by WEX Travel
Air carriers around the globe are serving up luxury to win the business of corporate travelers. In a competitive marketplace, offering unique, value-added services is critical to both attracting new customers and retaining existing ones. So considering that business travelers spend their time primarily sitting, sleeping, working and eating (especially on long flights), airlines have been introducing innovations that make these experiences anything-but-ordinary. Think ultra-comfortable, simply delicious and service-with-a-smile.
The Top of Business Class—And the Rest—Deliver the Best
Here’s a peek at The Best Airlines for Business Class Travel in 2016 from Skytrax World Airline Awards:
1. Qatar Airways
2. Singapore Airlines
3. Etihad Airways
5. Cathay Pacific
6. ANA All Nippon Airways
7. EVA Air
8. Turkish Airlines
9. Air France
While these airlines make the grade across various criteria—and have clearly delivered the best to impress—they aren’t the only airlines rising to the needs of today’s corporate traveler. Let’s take a look at how various airlines are responding to even the most discriminating tastes:
1. Suite Set-Up
Delta is introducing the Delta One suite in the fall of 2017. Their all-suite business class seating features sliding privacy dividers between suites, lie-flat seats with memory foam, customizable ambient lighting, storage compartments for headphones, shoes and laptops, USB ports and universal power outlets, and18-inch television screens. Get more details on TravelWeekly.com.
Coming to a business class near you? Teague’s Waterfront Business class seat is a smart seat that remembers passenger preferences (e.g. language, favorite drink) and links seamlessly to their personal electronic devices. Passengers have access to environmental controls—from lighting to seat heating, cooling, and air flow—and an advanced in-flight entertainment system. An in-flight home base like this would definitely make even a short flight more enjoyable. Learn more at Skift.com.
2. Bon Appetit
While Air France’s updated business class experience features a fully horizontal bed, direct aisle access for all seats, and pod-shaped private quarters, it also provides passengers with in-flight dining from top chefs. Regis Marcon, Michael Roth and Guy Martin are among the Michelin-starred grand chefs who cook up aperitifs, appetizers, hot dishes, cheeses, pastries, sorbets and fruits—and don’t forget the French wines—on select flights.
Other airlines are serving up culinary delights to their business class passengers. Aer Lingus offers a seasonally inspired menu fusing modern and traditional Irish food, and United Airline’s BusinessFirst passengers enjoy a five-course meal ending with the air carrier’s signature ice cream sundae.
3. Ultra-Swanky Service
Skytrax World Airline Awards’ category winner Qatar Airways takes extra care to keep business passengers comfortable. Not only does the plane’s cabin supervisor personally greet every passenger, but flight attendants offer Champagne. When passengers get sleepy, they can enjoy a pair of pajamas (to keep), a sleep kit and even a goody bag with top-of-the-line toiletries
Vietnam Airlines gives long-haul business class passengers personal care bags containing lip balms, moisturizers and aqua water for dental health, and Alitalia provides passengers with a stylish amenity bag filled with beauty products plus a toothbrush, toothpaste, ear plugs, socks, an eye mask and mints.
The exceptional business class services don’t stop here. The list could go on to include the airport lounge the experience, on-board technology and entertainment offerings and even aesthetic design. Stay tuned for more insights into how travel suppliers are going above-and-beyond to meet the needs of corporate travelers and even their travel managers back at the office. For now, you may enjoy:
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