In conversation with people in other professions, many business travellers find that they are told how lucky they are to travel and see the world! The reality is that there is usually little downtime and a huge amount of time is spent in airports and aircraft! When it comes to choosing the right airline, business travellers have different expectations from those flying for leisure. Luxury and comfort are both key factors as work needs to be done and some quality rest achieved.
There is plenty of competition between the airlines that are constantly upgrading their service to attract new passengers and earn a good rating from Skytrax. Many airlines are reducing their first-class flights in favour of the business class. Travelling business class does come at a cost, but air miles and credit card points on frequent flyer programmes can reduce the price dramatically. This ensures your business team enjoys comfortable travel and affordable flights.
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Many travellers would agree with the fact that Qatar Airways was voted the top airline in the 2021 World Airline Awards and 2022 Skytrax World Airline Awards. Qatar Airways was formed in 1997 and is one of the fastest-growing airlines with an excellent reputation for quality service and comfort. Qatar Airways currently flies to more than 150 destinations across the globe, with flights connecting through its Doha hub at Hamad International Airport – making it a good choice for corporate travel.
The first class and business cabins are innovatively styled in the airline’s colours of burgundy and grey with rose-gold details and both forward and rear-facing seats in a staggered layout which gives passengers greater privacy. The personal media panel has an all-access power port, for USB, HDMI and NFC. For entertainment, the Oryx One system with a touch screen offers an array of films, games and music to suit all tastes.
There is an excellent à la carte on-demand menu. For those needing to rest, the cabin’s lighting is fully adjustable and the ‘Q’ suites on long haul flights have a sliding door and designer pyjamas provided. Qatar Airways operates the Avios loyalty programme with BA and Iberia Airways.
Business Class with Singapore Airlines is a great experience. Created in 1947, it is the national carrier for Singapore and flies to 75 international destinations, in 32 different countries on five continents. Singapore Airlines is regularly voted one of the best airlines.
The seats in business class are an impressive 76cm in width, with privacy screens and they easily recline to a lie-flat position. Two pillows and a duvet are provided as well as a flat-screen TV. Meals can be reserved and are prepared by an international panel of chefs – including a kaiseki master- and wellness-focused menus are available. Kris High Flyer is the airline’s travel reward programme. There are four membership tiers and points can be redeemed for use against future travel or as rewards for corporate travellers.
Emirates has won a number of prestigious awards in the last 12 months, including the ULTRA Awards for Best Airline in the World and Best Airline in the Middle East. In 2021 the airline also scooped the Best In-flight Entertainment award as there are more than 4,500 channels available on its Ice system – in multiple languages!
Emirates also operates under the trademark Going (the former name of Scott’s Flights)- definitely and has the reputation for offering business class travellers luxury. Business class seats on the Emirates’ 777 aircraft are slightly larger than the seats on the A380, but the A380 features a personal in-flight bar and has more aisle access due to the way the seats are configured. Both have a partition that offers privacy from the other passengers.
First-class passengers have their own suite with noise-reducing doors. Business travellers can enjoy a complimentary chauffeur service for transfers between their home/ hotel and the airport. Emirates Lounges can be used by the airline’s business travellers and are open 24 hours per day.
This is the oldest airline in Japan, established in 1951. Japan Airlines (JAL) operates major hubs at both Tokyo Haneda and Tokyo Narita airports and flies a global network. JAL offers business travellers an in-flight service similar to the fine hotels and restaurants in Japan. There is priority boarding and the seats are nicknamed the ‘Apex Suite’. They are staggered and very private as no seats are adjoining. On long-haul flights, there are JAL Sky Suites with fully flat beds for a comfortable and refreshing rest – essential on business trips.
The airline’s Sakura Lounges feature Business Class sections that serve a selection of hot and cold Japanese and international dishes and have an open bar. In many locations, there are also shower facilities. In airports with no Sakura Lounges, JAL Business Class passengers can use Oneworld lounges.
Japan Airlines JAL is a member of the Oneworld Alliance and works with other best airlines including American, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, Qantas, Qatar and Royal Jordanian to offer a comprehensive network of flights. Oneworld frequent flier members can earn and redeem miles for corporate travel.
Adding a sprinkling of elegance to the luxury of their flights, Cathay Pacific is regularly voted the best airline in the world and is known for its ‘superior flight experience’. Cathay Pacific is a founding member of the Oneworld Global Alliance and the combined network serves 750 destinations globally. Business class passengers can enjoy access to premium lounges all over the world.
There are award-winning seats in business class that are perfect for working and relaxing as they can be easily adjusted to sleeping or sitting positions. There are also privacy partitions, adjustable lighting, generously-sized tables, and power outlets. The menu is contemporarily styled and highlights Hong Kong favourites as well as international classics and features light, healthy options too.
There are fine wines and Champagnes to enjoy and the airline’s own pale ale called Betsy! Corporate travellers can relax with the excellent in-flight entertainment system. On long-haul flights, business travellers can enjoy using the complimentary skincare products, eye masks and slippers and enjoy relaxing in beautiful cotton bed linen.
In 2022, the American Airlines Group became the largest in the world in terms of both fleet size and the number of passengers transported – more than 500,000 each day, totalling 200 million per annum.
American Airlines has a strong reputation for being one of the best airlines offering luxury travel and this starts when its business passengers arrive at the airport. They are given a speedy check-in, preference through security and speedy boarding. If there is time to relax prior to the flight, business travellers can use the airlines Premium or Admirals lounges. Onboard, business travellers are delighted to find that there are larger seats and more legroom.
The menu is large with a good range of wines to pair with the meal. There is Wi-Fi on selected aircraft and in-flight entertainment including wireless streaming. Passengers who would like to sleep are given complimentary pillows and blankets. American Airlines is a member of Oneworld Global Alliance which brings extra benefits including mileage bonuses, business lounge access, and extra bag allowance too.
The UK’s national airline has been offering business travellers top-of-the-range services since 1974. Club World is BA’s long-haul business class and Club Europe for European destinations. Club World seats are designed for comfort- whether you are working, relaxing or sleeping. Business travellers enjoy a dedicated check-in and access to private lounges.
There are excellent meals to enjoy onboard made with fresh ingredients. There is a popular afternoon tea service, where passengers can enjoy delicious quintessentially British sandwiches! The passenger seat converts into a lie-flat bed with luxury bedding and passengers are given an amenity kit. There is quality in-flight entertainment on a private television screen, with noise-cancelling headphones. On selected flights, there are private club suites – with doors for extra privacy.
BA’s business travellers enjoy a generous baggage allowance and the Airportr service from selected airports collects baggage from the passenger’s hotel, transports it to the airport and checks it in for the flight. British Airways is a member of the Oneworld Alliance frequent-flyer programme.
In operation for more than sixty years and part of the Lufthansa Group since 2005, Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) has long had a reputation for giving an exclusive service to its passengers. Business Class allows you priority check-in and boarding with an allowance of hand baggage (2 x 8 kg) and checked-in baggage (2 x 32 kg) with you. Business Class passengers have access to SWISS and Star Alliance Partner lounges all over Europe.
The new SWISS business seat with integrated massage function offers a spacious workplace that converts into a comfortable flat bed at the touch of a button. A comfort kit is also provided. There is elegant dining onboard that can be ordered in advance for long-haul flights. The award-winning meals showcase Swiss cuisine perfectly. There is a good choice of entertainment films and magazines for leisure moments. SWISS has the Miles & More frequent flyer programme- the largest in Europe.
With a glass of champagne and a seat that converts into a fully flat bed, Virgin Atlantic Upper Class offers a relaxing flight to its business travellers. Prior to boarding, there is exclusive access to the Clubhouse and partner lounges worldwide, plus fast-track security and boarding. The generous baggage allowance is two pieces: 16kg hand luggage and two pieces of 32kg checked baggage.
In Virgin Upper Class there are large leather seats and extra legroom for comfort. On the A350 there is ‘The Loft’ and bar which is perfect for passengers wanting to work away from their designated leather seats. There is entertainment, complimentary drinks and snacks provided throughout. Business passengers enjoy an à la carte dining experience with four-course meals – and where applicable – breakfast in bed is served! Virgin Points is the airline’s frequent flyer scheme.
Based in Auckland, New Zealand, the country’s national airline operates flights to 30 international destinations – mainly around and within the Pacific Rim. With priority baggage and premium check-in on their Business Premier package. The airline advertises that it offers ‘the best sleep in the sky’ on long-haul flights as the soft leather seats transform into luxurious lie-flat beds, with memory foam mattresses, two pillows and a duvet.
There is good in-flight entertainment and a complimentary meal and drinks. The generous luggage allowance comprises two pieces of carry-on luggage and three pieces of checked luggage weighing up to 23kg each. Air New Zealand has been a member of the Star Alliance since 1999.
At Trutrip we are keen that our business travellers enjoy an efficient and smooth journey with more than a hint of luxury and regularly choose flights with these top airlines for this reason. Why not let us organise your next business flights for you? We will find the best flights at the best prices for you – every time! Book a demo with us now or better yet, sign up for a free trial!
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