The 3 best business class airline seats

 

If you have a long international flight, flying business class is one of the best ways to get proper rest and arrive more refreshed and less jet-lagged at your destination. Business class is of course not as luxurious as first class, so don’t expect the attentive service, closing suite doors, onboard chef, and even onboard shower you can now find in some first class products. Business class is really all about the seat and bed, so that’s what we’ll focus on for these top three business class airline seats.

Singapore Business Class-777-300ER

1. Japan Airlines Sky Suite Business Class, 777-300ER

JAL’s Sky Suite Business Class is one of the best kept secrets when it comes to business class. Each of the suites offers unimpeded aisle access, so no awkward stepping or hopping over your neighbor. Window seats in particular offer incredible privacy as well as natural light, with 3 windows (most business window class seats have only two windows).

JAL Sky Suite Business Class 2

Most importantly, JAL Sky Suite Business Class offers the best sleep experience, with special memory foam-like airweave mattresses that make the bed more comfortable than many first class airline beds, or even many hotel beds.

Seats are 25.5 inches wide and 74 inches in length, so the downside is that passengers who are very tall or wide may feel somewhat cramped.

For those interested in the “soft product,” I found JAL Business Class food good but not great, and service a bit hit and miss due to the quite full cabin. That said, it was easy to order food via the touch screen control, a nice feature. The entertainment screen is a 23-inch LCD monitor, large for business class.

2. Singapore Business Class, A380

Singapore Business Class is what you want to fly if you find even most business class seats too narrow, since Singapore Business Class offers the widest business class seats of any airline: 28-30 inches wide, 78 inches in length, with seats in a 1-2-1 configuration. On the A380, the entire upper deck is business class, which often makes for a quieter cabin.

Best Business Class-Singapore Business Class 2-777-300ER

Anotheráperk of flying Singapore Business Class is access to its Book the Cook preordered meal service, with a number of delicious Asian and Western choices, particularly out of the airline’s Singapore hub. And Singapore Airlines flight attendants provide some of theámost consistently excellent service of any airline, thanks to the airline’s investment in staff recruitment and training.

3. EVA Air Royal Laurel Business Class, 777-300ER

EVA Air may not be on the tip of your tongue unless you’ve traveled to Taiwan, but this Taiwanese airline offers my third favorite business class, after JAL and Singapore Airlines. Make sure you’re on a 777-300ER configured with Royal Laurel Business Class, the airline’s newer business class product, since EVA’s older Premium Laurel Business Class has angled flat seats.

Royal Laurel Business Class seats are 26 inches across and convert into full flat beds 78 inches in length, helpful for tall passengers, and the seats are more padded and comfortable in the bed position than many business class seats. Royal Laurel Business Class is ináreverse herringbone 1-2-1 configuration, ideal for solo travelers, although couples traveling together, even in the two seats in the center that are angled towards each other, will feel a bit far apart.

Service is generally very good, relative to other business class products, and food is decent if you enjoy Chinese food, although not particularly memorable. A nice touch, however, is that pajamas are provided (a rarity in business class, with the exception of Qatar), in addition to slippers and a Rimowa amenity kit.

What’s your favorite international business class airline seat?

Hilary Stockton is the CEO atáTravelSort.

If you would like to be a guest blogger onáA Luxury Travel Blogáin order to raise your profile, pleaseácontact us.

Comments (11)

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  1. Steve W says:

    Without a doubt the world a best is Oman air they use the same seat many airlines use in first class in a 1 2 1 config, food a exceptional, service better than I have had on any other airline beating even thenlikesmof Qatar hands down, truly exceptional

  2. Hilary says:

    Thanks for your comment Steve, curious to try Oman’s Business Class. I wasn’t impressed with Qatar Business Class, it was one of the worst business class experiences I’ve had, due to the incredibly uncomfortable seat when in bed position. I got no sleep on that flight.

  3. Jeff Carter says:

    Good article but the comment proves it is all down to personal experience. Hilary you say you had one of the worst Business Class experiences on Qatar due to the uncomfortable seats. I flew Qatar Business 10 times in 2015 and every flight ranks as the best. In my opinion JAL business class doesn’t rank as good as Air France or BA, but that is based on my personal experience Of standard business not Sky Suite.

  4. Catherine McManus says:

    Japan Airlines looks amazing. Hilary, it’s a shame you had a bad experience on Qatar. I have enjoyed flying with them so far. The seats are better on some of their planes than others though. I think it was the 320 I was on and the seat didn’t recline to a completely flat position. Maybe that was the aircraft you were on?

  5. Hilary says:

    Jeff and Catherine, thanks for your comments–glad you’ve had better experiences with Qatar than I have. Catherine, the problem on our Qatar Business Class flight, which was a Boeing 777, wasn’t the recline, since the seat was fully flat. Rather, the middle of the seat dug uncomfortably into the lower back, and this was an issue with both my husband’s seat and mine, so it wasn’t just a fluke with my seat but poor seat design. I stand by JAL’s Sky Suite as the best business class seat in terms of sleep quality, thanks to that thick mattress topper–no other business class seat, to my knowledge, has this, and it makes a huge difference in being able to sleep well. The best seat by far is the window seat, as it’s more private than many airlines’ first class.

  6. Jake Redman says:

    I’m with you 100% on this…well, almost. I have yet to fly Singapore in Business but love JAL and EVA offerings. Cheers!

  7. Hillary, I understand you situation well about having a bad experience on Qatar,a 5 star airline. Considering the mixed fleet, the seats are better on some of their planes than others though. Only First class is available on some of the planes in certain routes.

    Business class has a lot of the old seats, especially on the long haul flights, Inflight service is quite good, food and wine menu is good, service is impeccable.
    However I think the new Business class will follow emirates on the new 2-3-2 configuration. Enjoy !

    Not everything that shines is Gold.

  8. Mave says:

    Qantas’s new business class seats on its A330s are second to none. 1-2-1co figuration, excellent food and drink, very private, feels like first…

  9. David says:

    Surprisingly the best transatlantic business experience recently has been with American Air – overnight flights need crisp quick service, early (and good) meals and few interruptions. My first choice for sure now into LHR.Also much more space than Virgin!!

    For Asia you are quite correct – EVA air every time!! Finally agree that Qatar needs to up its game…

  10. Grazia says:

    Alitalia business class is very confortable too and you can taste a lot of wines and very good food.

  11. Kairul says:

    Thanks for this recommendation Hilary. I would love to try all these airlines as i have been on none of them. Looking at the pictures, they are really interesting to try. Btw, i agree with what most commentors here had said about Qatar Biz class quality. I had a very comfortable sleep on QR 777-300ER flight in the Biz cabin too :)
    It seems like experience really varies from person to person ;)

    Anyways, i have a suggestion for travel bloggers or any blogger for that matter to include a list of other products that they have considered when making a list of top products to try on. I mean when they mention words like “Top” or “The Best”, they are implying that they have experienced ALL other available options out there. I’m afraid it is misleading if they haven’t.

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