether you’re interested in a morning coffee, a glass of bubbles or even a fresh juice. On-demand entertainment on 15-inch monitors makes the viewing experience exceptional and ensures you’re never bored.

Qantas Airways – Australia’s premier airline for business class flights

Qantas Airways is the largest domestic and international airline operating out of Australia. Business class on Australia’s premier airline offers guests spacious seating, unique fine-dining options, dedicated lounge access, and personalized service.

From priority check-in to dedicated boarding lanes and complimentary lounge access, Qantas business class has everything you’ll want to make your travel as comfortable and relaxing as possible.

The spacious seats convert into 2-meter beds on most long-haul flights with dedicated flight attendants catering to your every need. These reclining seats provide extensive space for storage along with in-seat massage options and a variety of seat adjustments to any angle you want. You’ll also experience the benefit of a 100 percent cotton duvet, mattress, and pillow for maximum comfort.

Food is a hallmark of Qantas’ business-class service. The fresh menu is tailor-made to your time of travel so you can enjoy meals on exquisitely designed tableware. The business-class menus on international flights consist of a selection of locally sourced dishes with a focus on fine dining options, including smoked salmon with kale, spice roasted chicken, and pork scotch fillet. On some flights, you’ll even have the option of choosing your meals before take off. Award-winning wines and champagnes are available to match your meal. Ask the onboard sommelier for a recommendation.

For those seeking an even more comfortable experience, signature Qantas pajamas and amenity kits with premium skincare products make you feel pampered and well treated while you’re in the air.

Qantas has plenty of in-flight entertainment options. Guests can sit back and relax over a newly released movie, a hilarious comedy, or soothing music. If you want to use your own tablet or smartphone, you can access onboard entertainment using the Qantas Entertainment App.

Thai Airways – Thailand’s national airline

Most of the business class seats on Thai Airways’ fleet feature 180-degree fully-flat beds, which offer a massage option on the backrest. There is also a privacy screen available for guests who prefer to separate themselves.

Menus are provided on all flights before take-off so guests have enough time to select their preferences. There’s a variety of food options onboard with entrees including roast beef and lobster, while mains are influenced by a mix of Asian and Western flavors. The meal portions are generous with cheese selections and crackers, and dessert options available as well. There’s an array of beverage choices onboard with wines, champagnes, and non-alcoholic options.

Business-class guests can select from a range of movies, TV shows, and music options all available on a 16-inch flat screen monitor. The noise-canceling headsets are especially great for those who want to relax without any disturbance. Guests can also plug in their laptops, mobiles, and tablets into power points provided with every business-class seat.

Business-class guests are provided with a Samsonite travel accessories kit filled with earplugs, an eye mask, hand and face creams, and socks. The crew on board Thai Airways are known for their polite, attentive, and helpful service, which makes the whole business-class flying experience remarkable.

As a business-class guest, you’ll want to enjoy a superior travel experience without any compromise. Get this by booking Blacklane’s premium airport transfer service in more than 500 airports around the globe.