The Next 16 First & Business Class Products I’d Like To Review

In early 2016 I set out to review as many new first & business class products as possible, as a way of sprucing up blog content. While I figured I’d really miss the repetitive nature with which I flew many of the world’s best first class products, I’ve found reviewing new airlines to be extremely enjoyable. That goal didn’t stop in 2016, and my goal in 2017 is to try even more new airlines.

In the first couple of weeks of the year I’ve flown business class on EgyptAir, Royal Jordanian, Royal Brunei, and Emirates, all of which were new products for me.

As I begin to plot out my next big trip, I figured I’d make a list with the next 16 products I really want to review, in no particular order. I’m always curious to hear what you guys think, because at the end of the day my airline selection is based on what you guys are most interested in reading about.

Here are the next airlines I’m hoping to try:

Etihad’s A380/787 business class

Having just flown Emirates’ A380 business class, I’d be curious to compare it to Etihad’s newest business class product. While I’ve reviewed Etihad’s A330 business class on a flight between Europe and the Middle East, I’d be curious to try their flagship business class product on a longer flight.

Uzbekistan’s 787 business class

Uzbekistan’s flight from New York to Riga to Tashkent has long fascinated me, and the flight will soon be operated by a 787. I’m excited to try their service, as I’ve been waiting for this plane to be on the route, rather than their outdated 767s.

RwandAir’s A330 business class

RwandAir recently took delivery of their first A330, which has a great staggered business class product, similar to what’s offered on SAS. Given that they have decent business class fares between Dubai and Kigali, this seems like a fun thing to do the next time I’m in Dubai and have a couple of days to spare, especially as I’d like to visit Rwanda.

rwandair-business-class

Air Namibia’s A330 business class

Air Namibia has A330s with fully flat seats, which they fly between Frankfurt and Windhoek. I’d like to visit Namibia, so given that they have reasonable business class fares, this seems like the obvious way to get there.

Philippine Airlines’ 777 business class

Philippine Airlines operates a cool fifth freedom route between New York and Vancouver, so that seems like a cool way to try them without having to commit to a longhaul flight. 😉

Middle East Airlines’ A330 business class

I’d like to visit Beirut, so might as well check out MEA, the airline of Lebanon. They fly A330s to London and Paris, so while it’s not exactly a longhaul flight, it still seems like a good way to get there, and a good use of SkyTeam miles.

Air Europa’s 787 business class

While Air Europa isn’t exactly known for offering the best transatlantic product, their new 787s at least have fully flat seats in business class. Given that I’ve done most other transatlantic products, I guess it’s time to try this one.

Saudia’s new 777 first class

Saudia recently introduced a new first class product with fully enclosed suites, which I’d really like to try. I recently flew Saudia in business class, so am curious how their first class compares. Saudia first class can easily be booked using Korean Air SkyPass miles.

Saudia-New-First-Class-3

Kenya Airways’ 787 business class

Kenya Airways frequently has good business class fares, so I’d like to fly them between Europe or Asia and Africa. I’m trying to review more SkyTeam products, so this is part of that effort.

Oman-Air-Business-Class-787-Leased

Korean Air’s new 747-8/777 business class

Korean Air has Apex Suites on their 747-8 and select 777 aircraft, which is my favorite business class hard product. While I’ve long liked their first class product, I’d like to see how their business class product compares.

korean-air-747-first-class-82

Kuwait Airways’ new 777 first & business class

Kuwait Airways has just started flying new 777-300s, which replace their previously very outdated 777-200 aircraft. These planes have fully enclosed suites in first class, and fully flat seats in business class. So the next time I find a good business or first class fare on them, I’d be very interested to try them.

Aerolineas Argentinas’ business class

I don’t exactly have high hopes of Aerolineas Argentinas business class, but I do want to review more SkyTeam products, so…

United Polaris Business

While I reviewed United’s first class not too long ago between London and Los Angeles, it’s time I try their new “Polaris” soft product. I’ve been somewhat hesitant since so far they just have the updated soft product, and not actually new seats. However, they’ll start flying the new 777-300ER between San Francisco and Hong Kong soon, so maybe I’ll try to fly on that route.

United Polaris seat (PRNewsFoto/United Airlines)

Aer Lingus’ new business class

Aer Lingus was on my list last year, and I have no clue why I still haven’t reviewed them. I’ve reviewed their old product, but in the meantime they have a new business class product, better lounges in the U.S., better food, and an arrivals lounge, so I really need to fly them again.

Aer-Lingus-Business-Class-5

EL AL’s 777 first class

I recently wrote about how I was frustrated by how expensive/tough it is to fly EL AL’s premium cabins, though it looks like they have a pretty reasonable fare from Tel Aviv to London in first class, so I guess that’s how I’ll be reviewing EL AL’s first class. I’m looking forward to visiting Israel, and might as well try their airline.

Biman Bangladesh’s 777 business class

Bangladesh has decent business class fares from London to Dhaka, and for whatever reason the airline intrigues me, so I might as well give them a try the next time I’m in Europe.

Biman-Bangladesh

Any other airlines that should be on my list?

About lucky

Ben Schlappig (aka Lucky) is a travel consultant, blogger, and avid points collector. He travels about 400,000 miles a year, primarily using miles and points to fund his first class experiences. He chronicles his adventures, along with industry news, here at One Mile At A Time.

More articles by lucky »

Comments

  1. Delta’s A330 business class might be worth a shot. (The 747 version of the same seat is quite a bit nicer, but that sadly won’t be around for too much longer.) Or, you could try to get on one of their first flights with the A350 suite business class later in the year.

  2. How about trying some of the LCC “Business” Class Products like Scoot and Air Asia X?

    Some others to try:
    -Vistara in India (domestic only at this stage but a JV with Singapore Airlines so expect a high level of service).
    -the new Singapore Airlines Business Class which I don’t think you’ve reviewed (on their A350’s and select 777-300ER’s)
    -Royal Nepal Airlines when they get their A330’s later this year.

  3. I’d love a First Class report from Jet Airways. Given that you flew their Business class YYZ-BRU and were fairly impressed, this would be a natural upgrade.

    If you have made plans to fly EY’s Residence AUH-BOM, you could tag a BOM-LHR/CDG/AMS redemption on 9W’s 777-300ER in First Class. You also get to review BOM’s swanky GVK First lounge, which hasn’t garnered a negative review till date.

    Just my 2 rupees.

  4. Yes, one missing!

    The long-expected, game-changing QR Super Business Class is a must-review for 2017.

    Oh wait…

  5. You should consider LATAM A350, Ben! Maybe even compare to LATAM 767 and 787. You can make it from Orlando to GRU to SCL than to Australia or New Zeeland. Your South American readers would deeply appreciate!!!

  6. Gol air.
    Tam air.
    Vietnam airlines.

    Please go with ford to israel and make out in the public in Jerusalem . I really want to see how open minded Israelis are.

  7. Doesn’t exactly fit for your blog, but would love to see a review of Spirit’s BIG FRONT SEAT, just for the laughs. I imagine it can’t be much different than intra-Europe biz class, and all-in pricing from LAX-LAS r/t is around $100 looking at dates. Could be interesting and give you a chance to get some SPG or Hyatt stays in Vegas during the week for very cheap. Or you could do the R/T and review in an afternoon.

  8. You haven’t done Ethiopian’s new business class on the A350-900.

    Also, some premium economy reviews could be interesting.

  9. The Etihad J seat on the 787 and 380 is a significant step up from what they offer on their A330 and 777. It’s a great experience – I’ve flown it both on a Europe- AUH and USA – AUH route. Very comfortable.

  10. I’ d like to see you try the Condor Business Class Product or maybe the current TK product. And how about Boliviana or Vietnam Airlines?

  11. Yeah – I agree with @Marina – do the Condor Business Class market. I flew it last summer. from BWI to FRA. It was solid. A little tight, but i was impressed by the quantity and quality of the food. would recommend. And they’ve expanded their schedule this summer – it’s worth a review.

  12. EUROWINGS (longhaul)
    FLYDUBAI
    EDELWEISS AIR (longhaul)
    It would be interesting to see how you rate their business class products…

  13. So, products I’d like you to review, huh?

    *AHEM*

    – Delta One Suites
    – Aegean’s Business Class (cheap and has good reviews)
    – SQ’s new J (you may have reviewed this)
    – Qatar’s Super Business Class (in 35 years when that comes out)
    – Cathay’s A350 Business Class
    – Hawaiian’s new J

    *AHEM*

    Review these if and when you like, no pressure. I love anything you upload anyway.

  14. This isn’t necessarily a new airline, but I would love to see you review American’s newest business class product on the 787-9/777-200ER newest retrofit. Other than the privacy issue in the middle seats, it seems like a pretty solid product.

  15. How about Dubai to Kigali in Rwandair A330 – connecting to Addis Ababa in ET (short haul can be economy of ET) – Addis to Dubai in ET A350 – AUH-BOM in The Residence – BOM-LHR/AMS/CDG in Jet Airways First class.

  16. @Roger
    As per Australian Business Traveller, Qatar will introduce its new “super” business class seat at the ITB Berlin travel trade show in March. So who knows, we might try it as early as this year 😀

  17. Another vote for some premium economy reviews. I know it wont be the most fun way to travel, but i imagine most of your readers are like me in the way that we fly. I dont mind paying a few hundred dollars more for Y+ on a long haul flight but J is out of my budget unless using miles. Just a thought.

  18. Vietnam Airlines
    Meridiana
    Hong Kong Airlines
    Aerolinas Argentinas
    TAM business class
    Asiana business class
    Turkmenisan airlines
    Brussels Airlines

  19. Looking forward to EY Business studio and United Polaris. But also hoping that you will change your mind and will add QR and SQ New business class seats in your list

  20. For Saudia I’d recommend one of two things depending on what you’re planning to do.

    1- If you plan not to leave the Jeddah airport, I say wait until the new airport is operational.

    2- If youre in the mood to see a new and pretty cool city, then go ahead and visit Jeddah. I can recommend a lot of fun stuff to do there if you like. Getting a transit visa isn’t that hard, contrary to popular belief.

    In any case, my expectations aren’t sky high for their new first class, since the soft product has been Saudia’s chronic problem. However, it has been steadily improving and may be giving it a bit of time would be better.

    I’ve heard that the new amenity kit is really good though, and it features Porsche Design sleepwear which is always a welcome addition.

  21. @ Aziz — Do you have any further info on getting a transit visa? I’d really like to visit though have heard it’s difficult, so appreciate any info you have!

  22. Yeah, would love to see you try Azul’s biz since the founder is ex-Jetblue. Also, trying the LATAM A350 would be nice.

  23. An Iranian trip report would make for a fascinating read. And since Ben is a hard core avgeek I bet he would enjoy riding on one of Iran Air’s relics from Europe to Tehran. Colleagues have said that while the hard product is comically bad, the service and food were pretty good.

    And wouldn’t it be fun to do a routing such as:

    LAX to TLV via IST on Turkish business (just to give embattled TK some love)

    TLV to LHR on El Al first

    LHR to IKA on Iran Air business

    IKA to SIN on Mahan Air business

    SIN to SFO on SQ’s nonstop (or even UA’s).

    Fun!!

  24. I strongly second @Aziz’s suggestion of visiting Jeddah, if possible. It’s a surprisingly vibrant city.

  25. I believe it’s Aerolineas Argentinas business class that allows you to use a FAX machine?!?!?! Looking forward to these reviews, Lucky!

  26. I would really like to see a review of the following airlines (which you haven’t mentioned in your post):
    • Alitalia NEW long-haul Business class
    • Alitalia NEW short-haul Business Class
    • AIR Serbia intra-Europe Business Class
    • S7 Airlines intra-Europe Business Class
    • Aegan Airlines intra-Europe Business Class
    • Delta One 747(before they all get phased out)
    • TAP Portugal Business Class(short/long-haul)
    • Virgin Atlantic NEW 777 Business Class
    • LATAM NEW A350 and B787 Business Class
    • THAI Airways NEW A350 Business Class
    • Singapore Airlines NEW A350 Business Class

    And please review one more time Aeroflot, American A321 transcon and Virgin America A320 Business Class because those are just fun reviews to read.

    I would also be very happy to see more Premium Ecobomy reviews (AZ, SQ, CX, QF etc.)

  27. As Jason stated above, the EY Business Studio is a stellar product. Flying their 787 J from AUH nonstop to any of their US destinations is a fantastic way to cover a ton of distance very comfortably!

  28. Kenya Airways is atrocious I wouldn’t bother, flight from ACC to NBO in business was worse than your Ukraine flight. However, interested in seeing a Rwandair A330 review, haven’t had a chance to try them.

  29. I’ve always been fascinated with Aerolineas Argentinas, and they had the hilariously awful business-class marketing language… I vote for them. (I would also love to see you check out Spirit just because I think it would be an interesting perspective…)

  30. Seconded @alex, economy or premium economy reviews would be amazing! Your business and first class reviews are great, but I’d bet a fair number of your readers fly pretty much only for leisure and like to stretch our miles (or dollars) as far as we can.

  31. Vietnam Air sounds like a big one missing from the list.

    I would love to see some Meridiana reviews (even intra-Europe is nice), and intra-Europe Air Serbia.

    And the one you mentioned on your blog itself, Hong Kong Airlines. I am curious how does it compare to CX, including the intra-Asia routes.

  32. As you are looking for some different/new airlines to try, you don’t necessarily have to go halfway round the world…..

    SFB-AMS in Tuifly 787 “Star Class”

    Includes lounge access at Sanford!

  33. @Lucky

    Translated from a press release (Oct. 2016).

    “A 72-hour transit visa can be obtained by travelers on Saudia originating from the United States of America under the following conditions:

    1- The traveler must possess a U.S passport or U.S resident permit.
    2- The traveler must be arriving on a Saudia-operated flight.
    3- Proof of travel to final destination must be presented.
    4- The traveler is allowed to visit any Saudi city during the valid 72-hours.
    5- The transit visa may be used for purposes of tourism, pilgrimage, or family visits.
    6- Transit visa may be obtained through application to the Royal Saudi embassy in Washington or the Saudi general consulates in Los Angeles, Huston, and New York”

    I know some of the rules may be a bit unusual, but it’s a step in opening up the market to general tourists while increasing the airline’s revenue. They’re expected to relax the rules in the next few years and open up more touristic opportunities.

    Given rule number 5, you may also consider their new product “Albairaq”, which is a business class only service between Riyadh and Jeddah, operated through the company’s private aviation sector. The bonus is also getting to see Riyadh, which is also a very different experience compared to Jeddah ( try googling the Riyadh Ritz-Carlton for a taste).

    Let me know if I can be of any further help.

  34. @ Aziz — Fascinating, this is great news! I know they used to offer transit visas, then seemed to be suspend them, but it seems they’re now back. Would love to write a post by this. Do you have a link to the original source, even if it’s not in English? Thanks again!

  35. Would love to see you try some of the new/updated products from some of the “mainstream” airlines. The more obscure ones are fun and incredibly interesting… thought the info is rarely that useful.

    Virgin Australia (777, 330)
    Qantas (787, 330)
    Cathay (350)
    Singapore (350)
    Qatar… (if this even happens in 2017! Hehe)
    Virgin Atlantic
    Delta (350?)
    British Airways (still looks horrible, but would be keen to get your thoughts!)

    All of these airlines have new seats and services currently in the market, or in the pipeline, and are airlines I’m sure we all use regularly.

    Keep up the great work, Ben. And happy new year! 🙂

  36. Surprised that you and no other commentor has requested China Eastern First class yet.

    Also vote for Vietnam Airlines, both new business products.

  37. Malaysia A330, Cathay A350, Qantas 330/380, Virgin Australia 77W and Vietnam 787/A350 should be quite interesting.

  38. If you get to Namibia, you should make a visit/spend a couple nights at Cheetah Conservation Fund as well as Heinitzburg in Windhoek.

  39. Not only that Ben has not tried the “new” AF F hard product, but he has not flown AF F out of Paris which is where the soft product is largely different.

    AF F food from out station is at best slightly better than LH F food which is inedible in my book (with the exception of caviar) whereas for the flight out of Paris, this is where AF F food can be differentiated from other airlines. Prepared by 3 Michelin star chef etc. (not as good as the lounge in Paris, but the best food in the sky it is)

  40. Are you going to pay with cash or points or whichever is the best value? I’m sure you know by now that you can write off any cash expenses for these flights. It’s a great business model provided you can generate enough revenues which should be no problem for you 😉

  41. @Credit

    Public display of affection is not a crime in a israel as it is (whether straight or gay) as it is in the Arab world (not to mention punishable by death to be gay).

    So were you gay bashing or Israel bashing?

  42. Lucky,

    How about an article on inter European business flights that have real business seats and not coach seats, which would help some of us choose a connecting city to visit…

    Thanks

  43. I want you to do a “Premium cabin appreciation tour” with Economy class and beyond (all in Y): JFK-LHR(BA)-DXB(EK) Take a night off-HKG(CX)-SIN(SQ)Night in Hotel-DEL(AI maybe C)-FRA(LH)Night in Hotel-LGW(Ryanair), LHR-IAH(UA)

  44. Well I would highly recommend Garuda Indonesia’s new business class on their 777’s and select a330’s (usually the aircraft that fly’s to AUS or JPN). The 77’s offer basically a staggered 1-2-1 seating whilst the new a330’s offer basically a reverse herringbone predict in a 1-2-1 configuration. As u hv loved Garuda’s first class, I highly recommend their business class product too! Cheers!

  45. You really owe it to yourself to try Delta One on the Upper Deck of their 747-400’s before they are all retired this year. Just flew it HNL-NRT at Christmas and it is unique, just 1 seat on each side of the aisle and akin to flying on your own Private Jet. I know you sampled Business on their 767 in the past, but there is no comparison.

  46. Many reasons you should try Hong Kong Airlines’ A330 business class Vancouver to Hong Kong:

    1. You never try Hong Kong Airlines

    2. This is a real long haul flight since they terminated Gatwick and Moscow service few years ago

    3. You can now redeem Ritz Carlton Hong Kong with your starpoints

    4.There few more “new” starwood hotels out there since Design Hotel join SPG, especially Mira is worth to try

  47. From memory, only A330 J on Malaysia Airlines is missing. Guess you’re reviewing it for the service a bit more since it’s comparable to Aer Lingus.

    What about Air Asia J? Probably also the new Vantage seats on Qantas A330’s.

  48. Lucky,
    You might want to try DrukAir on your Dhaka leg for a quick side trip to PBH. Although the hard products are AB319’s and the soft products are a bit quaint, the arrivals & departures in PBH are the most amazing in the world. There are 5 Ammans & 4 Le Meridiens in the country as well. Just a thought for a real treat.

  49. Malaysia’s new A330 J, definitely!

    I was supposed to be on it in November but there was a last minute equipment change, so disappointed… had even picked out the “throne seat”. I believe the refurbishment is complete now

  50. Long shot, but how about Air Niugini from HKG-POM-BNE? Haven’t flown them for years but super friendly and apparently they’ve refurbished their planes (767s). Port Moresby isn’t exactly an ideal place, but there’s a cool hotel called Airways which looks over the runway and towards the mountains.

    Speaking of overlooking the runway, was in Tehran a few months ago and stayed at the Ibis by the airport. Spent time working and looking out the window watching BA, AF etc 777s and Iran/Mahan planes taking off. Pretty cool. Iranians were some of the friendliest people I’ve met before too, would go back.

  51. I flew MH KUL to PEK on their new biz and must say it has been quite impressive. I haven’t found any famous travel bloggers reviewed it yet.

    If you do decide to review, try to get on the non-red-eye flights as it feels more “full serviced” with the various offerings throughout the flight

  52. Looking forward to reading about your El Al experience.

    I’d also love to see some Economy Premium reviews, it would differentiate the content on your blog.

  53. I flew Uzbekistan’s 767 last August in business from Amritsar to Tashkent (and then their Ilyushin 117 onwards to Nukus): http://www.gowiththeflo.asia/2016/08/my-s600-ticket-for-a-two-hour-flight/ Interestingly both Uzbekistan Airways and Turkmenistan Airlines fly to Amritsar which otherwise doesn’t see a lot of international traffic.

    Uzbekistan is absolutely worth a visit but mainly so if you visit the old Silk Road cities of Samarkand or Bukhara.

    Another fun review in the region (with probably very little use for anyone except entertainment) would be Turkmenistan Airlines’s 777 in Business.

  54. I agree with John, what about Garuda’s Business class? I wonder how much the different between the First and the Business class. Do you get the same attitude or not and how’s the chef-on-the-board quality in the business class.

  55. Lucky, you haven’t flown KLM since ages. I remember you reviewed their 747, but since a year they operate brand new 787s with reverse herringbone seating. Maybe worth a try?

  56. Qantas A330 – they’ve been around a few years now. Maybe you could wait till they launch mark 2 of the product with the start of 787 services later in the year?

  57. Polaris and El Al!!! Enjoyed the Royal Brunei business class write up! Thinking of trying that myself!

  58. Another vote for TAM / LATAM flights. Fascinated to see how the airline has changed under LAN.

    And Virgin Atlantic too – the main non-US competitor for BA. I’m always suspicious that they’re just marketing hype, but the new product looks interesting.

  59. Rwandair, Turkmenistan Airlines and Aerolineas Argentinas would all be interesting to read as well as a short haul Malaysian Airlines flight (under 3 hours).
    I enjoyed your detailed reviews of Garuda, Air France, Aeroflot, Serbia and Air Astana (as well as Ukrainian International..); especially when you have both a long-haul and short haul paired.
    Thank You for your reviews / you fan in Shanghai

  60. I managed to get a visa into Saudi in 2016 through a friend.

    It actually wasn’t as hard as everyone though it would be. If you need help, I’m willing to contact her family again. Her family arranged everything for me, and within a few weeks my visa was approved.

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