The five hottest new business class seats for 2019
Despite what the global economy might be saying, business has never been better for international travellers.
A large number of airlines have invested heavily in better business class seats and services, and while the changes have been years in the making, many are hitting the market in time for the festive holidays.
Broadly speaking, privacy has been key; with many airlines adding doors to their business class seats. Brands such as Qantas have created bespoke wellness perks designed to combat jet lag or meditation classes. And on many airlines, you can now control your in-flight entertainment via Bluetooth or app on your smartphone.
You can check out five of the best new business class seats below:
All Nippon Airways
The Japanese carrier commissioned architect Kengo Kuma and British firm Acumen to overhaul the business-class on 12 of its Boeing 777s.
The area is now formally known as ‘The Room’ and inspired by multifunctional Japanese living spaces. Expect wood-toned panels, double-wide lie-flat seats and sliding doors.
As an added bonus, All Nippon’s mobile app will turn your phone into a remote control, and there are plenty of USB ports and power outlets to keep everything charged up.
BA’s new club suite was unveiled back in March, but it’s being installed on all 18 of its Airbus A380s along with refitted Boeing 777s – including those travelling to Dubai.
Expect something along the lines of Virgin Australia and America Airlines’ business classes (they were all made by the same manufacturer) but with slate-grey upholstery. More importantly, each is a proper suite – so you get closable doors and privacy screens.
Amenities and bedding are handled by White Co. Compared to the old Business, the new one is much more spacious (you get 40 per cent more personal storage space).
Virgin has been teasing travellers for months about an upgraded business class cabin, but finally revealed an entirely new Upper Class exclusively for the 12 Airbus A350s that fly between London and Heathrow.
The new seats are not some of the widest in business, but they are the longest (at 82-inches). You also get an 18.5-inch screen that you can control via Bluetooth.
Virgin’s ‘Loft’ lounge has also been given an upgrade, letting guests enjoy a drink at 35,000 feet either at the standing bar or at a sit-down booth.
Turkish Airlines began flying the first of its Boeing 787 Dreamliners – with its newest business class eats - back in July, between Istanbul and Bali. Now, it’s expanded the routes to parts of Europe and the US. And by the spring, expect all flights to and from Dubai (on the carrier’s Airbus A350s) to also be upgraded.
The cabin gives you 30 pod-like seats, upholstered with noise-reducing Alcantara microfiber and feature do-not-disturb indicators. You also get an 18-inch HD touchscreen.
South America’s largest airline is currently updating all its Boeing 777s and 767s with new business class seats (which is costing US$400 million).
Each seat features a customised Thompson Aero Vantage XL seat (similar to the ones found on Qantas and SAS) which is further dressed with a temperature-regulating mattress and full-size pillows.
The style upgrades include textured backboards, granite countertops and 18-inch monitors.