Long-haul business travel: who’s best?

Long-haul airline facilities for business travellers compared

With Virgin Atlantic recently introducing a new Upper Class Suite on its A330 aircraft, the business facilities on the most popular long-haul airlines have been compared. The research compares what is available for business and first-class passengers on 12 of the major long-haul airlines, including seat space and capacity, meals, access to an airport lounge, priority check-in, baggage allowance and entertainment.
With regards to seat space and capacity, the research – by the UK booking agency Airport Parking and Hotels – found a significant difference between airlines. All the airlines offer flat beds to passengers in business class, apart from KLM which offers a Sleeper Seat reclining up to 170-175 degrees. The size of the flat-beds was found to vary slightly with most airlines offering an average space of 6’6” (1.98 metres). However, Air New Zealand and Swiss Air offer a length of 6’7” and Etihad Airways offers 6’8” in its Diamond First Class.
The airlines also offer a variety of in-seat facilities in their business and first-class seats, with KLM and Swiss Air offering massage units and Etihad’s Diamond First Class even including a private cabin, changing room including wash basin, dining table for two and minibar. With regards to meals, this was found to be around the same service on all airlines, apart from American Airlines and Etihad both offering a dine-on-request option.
Baggage allowance was found to vary across the airlines too, with the largest baggage allowance available on Lufthansa, Qantas and Virgin Atlantic who all offer their first-class passengers three bags of 32kg each. Some of the other airlines were found to offer only three bags at 23kg each, or a combined weight of 40kg for all bags.
A dedicated check-in desk or priority check-in was also available with all airlines, except Premium Economy seats with Air New Zealand.

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