Flying business class, especially internationally, is a great way to elevate your travel experience and start and end the trip with a bit of luxury. Business class seats are usually very expensive if you pay with cash, but there are plenty of opportunities to book them almost for free. You can redeem credit card points and airlines miles for the best business class flights.
Your business class experience can vary greatly across airlines, planes and routes. If you want to ensure you enjoy one of the nicest business class experiences, we'll dive into who has the best business class flights.
Factors we considered when picking the best business class airlines
We used the following factors to choose the best airlines for business class:
Amenities: Food, service and amenity kits can add more value to your premium cabin flight experience.
Seats: Since you’ll be spending a large portion of your flight in your seat, a better business class flight will need to have both a comfortable and private seat so you can fully relax.
Ability to earn and use points: The ideal business class flight isn’t worth a lot if you aren’t able to afford to fly it, so being able to use points to book your flight is an important factor.
Routes: An expansive route network can open up a world of destinations for you to fly to in style.
Lounges: Whether you’re arriving early to the airport or on a layover, a great lounge can really add to your flight experience.
» Learn more: The best first class airline in the U.S.
Best business class for amenities
Winner: Singapore Airlines
It’s difficult to talk about the best business class flights in the world without mentioning Singapore Airlines, which takes the top spot when it comes to airline amenities. If you have the option, we’d recommend flying in Singapore’s Airbus A380 business class, which offers amenities including incredibly comfortable bedding and pillows, a high-definition 18-inch screen with noise-canceling headphones, slippers and toiletries, and expansive food and drink options.
Our favorite amenity on Singapore Airlines' A380 business class is that if you’re traveling with a companion, you can ask the flight attendants to turn your beds into a comfortable double bed so you can enjoy the experience fully with your friend or partner.
Best business class seats
Winner: All Nippon Airways
In late 2019, All Nippon Airways launched a new business class seat called “The Room” on select Boeing 777-300ER planes. ANA’s The Room offers everything you could want in an international business class seat — a door that closes for privacy, wide seats that turn into a lie-flat bed, aisle access for every seat and a large 24-inch 4K monitor to watch movies and shows.
Best business class for travel rewards
Winner: Swiss International Air Lines
If you want to both use and earn points for your premium cabin flight, Swiss International Air Lines is your best option. Swiss Air is a member of the Star Alliance — the largest airline alliance in the world. With 26 partner airlines, it makes it easy to earn and redeem miles for Swiss Air business class flights.
One of our favorite ways to book Swiss Air business class is by using Air Canada’s Aeroplan program, where a one-way business class ticket on Swiss Air from the U.S. to Zurich costs between 60,000 to 70,000 miles. Aeroplan is a transfer partner for American Express Membership Rewards, Capital One miles and Chase Ultimate Rewards®, giving you a number of ways to redeem your credit card points on Swiss Air flights.
» Learn more: Your guide to the Star Alliance
Best route network for business class flyers
Winner: Turkish Airlines
It’s hard to compete with Turkish Airlines in terms of route network, as the airline flies to over 200 destinations in 120 countries.
If you’re starting or ending your journey in the U.S., Turkish Airlines has direct flights from Istanbul to Los Angeles; Washington, D.C.; Chicago; New York-JFK; Atlanta; Boston; Houston; San Francisco and Miami.
Turkish is also a member of the Star Alliance, so it's easy to connect to other destinations in the U.S. through United Airlines.
Best business class lounges
Winner: Qatar Airways
Skytrax’s World Airline Awards ranked Qatar Airways’ Al Mourjan Business Lounge in Doha as the best business class lounge in the world lounge in 2021, and for good reason: It was designed to mirror a resort experience and offers a variety of dining options with food from around the world. The lounge also provides plenty of private and quiet areas to relax in, and the service and hospitality are top-notch.
If flight schedules allow, we’d recommend booking a flight that allows you at least one to two hours in the Qatar Airways business class lounge so you don’t miss out on one of the best parts of the Qatar business class experience.
» Learn more: The point collector’s guide to Qatar Airways
Final thoughts on the best business class airlines
Flying business class internationally can be a luxurious experience depending on the airline, route and aircraft. Before you book, be sure to consider what you value most — whether it be a comfortable seat, delicious food or an opulent lounge.
Check to see if you can redeem your points or miles for the flight (which can help you get out-size value) so that you get an outstanding business class ticket without spending much cash.
How to maximize your rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2022, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card