Not all travel is created equal. Not all seats are created equal. If you're going to splash out for some seats in business class, whether using cash or miles, you don't want a beaten old leather arm chair and some stale peanuts. Save that for the man cave. You want an experience, and let's be honest you deserve it. I know I do! That experience should start the moment you arrive at the airport and your halo of happiness and comfort should carry you all the way to the taxi stand, or even your front door. As they year comes to an end, I thought it might be fun to revisit some of the greatest business class seats in the world...
If you're all about the seat and the meal this is the one, hands down, period. This "business class" seat puts shame to many world favorite first class products, offering the widest and most secluded seat in the "business" game. To add insult to injury for it's competition, in major hub cities such as New York, Singapore, London, Frankfurt and Tokyo Singapore offers "Book The Cook" to it's business passengers, a luxury generally reserved for first class customers on five star airlines. Through this incredible service you're able to pre order a meal from an extensive menu, delivered just for you. Lobster anyone? If there is a drawback; and I don't think there is, sadly there are no freebies such as amenity kits on Singapore. If you can afford the ticket using miles or cash, i'm sure you can buy your own pajamas.
How: Singapore Airlines is a transfer partner of American Express, Citi and Chase. The airline is also a Star Alliance member meaning you can use United, Lufthansa, ANA and more miles to book travel.
You know you're about to step into something great when the most common feedback is: are you sure this is business and not first? JAL have created a one of a kind business cabin with their new "Sky Suite", featuring custom designed seats offering direct aisle access, quite possibly the largest entertainment screens of all business class cabins and almost fully inclosed privacy. Best of all? You can experience it on the passenger friendly Dreamliner. Japan Airlines is a yearly shoe in for five star airline status, much of that due to it's service oriented approach. As such, business class passengers are offered one of the most attentive and respectful in flight experiences found anywhere. You'll, get a massive flat bed, hand selected booze and you'll be spoiled with both traditional Japanese and international delights served with a smile. I'll be on board this stunner from New York to Tokyo in the coming months! If you're looking at taking a business class flight on JAL, be sure to confirm that your aircraft has the Sky Suite and not the "shell" seats.
How: Japan Airlines is an airline partner of American, British Airways and more, allowing you to cash in points from those respective airlines for these seats on JAL.
A great travel experience is only as good as it's weakest link. Fortunately, Cathay Pacific have designed a business class experience without a weak link. Long regarded as one of the best business class experiences, it's always amongst the most solid from top to bottom. Sadly no "book the cook" here but you get a spacious critic favorite "reverse herringbone" seat with an emphasis on seclusion for those who want it, and the ability to face a traveling partner and communicate for those traveling together. What makes this experience perfect is the friendly in flight service and amenities, especially when departing from Hong Kong. You'll receive artfully prepared food with "anytime" snack options including duck with noodles, great wine and many personal touches not to mention the illusive "mini cabin". I'll be taking Cathay Business class on the tenth longest flight in the world New York to Hong Kong this year. I'll certainly grab my share of order anytime noodles and all the time champagne!
How: Cathay Pacific "Asia Miles" is a transfer partner of Citi and an airline partner of American, British Airways and others allowing you to cash your miles on those respective airlines in for travel on Cathay Pacific.
Whereas Cathay and SIngapore offer a stellar business class on all long haul aircraft, Emirates can only be included in this category for their A380. The Emirates A380 offers spacious fully flat business class seats and an amazing on board bar stocked with everything from Macaroons to Scotch. I mentioned that a great journey starts well before take off and ends after departing the airport and Emirates agrees. On certain fares you receive chauffeur service to and from the airport. Nice. In keeping with over the top standards you'll find extra large televisions with wood grain accents, sommelier level wine and award winning food. If you're into amenity kits, Emirates go as far as to distinguish between his and hers for a personalized experience. Have a touch up and hit the on board bar before a solid sleep in a great flat bed.
How: Emirates is a transfer partner of American Express. Flights using miles on Emirates are also bookable using Alaska Airlines miles amongst others.
Take Cathay's award winning business class, add Krug champagne and your end result is EVA Airlines business class. EVA offers a modern "reverse herringbone" seat, great amenity kit from Rimowa and superb service. The dark horse airline even offers a pre order meal option similar to Singapore, allowing fliers to find their true umami, whatever their pleasure. Speaking of umami, Just don't get duct taped to your seat.
How: EVA is a transfer partner of Citi as well as a Star Alliance member allowing those holding miles with airlines like United, Lufthansa, Air Canada and more to redeem for travel on EVA.
I'll take it back to Donna Summer because she truly got it right. You work hard for your money so they better treat you right. If you are lucky enough to experience these products, which fascinatingly, you can do from a single credit card sign up, you will have an impeccable experience. If you find that your tastes exceed the offerings on these flights, spend more money or miles for first or buy a private jet. Oh, and if you want to see the best new seats coming next year, click....here.
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