Let’s face it, while travel can be a rewarding experience, flying (especially long-haul) is a chore. With crying babies on board, inconsiderate neighbours and uncomfortable seats that you lose precious sleep over, sometimes you wish you could just snap your fingers and arrive at your destination. However, there are two words that make flying a lot more tolerable: Business class.
Besides the all-important free-flow champagne, flying business class guarantees you get more rest, better quality meals, and a seamless check-in experience. Of course, not all business class suites are equal. While some suites remind you of 5-star hotel rooms in the sky, others can be a little underwhelming. Lucky for us, airlines are stepping up their game and are competing to improve their business class suites. The past year itself saw different airlines, from Qatar Airways to Virgin Australia, debuting improved and luxurious business and first class suites.
Trust us, it’s worth the upgrade. With premium food menus crafted by top chefs, seats made of the finest leather, the most comfortable beds with premium linen, and even in-flight bars, these luxurious business class suites make your flight a vacation in itself. Like they say, it’s all about the journey and not the destination.
(Featured image credit: Virgin Australia)
Late last year, Delta introduced the world’s first all-suite business class cabins. The Delta One Suite offers each customer a private space accessed by a sliding door, an advanced in-flight entertainment system, and premium seat trimmings to create an unparalleled business class experience.
The Delta One suite is slated to debut on Delta’s first Airbus 1350 in fall 2017, with each aircraft featuring 32 suites. In addition to full flat-bed seats with direct aisle access, the Delta One suite features a full-height door at every suite, sliding privacy dividers between centre suites, dedicated stowage compartments for shoes, headphones and laptops, and an 18-inch high resolution in-flight entertainment monitor.
Qatar Airways introduced its Q Suite Business Class at ITB Berlin this year. The Q Suite features the industry premiere of a double bed in business, with adjacent lie-flat seats — finished with hand-stitched Italian leather and satin rose gold.
The suite also features adjustable privacy panels, mobile video monitors, an enhanced dining menu (with each meal presented with a setting of cutlery and china.) Passengers will be gifted pyjamas by The White Company, along with amenity kits designed by luggage brand Bric’s, which features products from Italy’s prestigious Castello Monte Vibiano Vecchio.
The introduction of the Q Suite Business Class coincides with Qatar Airways’ 20th anniversary and will be integrated into the company’s fleet of 777 and A350-1000 aircraft, slated to be finished by 2018.
Virgin Australia launched its first-class cabins onboard the airline’s refitted Boeing 777-300ER planes last year. The new section includes 37 suites that convert into the length of a square bed, featuring a “reverse herringbone” design that maximises privacy.
The suites also feature 18-inch in-flight entertainment screens, Australian chef Luke Mangan’s menus, and a new business class bar and lounge.
The national carrier of Abu Dhabi launched The Residence suite on board its A380 aircraft last year, which Etihad described as a three-room “penthouse in the sky.”
Designed for two people travelling together, the suite features a living room, separate bedroom and ensuite shower room. The living room is equipped with a luxurious leather double-seat sofa and two dining tables, while the bedroom comes with a 6’10” double bed fitted with designer Italian bed linen, a 27-inch flat-screen television, and an on-board shower.
Emirates’ business class suite made its commercial debut on the airlines’ 170th Boeing 777 aircraft in November last year. The design and shape of the new business class seat is inspired by the interior of a modern sports car, captured in the diamond stitch pattern of a light grey full leather cover, with an ergonomically designed headrest. The updated seat layout and additional amenities feature a conveniently located mini-bar, a 23-inch television screen, privacy panel in between seats, and Bulgari amenity kits.
The airlines will also have A380 Onboard Lounges that feature a sleeker design with a clean ivory palette, and bronze and wood grain accents. These are slated to launch in July 2017.