Reader Pamela wants to know,
Which is your favorite airline for business class from the east coast to Europe? I have tons of points and miles for any alliance. To date we have preferred Lufthansa (but don’t even mention Air Berlin around me!). Any gateway is fine and any destination can work.
I believe that business class is all about the seat. That’s the biggest thing, do you have personal space and can you sleep? Of course you need to eat, it’s nice when you get good service, and storage space makes things more convenient.
- Business class is all about the seat
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There’s no question that the single US-Europe flight is Singapore Airlines A380 between New York JFK and Frankfurt. But that’s just a single flight. If you want to redeem miles for premium cabin seats on that aircraft you need Singapore’s own points, fortunately you can transfer from Chase, American Express, Citibank, and Starwood into the Krisflyer program.
Singapore combines seat, service, food (although no amenity kit in business) and really is a cut above anything else offered across the Atlantic.
But that flight aside my criteria is:
- Fully flat seat
- All seats with aisle access
- Not on a 767, the plane is narrow and so the seats meeting the above criteria are too narrow
My absolute favorite seat that meets this criteria is aboard the American 777. I’ve called the American 777-300ER the best business class seat across the Atlantic. (They now have a couple of reconfigured 777-200s in service as well.)
It’s not only fully flat all aisle access, but features my favorite ‘reverse herringbone’ style of seats (which you can find on Cathay Pacific’s long haul fleet and also on EVA Airways’ 777-300ERs). Delta flies the seat to Tel Aviv and across the Pacific also. And American’s new 777s have inflight internet as well.
The problem is that you’ll almost never find business class saver awards on these aircraft, or on American’s transatlantic flights period.
So if that’s out my preference would be — believe it or not – US Airways business class. You won’t get good food and probably won’t get good service, but they were the pioneer of that reverse herringbone business class seat. And while availability isn’t great, I’ve certainly found seats say Philadelphia – Madrid on US Airways in business class and also to London Heathrow.
Speaking of London, and much more available, Virgin Atlantic‘s seat is a notch below these and their food isn’t fantastic but availability is better and their lounges are outstanding for business class offerings.
And you can redeem Delta miles for Virgin Atlantic flights without fuel surcharges (If you book one-way awards with Delta miles originating in Europe, or roundtrips originating there as well, you will pay surcharges — so book roundtrips originating in North America).
A notch below these products are Lufthansa’s new business class, and Brussels Airlines, which are reasonably available with miles in a Star Alliance program. While fully flat you don’t have the same personal space.
A similar offering is from Star Alliance member Austrian, but the overall product is a notch above because of Austrian’s fantastic catering (and coffee).