MOST of us can only dream of flying business class. But sometimes, if we’re lucky, we can get the chance to travel like stars.
Airlines do sometimes put their ‘up front’ seats on sale – and quite often you can grab an upgrade as part of a package deal with the likes of Caribbean specialists Sandals.
I’ve been extremely privileged to have had the chance to ‘turn left’, as they say, on a number of airlines over the years thanks to my job.
So who do I think comes out top of the ones I’ve been fortunate enough to fly with?
Well to be honest, there is no number one overall for me. I think each comes with it’s own benefits and bests, from seats, to the lie-flat bed, food to crew.
So here’s my take on each
BEST CREW – Virgin Atlantic without doubt. The staff are the friendliest and most downright fun I’ve experienced.
Each and everyone take time to get to know their passengers by name, chat about where you’re staying, give great tips on where to go and when and will make sure you never go hungry or thirsty.
Having travelled with them in premium economy and economy I can vouch that they treat all the passengers as well – time permitting, of course, as there are less staff to passengers in economy.
The seat/lie-flat beds on most of their planes are angled and face away from the window, which is a pain int he neck literally if you want to see where you are flying over.
But the airline is retrofitting most of its craft with new forward facing seats.
The pjs and amenity kit are great, as is the comfy quilt. You’ll also be indulged with ice cream and snacks to enjoy while watching a huge choice of movies onboard. and don’t forget the iconic salt and pepper planes which come with every meal.
BEST FOOD – there’s no competition, it’s got to be Turkish Airlines every single time.
The company use Do&Co for their meals in all cabins and virtually everything I’ve tasted has been fabulous.
On some long-haul flights you even get a flying chef – yes a real-life chef who makes meals somewhat to order.
And for those with a sweet tooth, they even bring round a whole trolley full of deliciousness for you to choose your dessert.
If you’re lucky enough to get a breakfast in business class you will enjoy the best honeycomb you’ve ever had, along with amazing Turkish coffee and my favourite the freshly made lemon mint drink.
The airline‘s lie-flat beds are big enough for the biggest of passengers and the staff come and make them up for you too. The slippers are a nice touch. Saves those horrid swollen feet you often get at 37,0000ft.
BEST SEAT/BED – Qatar Airways. On many airlines you have to fly first class to get a private cabin.
But on some Qatar Airways planes business class seats come with a semi-private cabin as you get a door which you can close, albeit it is just waist high.
But recline your seat into a fully flat 6ft 6 inch bed and you can see you fellow passengers and they can’t see you unless they are standing in the aisle.
You also get sleepwear and slippers from The White Company as well as a signature fragrance and amenity kit.
And when it comes to eating, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Each seat has a spacious dining area so you can enjoy your meal in the sky, which was delicious.
BEST FOR CHOICE OF DESTINATIONS – Emirates Airlines has a huge number of flights and destinations to holiday hotspots around the world, via their MASSIVE hub in Dubai.
The business class flight I took was on an older 777 which featured a not so popular 2x3x2 layout – meaning one person forking out a fortune for a seat is stuck in between two other passengers and has to climb over them to get to the loo! Not what you’d expect for the money for sure!
The seat is big and made from leather and the seatback in front features faux wood panelling giving it a more luxurious look. The noise-cancelling headphones are top notch.
The food was good, wine choice fine and they serve Veuve Clicquot champers too.
The service from the multi-lingual staff was efficient and professional but lacked a little of the personal touch.
BEST OF THE USA – Delta Air Lines every single time. I’m going to admit I’m not a fan of many of the big American airlines. But then again I’ve only ever had to chance to fly business with Delta – they call it Delta One – so it is hard for me to compare.
However I have flown economy and economy plus with many and found them to be a bit hit or miss.
The food is a big let down, but not on Delta. It was probably the only time I’ve ever had fresh fish when I’ve flown and it was simply spectacular.
The staff on the outbound flight were amazing but not so much coming back. See what I mean, hit or miss!
Can’t complain about the lie-flat bed though, on the 767 I flew on. Granted it was a number of years ago and they have refitted their cabins since.
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