What Business Class Gets You On 6 Carriers

And what your fellow passengers think.

Seat Stats Availability Runway Rep
American New seats recline to a 77-inch bed angled at 171 degrees. They’re motorized so you can even scoot forward from your neighbor. The space between each row (also known as “pitch”) is 59 inches. Upgrades to Boeing 767-300s, which fly transatlantic routes, will begin in September and be completed by March; the 777s are next. Frequent fliers say the overhaul is long overdue–and needs to be matched with better service.
British Airways Club World service features a 72-inch fully flat bed, and a seat pitch of 73 inches; BA plans to overhaul service at the end of this year. Club World is available on all Boeing 747s, 767s, and 777s; details about its plans and the overhaul itself are slated for the end of this year. Attentive onboard service, pampering airport lounges, and comfortable beds, but not quite in Virgin’s or Eos’s class.
Eos Offers 48 staggered “suites” with 21 square feet of space, a footrest that doubles as a stool for a visitor, and seats that recline to a 78-inch fully flat bed. Boeing 757s with one flight daily between New York’s JFK and London’s Stansted airports. More flights are expected to be added this month. The bed, food, and service–including curbside escorts who fast-track you to the gate–win raves, but there are too few routes and flights.
Maxjet Nothing fancy: 102 standard business-class seats that recline to 160 degrees with a 60-inch pitch. Flies Boeing 767s between Stansted and either JFK or Washington’s Dulles. Typically, there’s just one flight a day on each route, except Saturday. Solid service for low prices, but it’s low-frills business class.
Singapore SpaceBed stretches out to 78 inches and reclines to 173 degrees, but later this year Singapore plans to introduce a new cabin design that will overhaul everything “roof to floor” and give passengers more options and control. All Boeing 747s and 777s and Airbus A345s that fly long-haul routes; new cabins will be unveiled in October and debut on the new 777-300 and the Airbus A380–if the planes are ready. Singapore wins accolades for its outstanding service, comfy beds, and in-flight broadband Internet access. The best business class in the air.
Virgin Atlantic Upper Class Suite includes seats that flip over to create a fully flat 79.5-inch bed at the push of a button. A newly renovated clubhouse at Heathrow airport added such amenities as a spa pool, a rooftop garden, and a multi-screen theater. The Upper Class Suite is available on all flights to London from New York, Boston, Washington, Orlando, San Francisco, Miami, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas. Sets the standard for style; perks include free chauffeur service to and from the airport, swanky lounges, onboard bar, and in-flight massages.