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8 November 2010

Virgin Upper Class

Unsurprisingly, there are many variations in the quality of an airline’s business class experience. From the major projects involving the launch of new airport lounges, aircraft types, configurations and innovations to the soft touches such as dining options, personal service and flexibility.

Here, we take a look at some of the better-known airlines and their business class cabin offerings.

British Airways

  • Dine before you fly in the Club World Galleries lounges or unwind in the Elemis Spa with a complimentary massage.
  • Help yourself between meals to a selection of hot and cold snacks and beverages from the Club Kitchen.
  • Every seat comes with its own power supply, larger table and in-seat phone.
  • On arrival into Heathrow step into the spa - while you shower your suit will be pressed - before sitting down to a full buffet breakfast.


  • Award-winning inflight entertainment system, with over 1200 channels and a digital widescreen.
  • Complimentary chauffeur-driven airport transfers in selected cities.
  • 5-course meals served on bone china tableware, on tray tables laid with fine linen and flowers.

Virgin Atlantic

  • The Upper Class experience starts ahead of the flight in the stunning ‘Clubhouses’ at Heathrow and Gatwick, with pool, garden, concierge service, office and library, bars, spas and even complimentary haircuts.
  • Drive-thru check-in to the upper class wing, with a private security channel and the option to arrive as late as 40 minutes before departure.
  • An onboard bar lets you interact with fellow passengers, while a snooze zone section of the cabin is designed for minimum disruption.


  • Award-winning Skybed cabin with ‘intelligent comfort and lighting’, inflight bar and advanced storage space.
  • Choose from a room service-style breakfast to a multi-course dinner, ‘dine later’ or ‘express meal’ options by leading Australian restauranteur, Neil Perry, served on Alessi tableware.
  • Collectible amenities kits by Marc Newson featuring luxury Korner skincare products and Peter Morrissey designed pyjamas.

Air New Zealand

  • Voted 2010’s ‘airline of year’, Air New Zealand’s business premier cabin features leather armchair and ottoman, lie-flat bed, thick mattress, fluffy duvet and full-size pillow and a unique design allowing takeoff and landing in the recline position.
  • ‘Food on demand’ dining promises personalised dining prepared to your liking.

Etihad Airways

  • Etihad’s Business Class was voted world’s best in the 2009 Skytrax awards and personalised door-to-door luxury chauffeur-driven transfers are available on all fares.
  • Complimentary Six Senses Spa, cocktail bar and snooze room available in the lounge.
  • Inbuilt massage on a flat bed, massive 15-inch screen.

Qatar Airways

  • Qatar Airways is a 5-star airline and their Business Class was voted the world’s best in 2010 and features 180-degree flat beds, 8 in-seat massage settings, power supply and 15-inch touch-screen entertainment.
  • The Doha Premium Terminal is in a class of its own: the entire terminal has wireless access, the business centre boasts meeting rooms with video conferencing and staff on hand 24 hours a day.
  • The Doha facility also has exquisite dining and a BMW 7 series pick-up service.

Air France

  • Air France aims for maximum comfort through design and efficiency. The welcoming Affaires Class cabin’s ergonomic features include a supportive 2-m bed guaranteed to improve the quality of your sleep, and a relaxing massage function and footrest designed to support your legs regardless of seating position.
  • Other practicalities at your disposal include a drawstring bag for shoes, a travel kit with Clarins moisturizer, a pure wool blanket, feather pillow and personal cloakroom service.
  • Passengers are served a menu of refined French cuisine, which changes every 10 days for flights departing Paris, and have access to a wine cellar selected by one of the world’s top sommeliers.

Delta Air Lines

  • A new fully-flat bed seat has been fitted in the BusinessElite cabin on flights from London Heathrow to Atlanta, Detroit, Minneapolis and New York JFK.
  • The 1-2-1 configuration gives every customer direct aisle access and choice of single seats for added privacy.
  • New cabin features a full-size pillow, quilted duvet comforter and new tableware, as well as 10.6-inch TV screen.
  • Access to Yotel Heathrow Terminal 4 cabin on arrival to freshen up, where amenities include free wi-fi, work desk, en suite bathroom with monsoon shower and continental breakfast.

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