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Best business class seat?

Geneva, Switzerland
Destination Expert
for Geneva, Liechtenstein, Air Travel
posts: 3,449
reviews: 307
Best business class seat?

I am wondering which airline has currently the best business class seat and why? Any experience to share?

Newmarket, Canada
posts: 797
reviews: 36
1. Re: Best business class seat?

That's certainly a matter of personal preference. For example, do you like the privacy of individual suites, or do you travel with a partner and prefer to sit side-by-side? Do you like leather covered seats or prefer fabric? Do you like them soft or firm?

I travel a lot on Air Canada. I like their seat because it reclines fully flat and you don't have to get out of the seat to convert it to sleeping mode (like some airlines). I like them because everybody has access to the aisle without disturbing another passenger. Disadvantages are that I can't easily talk to my wife from the suite. The angled pods make looking out the window awkard. The swing out screens on the AVOD have to be put away around the take-off and landing process.

I also travel a lot on United. I like their flat bed that converts to a bed without getting up. I like how I can talk to my wife in the seat. I don't like how the person by the window still has to climb over the person in the aisle to go to the loo. I like that I can keep watching AVOD right up until we reach the terminal. I don't like that the screen doesn't pivot when you have glare coming in from the windows. I also find the armrest is in my way a little bit during sleeping.

The one thing that I always avoid are airlines (like Lufthansa) where the flat bed isn't really fully flat, but flat at an angle. I just don't find those comfortable.

Adelaide, Australia
Destination Expert
for Air Travel, Business Travel
posts: 6,994
reviews: 77
2. Re: Best business class seat?

Without a doubt, for me... Air Canada. They are followed closely by the Continental subsidiary metal BusinessFirst of United. Long haul SQ A380 is okay, but I hate to have to make the bed.

The new refit LH seats are nice.

Seats to avoid include virtually anything on JAL, the new 8-across cabin of United, and the medium long-haul SQ seats.

Geneva, Switzerland
Destination Expert
for Geneva, Liechtenstein, Air Travel
posts: 3,449
reviews: 307
3. Re: Best business class seat?

For me, the main criteria is the seat and, yes, it has to be fully flat. So far, the best is on BA (with a special mention to the B747s upper-deck windows seats). But I didn't fly Air Canada recently...

Geomedic: did you fly on the B747-8 and tried that new LH seat?

Adelaide, Australia
Destination Expert
for Air Travel, Business Travel
posts: 6,994
reviews: 77
4. Re: Best business class seat?

I haven't flow it yet, but I'm over to FRA a few times a year, so if I don't make Global Services again, I'll give it a try. LH now flies the A380 into IAH, but the 748 goes to IAD.

I find the BA seats a little cramped, but the window seats are certainly very good. I skip the aisle seats and the middle pairs though. While BA has the 8-across config. at least the seats have privacy and stagger.

Edited: 7:32 pm, August 12, 2012
Newmarket, Canada
posts: 797
reviews: 36
5. Re: Best business class seat?

I had heard about the new LH seats, but haven't had a chance to try them yet. Most of my flights to FRA are out of YYZ, and they run the 346 on that flight, which only has the angled seats, so I always book with AC on that route. I'd have to connect in YUL through MUC on the 330 to get the new cabin, which seems a bit much just to try the new seat. But, I have heard good things about the new seats. Perhaps in a few more years they will have upgraded most of their fleet to get rid of those angled seats.

Geneva, Switzerland
Destination Expert
for Geneva, Liechtenstein, Air Travel
posts: 3,449
reviews: 307
6. Re: Best business class seat?

@DCH: yes, it will take years! Meanwhile we have deal with their current awful seat. This is why I am trying to avoid them but on some destinations, it is difficult!

Geneva, Switzerland
Destination Expert
for Geneva, Liechtenstein, Air Travel
posts: 3,449
reviews: 307
7. Re: Best business class seat?

@GeoMedic: I am 6"4 so space matters. Yes, BA's might be a bit cramped. But the privacy is just great! Btw, I also like Swiss' new seat. I think angled should have disappeared for a long time... NOT unfortunately.

Adelaide, Australia
Destination Expert
for Air Travel, Business Travel
posts: 6,994
reviews: 77
8. Re: Best business class seat?

For a while, airlines were getting away with saying their seats went to 180 degrees, but failed to mention it was 180 sloped degrees... what I call "sling butt" seats as you can use a fully stretched out seatbelt as a sling ans sleep sideways.

Hong Kong, China
Destination Expert
for Hong Kong, Osaka
posts: 34,696
reviews: 77
9. Re: Best business class seat?

Note that not all these airlines might be flying the route you want.

Cathay Pacific's new product is very good as well.

Vancouver, Canada
posts: 1
reviews: 15
10. Re: Best business class seat?

For me the most important factors are:

* Sleep Quality: Fully flat and not too hard

* Seat Quality: Is it comfortable to sit as well

* Space for feet/legs especially when sleeping

* Privacy

* Ease of aisle Access

For all these reasons my favourites are:

1. New Cathay Pacific Business Class Seat (not the older one that's like the Air Canada one)

2. South African Airways

3. Emirates

4. Singapore Air

5. British Airways

6. ANA

7. Air Canada

8. United/Continental Business First Product

9. Swiss

10. Asiana

I hear great things about the new business class product of Austrian as well...

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