Why Fly Business Class

Why Fly Business Class


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Flying Business Class:

Lie-flat seats allow you to rest and hit the road running for your early morning meeting.
(This is a good one to tell to your boss.)

You can move around and stretch easily, helping prevent DVT.

You want to eat a full-course meal

Fewer crying babies, strange body odors and hysterical first-time flyers.

Hate the queues at the airport and/or want to get off the plane quickly as you are pressed for time
in your final destination

Extra miles to accrue

For a long time, business class was akin to today’s premium economy class, that is economy with larger seats and more seat pitch (space for your legs), but the continuing drive to strip all frills out of economy and outcompete other airlines’ business classes has seen some major changes in the past decade.

At the airport, business class flyers typically have a separate check-in area or at least their own row, and can access a business class lounge that offers drinks, snacks, newspapers and maybe Internet access. Some of the best lounges offer showers and even nap rooms. Note that you can typically only use a business class lounge at your departure airport and when waiting for a connection, although some airlines allow long-haul passengers to use them on arrival as well. In some airports, particularly in western nations, a dedicated security lane is provided for your use.

Once on board — and you’re usually boarded first — seat pitch in business remains good by any measure: while 91cm (36″) is considered unusually generous in economy, few business seats are under 100cm (40″) and 130-153cm (50-60″) is considered standard. However, for many travellers the most important consideration is recline, particularly the holy grail of the flat bed seat (180° recline, parallel to the floor), which pretty much guarantees a good night’s sleep. True flat bed seats are rare and expensive, with British Airways’s Club World and Virgin Atlantic’s Upper Class pioneering the concept, but lie-flat seats, angled seats like those found in Air France’s business class cabin, which recline to an angle of perhaps 170° and are vertically tilted to squeeze in better, are increasingly common. Carriers are also offering herringbone-layout business class cabins. Generally, flat bed service is more expensive and can be found only on premium carriers like Air Canada, Cathay Pacific or Singapore Airlines. Any type of sleeper seat is usually only found on long-haul aircraft — check carefully to see whether your plane is equipped. But a rule of thumb is that if the origin and destination are financial centres far from each other, then it is more likely to get flat-bed seats.

Singapore Airlines,B-777-300-ER Business Class. Photo Attribution: Author Miya.M. Lic. GNU FDL.

Food and drink in business class is much better than the slop usually encountered in economy class. You can expect to be given actual menus with several choices, with courses served one by one from actual porcelain plates and accompanied by free drinks. Some airlines allow you to preorder from an extensive menu before you fly, in which case the meal will be boarded specially for you.

Entertainment options in business class are also good, with audio and video on demand (AVOD) a standard amenity, either via a display built into your seat or portable DVD players passed out by request. Power sockets for laptops are often provided and Internet access may be available too.

The last perk comes as the end, as you’ll be the first out of the plane and into the immigration and customs lines. On a good number long haul flights and legacy carriers, the cabin crew will keep the curtains closed to allow you to deplane first. In some cases, a dedicated passport control line will also await you.