Updated: the world’s Top 10 best business class airlines in 2023

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Let’s explore AeroTime’s comprehensive guide to the world’s Top 10 Best Business Class airlines for 2023.  

If you’re a frequent traveler or planning your next luxurious journey, this list is your go-to resource for experiencing the epitome of comfort and service in the skies. From spacious seats and gourmet dining to personalized amenities and exceptional inflight entertainment, these airlines have set the bar high for delivering a truly premium experience.  

Join us as we count down from number 10 to the coveted first place, revealing the elite airlines which have earned their spots on this prestigious list. 

10. Virgin Atlantic

Over nearly four decades, Virgin Atlantic has maintained its commitment to excellence, going all the way back to its humble beginnings (started as a small team and one route with only one 747) as a determined and ambitious carrier in 1984. Today, it stands as a reputable three-class airline, with Upper Class (Business Class) serving as its flagship offering.

Virgin Atlantic provides three distinct seat options in Upper Class, tailored to the aircraft type. All seats convert into fully flat beds and offer direct aisle access to ensure passenger comfort. With ample workspace and in-seat power for device charging, passengers can stay productive throughout the flight. 

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class A350
Ben Groner / Shutterstock

When it comes to dining, Virgin Atlantic showcases its unique flair. One iconic aspect of its dining experience is the inclusion of highly sought-after silver or black Wilbur and Orville salt and pepper shakers, designed in the shape of miniature planes. Passengers can expect a diverse range of meal options for the main course, typically featuring choices such as meat, fish, and vegetarian dishes. 

Beyond burger of virgin atlantic
Virgin Atlantic

Entertainment is not overlooked either, as Virgin Atlantic offers an extensive inflight entertainment system known as Vera. With more than 300 hours of films and television shows, passengers can indulge in a curated collection of content specifically chosen by the airline. 

9. Delta Air Lines

Considered by many as the standout among the three major airlines in the United States, Delta Air Lines excels in delivering exceptional service across all classes, including its top-tier cabin known as Delta One (Business Class). Elevating the flying experience to new heights, Delta One boasts flat-bed seats that ensure maximum comfort throughout the journey. 

Delta’s refreshed 777 aircraft
Delta News Hub / Wikimedia

When it comes to dining, Delta One offers a seamless experience. Passengers have the option to pre-order their main course online, adding a touch of personalization to their inflight meal. Choices typically include succulent beef, flavorful pasta, tantalizing seafood, or savory poultry.

Notably, on selected routes originating from Atlanta or New York, Delta One showcases a dish prepared by a celebrated local signature restaurant, adding a touch of regional flair to the culinary experience. 

delta airlines business class meal
The Wall Street Journal / YouTube.com

In terms of inflight entertainment, Delta Air Lines ensures a satisfying array of options to keep passengers engaged. On the Boeing 757 and 767-300ER aircraft, the screens may be relatively compact, while the newer Airbus A350 and A330s boast larger screens, providing an enhanced viewing experience.

delta airlines aircraft taking off
Angel DiBilio / Shutterstock 

8. Japan Airlines

Japan Airlines, commonly known as JAL, holds the distinction of being Japan’s flag carrier and the second-largest airline in the country, following All Nippon Airways (ANA). Renowned for its extensive global network, JAL sets itself apart with a remarkable onboard service that reflects the essence of the finest Japanese hotels and restaurants.

Passengers can immerse in a world of elegance as they step into the Business Class cabins, each boasting a distinctly Japanese design aesthetic. Predominantly adorned in shades of black and grey, these cabins incorporate cream and white seat shells, creating a harmonious atmosphere. 

Japan ANA Airlines and Boeing 787 Dreamliner interior with People And ANA Cabin Crew Members working for passangers.
photosounds / Shutterstock

For long-haul flights, Japan Airlines presents the JAL SKY SUITE, featuring fully flat beds. However, it’s worth noting that these beds come in three distinct designs, providing passengers with diverse options to suit their preferences.

JAL goes above and beyond by curating an exceptional culinary experience through its BEDD menu program. Passengers are treated to a delectable array of cuisine, ranging from traditional Japanese dishes to international fare, ensuring there’s something to satisfy every palate. The Japanese set menu is known for its emphasis on seafood while the international menu offers choices such as beef or chicken. 

Japan Airlines business class food from Haneda to Manila
Gherb060105 / Wikimedia

Entertainment remains a priority on JAL flights, with programming available in multiple languages. Passengers can delve into a world of captivating content, ranging from an extensive selection of international films, engaging sitcoms and informat ive documentaries to an assortment of music albums. 

japan airlines plane flying
viper-zero / Shutterstock 

7. Qantas Airlines

Qantas holds the distinction of being Australia’s national flag carrier and the largest airline by fleet size and international flight offerings.

Designed to provide enhanced privacy, the business suite features a convenient table that slides out from the shelf, accompanied by a spacious flat bench, and ample storage space to accommodate passengers’ technological devices and personal belongings. With a versatile control panel, passengers have the flexibility to adjust their seating arrangement according to their preferences.

Additional features include an adjustable reading lamp, USB charging ports, and multi-region power sockets, catering to everyone’s convenience. 

qantas airlines business class seat
First Class Photography / Shutterstock 

Passengers can indulge in a tantalizing array of mains served on board Qantas flights, showcasing a diverse range of culinary delights. Options include a delectable tuna poke salad dressed with sesame soy, and a succulent seared Cone Bay barramundi accompanied by herb garlic potatoes. And those seeking a classic choice can relish in the satisfaction of roast beef paired with Yorkshire pudding. 

Breakfast is served in Qantas' new QantasLink Boeing 717 business class
First Class Photography / Shutterstock

Entertainment options on Qantas flights are nothing short of extensive, offering a staggering selection of more than 2,500 hours of captivating content.  

6. Cathay Pacific Airways

As the esteemed flag carrier of Hong Kong, this renowned airline seamlessly connects destinations across the globe, boasting an impressive network of routes and unparalleled inflight service.

Cathay Pacific’s aircraft are typically configured with a spacious Business Class section, complemented by a smaller cabin located behind the entry door and galley. The design of the cabins takes into account passenger convenience, with well-designed features such as easy-access light controls and storage closets that accommodate small items like glasses, books, and the provided amenity kit. 

A business class seat onboard a Cathay Pacific B777-300ER
Sunnya343 / Wikimedia

Each seat in Cathay Pacific’s Business Class offers a delightful bedding experience courtesy of Bamford. The bedding ensemble includes a luxurious 400 thread count linen package, a cozy duvet and a plump pillow, ensuring utmost comfort throughout the journey.

When it comes to dining, passengers are presented with an enticing menu offering a variety of options. With as many as six choices available, including pasta, beef, fish, and traditional Chinese dishes, passengers can indulge in a diverse range of flavors.  

Cathay Pacific business class food served on board
Manish1607 / Shutterstock 

Entertainment on Cathay Pacific flights is nothing short of impressive. From the latest Hollywood films to a global assortment of music, hundreds of sitcoms and documentaries, animated cartoons, and cherished classic albums, there’s an extensive range of entertainment choices to cater to diverse preferences and interests.  

5. Etihad Airways

Etihad Airways Business Class stands among the finest Business Class offerings among Middle Eastern carriers.

The seat provides an exceptional level of comfort and spaciousness, with adjustable features including the headrest, back support, and cushion firmness. For passengers traveling on its B787 or A350 aircraft, the seat transforms into a fully flat bed, ensuring a restful journey. On shorter flights, the seat still offers generous reclining and ample legroom, allowing passengers to unwind, sleep, and arrive at their destination feeling refreshed. 

etihad airways business class
M101Studio / Shutterstock

Etihad takes pride in its dine-on-demand service, providing Business Class passengers with the freedom to choose their meals according to their preferences and schedule. With main course options encompassing beef, chicken, pasta, and fish, there’s a delectable variety to suit diverse culinary tastes. 

The airline’s E-BOX inflight entertainment system guarantees an immersive entertainment experience. Featuring an extensive library of international movies, including selections from the Middle East, Europe, and Asia, passengers are spoilt for choice.  

Etihad Airways Airbus A380-861
IanC66 / Shutterstock

4. Emirates

Emirates Business Class, renowned for its luxurious amenities and opulent lounges, stands as a testament to elegance and sophistication. While facing formidable competition from other Middle Eastern carriers, Emirates continues to provide a comfortable and stylish flying experience. The airline’s signature rich wood paneling, complemented by tones of gold and beige, exudes a striking visual appeal, leaving a lasting impression. 

Emirates new business class
M101Studio / Shutterstock

Emirates places a strong emphasis on passenger privacy, evident in its thoughtful design features. Dividers are available, allowing passengers to create personal space and enjoy enhanced privacy when traveling without familiar companions.

When it comes to dining, Emirates offers a tantalizing array of choices. The printed menu presents a selection of three main course dishes, including options like beef, poultry, seafood, or pasta. Notably, these dishes are pre-plated to ensure optimal presentation and served directly at each passenger’s seat, replicating the experience of a fine dining establishment. 

Entertainment options onboard Emirates are truly extensive, offering an unrivaled selection of more than 4,500 channels. Passengers can delight in responsive touch screens and user-friendly remote controls, granting them instant access to a diverse range of entertainment content.  

Male passenger in business class on Emirates
Agent Wolf / Shutterstock 

3. ANA All Nippon Airways

ANA’s Business Class epitomizes Japanese precision and exceptional service, garnering high praise for its remarkable attention to detail.

Among its newest offerings is ‘The Room’, a cutting-edge product available on select Boeing 777-300ER aircraft. This innovative redesign features seats with sliding doors, ensuring an elevated level of privacy and comfort. Even the original Business Class seats boast full-wall partitions, further enhancing the inflight privacy experience on ANA’s long-haul fleet. 

Business Class seat aboard a Boeing 777-300 ER from Japanese carrier All Nippon Airways ANA (NH)
EQRoy / Shutterstock

The bed position of the seat is intentionally firm, a characteristic shared by Japanese-style beds. In addition, electronic shades for the windows can be effortlessly adjusted with a simple touch of a button, adding to the overall convenience and comfort of the passenger. 

For those opting for Western cuisine, ANA offers a delightful touch of Japanese flair. Passengers can complement their meals with steamed rice, traditional pickles, and comforting miso soup. However, the true highlight of the ANA Business Class dining experience lies in the kaiseki option. This exquisite selection showcases a variety of meticulously crafted morsels, such as simmered pumpkin with minced chicken sauce or indulgent sesame tofu with sesame cream sauce. 

Business class inflight meal of All Nippon Airways (ANA)
Takashi Image / Shutterstock

The seat features a high-definition, 24-inch (61 cm) touch-screen display, offering a captivating visual experience. Passengers can immerse themselves in an extensive selection of Hollywood and international movies, along with a diverse range of short-subject programs and music, ensuring a thoroughly enjoyable journey. 

2. Singapore Airlines

Throughout its history, Singapore Airlines has consistently lived up to its renowned tagline, “Service even other airlines talk about.” It stands out as one of the few airlines that continually pushes boundaries and sets new benchmarks within the industry. Singapore Airlines takes pride in providing exceptional service and continues to be a trailblazer. 

Singapore Airlines ensures that passengers have the freedom to select their seats without any additional charge. While all Business Class seats on Singapore Airlines offer exceptional comfort, the bulkhead seats deserve special mention. Their design allows for wider leg space, making them notably more spacious and appealing to passengers seeking enhanced comfort during their journey. 

Sydney to Singapore flight. Interiors of a New A380 Business Class introduced in 2018 by Singapore Airlines
Agent Wolf / Shutterstock 

One cannot overlook the iconic Lobster Thermidor, which has become the undeniable signature dish of Singapore Airlines. However, the airline’s menu extends far beyond this celebrated dish, offering a diverse range of cuisines including Singaporean, Western, Indian, Malay, Thai, and a selection of healthy options.

tuna business class meal on Singapore airlines
chompbear / YouTube.com

Entertainment options onboard Singapore Airlines are truly immersive, featuring high-resolution programs that cater to various tastes. Passengers can enjoy an extensive selection of Hollywood and Bollywood movies, as well as a variety of short subject features, including comedies and documentaries.  

Top 1 – Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways has established itself as a beacon of excellence, exemplified by its unprecedented achievement of winning the Skytrax top prizes on seven occasions (2011, 2012, 2015, 2017, 2019, 2021, and 2022). Furthermore, the airline has been recognized as the ‘World’s Best Business Class,’ ‘World’s Best Business Class Lounge Dining,’ and the ‘Best Airline in the Middle East.’

With its renowned Qsuite, opulent lounges, and impeccable inflight service and dining, Qatar Airways Business Class unquestionably deserves the accolades it receives. 

Qatar airways business class interior
M101Studio / Shutterstock 

The distinct maroon and grey hues featured in Qatar Airways’ logo seamlessly extend to the cabin and seat design of its aircraft, presenting passengers with a visually cohesive experience. Each Business Class suite is thoughtfully equipped with sliding privacy doors, wireless mobile device charging, and a 79-inch (two meters) lie-flat bed, ensuring optimum comfort and privacy throughout the journey. 

Dining in Qatar Airways Business Class is a delight, with main dishes consisting of three to four courses, tailored to the flight duration. The menu boasts an enticing blend of Middle Eastern specialties and destination-friendly options, including delectable choices of beef, poultry, seafood, and vegetarian dishes.

Sticky Toffee Pudding, Qatar Airways Business Class Dessert
Kollawat Somsri / Shutterstock

To keep passengers entertained, a wide selection of global music, Hollywood and Bollywood films, sitcoms, and engaging short programs, including documentaries, are available, catering to various tastes and interests. 

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