The best US airlines’ business classes compared
By Sadie Whitelocks For Dailymail.com
19:13 18 Feb 2023, updated 19:13 18 Feb 2023
- JetBlue’s ‘Mint Studio’ suites offer the largest TVs of any US airline at 22in and there is free high-speed WiFi
- American Airlines has a walk-up bar in the premium cabin stocked with snacks and refreshments
- Air Canada Signature Class passengers can indulge in free-flowing Laurent-Perrier champagne
Plush bedding, luxury bathroom potions, multi-course meals and free-flowing champagne…
No, this isn’t a night spent at a swanky hotel but some of the quaffable features on offer when traveling premium with some of the top US airlines.
DailyMail.com has spoken with five American airlines to see what the latest offerings are for business and first class passengers, with the perks ranging from haute cuisine to unrivaled comfort.
Take a flight down to see how the other half fly… The lead-in prices are given based on a return flight from New York to London, leaving September 18th and returning a week later on the 26th.
JetBlue Airways – Mint – from $2,548
THE PERKS: JetBlue Mint
- Sliding doors for extra privacy
- The largest TVs on any US airline in the Mint Studio at 22in
- A food and drink menu designed in collaboration with hip New York restaurants
- Bedding sets designed by Tuft & Needle
- Noise-isolating headphones by Master & Dynamic
- Wellness kits by Wanderfuel
- Free access to high-speed WiFi
JetBlue Airways scored fifth place in the Best Business Class Airline Seats category at last year’s the hotly-anticipated Skytrax awards.
The New York-headquartered airline revamped its ‘Mint’ premium service on transatlantic flights in 2021 and it is now on a par with other airlines’ business class offerings with 24 lay-flat beds, a gourmet food experience, and a dedicated cabin crew.
All of the Mint seats boast aisle access complete with sliding doors for extra privacy and multiple charging points for electronic devices.
For travelers looking to elevate the experience further, there are two larger ‘Mint Studio’ seats at the front of the plane, which take advantage of the space behind the galley.
The Mint Studio seats serve up the largest TVs on any US airline, coming in at 22in. Meanwhile, the TVs in Mint are still generously sized at 17in.
When it comes to food, there’s a well-curated menu on offer to Mint travelers with an array of small dishes designed in collaboration with New York hotspots Charlie Bird, Pasquale Jones, and Legacy Records.
An example of some of the recipes on offer include roasted chicken with braised leeks, shrimp curry with fingerling potatoes and burrata with yellow beets.
On the drinks side of things, there’s a moreish mix of specialty cocktails designed by New York restaurant Ada’s Place and a wine list designed by a hip New York bar.
Other perks of JetBlue’s Mint class include soft bedding sets designed by Tuft & Needle, noise-isolating headphones by Master & Dynamic and wellness kits by Wanderfuel packed with a mix of products, from rehydration powders to coconut oil beauty balms.
Unlike other airlines, all passengers flying with JetBlue get free access to high-speed WiFi.
Delta Air Lines – Delta One – from $5,723
THE PERKS: Delta One
- 180-degree flat-bed seats
- Noise canceling headphones
- Bottomless Delta One dessert cart
- Menus designed by chefs Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo
- Artisan cocktails including espresso martinis and negronis
- Free Delta Sky Club access
- Someone Somewhere amenity kits with Grown Alchemist products
Delta Air Lines, which ranked number nine in the World’s Best Business Class Airlines category in the 2022 Skytrax awards, offers an equivalent of business class called Delta One on its trans-Atlantic and trans-Pacific routes.
The Delta One cabins feature 180-degree flat-bed seats and on most Airbus A350 and A330-900 flights, the seats have full-height doors and dividers for extra privacy.
On the entertainment front, the seats feature 110-volt outlets, USB ports, seatback screens and noise-cancelling headsets.
Appealing to eco-conscious travelers, Delta One seats come with 100 per cent recycled polyester bedding, and amenity kits crafted by socially responsible fashion brand Someone Somewhere.
The soft washbag pouches include a lip balm and hand cream by premium skincare brand Grown Alchemist.
When it comes the food service, some of the unique features of this cabin class includes the bottomless Delta One dessert cart, which features cakes and cheeses and allows passengers to build their own ice cream sundaes.
On the savory side of things the airline has collaborated with an array of well-known chefs.
Delta One passengers flying out of Los Angeles, for example, can tuck into a chicken piccata with lemon caper sauce or a Calabrian Caesar salad designed by celebrated chefs Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo.
While customers flying out of select markets can feast on tasty dishes such as a roasted sweet potato tagine with chermoula sauce designed by James Beard award-winning chef Mashama Bailey.
To wash it all down, there’s a good spread of wines and spirits, along with expertly-made libations shaken up by Tip Top Proper Cocktails. The espresso martini is one of the airline’s most popular picks along with a premium rosé on offer by St Tropez-based producer La Fête du Rosé.
Passengers who purchase Delta One tickets also enjoy a range of perks at the airport including complimentary access to the Delta Sky Club lounge, accelerated check-in, and expeditated security and baggage handling services.
Air Canada – Signature Service – from $4,699 (direct from Toronto to London)
THE PERKS: Signature Class
- Lie-flat seats measuring 6ft 7in long
- Free-flowing Laurent-Perrier champagne
- Menus designed by award-winning Vancouver-based chef David Hawksworth
- Wines chosen by leading Canadian sommelier Véronique Rivest
- An amenity kit from Acqua Di Parma, containing a branded lip balm and hand cream
- An airport connection service in partnership with Porsche
If you’re looking for top notch in-flight cuisine Air Canada’s premium Signature Class – available onboard its mainline Boeing 787s, 777s and Airbus A330s – should fit the bill.
Last year, the airline took home the gong for the Best Business Class Onboard Catering in North America at the Skytrax awards.
The airline’s menus have been designed by award-winning Vancouver-based chef David Hawksworth and an example of some of the artfully-presented dishes include everything from a smoked trout nicoise salad to yellow tuna tataki to a rich dark chocolate fondant to finish.
On the drinks side of things, Signature Class passengers can pick from top wines chosen by leading Canadian sommelier Véronique Rivest and there’s free-flowing Laurent-Perrier champagne.
And along with fine fodder, Air Canada’s Signature Class serves up an array of other perks.
All passengers booked into this class will be greeted by luxury Acqua Di Parma amenity kits on boarding the plane.
The attractive bright yellow zipper bags contain an Acqua di Parma lip balm and hand cream along with an eyeshade, socks, a glass cloth, earplugs, Colgate toothpaste, a toothbrush, mouthwash, and dental floss.
When it comes to the seats, Air Canada’s executive and classic pods offer lumbar support and a massage function, and they convert to fully-flat beds measuring 6ft 7in long and just over 20in wide.
Air Canada currently is the only North American airline offering lie-flat seats on the following non-stop routes: daily and overnight flights between Los Angeles, San Francisco, Vancouver and Toronto; and daily flights between Montreal, New York – Newark and Vancouver; and between Calgary, Edmonton and Toronto.
Another unique feature of Air Canada’s Signature Class service is its partnership with Porsche. At Toronto Pearson and Vancouver International airports, eligible connecting Air Canada Signature Class customers arriving from within Canada and connecting to Asia, Europe, or South America, will be met by a member of staff before being whisked across the tarmac in one of the airline’s exclusive Porsche vehicles to visit the Air Canada Signature Suite lounge.
The fleet of Porsche vehicles consists of electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, including the Porsche Taycan, Panamera and Cayenne.
Along with two ‘luxury suite’ lounges, Air Canada has 16 ‘Maple Leaf lounges’ across Canada, the United States and Europe which can be accessed by all Signature Class customers.
United – United Polaris Business Class – from $2,717
THE PERKS: United Polaris
- 180-degree lie flat seats with up to 6ft 6in of bed space
- Pajamas available for journeys over 12 hours
- Amenity kits designed by luggage brand Away and featuring skincare products from Sunday Riley
- Premium noise-reducing headphones
- Access to Polaris airport lounges
United’s Polaris business class service is the Chicago-based airline’s most premium offering.
The cabins feature 180-degree lie flat seats with up to 6ft 6in of bed space and multiple storage spaces.
Taking comfort levels up a peg or two, passengers are greeted with bed sets from luxury New York department store Saks Fifth Avenue and cozy slippers.
Mattress cushions are also available upon request, to make the onboard bed even more comfortable and for journeys over 12 hours, pajamas are on the menu too.
So passengers can keep their skin hydrated in the skies the Polaris amenity kits, designed by luggage brand Away, feature skincare items including a face cream and lip balm from Sunday Riley.
An eye mask, ear plugs and socks are other goodies enclosed in the hard-case bag.
The airline says ‘to get your mind ready for sleep, you can plug in the premium noise-reducing headphones we provide, and tune to the relaxation channel in your seatback entertainment system for peaceful sounds or even guided meditations’.
If passengers prefer staying awake, there are hundreds of movies and TV shows to choose with the option of watching them from a personal device or a screen.
When it comes to wining and dining, the airline told DailMail.com that there will be some ‘exciting menu news this year.’
When DailyMail.com reviewed the Polaris suite in July 2022 some of the available options included ras el hanout-drizzled fennel flan croquettes, herb-infused chicken with feta cheese, and Gruyere-cocotte egg with smoked turkey bacon for breakfast.
While United didn’t score any points for its business class cabin in the 2022 Skytrax awards, it did for its business class lounge.
The carrier came seventh overall out of all of the airlines in the best business class lounge category and landed in fourth place for its lounge catering services.
All Polaris customers get complimentary access to Polaris airport lounges or partner lounges along with expeditated, luggage and security services at the airport.
American Airlines – Flagship First (from $4,618) and Flagship Business (from $3,223)
THE PERKS: Flagship First and Flagship Business
- Lie flat seats measuring up to 21.5in wide
- Bedding designed by sleep technology company Casper
- Meals crafted by ‘elite chefs’ from the James Beard Foundation
- An award-winning wine program
- Amenity kit bags designed by Detroit-based brand Shinola and featuring a selection of products by fragrance company D.S. & Durga
- Premium noise-reducing headphones by Bang & Olufsen
- Access to Flagship Lounges located in Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Chicago and Miami airports
- Helicopter transfers with Blade (temporarily on hold)
American Airlines offers first and business class seats on its international flights, depending on the plane in use.
The airline’s Flagship First and Flagship Business classes both offer lie-flat seats, with these measuring 21.5in and 20.5in wide respectively.
The bedding in both classes was designed in partnership with sleep technology company Casper.
In terms of meal offerings, the airline has partnered with the James Beard Foundation to create ‘exclusive dishes designed by their elite chefs’. Meanwhile, the airline’s ‘award-winning wine program’ on offer in business and first is being overseen by wine educator, writer and consultant Julia Coney.
So passengers don’t have to call on flight attendants, American Airlines has a walk-up bar in the premium cabin stocked with snacks and refreshments.
On the ground, the carrier also offers a ‘first-class dining experience’ to passengers traveling in Flagship First or Flagship Business Plus at its special Flagship Lounges located in Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Chicago and Miami airports.
Both in business and first on American Airlines, passengers are greeted by washbags made by Detroit-based brand Shinola with these featuring a selection of products by fragrance company D.S. & Durga.
On the entertainment side of things, the airline previously offered Bose noise canceling headphones but now it has partnered with Bang & Olufsen to offer updated headsets.
In October 2022, DailyMail.com reported on American Airlines’ brand-new business-class seats and reimagined interiors set for introduction on Boeing Dreamliners, Boeing 777s and long-range single-aisle Airbus A321 planes.
The new seats, designed by Seattle-based firm Teague, will debut in 2024 with the arrival of new Airbus A321XLR and Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft.
American’s Boeing 777-300 planes will be refreshed with the new cabin from late 2024, along with the 16-strong fleet of Airbus A321Ts.
American said that the introduction of the new interiors would see premium seating on its long-haul fleet grow more than 45 per cent by 2026.
American Airlines does also offer VIP arrival and departure services and helicopter transfers in partnership with Blade to its business and first customers, but these are temporarily on hold.