Frequent Miler’s favorite business class flights

38

Of the many luxuries afforded by learning to leverage airline miles, the most enjoyable might be flying in a seat that converts to a fully flat bed in the sky. In some cases, you’ll be served champagne and other fine food and wine before drifting off to sleep, potentially on a cloud-like mattress pad and with a sleep mask provided in the airline’s amenity kit. However, not all business class experiences are created equally. In this post, we explore some of the Frequent Miler team’s favorite business class flights — along with how to best book them.

a man sitting in a chair
Partner awards can unlock great ways to save miles on luxury flights.

Qatar QSuites

Greg’s take: Yes, QSuites is all that. We found the in-flight QSuites experience to be terrific. The seats, which feature privacy doors, are comfortable and they have decent storage space. Service was terrific and included the flight attendants making our beds with fitted padding (and they even turned our middle seats into a double bed for us). The decor was elegant (especially with candlelight dining). Food was very good. Read my review here.

Nick’s take: While I’ve flown Qatar’s regular business class several times, my only chance to snag Qsuites so far has been for the ~1hr flight from Doha to Dubai — and it was so good all it took was that one hour for me to fall in love with Qsuites. In my opinion, pictures don’t really capture the finishes and the space surrounding you at the seat. Unlike the Apex suites that you find on some carriers in business class, there is tons of elbow room on either side, which I love. And although my flight was only about an hour long, we were still served a meal! I’d redeem miles to fly Qatar again in a heartbeat.

Tim’s take: I’ve flown Qsuites several times now, and I’ve never been quite as blown away as most folks are. Is it a nice business class product? Absolutely. I’d fly it any time. That said, I’ve found the service and catering lackluster every time I’ve been on it (admittedly, each time, the flight was catered in the US, which I’ve heard isn’t as good as when it’s loaded up in Doha). The “double beds” are a lot of fun when you’re traveling together, but, because I’m relatively tall, neither the seats nor the footwells are among the most comfortable I’ve been on. All-in-all, although I prefer it to the vast majority of business classes out there, I’ve never found enough material difference between this and several of my other favorites to go out of my way to fly it.

How to book Qatar business class:

American Airlines has great award prices for flying Qatar business class. For example, you can fly between the U.S. and Doha (or even onward to the Maldives) for only 70,000 miles one-way. Or, fly all the way to South Africa for only 75,000 miles one-way!

Another good option is to use BA (British Airways) or Qatar Avios. Qatar and BA charge just 70,000 Avios one-way between North America and Doha. Unfortunately, they’ll charge extra for each leg added on beyond that. Both BA and Qatar have access to more saver award space than other partners like AA. A big advantage of booking through BA rather than Qatar is that BA charges significantly smaller surcharges. An advantage to booking with Qatar itself is that you can pay more Avios (typically double) to book a flight that isn’t available to Qatar’s partners.

Here are the relevant point transfer options:

Rewards ProgramAmex Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
Chase Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
Citi Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
Marriott Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
Capital One Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
Bilt Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
American AAdvantage3K to 1K (~2 days)1 to 1
(Ends June) (~ 1 Day)
British Airways Avios1 to 1 (Instant)1 to 1 (Instant)1 to 1 via Qatar (Instant)60K to 25K (~10 hours)1 to 1 (Unknown)1 to 1 (~5 Minutes)
Qatar Privilege Club Avios1 to 1 (Unknown)1 to 1 via BA (Instant)1 to 1 (Instant)60K to 25K (3 to 4 days)1 to 1 via BA (Unknown)1 to 1 via BA (~5 Minutes)

Starlux A350-900


Greg says
: I’m writing this from my Starlux flight from LA to Taipei. All business class passengers get free wifi. So far, the service has been spectacular and the food good. The seats are beautiful and very comfortable. The entertainment screen is huge. When ready for bed, the flight attendant prepared my seat with a fitted mattress pad that was actually thick enough to make the seat/bed very comfortable for sleep. The only slight negative I’ve encountered so far is that the seats aren’t well designed for couples traveling together. There is a very effective privacy partition between the middle side by side seats and it can only be half way opened. In the open position it’s still not easy to see your neighbor unless your seats are all the way upright.

How to book Starlux business class

Alaska Mileage Plan will be your only option for booking Starlux with miles. If you find saver space, it’ll cost 75K miles each way, but when the saver award space floodgates open, they tend to close quickly. Given that the only option to transfer to Alaska is from Marriott, you’ll want to consider earning Alaska miles via Alaska Airlines credit cards and/or the Mileage Plan shopping portal.

Here are the relevant point transfer options:

Rewards ProgramAmex Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
Chase Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
Citi Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
Marriott Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
Capital One Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
Bilt Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
Alaska MileagePlan60K to 25K (~2 days)1 to 1 (~5 Minutes)

United Polaris 777

a man sleeping on a chair

Greg says: I’ve become a fan of United Polaris seats. Even though (at the time of writing) they don’t have privacy doors, the seat’s wrap-around shell gives plenty of privacy. Plus, and this is huge for me, the seat cushions are wonderfully soft. As a side sleeper, I don’t even need a mattress pad to sleep comfortably. That’s huge. Plus I love the mini memory foam pillow that United provides (along with a full size pillow). I added this flight to this post not just for the seat, though. I also loved the schedule for our ~13 hour flight from San Francisco to Auckland. We departed San Francisco very late at night, went to sleep, awoke and ate breakfast and watched movies, and arrived in Auckland in the morning. This was one of my easiest time-zone adjustments ever. See my post comparing this flight to Qantas 787 business class here.

Nick says: As someone who has redeemed a lot of airline miles for premium cabins on top-notch foreign airlines, I never get very excited about flying on the major US carriers. However, I’ve flown Polaris business a couple of times now and I have to say that the seat itself is very nice. While I haven’t had the kind of amazing service with United that you can expect with most of its partners, and catering certainly didn’t wow me, the seat itself is the star of the show (as it should be). As a family traveler, I particularly like that if you choose center seats with the side table to the aisle, you can sit directly next to a traveling companion, making it easy to help your child with their seat belt / seat back entertainment / food / etc.

How to book United Polaris business class

SeatSpy is a good tool for finding business class availability on nonstop United Airlines routes. When it comes to booking Polaris business class, the best program will vary depending on the route you’re looking to book. One good option would be using Avianca LifeMiles to book United Polaris business class between the United States and Europe for 63,000 miles each way (or less if you are able to add an economy class connecting flight on either end of the trip). If you can manage to find round trip availability to Europe, you could book Polaris business for 88,000 miles round trip with ANA Mileage Club. If you can manage to find saver-level Polaris business class on one of the domestic routes where it is flown, it should be possible to book via Turkish Miles & Smiles for just 15,000 miles each way.

Here are the relevant point transfer options:

Rewards ProgramAmex Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
Chase Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
Citi Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
Marriott Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
Capital One Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
Bilt Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
ANA Mileage Club1 to 1 (~1 day)60K to 25K (4 to 7 days)
Avianca LifeMiles1 to 1 (Instant)1 to 1 (Instant)3K to 1K (~1 day)1 to 1 (Instant)1 to 1 (~5 Minutes)
Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles1 to 1 (~1 day)60K to 25K (~1 day)1 to 1 (Instant)1 to 1 (~5 Minutes)

Delta One Suites A350

a tv and a chair in a business class

Greg says: These were the first business class seats with privacy doors that I ever tried. I loved the suite privacy, ample near-seat storage, large bright video screen, and high ceiling. My primary complaint: I found the seats to be too hard for comfortable side-sleeping. My understanding is that they now offer better bed-padding on long flights and so I’m looking forward to trying this again to see if they’ve addressed this problem. See my 2018 review here.

Nick says: I didn’t have high expectations for Delta One suites when I flew them from Tokyo to Minneapolis several years ago. The pictures I’d seen just didn’t excite me. When I stepped into the cabin, I immediately realized that pictures didn’t do it justice — in my opinion, Delta’s A350 suites look far nicer in person than they do in pictures. I legitimately enjoyed the flight experience, though I couldn’t help feel a bit “boxed-in” because of the hard barrier between center seats on one side (with a divider that could come down, but still made it very hard to interact with your seatmate) and the suite door on the other. I would definitely fly Delta A350 suites again, but it isn’t something that I actively seek out.

How to book Delta One suites

The best value you can get when it comes to redeeming miles for Delta One Suites is using Virgin Atlantic Flying Club to book one of the applicable routes to/from Europe for 50K Virgin Atlantic miles each way. Oddly, Virgin seems to have begun adding some surcharges to certain Delta routes. And keep in mind that Delta calls their business class Delta One whether or not it features the Delta One suites — only a couple of routes to Europe feature the A350 suites. See How to book Delta flights with Virgin Atlantic miles for more information.

Here are the relevant point transfer options:

Rewards ProgramAmex Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
Chase Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
Citi Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
Marriott Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
Capital One Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
Bilt Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club1 to 1 (Instant)1 to 1 (Instant)1 to 1 (Instant)60K to 25K (1 to 2 days)1 to 1 (Unknown)1 to 1 (~5 Minutes)

LATAM Airlines 787-8

LATAM Business Class

Tim’s take: LATAM’s 787-8 business class is a very pleasant way to get to South America, especially if traveling with a partner. The seat is spacious and comfortable; the service warm and friendly. The food was great and we found the cabin temperature (often roasting on long-haul flights) to be perfect for sleeping, aided by the cozy bedding. It’s got some downsides: there’s little privacy between seats, the IFE is average and there’s no WiFi. Still, for us the pros outweighed the cons and the whole team enjoyed the experience. Read my review here.

Greg says: I was surprised by how much I liked this flight. Consider that it doesn’t have direct aisle access at every seat (but sitting in the middle solved that issue), and it has no privacy at all. Still, the seats were spacious and comfortable and the service was outstanding.

Carrie’s take: I had the most inaccessible seat you can imagine – by the window and next to 6′ 4″ Tim, whose legs I had to climb over every time I wanted to get out. And even so, I really enjoyed this flight because I found it really easy to get real, solid sleep, which is the metric I care about most for international flights. Once laid flat, the seat actually feels more private than you’d expect, because it kind of recedes back more than you can tell in the photos.

Nick’s take: Privacy at the seat isn’t the most important metric to me. It’s not that I don’t enjoy it, I just don’t necessarily care all that much about it. Given that, I liked this flight, particularly for the wide open space for one’s feet in the reclined position. I didn’t like that I woke up with the neighbor to my left (stuck in the window seat like Carrie but not someone I knew) climbing over my legs. Traveling with a friend of family member, this would be fine. And I think my wife might feel less claustrophobic with the wide open space in the cabin. But this wouldn’t be an ideal configuration if you’re traveling with kids who get fussy since there’s no private space in which to cocoon them and everyone else will stare at you struggling. I would absolutely fly LATAM to South America in business class again, but that’s mostly because there aren’t many vastly superior options.

How to book LATAM 787 business class

Alaska Mileage Plan is the best way to book LATAM 787 business class. While pricing on most routes will increase in March 2024, it will only be a very small increase (See our post about the 2024 Alaska Mileage Plan award chart changes here). For instance, flying to Chile or Brazil will cost 50K miles one way from most of the US under the new award chart. Unfortunately, Alaska Mileage Plan does not partner with any of the major transferable currencies. You could transfer Marriott Bonvoy points to Alaska, but given that those transfers are quite slow, you’d be better off considering the Alaska credit cards and/or shopping portal if you want Alaska miles.

Here are the relevant point transfer options:

Rewards ProgramAmex Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
Chase Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
Citi Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
Marriott Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
Capital One Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
Bilt Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
Alaska MileagePlan60K to 25K (~2 days)1 to 1 (~5 Minutes)

Turkish Airlines 787-9

an airplane seat with windows

Tim’s take: Turkish Airlines’ 787-9 business class is top notch. Catering is superb, both on the plane and in the lovely Istanbul lounge. The seat is spacious and comfortable, even for a 6’3″ giant like me. Service was on point, with a chef stopping by each seat to discuss the menu and trolley service for both mezze and desserts. Outside of the mediocre in-seat storage, it’s tough to find downsides here. This is a great way to fly. Read my full review here.

How to book Turkish Airlines business class

Your best option for booking Turkish Airlines business class is going to largely depend on where you’re starting and where you’re going. Given that Turkish serves more destinations than any airline in the world, it’s not easy to break down the single “best” option for booking Turkish business class. At a base level, for flights between the US and Istanbul, Avianca LifeMiles will probably be your best option at 63,000 miles each way between the US and Istanbul with none of the Turkish carrier-imposed surcharges. It is worth noting that Turkish only charges 65K miles for business class if you find saver availability, but they add a few hundred dollars in surcharges on top. If you don’t mind paying the surcharges, your best bet would be to find round trip availability and use ANA to book for 88K round trip. If you’re looking at a larger, more complex booking with a stopover, then consider Air Canada Aeroplan.

Here are the relevant point transfer options:

Rewards ProgramAmex Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
Chase Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
Citi Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
Marriott Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
Capital One Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
Bilt Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
ANA Mileage Club1 to 1 (~1 day)60K to 25K (4 to 7 days)
Avianca LifeMiles1 to 1 (Instant)1 to 1 (Instant)3K to 1K (~1 day)1 to 1 (Instant)1 to 1 (~5 Minutes)
Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles1 to 1 (~1 day)60K to 25K (~1 day)1 to 1 (Instant)1 to 1 (~5 Minutes)

KLM 787

a room with a computer and a table
KLM 787 Business Class DXB to AMS

Nick’s take: KLM flies a variety of planes and configurations, so the experience can really vary. Greg and I flew their 787 business class a couple of years ago and I was really impressed by the small touches they made in design to what is effectively a very common seat style — little things like a tray for your phone under the TV and above the charging outlet just worked. While this isn’t a suite with a door, the design of the shell made the seat feel downright private. The crockery was beautiful and I loved the twisted metal coffee stirs….and then there are the Delft Blue houses that sit on a window sill at home as trip memories. I wouldn’t be quick to book a KLM A330, but if I’d be excited to fly the 787 and visit the beautiful flagship lounge in Amsterdam again — and I’m pretty sure that Greg would say the same.

How to book KLM business class

Your cheapest regularly-priced option for booking KLM business class might be via Virgin Atlantic, though that will depend on whether you’re flying peak or off-peak and your city pair. More realistically, your best bet will ordinarily be using Air France / KLM Flying Blue miles. Either way, you’ll pay around $200 each way in taxes & fees between the US and Europe.

Here are the relevant point transfer options:

Rewards ProgramAmex Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
Chase Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
Citi Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
Marriott Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
Capital One Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
Bilt Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
Air France KLM Flying Blue1 to 1 (~10 minutes to 1 day)1 to 1 (Instant)1 to 1 (Instant)60K to 25K (1 to 3 days)1 to 1 (Instant)1 to 1 (~5 Minutes)
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club1 to 1 (Instant)1 to 1 (Instant)1 to 1 (Instant)60K to 25K (1 to 2 days)1 to 1 (Unknown)1 to 1 (~5 Minutes)

Singapore Airlines 777-300ER

a seat in an airplane

Tim’s take: Singapore’s re-tooled, 777-300 business class is terrific. It has one of the widest business seats around, a ton of storage and a great in-flight entertainment (IFE) system. Add in excellent catering and on-pointe service and this becomes one of the best ways to get from the US to Europe (as well as being a very competitive US/Europe to Asia product). Some folks might not like the awkward seat-to-bed conversion or the angled footwells, but the significant pluses easily outweigh the minor cons. Highly-recommended. Read my full review here.

Nick’s take: I completely agree with Tim — I find the width of the seat to make it feel incredibly spacious and I find Singapore’s seats to be among the best-padded for sitting. I understand that some people hate the all-or-nothing nature of the fully reclined seat position, but that’s the position I want for sleeping anyway and service, food, and wine are so much better than most airlines worldwide that I’d still take this as my preferred way to get to/from Europe even if I didn’t love the seat-to-bed conversion. I usually don’t even look at the in-flight entertainment since I usually either work or sleep when I’m flying, but I have to second Tim’s assertion that the in-flight entertainment options are great — the selection is so wide that it’s almost overwhelming and I found myself staying up later than planned on my last flight just to watch a movie I’m almost certain I wouldn’t have found on anyone else’s in-flight entertainment system.

How to book Singapore Airlines business class

While Singapore’s own Krisflyer program used to effectively be the only way to book Singapore Airlines business class, it is notable that Air Canada Aeroplan and Alaska Mileage Plan not only have access to Singapore Airlines business class but sometimes have access to a lot of Singapore Airlines business class award space. Once Alaska debuts its new award charts in March 2024, the best way for most US-based flyers to redeem miles to fly Singapore Airlines business class will be to use Alaska Mileage Plan and pay just 55K miles each way between New York JFK and Frankfurt or Houston IAH to/from Manchester (though I believe that route is flown on an A350, which is slightly different but still quite nice IMHO). The second-best option is to redeem Air Canada Aeroplan miles and pay 60K miles each way in business class between New York and Frankfurt. If all else fails, you can book via Singapore Krisflyer, but you’ll pay 81K just for the New York to Frankfurt.

Here are the relevant point transfer options:

Rewards ProgramAmex Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
Chase Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
Citi Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
Marriott Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
Capital One Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
Bilt Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
Air Canada Aeroplan1 to 1 (Instant)1 to 1 (Instant)60K to 25K (4 to 5 days)1 to 1 (Instant)1 to 1 (~5 Minutes)
Alaska MileagePlan60K to 25K (~2 days)1 to 1 (~5 Minutes)
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer1 to 1 (Instant)1 to 1 (~17 hours)1 to 1 (~1 day)60K to 25K (~1 day)1 to 1 (~7 hours)

British Airways

Nick: I can eat a scone now and then, I’ve developed an appreciation for tea in adulthood, and I will assert that British comedy is generally better than American comedy, but otherwise I have to admit that I’m not much of an Anglophile. As such, I never had any interest in flying with British Airways. Then, I flew with British Airways – and I subsequently completely changed around flights for my next trip in order to fly British Airways Club World suites again.

Greg says: This doesn’t make my personal list of favorite business class flights. While the suite itself was very nice and had lots of storage, I thought the seat was very uncomfortable for sleeping because there was a gap between the two sections of the seat. My wife fixed her seat by using the bag that held the bedding: she rolled it up and stuck it in the gap. I’ll probably enjoy this seat more next time now that I know that trick. Service and food on my flight were both just okay.

How to book British Airways business class

British Airways is known for its incredibly high carrier-imposed surcharges, which can run add together with taxes to ring in around $750 each way between the US and Europe when booking through most programs. However, you have two key ways to book British Airways business class with reasonable surcharges. First, you can use British Airways Avios and pay more Avios to reduce the surcharges, paying about 80K Avios and $350 for a one-way business class ticket from New York to London. However, an even better option may be to use Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, which charges about 63K miles each way between the US and Europe in business class on British Airways and typically charges around $300 in taxes & fees for those flights (this varies a bit based on your departure point).

Here are the relevant point transfer options:

Rewards ProgramAmex Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
Chase Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
Citi Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
Marriott Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
Capital One Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
Bilt Transfer Ratio
(and transfer time)
British Airways Avios1 to 1 (Instant)1 to 1 (Instant)1 to 1 via Qatar (Instant)60K to 25K (~10 hours)1 to 1 (Unknown)1 to 1 (~5 Minutes)
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles1 to 1 (Instant)1 to 1 (Instant)60K to 25K (~1 day)1 to 1 (Instant)1 to 1 (~5 Minutes)
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What’s up FM?

I realize it is impossible to vet every merchant you may want to support with purchases, but the love for Qatar Air amongst the blogosphere in the setting of Sharia law is an obvious/easy no go for me. Just would not enjoy the ride. In addition Tim’s less than crazy positive assessment matches my impression as I am not appreciating anything ground breaking by the various reviews/photos.

Pam

We are flying our first biz class flight this spring. I guess it’s good it’s our first otherwise we might be disappointed… flying Lufthansa to MUC from DEN and American LHR to DFW. I’m sure we will love them.
We were on Turkish Airlines until they cancelled our flight & we had to find new ones.
Love the info!

Julie Garrison

I was fortunate when I booked Singapore first class suite on “the whale” for 86k membership rewards in August 2022. Probably the classiest flight I will ever take!! That flight has been discontinued in terms of the A380. I look forward to using Alaska miles soon for the business class beginning in March. Thank you FM team.

Semsem

The best Business I experienced was on an Etihad A380. Delta makes it impossible to get a Business award; 300,000 one way to Europe. United doubled to 175,000. I recently got a seat at 88,000 on Air France and Emirates. AlsoFinnair on American.

Mike

I must be the only one that read the title “Frequent Miler’s favorite business class flights”. And the part that says this is based on your overall experience. I think you made it really clear that this is not just another a best business class seat article.
We just got back from an around the world trip that included Lufthansa, Emirates and Qatar first class. And without a doubt our favorite flight was Starlux business class from LAX. Seat is amazing, food very good, service perfect and we got 6+ hours of real sleep. The best part (as mentioned in the United section) was leaving late, sleeping, eating breakfast and arriving at 6am. We were already adjusted to the time change. Great overall experience.

Christian

I’m pretty surprised that a 2x2x2 LATAM flight made the cut but EVA’s superb business class didn’t get a mention.

Stephen Pepper

I’d forgotten to add my entries to this list which I’ll be doing by tomorrow. EVA will be getting added by me 🙂

Nick Reyes

I haven’t ever flown EVA, so that’s why I didn’t list it as a favorite. Unsure whether Greg or Tim has, but certainly possible that they haven’t. We were listing our favorites here — Stephen notes though that he’ll be including EVA.

Christian

If you have the chance, EVA has by far the best inflight business class experience on the 77W. You should try it, purely in the interest of academic knowledge.

Who cares?

Very surprised this seasoned blog drops the ball on a few very well known J products.

The new Air France seats are the most luxurious in EU and the menu is curated by Michelin star chefs – what’s not to love?

JetBlue has a highly competitive international product in an intimate cabin – the throne seats are American Sophistication at its best.

Lastly the Virgin Atlantic suites on the A350 (I believe) is at or slightly above BA club world suites.

All to say… wth?

Stephen Pepper

These are our favorite business class flights we’ve taken ourselves, not a ranking of the best ones out there as we haven’t necessarily flown all of them.

Nick Reyes

As Stephen says, this is a ranking of the favorites that we’ve flown. I’ve only flown Air France’s standard 777 seats, which aren’t a favorite for me, either from the standpoint of the seat or the catering.

I will fly JetBlue Mint internationally later this year. I’ve flown them domestically and personally, I thought it was fine, but not special — similar to how I feel about TAP Air Portugal and Iberia.

JustSaying

No one talks about whether you get PJs on each carrier or not?

Nick Reyes

That’s not really a big selling point for me. Out of the PJs I’ve collected, the only ones that I’ve consistently reworn have been my Emirates First Class PJs.

JustSaying

That’s your opinion……..your readers YMMV……………narrow viewpoint loses every time…………

Last edited 2 months ago by JustSaying
Nick Reyes

But this post was precisely all about our narrow viewpoints.

Last edited 2 months ago by Nick Reyes
Luke

I might be alone, but Tim’s “tall guy” perspective on flying different airlines/classes is incredibly valuable to someone like myself and would love more of it!

Christian

+1. I’m 6’4″ myself so it’s great to hear.

hjeko

Hello

If you can manage to find saver-level Polaris business class on one of the domestic routes where it is flown, it should be possible to book via Turkish Miles & Smiles for just 15,000 miles each way.”

Can you clarify how you can do that? Not sure I understood

Thanks!

Hjeko

Nick Reyes

You just go to the Turkish Airlines website, log in, and go to the Star Alliance award search. Turkish recently increased the price for Star Alliance domestic business class to 15K miles (used to be 12.5K miles) each way. The challenge is going to be finding availability — United releases very, very, *very* little domestic business class to partners. Like you probably will not find a seat on any date for an entire year in advance most of the time. You have to get very lucky to find those seats available to partners.

rich

I haven’t flown internationally since 2017 or 2018 and don’t go to the mideast or asian countries so only to Europe which limits my options.

I just scheduled a couple of business class trips on Austrian (ORD-VIE) and a return on Air France (CDG-IAD). I’ve flown Austrian before and it was nice, especially the food. Never been on Air France. (Used LifeMiles 64K for Austrian and 50K Flying Blue miles for AF which I consider solid redemptions)

My wife and I enjoyed our first trip which was on Lufthansa first class back in 2008 when it was easier to fly them. The seat was fine but sitting in the upper deck was nice and the whole Frankfurt terminal experience on the return was excellent.

Maybe one day I’ll get one of the suites seats if they are still around and fly somewhere I’m interested in. I don’t enjoy 12+ hour trips so that also limits my options.

Nick Reyes

While I said above that Air France isn’t among my favorites, I should be clear and say that it’s nice — you’re not going to be disappointed. It’s just not among my favorites when I’m being picky about which ones I like the most. Definitely a great redemption for 50K and one that I won’t hesitate to book when it’s available and the schedule meets my needs.

I haven’t flown Austrian myself.

In terms of Europe limiting your options, I think that’s an interesting perspective. There are tons of airlines flying business class to/from Europe! I think you’ve got lots of options. And while you’ll miss out on the blingier experiences of the Middle East and Asian carriers for the most part, you do have Singapore JFK-FRA if you want to sneak in that experience (or Emirates JFK-MXP or EWR-ATH, though I’m far less excited about those unless / until they get the A380 back on the JFK-MXP route).

Ly18

The A380 is back on the JFK-MXP route

Jamal

I’ve flown on the British Airways new Club World Suites and United Polaris on the Boeing 777. I definitely liked the doors on the Club World Suites, but prefer the bedding of the United Polaris Boeing 777. I do have Qatar Q-Suites booked in November; which I’m greatly looking forward to.

I also have Delta One, but I’m booked on the 767-400 and Singapore Airlines as well, but I’m booked on the Airbus A350-900. I’m hoping that those flights still give me a good idea about the experience of those products, albeit not in their best configurations.

Lee

The word is that the aging 767-300s used on Delta One transcon are to be replaced with new A330s. Phase-in is supposed to start this year. This ought to be an interesting apples-to-apples competition with AA’s new XLRs.

Jamal

I’m scheduled to fly from Munich to JFK on the Delta One 767-400 this summer. It’s so hard to find Delta One availability bookable with Virgin Atlantic miles. I needed to use those miles from a speculative transfer I made when I first got started in the whole points and miles game. I foolishly thought it would be easy to book those ANA flights or Delta One trips to Europe with Virgin points. When the availability opened on this flight I quickly cancelled my British Airways 787 flight (I love those doors) just so I could redeem these Virgin points. It’s a subpar configuration, but it will have to do.

ECR12

Interesting to see British Airways mentioned while both Japanese carriers, Etihad, Korean, et al left off.

Andrew

Agreed, Etihad and ANA would be near the top for me. JAL not so much. I’ve never flown either of the Korean airlines even though I’ve visited.

Greg The Frequent Miler

This is a list of business class flights that the team has flown and picked as our favorites. We haven’t flown them all! I haven’t personally flown Etihad or Korean business class. And, BTW, BA made it onto the list for Nick, but not for me (I added a note about why I didn’t love it)

Nick Reyes

Like Greg says, this is a list of our favorites based on what we’ve flown. We’ve all traveled a lot, but none of us have flown everything :-).

As to the specific experiences you mentioned:

  • Etihad: I’ve actually only flown first class and economy (before miles and points) with Etihad.
  • Korean: I’ve never flown Korean
  • Japan Airlines: I’ve flown their Apex suites (I’m not a fan of Apex suites in general) and their regional business class (nice enough, but not a favorite)
  • ANA: I loved their old business class, but I know that nobody else seems to love it, so I didn’t include it. I haven’t flown their new business class (which looks awesome).
Andrew

You can’t beat ANA catering in my opinion. We did an Etihad first class to AUH with a stopover and then business to ICN. I was incredibly impressed by Etihad business class flight experience and would recommend trying it out sometime. I just don’t get the hype around JAL although I’m interested in their new business and first class.

Andrew

I’ll also say if I had to rate the ones I’ve gone on…

ANA
QR
EY
CX
TK
UA
Ethiopian (cloud 9, 1-2-1 layout)
DL
JAL
Air New Zealand
Egyptian Air
Avianca

We’re trying AF, AC, and Iberia in the near future so it’ll be interesting to see how they mix in.

Lee

Gentlemen, you might want to review the *new* Opera suite in business class on the Air France A350-900.

Nick Reyes

Thanks for the suggestion! I think in general none of us pick specific flights for review purposes as that’s not a primary focus for us, but we still wanted to share what we’ve liked the most with this post.

Lu Maggio

United Polaris – meh. The seat was ok, the food was, umm, North American.

Japan Airlines – the best so far, since I was luck enough to always fly in their first class-like seats (https://www.jal.co.jp/jp/en/inter/service/business/seat/skysuite.html)

Turkish Airlines – outstanding food, even on one hour flights. Who cares about the seat.

Greg The Frequent Miler

I’ve only flown Japan Airlines business class once. I didn’t love it. I haven’t yet flown Turkish long haul, but looking forward to doing so.

Nick Reyes

The Turkish catering was indeed terrific on our recent Turkish flight, but the seats were only OK (I wasn’t in a new configuration), which is why I didn’t weigh in on that.