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What’s the difference between first and business class?

When you’re flying long-haul around the world, you’ll usually notice some extra amenities and perks compared to a short-haul flight. That’s because in-flight comfort is so much more important on a 14-hour flight than it is for a 1-hour flight.

This is even true in economy, where you might be provided a meal on long-haul flights and you’ll just get snacks on a shorter flight.

But with so many different airlines offering tons of unique first and business class products, it can be difficult to nail down what the incremental differences are between first and business class. That’s one of the many benefits of having a points consultant, as well. 

So, in this guide, we’ll be providing you with the breakdown of business versus first class on international flights for all the airlines that offer an international first class product!

Let’s get started!

Find out how to maximize your points!


What’s the Difference Between First and Business Class on International Flights?

Emirates New 777 First Class

Emirates New 777 First Class. Image Credit: Emirates

Before we walk you through all the airlines from A to Z, let’s take a few minutes to discuss first and business class differences.

When you’re flying in business class, you will usually enjoy an easier check-in and security process at the airport.

Usually, there are separate check-in lines dedicated to business class passengers. Also, you may be entitled to priority security screening due to your ticket class.

You’ll also get extra checked bag allowance and priority luggage handling, which means you’ll usually get your bags earlier than economy travelers.

Once you’re fully checked in, you will have access to a business class lounge, where you can enjoy a meal, a shower, a drink or two, and so much more privacy than if you waited at the gate or in a non-business class lounge.

Once you’ve boarded, you’ll be seated in a private pod that reclines into a bed. You’ll savor a multicourse meal in business class, as well as a wine selection and other beverages.

You’ll be provided some bedding, including a comforter and a pillow, making it much easier to get some rest.

That’s what business class gets. So what is the difference between first and business class on international flights?

In first class, you may get access to chauffeur service right at your doorsteps. You might get picked up in a luxury car and whisked directly to the airport.

After getting dropped off, you’ll have access to the first class check-in line, which almost always has the shortest line, considering how exclusive first class is.

Your checked baggage will be the first items off of the plane, and you’ll also be among the first to board for maximum convenience.

Before that, though, you can access an ultra-exclusive first class lounge to escape the chaos of an international airport. Just show them your boarding pass, and you’ll be ushered in immediately.

Once you’re there, you can enjoy freshly prepared fine-dining quality à la carte meals with waiter service, a shower in your own suite with luxury toiletries, and spectacularly unique amenities like cigar bars and spas.

When it’s time to board, you may be escorted or chauffeured directly to the plane, where you’ll lay your eyes on a gigantic and private first class suite with more room than you ever imagined!

Your huge, oversized seat will likely have doors and privacy partitions, as well as up to 5 of your own windows in window seats!

The flight attendants will stow away your coats and carry-on bags for you while you settle down and enjoy some pre-flight Champagne, usually expensive houses like Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame, Dom Perignon, Krug, or Perrier-Jouët.

Another huge difference between first and business class is the amenities you get.

In first class, you’ll get noise cancellation headphones that’ll please even the pickiest of audiophiles. You’ll also find stuffed amenity kits filled to the brim with luxury toiletries from brands like Aēsop or La Prairie, fluffy slippers that’ll envelop your feet in warmth, and silky pajamas that’ll make you feel right at home.

Wi-Fi is usually free for first class as well, while business class passengers have to pay up.

You’ll notice an oversized in-flight monitor so you can enjoy crisp-quality TV shows and movies while you’re indulging in haute cuisine, showcasing white tablecloth service and fine dining with all the accoutrements, including caviar service, wine accompaniments, and dining on demand.

Whenever you please, you can request turndown service in first class, and that’s when your warm flight attendant will lay down a mattress pad, a couple of pillows, and a duvet, effectively turning your suite into a real bed in the sky!

The quality of service in first class is known to be much more personalized and refined compared to business class. Because there are more passengers in business class, the cabin crew has to serve more people in the same amount of time, which can result in slower service and a less personalized experience.

The last major difference between first and business class is that first class can cost up to $30,000 one-way, while business class tickets usually max out at $10,000 one-way. But our students at The Points University routinely pay less than $100 for these breathtaking experiences.

Now that we’ve shown you what first class is like in comparison to business class, let’s break it down with every airline! Remember that the seat is just 1 element of the entire experience. You can technically try out the same seats on domestic flights, but you will probably not get the full first class package.

And since each airline can even offer drastically different products within its network, we’ll be focusing on the crème de la crème of each airline’s first and business class products.

Air China

Air China First Class

Air China First Class

Air China First Class. Image Credit: Air China

Air China first class is among the most expensive tickets you can book in the entire world, thanks to a growing upper class in the world’s most populous country.

The first class seats are incredibly huge. With this amount of space, you’ll probably think that these suites were made for giants. The seat (not including the armrests) measures 24-27 inches wide and 80-83 inches in pitch, which is long enough for someone nearly 7 feet tall!

The suites are laid out in a 1-2-1 arrangement, and they all have plenty of privacy dividers. The in-flight television measures 26 inches and is fully touchscreen.

There’s a storage closet to hang your coat and 4 windows per seat. The amenities include a pair of on-ear noise cancellation headphones, comfortable slippers, a basic L’Occitane amenity kit, pajamas, a copy of the local newspaper, a bedding set consisting of a mattress pad, a pillow, and a duvet.

Champagne houses like Bollinger La Grande Annee Brut 2007 are on offer, and a multicourse meal is offered, starting with fresh seafood canapés, then moving to appetizers, salad, bread, soup, and a Chinese main course. One of the favorites is the beef noodle soup!

There’s no Wi-Fi, and its service quality is rapidly improving, so don’t overlook this product! Best of all, award availability is phenomenal.

Click here to learn about some routes that offer Air China first class.

Air China Business Class

Air China Business Class

Air China Business Class. Image Credit: Air China

Air China business class consists of Aerospace Diamond seats in a 2-2-2 configuration.

These seats are fully lie-flat, but they lack privacy because they’re exposed and don’t have walls or privacy dividers. Window seats don’t have direct aisle access, either.

Each seat is 21 inches wide and 60-61 inches in pitch (it goes longer in bed mode). The in-flight TV measures 15 inches, compared to first class’s 26-inch touchscreen monitor.

In business class, you’ll have slippers and a L’Occitane amenity kit waiting for you. Noise cancellation headphones are also provided, though they’re pretty basic.

For bedding, you’ll have a comforter and a pillow to use. These business class seats have footwells instead of ottomans, so you’ll have to tuck your feet into a crevice to sleep.

Air China stocks pretty cheap Champagne bottles, but they’re decent choices like Drappier Carte d’Or Brut NV.

When the meal service comes around, you’ll first sample an amuse-bouche, then an appetizer salad combo, bread, and the main entrée. You’ll finish off with a dessert like ice cream.

There’s no Wi-Fi, just like in first class, and the service is pretty welcoming overall.

Click here to learn about some routes that offer Air China business class.

To the Point:

Compared to business class, Air China first class offers a way more spacious suite, an in-flight monitor that’s twice the size, pajamas, a mattress pad, better Champagne, and a better gastronomic experience (no caviar, though).

Sadly, the lounges on the ground are lackluster, the amenity kit isn’t differentiated between first and business class, there’s no Wi-Fi even in first class, and the headphones are more or less the same in first class.

Air France

Air France La Première First Class

Air France La Premiere First Class

Air France La Première First Class. Image Credit: Air France

In one word, Air France’s first class, known as La Première, is elegant. This world-famous first class seat is incredibly difficult to book using points.

La Première offers quintessential Parisian luxury and sits atop the bucket list for most travelers. After all, what better way to arrive in style than aboard Air France first class?

If you are making a connection in Paris, you’ll be picked up at the plane and driven directly to the first class lounge and again onto your connecting flight.

The La Première Lounge & Spa is at the top of our best airport lounges in Europe, thanks to an Alain Ducasse menu, a spa with complimentary treatments and Biologique Recherche products, and incredible shower suites.

When you step aboard the plane, your jaw will drop at the incredible exclusivity of La Première, with just 1 row of 4 seats in a 1-2-1 arrangement.

The seats also have a curtain that you can draw for total privacy. While the 24-inch wide and 79-inch pitch seats aren’t the biggest out there, the ottoman doubles as an awesome buddy seat so you can dine with your companion.

The seat has everything you need, including storage compartments, outlets, easy-to-use seat controls, a stylish reading lamp, and a personal magazine rack!

The HD television measure 24 inches diagonally and is incredibly clear. First class amenities include pajamas, an accompanying pajama pouch, slippers, socks, a hefty amenity kit with luxury Carita products, a pen, a shoehorn, an eyemask, and a comb.

Headphones are from Denon, which is superior to Bose products in sound quality.

The bedding spread aboard La Première is world-famous. With a mattress pad that rivals 5-star hotel beds, a cozy duvet, an oversized pillow, and curtains you can draw, you’ll have no problem falling into a deep slumber.

Before you do that, you should prepare yourself for the phenomenal dining experience. You’ll start with an endless pour of Taittinger Comtes de Champagne or Krug Grande Cuvée, then move on to your Michelin star-quality meal, boasting Ossetra caviar, and flavors booming left and right. It’s no wonder La Première is known to have the best airplane food in the world!

Free Wi-Fi is available on most, if not all first class flights. The service is simply second-to-none. This is simply an incredible first class product.

Click here to learn about some routes that offer La Première first class.

Air France Business Class

Air France Business Class

Air France Business Class. Image Credit: Air France

Air France also has an excellent reputation for its business class product. While you can’t get complimentary access to the La Première lounge, you’ll have the chance to visit the business class lounge.

Once you board your flight, you’ll usually see business class seats that go fully lie-flat with direct aisle access arranged in a 1-2-1 layout. The seat is 21 inches wide and 79 inches long in bed mode. The in-flight monitor measures 16 to 18 inches, depending on which aircraft you’re on.

The Air France-branded amenity kit is stocked with Clarins products, an eye mask, a pen, a microfiber cloth, a shoehorn, a dental kit, and earplugs.

Noise-canceling headphones are offered, and bedding consists of a plush comforter and a thick pillow.

The business class menu is quick and efficient, with options like mushroom ravioli, scallops, braised beef, a cod filet, and more.

Wi-Fi is offered for purchase and service tends to be consistent.

Click here to learn about some routes that offer Air France business class.

Air India

Air India First Class

Air India First Class

Air India First Class. Image Credit: Air India

Air India’s premium cabin products have a terrible reputation, but if you happen to be flying on them, here’s what to expect.

Air India first class has large armchair first class seats with a shell around the front and rear sections of your seat, just like Japan Airlines.

There are 8 seats in a 1-2-1 configuration across 2 rows. There’s a decent amount of storage at each seat but the seats are notoriously dirty and in bad condition.

The amenity kits are Air India branded and have Kadhi skincare products. You’ll also get pajamas, slippers, an eye mask, and socks. The headphones are bare-bones, and the bedding consists of a mattress sheet, 2 pillows, and a duvet.

Generally, the food gets very high marks, but you won’t get access to any expensive Champagnes or any dine-on-demand concept as you would aboard other first class airlines.

Sadly, the service is reputed to be inconsistent, mostly sloppy and disappointing but sometimes personalized and special.

Click here to learn about some routes that offer Air India first class.

Air India Business Class

Air India Business Class

Air India Business Class. Image Credit: Flyertalk

Air India wins the award for the world’s worst business class, and this goes hand-in-hand with its reputation for being a comically bad airline overall.

Air India business class is set up with 7 seats (2-3-2) in each row aboard the 777-300ER or 6 seats (2-2-2) in each row aboard the 787 Dreamliners. These narrow seats are angle-flat, which means it doesn’t recline completely.

If that wasn’t enough, these seats are usually filthy and have DIY repairs (including re-taping up broken parts to the seat). Plus, there’s almost no storage available.

The amenities are totally no-frills, with some of the thinnest slippers you’ll find, an eye mask, a pair of socks, flimsy headphones, a tiny pillow, a scratchy blanket, and a surprisingly silky pillow. The amenity kit contains Khadi toiletries (like first class).

Your entire meal is brought to you on a single tray, and the Champagne is usually Lanson Black Label.

There’s no Wi-Fi aboard, and the service is basic.

Click here to learn about some routes that offer Air India business class.

To the Point:

The biggest difference between Air India’s first class and business class is the seat. In first class, you get a larger open suite, and in business class, you get a narrow seat that doesn’t recline fully flat. The highlight is the food, but that’s about it.

The in-flight entertainment, amenities, bedding, and service are mediocre at best, and it doesn’t help that these seats are usually dirty.

All Nippon Airways (ANA)

ANA First Class

ANA First Class

ANA First Class. Image Credit: ANA

ANA offers one of the most coveted first class experiences out there. Offering eight seats in a 1-2-1 configuration on their 777-300ER planes, these are called The Suite.

Each seat is self-contained, reclines, lays flat, and comes with a 43-inch 4K monitor paired with Sony headphones.

There’s enough storage for small items and you can pull the doors to cocoon yourself inside. 

A suitcase-style amenity kit with toiletries from The Ginza is handed to guests, including pajamas, slippers, and a cardigan. Pillows and blankets are on the seat.

Pre-flight champagne is usually a Krug Grande Cuvée, paired with amuse-bouche. Dining starts 20 minutes after takeoff with both Japanese and Western cuisine served on the flight. A tin of caviar is on offer too!

For Wi-Fi, it’s complimentary with no data cap.

From the details, attentive service, and excellent food, ANA’s first class cabin is a treat.

Click here to learn about some routes that offer ANA first class.

ANA Business Class

ANA Business Class

ANA Business Class. Image Credit: ANA

ANA’s The Room is considered among the best business class seats in the skies right now.

Business rows are arranged in a 1-2-1 configuration with front and rear-facing seats.

Seats in business are 38 inches wide with a 13-inch footwell. A 24-inch IFE monitor with a pull-out remote is paired with Sony headphones. There’s storage, USB port, and charging outlets. The real treat for business is doors can be pulled for privacy.

Slippers, a shoehorn, and shoe bag with a pillow, and Nishikawa-made mattresses are given to guests. Pajamas and a cardigan are upon request. Guests also get a Global Trotter amenity kit. 

For food and drinks, it’s similar to first but champagne is Duvay-Leroy Brut Reserve instead of Krug.

The Wi-Fi isn’t free and costs $21.95 for the flight.

Service is attentive but isn’t personalized. ANA’s business class may not be as polished as first, but it hits all the right spots.

Click here to learn about some routes that offer ANA business class.

American Airlines

American Airlines Flagship First Class

American Airlines Flagship First Class

American Airlines Flagship First Class. Image Credit: American Airlines

Among U.S. carriers, only American Airlines has a first class product, their “Flagship First.” 

First passengers get “Flagship Check-in” and access to AA’s Flagship Lounges, which are some of the best airport lounges in the U.S.

On the plane, Flagship First seats differ depending on the flight. Transcontinental flights on the A321T have five rows of 1-1 seating while the 777-300ER for international flights has eight seats in a 1-2-1 configuration.

In the 777, the seats have no doors and are tight. The chair swivels in 3 positions though which is excellent for window-watching or working.

Storage is tricky, especially with the thick Casper-branded mattress pad, blanket, pillows, pajamas, and slippers guests are given. 

Amenity kits in transcontinental flights are by APL and contain skincare items, earplugs, a FlyFit hydration pack, and an eye mask. International flights get a leather case from This Is Ground with more or less similar items.

IFE for AA is a 16.5-inch touchscreen with remote along with Bang & Olufsen headphones, (not a Bose but still good!)

Drinks come pre-poured and often a Lanson Noble Cuvée Brut Champagne. Meal selection is not spectacular but good. 

Wi-Fi costs $19 for long-haul flights and comes with no data cap.

Service in American Airlines is notoriously hit or miss. While far from Cathay Pacific First levels, Flagship First is still better than in business.

Click here to learn about some routes that offer American Airlines Flagship First Class.

American Airlines Flagship Business Class

American Airlines Flagship Business Class

American Airlines Flagship Business Class. Image Credit: American Airlines

Seats in Flagship Business have a 43-inch pitch in a 1-2-1 configuration.

Each seat is private and fitted with a swing-out 15.4-inch monitor with a wired remote. There’s a light panel, small storage, a charging port, headphones, and a footwell.

Amenity kits from This Is Ground contain a dental kit, mouthwash, pen, mints, socks, earplugs, eye mask, tissue, Allies of Skin products, and a discount code. Casper pillows and blankets are available and for longer flights, you get an extra mattress, slippers, and pajamas. 

Drinks and nibbles are offered 30-40 minutes into the flight with dinner following shortly. Breakfast is served 90 minutes before landing.

Speedy Wi-Fi is available starting at $12 for 2 hours and up to $19 for the entire flight.

Click here to learn about some routes that offer American Airlines Flagship Business Class.

British Airways

British Airways First Class

British Airways First Class

British Airways First Class. Image Credit: British Airways

To start, premium check-in for first class guests gets you through security in seconds. From there, it’s off to The Concorde Room where your first class experience begins.

Waltz into the plane like a celebrity as each staff greets you by name. Seats are in a 1-2-1 layout. A buddy seat, a foldout IFE monitor with a remote, a tiny closet, and mood lighting complete the space.

Guests are handed Temperley London pajamas, pillows, blankets, and bedding. A black amenity kit filled with Elemis products, dental kit, eye mask, comb, pen, and socks is also offered. Slippers are upon demand.

For food and beverages, Laurent Perrier Grand Siécle champagne is free-flowing and a multi-course meal in stunning crockery is served 2 hours after takeoff.

For Wi-Fi, it’s not free. “Browse” packages start at $6 to $18 while “Stream” packages are $10 for one hour and $30 for the full flight.

British Airways may not win any awards for their first class product but their staff are well-trained and always know how to make you feel special.

Click here to learn about some routes that offer British Airways first class.

British Airways Business Class

British Airways Business Class

British Airways Business Class. Image Credit: British Airways

British Airways calls its long-haul business class product Club World. Passengers here get dedicated check-in and priority boarding. Lounge access is available too.

Seats in Club World are spacious, with ample legroom and a seat that converts into a 6-foot bed! The seat configuration could differ by plane. On a 787, seats are in a 2-3-2 layout.

A fluffy pillow, a mattress, and two blankets from The White Company make sleeping easier. They also provide an amenity kit with moisturizer, socks, eye mask, toothpaste, toothbrush, lip balm, and pen. Headphones are available but not the best quality.

IFE’s in some BA planes now include a 17-inch monitor. For food and drinks, Club World has cocktails alongside their Canarde Duchene Leonie champagne. Starters like salmon paired with main choices in chicken or beef are filling if you’re feeling peckish.

Wi-Fi is available on select Club World flights. BA is updating Wi-Fi on their fleet but not all have them yet.

Click here to learn about some routes that offer British Airways business class.

Cathay Pacific

Cathay Pacific First Class

Cathay Pacific first class

Cathay Pacific first class. Image Credit: AuPACS

At the airport, Cathay Pacific’s first class lounges are at the top of our list of the best airport lounges in Asia. Lounges like The Pier First Class Lounge in Hong Kong are always impeccable with cozy interiors, a fabulous noodle bar, and more.

Seats in first are private, luxurious, and spacious thanks to a 1-1-1 layout. There are only six seats here, outmatched only by Air France’s four-seat first cabin.

Seats are 36 inches wide with a pitch of 81-inches and fitted with a 17-inch HD monitor controlled by a handset. There’s good storage for small items, a stylish tray table, USB ports, and outlets.

Bamford pillows and bedding are on the seat and a proper 600-count Bamford bedding is provided on turndown service. Need a softer pillow? Check the “pillow menu” to choose firmness.

Amenity kits are also by Bamford. It contains a dental kit, eye masks, moisturizer and mist, lip balm, and earplugs. Note, women receive a four-step skincare line with theirs. Bose headphones for the IFE, 100% organic cotton pajamas and slippers from PYE and a warm towel are handed within minutes of boarding.

For pre-flight champagne, either a Krug or a Deutz Cuvée William Deutz will arrive with mixed nuts. Meals at Cathay Pacific are seasonal so expect unique dishes depending on when you’re flying.

Wi-Fi is complimentary and great for browsing and streaming.

Service in Cathay First is smooth and flawless with emphasis on each passenger’s comfort.

Click here to learn about some routes that offer Cathay Pacific first class.

Cathay Pacific Business Class

Cathay Pacific Business Class

Cathay Pacific Business Class. Image Credit: Cathay Pacific

Cathay Pacific’s business class offers a 1-2-1 configuration. These are tilted away from the aisle for minimal interruption and plenty of quiet time.

In the seat is a pull-out IFE monitor with handy controls on the side. There’s ample storage with USB and power outlets within reach. Foldout tray tables are on the left side and the armrest can be raised or lowered.

Amenity kits are standard, containing a dental kit, hand lotion, earplugs, socks, and an eye mask. There’s also a Bamford pillow, thin mattress, duvet, and slippers. Pajamas don’t show up in business.

A fantastic selection of starters and dishes are offered as inflight cuisine and anytime dining is available.

For Wi-Fi, access starts at $9.95 for an hour to $19.95 for the entire flight.

Service in Cathay flights is always attentive. But expect attendants to be reserved as the goal is to be as non-intrusive to the customer’s experience as possible.

Click here to learn about some routes that offer Cathay Pacific business class.

China Eastern Airlines

China Eastern First Class

China Eastern First Class

China Eastern First Class. Image Credit: China Eastern

China Eastern ranks low on their first soft products and amenities, but they do have good chairs.

The seats are made of leather with a 26.5-inch width and transform into a 78-inch bed suite for sleep. A closet, shelf, tray table, and closing doors complete the space.

A thin pillow with a thick blanket is on the seat. There’s a “welcome aboard” note, pajamas and slippers are also provided. An amenity kit from Salvatore Ferragamo is filled with hand lotion, face mist, earplugs, an eye mask, a comb, and a dental kit.

IFE consists of a 24-inch screen with a good helping of films and shows. Some IFE’s can be broken on some flights though.

Preflight drinks are offered with full meals served 30-minutes after takeoff. Dishes are mostly Chinese with select Western meals. The presentation isn’t refined but they serve Perrier-Jouet champagne at least.

Wi-Fi is free but slow.

Service is hit or miss. The staff is practical and friendly but the soft product is underwhelming and leaves a lot of room for improvement.

Click here to learn about some routes that offer China Eastern first class.

China Eastern Business Class

China Eastern Business Class

China Eastern Business Class. Image Credit: China Eastern

Seats in business are in a 1-2-1 reverse herringbone layout with a 75-inch pitch and 23.6-inch width.

Surrounding the seat is a side table, hidden compartment, lights, outlet, and USB port. A 16-inch touchscreen IFE with remote swings out for viewing.

L’Occitane products are inside the amenity kit including a dental kit, eye mask, lip balm, moisturizer, and earplugs. Slippers are offered but no pajamas. Bedding is stored in the overhead cabins.

Food is served out of trays. The food and presentation are also nothing to write home about.

Wi-Fi on the plane is available but spotty.

Service is prompt and attentive, but others might be put off by the robotic nature of the staff.

Click here to learn about some routes that offer China Eastern business class.

China Southern Airlines

China Southern First Class

China Southern First Class

China Southern First Class. Image Credit: China Southern

Seats in China Southern first class are dated but still work. All 8 seats in first are 29-inches across with 5-foot walls for privacy. There’s even a sliding door to convert it into a suite.

Small compartments are all around including a locker at the cabin front. Nearby are the IFE remote, a USB port, headphone jacks, and seat controls. A retractable table is on the right side.

The IFE touchscreen is large but sluggish on the A380. In the 787s, they are more modern.

For the soft products, there’s an amenity kit from Salvatore Ferragamo stocked with hand cream, earplugs, toothbrush kit, cotton swabs, comb, cotton pads, eye mask, and fragrance. Slippers, pajamas, thick mattress pads, and two pillows are also provided.

Guests get a pre-departure drink and snack. A six-course meal is given after takeoff. Champagne is usually a Piper Heidsieck, the same as in business.

Wi-Fi isn’t on the A380 but the modern planes in the fleet are getting fitted with Wi-Fi.

Service on first is remarkable, with proactive attendants ready to make sure each guest is comfortable.

Click here to learn about some routes that offer China Southern first class.

China Southern Business Class

China Southern business class

China Southern business class. Image Credit: China Southern

Seats in business for the 787 Dreamliner come in a 1-2-1 configuration. The 787 has Thompson Vantage XL seats, the same as those in the Qantas 787.

These seats include a privacy divider, are spacious, and fully recline. There’s a small compartment, shelf, seat controls, power outlets, and a 15-inch touchscreen IFE with a remote in the suite.  A 21-inch pop-out table is under the monitor.

Amenities in flight include a pillow, a blanket, and a mattress. Slippers and a brown amenity kit by Swiss company Chopard are also handed out.

All meal orders are taken before departure and meal service starts 30 minutes into the flight.

Wi-Fi on newer planes like the 787 is free for business, but older planes don’t have Wi-Fi.

Attendants on China Southern are pleasant and will even thank you personally for flying with them. It’s a small gesture but appreciated.

Click here to learn about some routes that offer China Southern business class.


Emirates First Class

Emirates 777 First Class Window Seat

Emirates 777 First Class Window Seat. Image Credit: AuPACS

From premium check-in, to access to the First Class Lounge (or concourse, really) down to boarding right inside the lounge, Emirates First Class is a sleek experience.

Emirates offers first class with showers on their A380s, and the 777s also have luxurious first class suites.

These new suites have floor-to-ceiling enclosures and seats 76-inches long and 60-inches wide in a neutral shade. There’s a stocked minibar, a mirrored vanity with toiletries, a notepad, and a pen.

A side hatch opens and closes, used by attendants to serve your drinks without going inside the suite.

The IFE is a 32-inch touchscreen monitor with over 500 movies in over 40 languages. There’s also an airshow for keeping track of your flight and even a pair of Steiner binoculars. Unnecessary but a cool touch!

By the window is a tablet to control everything in the suite. And yes, you can video call “room service” from here. Another monitor controls mood lighting and temperature and even shows you if the bathroom is available.

Slippers, pajamas, and an eye mask are provided with an amenity kit filled with Bvlgari products. 

Pre-flight drinks, coffee, and dates are served. For champagne, Emirates offers Dom Pérignon 2009. They also have Hennessy Paradis which retails for over $1000 per bottle.

Meals on Emirates are impeccable, with a full six-course meal and dine-on-demand service.

For Wi-Fi, it’s free for those with a Skywards number. Otherwise, you can purchase it for $15.99.

Service on Emirates is outstanding. The attendants are professional, prompt, and proactive.

Click here to learn about some routes that offer Emirates first class.

Emirates Business Class

Emirates Business Class

Emirates Business Class. Image Credit: Emirates

Business cabins in the A380 are in a 1-2-1 configuration while in the 777 they have the cramped 2-3-2 layout.

Seats in the A380 have a 48-inch pitch with an 18.5-inch width. Each one has a generous side table and minibar. There are also headphones, an eyeshade and socks tucked on the top shelf of the bar.

A 23-inch monitor is pre-loaded with hundreds of movies and shows. Amenity kits feature Bvlgari perfume, lotion, tissues, a brush, a mirror, and a dental kit.

Food and beverage are amazing with pre-flight meals provided.

Business passengers, like first guests, can also enjoy the bar area on the A380 upper deck. Guests can order drinks and grab light bites or just hang out.

Service on Emirates flights is always good. They have professional crews from various countries and can speak different languages – a point of pride for the airline.

Click here to learn about some routes that offer Emirates business class.

Etihad Airways

Etihad Airways First Class/First Class Apartments

Etihad Airways First Class

Etihad Airways First Class. Image Credit: Etihad Airways

Stepping inside Etihad First class means from the check-in, and lounge, to the plane – it’s a carefully curated experience designed to impress.

Etihad’s Chauffeur drive is still offered at their hub in Abu Dhabi Airport. So, whether arriving or departing, expect a luxury vehicle to take you to and from the airport. Enjoy premium check-in and a luxury first class lounge to unwind in as you wait for your flight.

Onboard, Etihad’s First cabins are private and spacious. Their A380 Apartments provide passengers a mini-home up in the air. Inside is a chair and a wide bench upholstered in Poltrona Frau leather.

This bench transforms into a bed once you‘re ready to sleep. And the space underneath the bench is designated as storage.

The main seat comes with a pitch of 80 inches and a width of 29.5 inches, has built-in massagers, and cushion control too. On the armrests are controls for the window, entertainment center, and lighting. There’s also a small vanity and minibar.

Amenity kits from Acqua di Parma, an Italian luxury company come with body lotion, fragrance, lip balm, dental kit, socks, and eye mask. Pajamas and a fleece blanket are offered while additional bedding are given upon turndown service. And if you feel like taking a shower, there’s an onboard shower on the A380 too!

Etihad’s 24-inch IFE monitor swivels and tilts for easy watching when sitting or lying down in bed. It comes preloaded with hundreds of movies and shows.

Food and drinks in Etihad are remarkable, with First enjoying the expertise of a dedicated chef on board.

There’s also a lounge on the upper deck that’s open to First and Business guests.

Wi-Fi onboard the A380 is available and first passengers get a complimentary 90 MB data card to use.

Service in Etihad is professional and prompt. The attendants are friendly, always addressing passengers by name.

Click here to learn about some routes that offer Etihad first class.

Etihad Airways Business Class

Etihad Airways business class

Etihad Airways business class. Image Credit: Dmitry Birin via Shutterstock

Etihad Airways business class isn’t as luxurious as its First Apartments, but it’s every bit as classy and premium as any.

Onboard the A380s, business is at the upper deck with a 1-2-1 configuration. Each row comes with forward and rear-facing seats. Window seats (even numbered) are farthest from the aisle and perfect for a little more privacy.

All seats have a small side table, a storage compartment, seat controls, a mood lamp, a table, a handheld remote, and touchscreen controls.

In-flight entertainment consists of a large touchscreen monitor preloaded with hundreds of films. The selection is pretty good and some are current films.

Etihad business class on the A380s also has access to the onboard lounge and bar.

The amenity kit is from Acqua di Parma, and contains lotion, lip balm, an eye mask, socks, and a dental kit.

Preflight drinks include Etihad’s staple of lime and mint juice and Piper-Heidsieck Cuvée champagne, among others. An å la carte starter, mains, and desserts, and an “All Day” menu are also available.

For Wi-Fi, it’s available starting at $5.95 for 50 MB.

Service is attentive, even though attendants are serving a lot of business passengers at one time.

Click here to learn about some routes that offer Etihad business class.

Garuda Indonesia

Garuda Indonesia First Class

Garuda Indonesia First Class

Garuda Indonesia First Class. Image Credit: Garuda Indonesia

Garuda First starts with chauffeur service if you’re flying out of their hub in Jakarta. Once in the terminal, agents will collect your bag and guide you through the airport, breezing through immigration, and ushering you inside the velvet-roped lounge.

Once boarding comes, agents will escort you through security and the plane. Almost every staff along the way bows and greets you like royalty.

Onboard, cabin seats are in a 1-1 configuration with only four suites. Each one comes with spacious leather seats and ample storage. It also massages, reclines and lays flat.

The attendant will come in presenting slippers and will even kneel in front of you to take off your shoes and put the slipper on your feet! Staff will also kneel in front of you while speaking so both of you are at eye level.

IFE is a 23.5-inch monitor with noise-canceling headphones to match. A handheld remote is available for convenience.

Amenity kits from Loewe are given to each guest. This contains body lotion, lip balm, a toothbrush, earplugs, hairbrush, and eye mask. Pajamas and quality slippers are also given.

Meals are provided by an in-flight chef who will personally visit your suite to take your order.

Turndown service is provided and the seat doors close, giving you a private suite.

Wi-Fi is complimentary to first class guests.

Garuda Airlines’ service is one of the finest in the air. Their staff is professional with plenty of “heart.”

Click here to learn about some routes that offer Garuda Indonesia first class.

Garuda Indonesia Business Class

Garuda Indonesia Business Class

Garuda Indonesia Business Class. Image Credit: Garuda Indonesia

Garuda’s business class on the 777 features a 1-2-1 reverse herringbone layout.

Seats come with a side table and a folding headrest with an adjustable reading lamp on the shelf. There’s a small storage pocket for literature and magazines.

At the sides are seat controls and the IFE remote along with a handy foldout tray table for dining.

A 15-inch monitor serves as in-flight entertainment. These look dated but work fine.

Plastic-wrapped blankets and slippers are provided. There’s also an amenity kit complete with dental items, Clarins lip balm, lotion, comb, earplugs, and eye mask.

Once lights are turned off, it reveals starry-night lighting, making sleep easier.

Garuda serves pre-flight drinks and nuts but no champagne since these are served after takeoff. Meals aren’t as personalized as in first but you get a full course, along with a second meal before landing.

Wi-Fi is on-demand and starts at $11.95 for an hour.

Service is warm, cordial, and prompt with an emphasis on passengers getting their needs met in flight.

Click here to learn about some routes that offer Garuda Indonesia business class.

Japan Airlines

Japan Airlines First Class

Japan Airlines First Class (2)

Japan Airlines First Class. Image Credit: AuPACS

Booking Japan Airlines first class is a favorite for awards and points enthusiasts and it’s easy to see why.

On the 777, the first class cabin features a 1-2-1 configuration. Each seat is 79-inches wide and 23-inches across, fully reclines, and comes with a brand new, “spa” smell.

In front are an IFE monitor, an ottoman, and a shelf. There’s also a tray table with a belt system for dining.

For amenities, a blanket and firm pillow are on the seat along with an amenity kit by Etro. It comes with two eye masks, a lip balm, tissues, moisturizer, mouthwash, earplugs, and a toothbrush. Pajamas and slippers are also offered. Before turndown service, attendants will ask for your choice of mattress firmness.

The in-flight entertainment consists of a large 9-inch monitor in front of the seat. There’s a handheld remote for convenience and Bose headphones to go with it.

Food and dining start with your choice of pre-flight drinks. JAL usually has several champagnes on offer including Louis Roederer Cristal 2009, Piper-Heidsieck, and the Comtes de Champagne Grands Crus Blanc de Blancs 2007. 

Meals are available in Japanese or Western with winning choices on each side. From Wagyu steak to seafood delicacies like fugu, crab, caviar, and abalone – take your pick!

Wi-Fi is complimentary in first class with no data cap.

Service is spectacular in Japan Airlines. The hard product is simple but the soft product including the attendants (and food!) makes this a fantastic experience.

Click here to learn about some routes that offer Japan Airlines first class.

Japan Airlines Business Class

Japan Airlines Business Class

Japan Airlines Business Class. Image Credit: Japan Airlines

Onboard, JAL planes have different configurations for business. On the 777, they have a 2-3-2 layout with each seat having aisle access. But on the 787, they have a 2-2-2 configuration. 

Seats are ample with an ottoman that works as a footrest. There are seat controls, various outlets, and ports as well as the IFE controller within reach.

A pillow and light blanket are on the seat. More bedding will be brought out when it’s time to sleep. Slippers and an amenity kit are also provided. The kit has eye masks, dental kits, moisture masks, and medicated sticks. They will also provide a cardigan to each passenger.

In-flight entertainment is ample but the selection is limited and the screen isn’t a touchscreen. The remote does work great but it can be inconvenient.

Pre-flight drinks, either orange juice or champagne, is served in plastic cups. Meals are available in Japanese or Western.

Wi-Fi access is for purchase at $18.80 for the entire flight.

Service is good but not exceptional. It would depend on the crew, really. It is professional, friendly, and well-intentioned but lacks the exceptional attention you get in first class.

Click here to learn about some routes that offer Japan Airlines business class.

Korean Air

Korean Air First Class

Korean Air First Class

Korean Air First Class. Image Credit: Korean Air

On the air, their A380s feature 12 seats arranged in a 1-2-1 configuration. Each seat has an open-air design that’s 26.5 inches wide with an 83-inch pitch.

The armrest comes with seat controls and the IFE remote underneath. An unusual reading light sticks out on the side while at the front of the seat is a large monitor.

Amenities include a slipper contained in a Korean Air bag on the seat. A light blanket, noise-canceling Bose headphones, an amenity kit with a dental kit, Atelier Cologne face cream, hand cream, lip balm, lotion, aftershave, and an eye mask are also offered.

They also offer Gianfranco Ferre pajamas, extra toothbrushes, and facial mists while in the air.

For IFE, the monitor is large but offers limited movies and only 1 to 2 episodes of the shows.

Meals on offer include Korean and Western dishes. Usually, there are two meals served, one after takeoff and another meal 90 minutes before landing. Drinks onboard are extensive with Perrier Jouet Bell Epoque Rosé 2006 among those offered.

There is no available Wi-Fi for long-haul flights.

Service in Korean Air is attentive and courteous. The seats are comfortable but there is room for improvement with the service and the soft products.

Click here to learn about some routes that offer Korean Air first class.

Korean Air Business Class

Korean Air Business Class

Korean Air Business Class. Image Credit: Korean Air

Onboard the 747, Korean Air Business is called “Prestige Class” by the airline. It’s spread into two cabins on the 747 – a small space behind the nose of the craft and the entire upper area.

The upper deck comes with a 2-2 configuration and features the Apex Suites. These are arranged in a staggered fashion so each passenger has privacy and direct aisle access.

For amenities, Korean Air offers a small pillow and fleece blanket. Slippers, noise-canceling headphones, an amenity kit with a shoehorn, a toothbrush and toothpaste, a comb, hand cream, lip balm, lotion, and an eye mask.

In front of the seat is a large touchscreen monitor with preloaded movies and shows. An airshow is also available for aviation geeks to enjoy.

No alcohol is served on the ground for Korean Air, only orange or guava juice. Then you have a choice of a Korean or Western meal to start your flight. For drinks, Korean Air offers a $50 Perrier-Jouet Grand Brut champagne.

Wi-Fi service isn’t available on all Korean Air flights, so check first.

Flight attendants on Korean Air are always attentive. Even if there are minor language barriers, they go out of their way to make sure you are comfortable on your flight.

Click here to learn about some routes that offer Korean Air business class.

Kuwait Airways

Kuwait Airways First Class

Kuwait Airways First Class

Kuwait Airways First Class. Image Credit: Kuwait Airways

A few things off the bat, Kuwait Airlines is a “dry airline,” so don’t expect alcohol on board. Another thing, they do not allow passengers with an Israeli passport on their craft. It’s quite blatant discrimination.

Seats on the 777 are enclosed suites in a 1-2-1 layout spread over two rows. In front of the seat is an ottoman with storage inside. A small minibar with water and soda, a spring-loaded table on the side, and a small closet is nearby. There’s an IFE remote, along with some universal outlets too.

In-flight entertainment is a touchscreen monitor with pre-loaded films. Be warned, the films are sparse and lacking.

The amenity kit includes various lotions and moisturizers, a mirror, socks, an eye mask, a comb, a shoehorn, clippers, and a dental kit. This goes with a pillow and mattress.

Pre-flight drinks are lemonade or orange juice, followed by Arabic coffee with nuts. While the food is good, don’t expect a first class presentation or service.

Wi-Fi service is expensive at $40 for 180 minutes.

Service in flight is random at best. The attendants, while prompt, are not proactive. The hard product is good, but the soft product and service need a lot of improvement.

Click here to learn about some routes that offer Kuwait Airways first class.

Kuwait Airways Business Class

Kuwait Airways Business Class

Kuwait Airways Business Class. Image Credit: Kuwait Airways

Kuwait Airways’ Boeing 777 in business features a 2-2-2 layout, with a total of 36 seats available. These seats aren’t as spacious as other business products you’ll find. In fact, the small footwell limits your space when the seat is reclined.

A pillow and fleece blanket together with cheap headphones in a black velvet bag marked, “Luxury” is handed. Amenity kits are also provided shortly after takeoff. The Aigner kit comes with socks, lip balm, body lotion, deodorant, mirror, hairbrush, dental kit, eyeshades, and earplugs. 

The in-flight entertainment is limited but enough Hollywood films and shows are available. There’s also an airshow if you like to keep track of your route.

No alcohol is served on the airlines but they have a good selection of fruit juices, soda, coffee, and tea. Meals are served in a trolley for business, so you can look at the food before ordering.

Wi-Fi starts at $10 for 30 minutes. It’s $20 for 60 minutes and then $40 for 180 minutes.

Service is friendly, but the meal presentation and timing could be improved.

Click here to learn about some routes that offer Kuwait Airways business class.


Lufthansa First Class

Lufthansa 747 8 First Class747-8

Lufthansa 747-8 First Class. Image Credit: AuPACS

Lufthansa is known for not just offering a stunning first class product but also for having one of the best ground experiences around.

Aboard their 747-8 planes, Lufthansa offers 8 first class seats in a 1-1 configuration. There’s a dedicated locker for each passenger, while smaller bags can be kept inside the ottoman on the seat.

Each seat measures 22-inches wide and can transform into a 79-inch bed for sleep. There’s a privacy wall that can be raised for sleep. On one armrest are seat controls, and the other hides the remote for the IFE.

The amenities include stylish Van Laack pajamas and slippers and an Escada amenity kit with hand cream, lip balm, earplugs, eye mask, dental kit, socks, eye cream, mints and shoehorn. 

For entertainment, Lufthansa first class has a 17-inch monitor installed. It’s not a touchscreen television but you can control it using the remote. The IFE works well with the Bose headphones.

Meal service starts with the amuse-bouche followed by a multi-course meal. They roll out trolleys to serve the meals. Champagne is usually Laurent Perrier 2004 Grande Cuvee Alexandra Rosé.

Nugget of Advice:

Lufthansa is one airline that likes to mix things up, so every month they change their Champagne offerings in flight. If you want to know what you’ll be served, you can check out what they have for that month online.

Wi-Fi is complimentary and each passenger gets a free $19 voucher code to use.

Click here to learn about some routes that offer Lufthansa first class.

Lufthansa Business Class

Lufthansa Business Class

Lufthansa Business Class. Image Credit: Lufthansa

For business passengers, there’s a premium check-in and baggage handling. Within minutes, you should be on your way to the business class lounge to wait for your boarding.

Onboard the 747-8, business seats feature a 64-inch pitch and 20-inch width. The seats are a bit narrow but comfortable. They have a movable reading lamp and a center divider. They also have seat controls, IFE remote, and headphones.

In front of the seat is the IFE monitor and underneath is a pop-out cubby where a bottle of water and the Lufthansa amenity kit is placed. The kit contains socks, earplugs, a dental kit, an eye mask, and Korres brand lotion and lip balm. Pajamas and slippers are also given.

The IFE monitor is 15-inches with touchscreen capacity in addition to the remote control.

Pre-departure drinks and menus are handed in after you board. Meals are served promptly after takeoff composed of starters, mains and desserts.

Wi-Fi costs $20 with no data caps. It’s slow and tough to use for email and browsing.

Lufthansa’s crews are well-trained and proactive. They seem genuinely happy to be flying with the airline and are prompt when attending to each passenger.

Click here to learn about some routes that offer Lufthansa business class.

Oman Air

Oman Air First Class

Oman Air First Class

Oman Air First Class. Image Credit: Oman Air

Oman Air’s first class features one of the best hard products on the air. Their 787 offers eight seats with a 1-2-1 layout and suites with tall privacy walls and a manually-operated door that fully closes.

Each suite has a built-in mini-bar, storage space, an ottoman with a seatbelt, and a narrow closet for your jacket.

Two pillows and a blanket are on the ottoman. Pajamas, the wine list, menu, Wi-Fi card, as well as headphones are also distributed. The amenity kit is from Amouage and has a dental kit, hand and body lotion, mouthwash, lip balm, eyemask, a brush, and earplugs.

The in-flight entertainment is a 22-inch touchscreen monitor filled with new releases and older classics.

Food and drinks are dine-on-demand. Meals begin with amuse bouche and your choice of appetizer, mains, and dessert. For champagne, they serve Laurent- Perrier Grand Siécle and 2009 Louis Roederer Cristal.

Wi-Fi is complimentary for up to 3 hours only.

Oman Air’s service is amazing in that they’re always attentive and courteous while ensuring you get privacy to enjoy their product.

Click here to learn about some routes that offer Oman Air first class.

Oman Air Business Class

Oman Air Business Class

Oman Air Business Class. Image Credit: Oman Air

Onboard the 787, the Oman Apex Suites are arranged in a 2-2-2 layout and staggered design, giving passengers aisle access.

Each seat is 22.8 inches in width and offers up to 80 inches of space when laid flat. Seat controls including buttons for the “Do Not Disturb” lights, mood lighting as well as privacy screen are within reach. 

The seats already have a pillow, blanket, headphones, and water bottle. It’s followed by an Amouge amenity kit, menu, and pajamas. Inside the kit are a mouthwash, lotion, earplugs, dental kit, socks, comb, eye mask, socks, and moisturizer.

In-flight entertainment is a 17-inch monitor with an IFE remote. But some remotes are unresponsive and require a lot of pressure.

Pre-flight drinks are offered with bottles served table-side, with Omani coffee and dates. Food and drink service is prompt and the food is of restaurant quality.

Wi-Fi is available but expensive at $40 for 5 hours of connectivity.

Service is efficient but less friendly. Still wonderful to try.

Click here to learn about some routes that offer Oman Air business class.


Qantas First Class

Qantas First Class

Qantas First Class. Image Credit: Qantas

If flying out of Melbourne, you get priority check-in at Terminal 2 and access to the amazing Qantas First Lounge at Sydney, Airport.

Onboard the A380, Qantas First offers stunning 14 suites in a 1-1-1 configuration. Newly refurbished, the seats are the same but it’s upholstered in a stunning neutral gray shade to modernize the suites.

Amenities include Martin Grant slippers and pajamas, Sheridan pillows, duvet, bedding, headphones, and the LaGaia amenity kit which contains moisturizer, lip balm, hand and body lotion, earplugs, eye masks, socks, dental kit, and deodorant.

In-flight entertainment consists of a large 18-inch monitor pre-filled with thousands of movies, shows, games, and music.

A three-course meal is served then breakfast close to arrival. Champagne served is usually the $150 Taittinger Blanc de Blancs.

Wi-Fi is not available on any of the A380 flights at the moment.

The service is great. You are addressed by name and there’s genuine warmth from the staff.

Currently, Qantas first class is only offered on A380 aircraft, which are not flying at the moment.

Qantas Business Class

Qantas Business Class

Qantas Business Class. Image Credit: Qantas

Qantas business class onboard the A380 now has better seats and service than before, consistent with its 787 Dreamliner and some A330 aircraft.

The retrofitted business class cabin comes with Thomson Vantage XL seats in a 1-2-1 configuration with each guest having access to the aisle.

These new seats are larger with more space for storage. Along the armrest is a remote for the IFE, outlets, USB ports, and seat controls.

The in-flight television is now bigger at 16-inches and filled with Hollywood movies and Aussie shows. There’s also a good airshow available for aviation enthusiasts. There’s also a lounge bar on the upper deck.

On the seat are a menu, pillows, bedding, headphones, pajamas, and the amenity kit. Included in the kit are ASPAR skin care products, dental kits, earplugs, socks, and eye masks.

Featuring dishes and drinks by an Aussie chef, Neil Perry, the meals can be tailored according to your choice.

For Wi-Fi, it’s not available on international flights yet.

Service inside Qantas business is always friendly and exceptional. The flight attendants are ready to give you a warm smile and ensure your stay with them is a pleasant one.

Click here to learn about some routes that offer Qantas business class.

Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways First Class

Qatar Airways First Class

Qatar Airways First Class. Image Credit: Qatar Airways

First class service starts with complimentary chauffeur service at Dubai Airport with premium check-in. Access to the stunning Al Safwa Lounge is also offered.

Pre-flight drinks are given, usually Krug or Billecart-Salmon Rose champagne, followed by delicious Arabic coffee with dates.

There are 8 seats in the first cabin with a 1-2-1 layout. Small storage compartments are under the armrest, where you’ll also find the IFE remote.

Entertainment-wise, there’s a shared bar lounge on the upper deck of the A380. On the seat, Qatar Airways has the Oryx One system containing more than 4,000 movies, games, shows, and music.

Amenity kits are handed out before takeoff. These are from luxury brand BRICS and a larger version of the ones you’ll get in business class. These contain skincare products, facial mist, moisturizers, socks, earplugs, and eye shades. The one for women has an adjustable strap so it transforms into a cross-body bag. Pajamas, slippers, and bedding are also provided except on daytime flights.

The wine selection is extensive and meals are served shortly after takeoff and then right before landing. There is a dine-anytime option as well.

Wi-Fi is complimentary for first class guests.

Staff can be hit or miss. If you happen to get an inexperienced crew, it could ruin your experience.

Click here to learn about some routes that offer Qatar Airways first class.

Qatar Airways Business Class/QSuites

Qatar Airways QSuites Business Class

Qatar Airways QSuites Business Class. Image Credit: Qatar Airways

Every business class passenger sings sweet praises over Qatar Airways’ famous QSuites. With many proclaiming it’s “the world’s best business suite.”

Thanks to its 1-2-1 layout and rear and front-facing seat design, each suite passenger gets direct aisle access. These suites have fully closed doors for privacy and can even be configured to accommodate groups of 3-4.

In front of the main seat are a large monitor, a tray table, and a footwell. A mini counter, seat controls, and power outlets are also on hand.

Already at the seat are thick pillows and bedding. A BRICS amenity kit is given, with skincare items by Castello Monte Vibiano Vecchio, an eye mask, socks, and earplugs. Pajamas and slippers from The White Company are also handed to business class guests.

Qatar Airways has the Oryx One system for in-flight entertainment. There’s also an airshow with an HD tail camera for aviation geeks.

Meals are dine-on-demand aside from the set meal options. There’s also a special QSuite Snack Platter menu on flights where the QSuites are installed. Drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic are offered.

Wi-Fi is provided on the A350-1000 with complimentary 60-minute access. 

Service is pleasant and highly attentive. The QSuite lives up to its hype – it’s comfortable and stylish to make your travel in business extra special.

Click here to learn about some routes that offer Qatar Airways business class.


Saudia First Class

Saudia First Class

Saudia First Class. Image Credit: Saudia

Saudia first class suites are similar to those on Garuda Airlines. They have 12 seats with a 1-2-1 standard layout.

At the side of the seat are a large storage compartment with the IFE remote inside, a bottle holder, a USB port, headphone jack, and outlet. A tiny monitor lets you control the seat.

A pillow and blanket are on the seat. No other bedding is provided and no turndown service either. For the amenity kit, men receive one designed by Porsche Design while the ladies receive kits by Furla. Pajamas and slippers by Porsche Design are also handed out.

Entertainment-wise, there’s a 23-inch monitor with over 15000 hours worth of movies, music, shows, and games to enjoy. Noise canceling headphones are provided but these aren’t good at all.

Dining is on-demand and a personal chef is on board so each passenger can customize their order. Saudia is a dry airline, so there’s no alcohol served onboard.

Wi-Fi is complimentary for first class. It is known to be slow, though.

Service in flight is charming and attentive, but it does depend on the crew and could be hit or miss.

Click here to learn about some routes that offer Saudia first class.

Saudia Business Class

Saudia Business Class

Saudia Business Class. Image Credit: Saudia

On their B77Z, the seats are comfortable and large. Saudia claims its new Super Diamond seat matches the first class products offered by other airlines.

The seat fully reclines, has plenty of legroom, a padded headrest, and features lumbar support. On the armrests are seat controls and the IFE remote.

The in-flight monitor is a 17-inch widescreen and offers countless movies, shows, music, and games, totaling 3,500 hours of entertainment. A Saudia branded set of headphones is provided in the seat. There’s also a nose and tail cam to distract you.

On the seats are pillows and blankets. Amenity kits by Porsche Design for men and by Furla for women are only distributed on long-haul flights.

A standard offer of pre-flight drinks, followed by coffee and dates starts off the dining service on Saudia. Menus offer both Arabic and Western dishes. Food is relatively good and they also tend to offer bigger servings.

Wi-Fi is available in-flight for $2 for 20 minutes and up to $40 for 24 hours.

Saudia attendants are all female with one male senior supervisor. Service in flight is sometimes good, other times bad but with recent enhancements, it seems there’s been an overall improvement.

Click here to learn about some routes that offer Saudia business class.

Singapore Airlines

Singapore Airlines First Class/Suites

Singapore Airlines First Class Suites

Singapore Airlines First Class Suites. Image Credit: Singapore Airlines

A huge favorite in the first class category, Singapore Airlines has had several different first class products. More recently, they retrofitted 6 (out of 19) Airbus A380s with new first class suites.

Onboard the A380, the new suites are on the upper deck. You get 6 seats in a 1-1 configuration, with each suite measuring 57 square feet or 4.6 square meters, comparable in size to Etihad’s Apartment.

The seat is upholstered in Poltrona Frau leather and measures 21-inches in width. Behind the seat towards the wall is a pull-out bed. Yes, no recliner seats for a bed in this suite!

Each suite is fitted with a 32-inch monitor and a smaller screen is on the bulkhead. The IFE is paired with Bang & Olufsen headphones which are pretty good quality.

Amenities in flight are by Lalique. The stunning black and white leather zip pouch contain lip balm, a scented candle, and body lotion. Lalique pajamas, slippers, eye masks, and socks are also handed out. The bedding is also by Lalique.

Customary pre-flight drinks are served. If opting for champagne, Singapore offers the fan-favorite, Krug Vintage 2004, along with Dom Perignon Brut 2006. Beef and chicken satay start the meal service after takeoff. It’s followed by appetizers, soups, mains, and desserts.

Wi-Fi is complimentary and without data caps.

Singapore Airlines service is a cut above the rest. The crew is always efficient, and professional and serves passengers with a smile.

Click here to learn about some routes that offer Singapore Airlines first class.

Singapore Airlines Business Class

Singapore Airlines Business Class

Singapore Airlines Business Class. Image Credit: Singapore Airlines

On Singapore Airlines’ A350, business class seats are arranged in a 1-2-1 layout. The seats come with a 28-inch width, one of the widest. However, it’s paired with a tiny footwell built into one corner which means taller people will have trouble sleeping if they take the window seats. Instead, taller individuals should opt for bulkhead seats.

Seat controls are within reach along with the IFE remote and lighting options. There are also individual nozzles to keep you cool.

In-flight entertainment consists of an 18-inch non-touchscreen monitor. The KrisWorld entertainment system is robust with full episodes of shows like Game of Thrones and This Is Us.

Interestingly, there are no amenity kits in business class but toothbrushes and such are available in the bathroom. They do provide slippers and an eye mask along with pillows and bedding.

Pre-flight drinks are given including a choice of juice, water, or champagne (usually Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve Champagne). After takeoff, meals are promptly served. There’s no dine-on-demand so the meal flow is to be followed. Breakfast is served 2.5 to 3 hours before landing.

Wi-Fi for business passengers is complimentary, up to 100MB only. The rest is for purchase.

Service is attentive, and the few who do get sulky attendants are rare. Singapore Airlines’ hard products and soft products are always top-notch.

Click here to learn about some routes that offer Singapore Airlines business class.

Swiss International Air Lines

Swiss Air First Class

Swiss Air First Class

Swiss Air First Class. Image Credit: Swiss Air

SWISS First is among the most coveted first class product both by av geeks and awards enthusiasts.

If flying out of Zurich, your experience starts with premium check-in. From the SWISS First Lounge, you’ll be escorted through immigration towards a private chauffeur to be transferred to the non-Schengen SWISS First Lounge, consistently rated as one of the best first class lounges in Europe, and eventually aboard your flight.

Onboard the 777, SWISS First seats are stylish and spacious. Seats are in a 1-2-1 configuration with only 8 seats in the cabin. The seats, when fully flat, measure 82 inches and have a 22-inch width.

In-flight entertainment is courtesy of a 32-inch HD screen. It’s not touchscreen but can be controlled by the remote.

SWISS First offers Bally amenity kits composed of small La Prairie products, dental kit, comb, shoehorn, earplugs, socks, tissues, and Ricola candy. Slippers and Zimmerli pajamas are also handed out.

For champagne, SWISS usually offers Laurent-Perrier Grand Siécle. The airline has a rotating menu featuring dishes from the most acclaimed chefs in the country. Oh, if you’re after caviar, SWISS only offers them during the first two weeks of summer.

Wi-Fi for the first class is complimentary, up to 50 MB.

Service on SWISS First is impeccable. Attendants are well-trained, friendly, and willing to engage passengers while echoing professionalism.

Oh, and the first class experience doesn’t end there. Usually, once you get off your flight, someone will be waiting to take you through security and wish you well towards your onward destination.

Click here to learn about some routes that offer Swiss Air first class.

Swiss Air Business Class

Swiss Air Business Class

Swiss Air Business Class. Image Credit: Swiss Air

Onboard their refurbished A340s, the business seats now match their flagship 777 products.

The seats in business class are Thompson Vantage seats in a 1-2-2 as well as a 2-2-1 layout. Seats have a pitch of 60 inches and a width of 20.5 inches.

At the side is a large “desk space” while a small perforated wooden panel hides the privacy divider. There are a small lamp, headphones, and bottled water here too. Flip the armrest and you’ll find the IFE remote and other specific controls.

Entertainment in-flight is from a 15-inch monitor. However, the selection is sparse and more on the older side, so it’s best to have your own entertainment ready.

For amenities, a pillow and blanket are on the seat. SWISS amenity kits are designed by Victorinox and inside are socks, chapstick, a toothbrush and toothpaste, an eye mask, and earplugs. Long-haul flights get a special edition box but otherwise similar content.

SWISS in-flight dining on long haul features their “Taste of Switzerland” program which spotlights different regions in the country.

Wi-Fi is available for purchase starting at $10 for 20MB up to $60 for 120 MB. It’s one of the most expensive offered around.

The crew in SWISS Air is one of the best in the industry. They are efficient, genuine, and will offer a smile anytime.

Click here to learn about some routes that offer Swiss Air business class.

TAAG Angola Airlines

TAAG Angola First Class

TAAG Angola First Class

TAAG Angola First Class. Image Credit: TAAG Angola

TAAG Angola first class is offered on 777-300ER aircraft, and these are used on:

  • Luanda (LAD) – Lisbon (LIS)
  • Luanda (LAD) – Porto (OPO)

TAAG’s 777 comes with 1-2-1 seating. There’s no privacy door but there is ample space.

A large ottoman opens to a storage compartment and on the armrest is more storage and the IFE remote. A USB port, a 110v outlet, and headphones are also available within the suite.

In-flight entertainment is a large screen in front of the seat but you can only browse the selection on the handheld remote instead of the screen.

First class passengers receive a pillow and blanket. A small amenity kit filled with Aigner products including a dental kit, eye mask, shoehorn, socks, body lotion, moisturizer, lip balm, shaving cream, earplugs, and a comb is provided.

One unusual thing is that no menus are provided so you get what you are served on the flight.

Wi-Fi is available onboard starting at $5 for 10MB up to $30 for 100 MB. It’s not the cheapest but the connection is fairly good.

Service is efficient, however, the soft and hard products could use an improvement.

Click here to learn about some routes that offer TAAG Angola first class.

TAAG Angola Business Class

TAAG Angola Business Class

TAAG Angola Business Class. Image Credit: TAAG Angola

TAAG’s Business Class cabins on their 777 feature ample legroom in a 2-3-2 layout. At the front of the seat is a small IFE monitor and right below is an ottoman with hidden storage underneath.

Seats in business class don’t go all the way flat which is fine for short-haul flights but can be uncomfortable for those flying long-haul.

The airlines keep their service simple. A pillow and blanket is waiting for you on the seat while an amenity kit is provided by attendants on certain flights, mostly long-haul ones. The amenity kit contains earplugs, shoehorns, facial mist, socks, dental kit, shampoo, moisturizer, lip balm, and eye mask.

The IFE is pretty basic. You need to go through the choices using the small remote screen instead of the larger screen though. You’re also given OK-quality headphones.

There are no menus on board but there are choices once the meals are rolled out in trolleys.

Wi-Fi is available starting at $5 for 10MB but you can get more data (up to 100MB) for $30.

Service is attentive but it would depend on whether the FAs are having a good day or not.

Click here to learn about some routes that offer TAAG Angola business class.

THAI Airways

THAI Airways First Class

Thai Airways First Class

Thai Airways First Class. Image Credit: Thai Airways

After premium check-in at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport, an attendant will help fast-track you through security then another agent will wait for you with a buggy. Your bags are taken and you are whisked away to the Royal First Lounge like royalty where you can get a complimentary 60-minute massage at the Royal Spa.

Nugget of Advice:

As a first class passenger, you get a complimentary spa service courtesy of the Royal Spa. Choose from the 60-minute full body massage or if you’re running low on time, the 30-minute foot and shoulder massage.

On the 747, Thai Airways First comes with 9 seats. The suites are semi-enclosed and while it looks outdated, it does have an elegant retro feel. Within the suite, passengers have an IFE monitor, USB ports, sockets, a storage area, and even a mini vase with a real orchid.

In-flight entertainment is provided by a 23-inch touchscreen monitor. There’s a wired controller that goes with it, as well as noise-canceling AKG headphones. 

First class passengers get a pillow and a blanket. No pajamas or additional bedding is provided during daytime flights, but they are available on nighttime flights. The amenity kit is by Rimowa and contains a comb, facial mist, dental kit, lip balm, lotion, and mouthwash.

Pre-flight champagne, including an option for Dom Perignon Vintage 2009, some chocolates, a cold towel, and an orchid are handed out. For first class, there’s a “Book the Cook” service where you can request special dishes in advance.

No Wi-Fi is available when flying on the Thai Airways’ 747 fleets.

Service is stellar on Thai Airways. If there’s one thing they are known for, it’s their hospitality and warm attitude towards each guest.

Click here to learn about some routes that offer Thai Airways first class.

THAI Airways Business Class

Thai Airways Business Class

Thai Airways Business Class. Image Credit: Thai Airways

Business class passengers departing the Suvarnabhumi Airport get a designated check-in area and complimentary access to the Royal Silk Business Lounge. You also get a complimentary 30-minute foot and neck massage at the Royal Orchid Spa.

Onboard the A350, the business class has a 1-2-1 configuration. The seat measures 21 inches in width with great shoulder room. When flat, it reaches up to 73 inches.

There’s a small storage compartment on the seat along with a quality IFE remote, seat controls, and a reading light. A tray table can be accessed and swiveled right to where you need it for dining.

A 15-inch touchscreen is available for entertainment. It’s preloaded with games, music, shows, and movies. There’s also an HD tail camera for aviation geeks.

For amenities, pillows and bedding are provided together with an amenity kit by the Italian brand, Mandarina Duck. The kit contains a dental set, Institut Karité lip balm, lotion, and a comb. There are no earplugs or eye masks given. Slippers with AKG noise-canceling headphones are also handed to guests.

Thai Airways is prompt with their meal service and it’s started soon after takeoff. Pre-landing meals are started about two hours before landing.

Wi-Fi is available on the flight and business passengers get a complimentary 20 MB voucher. You can purchase 100MB of data for $19.99.

The crew in Thai Airways are fantastic at providing personalized service to each passenger even for those in business.

Click here to learn about some routes that offer Thai Airways business class.


XiamenAir First Class

XiamenAir First Class

XiamenAir First Class. Image Credit: XiamenAir

Onboard the 787, Xiamen Airlines first class offers 4 seats in a 1-2-1 layout. The seats are open-air so there’s no privacy shell at all.

The left armrest has seat controls while the right armrest has storage space, IFE controls, a headphone jack, and a USB outlet. You’ll also find the headphones here.

For amenities, there’s a pillow and blanket on the seat. A thicker blanket is offered once turndown service is ongoing. You’re also provided slippers and the FA will even put them on your feet. Pajamas and amenity kits are also given out. These are the same for both business class and first class.

The in-flight entertainment is limited but works fine, especially for shorter flights.

Food options are beautifully presented and are composed of an appetizer, soup, mains, dessert, and more. Another meal service is provided two hours before landing.

Wi-Fi is available on some 787 flights. In business class, it is complimentary.

Perhaps the one highlight of Xiamen Air is that the staff is gracious, courteous, and professional. Even if the soft and hard products are lacking, the service from the FAs is quite impressive.

Click here to learn about some routes that offer XiamenAir first class.

XiamenAir Business Class

XiamenAir Business Class

XiamenAir Business Class. Image Credit: XiamenAir

Aboard XiamenAir’s 787-9 plane, the business cabin has 30 seats in a 1-2-1 arrangement.

Seats in business lie flat and are accompanied by a generous amount of footwell to ensure a comfortable sleep.

A forward compartment can be lifted to reveal the IFE remote, USB ports, and power outlet. You’ll find the headphone jack here too. Meanwhile, a small monitor lets you control the seats.

The IFE only contains about two dozen movies and shows. This is paired with a decent noise-canceling headphone.

On the seat is a pair of slippers, a shoe bag, and a shoehorn. The amenity kit is designed by Crabtree & Evelyn and contains a dental kit, eye mask, earplugs, comb, lip balm, and an iPhone bag. Pillows and a blanket are given but more are brought out during turndown service.

Meal service starts 30 minutes after takeoff. The meals are served in trays and once you’re done, the entire tray is taken away and swapped for the next course. It’s not the most premium system but it’s highly efficient.

Wi-Fi is complimentary in business class. However, you need to register on the Xiamen Air website beforehand.

Flight attendants on Xiamen Air are always praised for their professionalism and efficient service. They are also quite observant, which is always a plus.

Click here to learn about some routes that offer XiamenAir business class.

Final Thoughts

First class and business class are two different products.

Whether you’re traveling for comfort or luxury, there’s a product you can enjoy up in the air.

Of course, some airlines do offer better first and business products, while others require plenty of improvement.

However, regardless of the price, as long as you’re flying with a good airline, you won’t have a “bad” flight regardless of which of these two classes you choose.

Happy flying!

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 Frequently Asked Questions

First class cabins are generally more expensive compared to business class.

You’re given more space, better amenities, and attentive service when flying first.

Luckily, there are ways to redeem points for first and business tickets for (almost) free!

American Airlines offers different services and amenities between their Flagship First and Flagship Business cabins.

AA’s Flagship First gives you the highest level of service in flight along with wider seats at 21-inches that fully lie-flat and 38-39-inch pitch. There’s also on-demand entertainment with larger monitors, premium dining, Casper pillows and blankets, Bose QuietComfort headphones, Cole Haan amenity kit; and Wi-Fi access for purchase.

Meanwhile, AA’s Flagship Business also has lie-flat seats with up to 17.7 inches in width and a 30-36 inch pitch. Premium dining service, although not as robust as those served in first, are offered. Amenity kits, headphones, Casper blanket and pillows as well as for-purchase Wi-Fi.

Flagship First and Flagship Business also receive access to AA’s designated Flagship and Admiral Lounges or any premium lounges from their partner airlines.

First class seats are expensive because they take up a significant amount of space in the plane.

For instance, first class seats or suites can occupy up to 5x the space an economy seat will use. What’s more, there are a lot of perks with first class flying.

Menus in first class offer fine dining quality meals, expensive amenity kits and goodies, access to First Class lounges in airports, chauffeur service when available, and other luxuries afforded by the airline to premium first passengers.

Choosing the best first class seats is purely subjective, but certain airlines consistently live up to great service while offering impressive first class products.

One of the best first class products in the air right now is Emirates First Class Suites in their 777-300ER.

These are full “cabin suites” enclosed from floor to ceiling, which gives you private quarters 35,000 feet in the air.

Inside the suites you get a comfortable bed, a large monitor, free-flowing Dom Perignon, impressive dine-on-demand (with caviar!) and even have the option to control ambient lighting.

The value of flying first class is extremely subjective. But many travelers who opt for first do so because it’s more convenient and gives them the personal space and service they require.

Some airlines offer amazing hard products that ensure despite the long travel, passengers disembark from the plane feeling fresher and more relaxed.

First class products are different for each airline but generally, you get the following services:

  • Dedicated check-in and security
  • Access to a First Class Lounge by the airline or their partner
  • Eligibility to complimentary chauffeur service if it’s offered by the airline
  • Private cabin or suites in the air
  • Spacious or wide seats
  • Premium dining or dine-on-demand option with private chef, in some cases
  • Luxury-branded amenity kits
  • Large in-flight entertainment screens
  • Comfortable fully-lie flat seats with matching comfy bedding and pillows

The main difference between first and business class during international travel is in the seats and service you get.

Each airline differs in the type of product they offer for each class and the route you are taking will also affect this.

Usually, on longer international flights, service is more extensive with extra amenity kits offered in both classes as well as more extensive dining as well.

Emirates first and business class are similar save for certain things.

For instance, premium passengers get access to the same lounge in outstations. Only in certain hub airports like in Dubai International Airport are there dedicated first and business class lounges.

In the air, the main difference between the two classes is in the seats and the service from the FAs. They can also differ with the bedding or pajamas and amenity kit.

The drink selection in first is more extravagant with Emirates offering Dom Perignon and Hennessy Paradis in first only. Business class also has a great selection too but not as fancy.

Another point of difference is in the service you get from the FAs. Typically, dedicated FAs are assigned to first and they only have to spread services between 3-4 passengers compared to the ratio of one FA for every 6-8 business class passengers.

Everything else on board, however, from the entertainment, the Wi-Fi, the onboard bar on the A380 as well as the capacity for fully reclining seats are similar in both Emirates classes.