Photo tour: the best in-flight bars in business class

By John Walton, July 25 2011
Photo tour: the best in-flight bars in business class

Business class passengers enjoy a wider range of things to do in the air than ever before, from widescreen entertainment to power points for laptops -- and even inflight wi-fi Internet, although not in Australia.

But the business class bar has burgeoned in recent years, harkening back to the glitzy yesteryear of travel where the entire top deck of some airlines' 747 jumbo jets was turned into a lounge.

Here's our pick of the best of the lot.

Emirates, A380

At the back of business class on the upper deck of the A380, Emirates' A380 bar is probably the largest around, and is a remarkably interesting place to spend some time chatting to your fellow passengers.

With a U-shaped bar, a giant moving map on the back wall, and LED lighting artistically representing Dubai landmarks, the only slight downside is the preponderance of Emirates' trademark fake wood and brass.

The bar is reportedly at its most raucous on UK flights, though -- so if you're connecting through Dubai to a British airport, make sure you pick a seat as far forward as you can in the business class cabin.

(Here's our guide to choosing the best business class seat on Emirates' A380.)

Virgin Atlantic, 747 and A340

The first Virgin airline was the first modern carrier to install bars in its Upper Class business class. They're installed across the fleet, with the exception of some non-Heathrow planes without Upper Class seats.

Virgin Atlantic's bar is smaller than some, but arguably classier than most, with mood lighting and modern British styling.

Korean Air, A380

The world's newest inflight bar is on Korean Air's A380s, which is located just next to the Celestial Lounge area.

Outfitted in a cool blue, it's been designed in cooperation with vodka makers Absolut, who have also put together six vodka cocktails for passengers.

V Australia 777-300ER

The only Australian flights with an in-flight bar are V Australia's long-haul 777 flights to the US and Abu Dhabi.

It's smaller than most, and has a frustrating tendency to turn into a storage area for service at certain times of the flight, but we like it nonetheless.

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.


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