Everything you need to know about business class seats

By John Walton, March 14 2013
Everything you need to know about business class seats

For business class travellers, the seat is the most important part of the overall package when booking international fares.

But business class — more so than any other class of travel — is remarkably diverse, with airlines offering a confusing number of options, and often calling them something different to boot.

At Australian Business Traveller, we help to take the mystery out of the process, show you what you'll get for your money, let you decide whether it's worth it, and explain how to get something better.

We have six core guides to help you figure things out:

1. The complete guide to business class seats and layouts

Start off here: how to distinguish between the myriad different seats on offer, and the ways in which each is suitable for certain types of flight.

We also explain why the way they're laid out in the cabin is important — and it is. 

2. The "lie-flat" lie: why flat doesn't always mean flat

Just how flat is your business class "flat" seat? Is your airline being a bit sneaky about it? Will you slide down an angled slope in the middle of the night, or sleep like a log on a properly flat bed?

AusBT puts the truth to the "lie-flat" lie in our picture-laden guide.

3. Direct aisle access: how the new "gold standard" is important

The best business classes in the sky have direct aisle access, which means that window or middle seat passengers don't have to do the "midnight clamber" over their sleeping aisle neighbours.

They also tend to have more room to spread out with your laptop and get some decent work done — or just to simply relax and unwind.

Find out more about how direct aisle access can make your business travel better!

4. Seat pitch and legroom — they affect business class differently

Airlines measure the distance between seats in terms of "pitch". It's complicated, and doesn't always translate into legroom — particularly in business class.

So we put together a full illustrated guide to show you how pitch translates into your personal space on the plane.

5. Bulkhead seats: not always the best choice, especially in business

Received travel wisdom suggests that you should always ask for a bulkhead or exit row seat. But beware — they're not always the best for your particular needs.

Find out why as we explain the pros and the cons of bulkheads for various types, sizes and shapes of business traveller.

6. Expert, hand-picked recommendations for the best seat on your flight

Frequent flyers know that not all seats are the same, and that it's not just a "good" or "bad" difference. Many seats are good for some things (like extra legroom or fewer neighbours) yet less good for others (near a galley kitchen or other source of noise).

We've created dozens of expert guides to help you pick the best seats on the planes Australian business travellers fly on most, and we explain why — and how — some seats are better than others.

For the very latest news and information you need to know, follow @AusBT on Twitter! 

John Walton

Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

18 Oct 2012

Total posts 129

Great article ! Thanks John. 

Does anyone know if airlines have a different price point for the fully flat j class seat ? i.e. if its a QF or EK  "fully flat seat " aircraft,(Aa380)  will the  price  will differ to the same QF/ EK (777) flight with the "lie flat recline"option? i think they still have some?

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