Which is the best airline to fly to America in Business Class? I have picked United Airlines, American Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, British Airways, and Delta as the best airlines to travel to the US in Business Class.
United is an excellent choice on planes with their upgraded and new Polaris seat. American Airlines comes in joint first with their new Super Diamond seat, which is slightly more spacious than the United Polaris seat. American Airlines also has a decent and current lie-flat seat on their AA 777 in Business Class which I reviewed. Virgin tends to be better than British Airways, which comes in at number 4, and the inconsistent Delta Business Class product comes in 5th because of its terrible 767 Business seat.
American Airlines vs. United vs. Delta
American Airlines, United Airlines, and Delta are the three main North American airlines that fly from airports across Europe to the United States. All three have all recently launched a new, upgraded business class soft and hard product, with improved seats, food and service on flights to Europe. I have discussed in more detail which of these new Business Class suites is best. In my opinion, the United Polaris Business Class Pod cabins are the best looking of the three seats. The fact that these cabins are complemented by matching ground facilities means that this entire product is more of a complete experience than the American Airlines or Delta offerings.
On American Airlines, there are already some excellent lie-flat seats in circulation, and they are quickly upgrading their cabins. Passengers will be able to enjoy the new business class seats depends on when it gets its aircraft deliveries. From this year through 2018, the airline should receive an additional 27 aircraft. Additionally, American expects to receive 22 Airbus A350s in 2017. 777-200 retrofits will also be ongoing.
Delta’s new seats will probably only be installed on around a fifth of its new fleet, which means that when you book a Delta Business Class ticket, the chances are you may never experience their Delta One product. Delta currently offers an inferior 767 Business Class seat with very little leg space, and that looks like a 90’s nightmare, so great care must be taken to avoid the 767 product if you book a Delta Business Class seat.
British Airways vs. Virgin Atlantic
British Airways and Virgin Atlantic are the two main British airlines that fly between North America and Europe, between New York and London, along with a number of other American cities. Both airlines feature in my top 10 best airlines for long-haul Business Class and I have also compared them directly in my best transatlantic airline for Business: British Airways vs. Virgin Atlantic. In a nutshell, when comparing Virgin’s Upper Class to British Airways Club Class, Upper Class wins in almost every respect. The Clubhouse lounge is fun and has better food than British Airways Airport lounges. If you want privacy and direct aisle access, Virgin also wins. However, it is worth highlighting that if you are traveling in a couple or as a family, you will probably prefer the layout in British Airways, assuming you want to see your family or other half! The Virgin seat pods are very private, which make it difficult to share cabin space with your family or even see them. Virgin’s onboard food offering is more generous, the seat is more comfortable for sleeping, and it has an onboard bar.
Below you will find my reviews of recent experiences I have had on United Airlines, American Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, British Airways, and Delta.
I have flown with American Airlines a number of times and have reviewed their long-haul Business Class and First Class flights. My trip reports can be found below. Read More.
I have flown with United Airlines a number of times and have reviewed their long-haul Business Class and First Class flights. My trip reports can be found below. Read More.
I have flown with Virgin Atlantic a number of times and have reviewed their long-haul Business Class or Upper Class along with their Premium economy. My trip reports can be found below. Read More.
I have flown with British Airways many times and have reviewed their long-haul business class flights in First and Club World as well as Premium Economy. My trip reports in Business Class can be found below. Read More.
I have reviewed Delta One which is Delta’s new long-haul Business Class product which can be found below. Read More.
Consider The Specific Plane As Well As The Airline When Making Your Choice
It is worth noting that for all the airlines mentioned above, it is not just the airline that should skew your choice, but also the plane you will be traveling on. Virgin, for example, offers an updated and an older Upper Class seat, depending on the plane – the latter older seat being rather shabby. United have launched their new Polaris seats, which will soon be routed onto the flights to Europe, but for now, these are not yet available.
American Airlines have also launched Super Diamond Business Class but also offers excellent lie-flat seats, which are already in circulation in a reverse herringbone arrangement on its Boeing 777-300 (77W). These seats are also incredibly comfortable for sleeping, lie fully flat, are all forward-facing, and are private. The three American carriers, therefore, offer excellent new products if you can book a flight that features the seats outlined above.
British Airways Club Class seats currently have no direct aisle access, and older Virgin Atlantic products are tatty).
Book wisely, and you are in for a treat, particularly if you book into United Polaris or the American Airlines Super Diamond or reverse herringbone experience. These two are the winners and are the best airlines to fly to America in Business Class. My top choice is probably American Airlines as they have so many planes offering excellent Business class seats. As an example, the current Boeing 777-300 (reverse herringbone layout) flies on a huge number of routes, including Dallas (DFW) and Los Angeles (LAX) to Hong Kong (HKG); New York JFK, Miami (MIA), LAX and DFW to London (LHR); JFK and MIA to São Paulo (GRU); and MIA to LAX.
It is also worth mentioning that there will be a game-changer launching around 2020 with the introduction of Concorde like transatlantic Supersonic travel. The major players in this market are Boom, backed by Richard Branson, Spike Aerospace, Airbus and Aerion Corp. With prices expected to be around $5,000 USD a ticket, these will offer an exciting and faster alternative to First and Business when traveling transatlantic.
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