9 Transatlantic Business Class Products I’d Like To Review

Over the past few years I’ve been making an effort to review as many new business class products as possible (you can find all the reviews in the trip report index). It has been really fun to do so. As much as I enjoy my umpteenth flight in Cathay Pacific or Lufthansa first class, as a product enthusiast there’s something fun about boarding a flight and having no clue what to expect. I’ve really enjoyed it.

What’s funny is the feedback I’ve gotten on these flight reviews. Back in the day when I reviewed the most popular airlines for redeeming miles over and over, people told me to review more obscure airlines. Now a lot of people tell me to stop reviewing obscure airlines, because they’re not useful for those redeeming miles. Anyway, just a random observation, though I’ve been enjoying these reviews so much that I have no plans to stop.

I cross the Atlantic quite often, so earlier while trying to plan my next trip I decided to compile a list of the transatlantic business class experiences that I still want to review. These are mostly airlines I haven’t yet reviewed, though in some cases also new cabins offered by airlines I’ve already reviewed.

Below is a list of transatlantic business class experiences I want to review, in no particular order (and if anyone can think of any others, please let me know). I’d note that I’m excluding premium economy products here, like Norwegian Premium, Corsair Grand Large Class, and Air Transat Club Class (even though they’re on my radar as well).

Ukraine International Airlines 777 business class

A couple of years ago I flew Ukraine International Airlines’ 767 business class from Kiev to New York, which was… pretty bad. The airline consistently has cheap business class fares, and it looks like they’ll finally be getting a nice product upgrade soon.

UIA is taking delivery of several Boeing 777 aircraft, which will feature flat beds in business class. Assuming they continue to offer attractive business class fares, I’d like to give them another try.

Air Italy A330 business class

Last summer I flew Meridiana from Naples to New York. While the 767 was woefully outdated, I had a pleasant experience otherwise.

Now that Qatar Airways has invested in Air Italy, I’d like to give them another try. The airline will begin flying between Milan and both Miami and New York as of this spring, using Qatar Airways A330s. If you combine the excellent service I had with a newer plane, this looks like it should be a solid experience.

Air Caraibes A350 business class

Air Caraibes flies from the Caribbean to Paris using their new A350s. In addition to having an incredibly tight economy cabin, these planes also have a business class cabin. Their business class fares are fairly reasonable, so this should be easy enough to book despite the lack of mileage options.

KLM 787 business class

I’ve enjoyed my flights on KLM, as I’ve found the service to be quirky and cute, and especially have loved the little houses they give out at the end of the flight. While most of KLM’s fleet features a pretty mediocre business class seat, their 787s feature reverse herringbone seats. So I’d like to experience KLM’s excellent service combined with their great new seat.

Air Algerie A330 business class

This airline has been on my radar for quite a while. Both Tunisair and Air Algerie offer flights from Montreal to Northern Africa. I flew Tunisair between Tunis and Montreal last year, so I still need to fly Air Algerie, which has reverse herringbone seats on their A330s.

The catch is that they don’t belong to any alliance, and their business class fares are steep, at least out of Montreal. I do see decent fares in business class from Paris to Dubai via Algiers, but nothing approaching that good out of Montreal. If anyone knows of any good fares on them, please let me know — I’ll book them in a heartbeat.

BoA 767 business class

This is definitely the most random airline on my list, but BoA (Boliviana de Aviación) flies from Santa Cruz, Bolivia, to Madrid, Spain, using an outdated 767. They also fly that plane to Miami, so I guess I could fly them all the way from Miami to Madrid.

Air Europa 787 business class

I’ve been meaning to fly Air Europa for a long time, but they rarely have good fares out of the US, and their only US route operated by a 787 is Miami to Madrid. They also operate out of airports in South America, so maybe my best bet is to fly out of one of those airports.

Aerolineas Argentinas A340 business class

While I’ve intended to fly with them for a long time, the catch is that they almost never have award seats available from Miami and New York to Buenos Aires, and their business class fares are shockingly high. The good news is that they have plenty of award availability on transatlantic flights out of Buenos Aires, so my best bet is probably to fly from there to Madrid.

I can’t wait to send my fax from Club Condor.

Condor business class

While Condor was the airline I flew most in my childhood, I haven’t flown them in years, and most definitely haven’t flown them in business class. Daniel shared his thoughts on the Condor business class experience, and I’m more interested in trying it than ever before, given that they’re now an Alaska Mileage Plan partner, meaning there’s a great option for earning and redeeming miles for travel on them.

Any other interesting ones I’m missing?

Comments

  1. You really need to fly Condor from Yellowknife to Frankfurt. That way, you get to try both a new product and an incredibly random route. Two birds, one stone. 🙂

  2. 1) KLM: $1,458 one way, CMB-SFO (stopover in AMS) 787 on both legs.
    https://www.google.com/flights/#search;iti=CMB_AMS,ZYA_2018-03-20*AMS,ZYA_SFO_2018-03-27;tt=m;sc=b;a=KL;s=0

    Use google flights multi-city (CMB-AMS, AMS-SFO.) I think you need a stopover in AMS to make it work.

    2) “What’s funny is the feedback I’ve gotten on these flight reviews.”
    What’s funny is the number of nutcases who’ve migrated to this blog, I guess using points and doing things out of the box draws out all the crazies as well.

  3. I’ve head good things about Azul. They run FLL-VCP with an A330 for $1500 r/t. I’m surprised it hasn’t made your list.

  4. Condor actually flies from Whitehorse to Frankfurt. Yellowknife still sees some 732s on quirky northern Canada airlines such as First Air, Canadian North, and you can redeem Aeroplan miles for flights on them.

  5. How about Ethiopian’s new business class (the one with lie-flat seats)? Have you tried that?

    What about XL Airways or Neos? How about Air Greenland on their A332 (I realize that’s barely transatlantic…). Cubana from Cuba to Spain?

  6. Virgin Atlantic ex Air Berlin A330-200, Edelweiss Air a340 or a330, Iceland Air 767 saga class, United 767 Polaris, Emirates new 777 business class and Aeromexico 787-9 business class.

  7. Hey, @lucky If you are interested in Condor a neat route would be YXY to FRA which is a once a week seasonal service . Fly up on Air North, which is a small but interesting airline(The CEO still finds his way into a 737 cockpit from time to time and has warm cookie service). Enjoy a few days in Yukon with it wonderful natural beauty then fly off to Germany in Condor Business and the fares are reasonable

  8. That Ukraine International new J seats look a lot like LATAM’s underwhelming/outdated 2-3-2 777 seats. Pity.

  9. Not transatlantic but what about business class on Hong Kong Airlines? They seem to be adding more & more routes to Canada and USA.

  10. Not as fun, but a review of TAP Portugal’s Old business class would be useful for deciding how far one should go to avoid them, especially since they’re among the cheapest.

    They’d also be a good opportunity to visit a secondary city in Brazil. Maybe on your way back after TAAG First?

  11. the virgin atlantic upper class cabin has been refreshed and same with the lhr clubhouse, would be nice to have you take a look!

  12. You should try Surinam Airways. They fly between Amsterdam and Paramaribo using an A340-300. That would be a very interesting review.

  13. > I’ve been enjoying these reviews so much that I have no plans to stop.

    Good. I find the reviews of the more minor airlines the most interesting content on the blog and it’s content you just don’t get anywhere else. Keep it up!

  14. Air Europa is a SkyTeam member so may offer award redemption opportunities, which you don’t seem to mention as a choice. They don’t appear on Delta.com so you have to find availability elsewhere and call to book if using Skymiles, but they do make some award space available, I think.

  15. Air Transat’s Club class is more like premium economy but yeah. Level Premium, Air Canada Rouge Premium Rouge and WestJet Premium Economy, too. Assuming they’re not too proletarian for you, that is.

    Azores Airlines new A321s.

    Air Greenland.
    Air Tahiti Nui.

  16. @Lucky

    Air Italy’s A330 will be one of the pre-retrofit QR A330s. So, no B/E Diamonds in J, and no new Economy seat. In fact, they’re keeping the cabin with the same (older) colour scheme, QR’s burgundy.

    You can see it on Meridiana’s Facebook page.

  17. @Lucky Air Algerie also flies their A330 to Beijing, so it might be another route to look at for decent business class fares.

  18. +1 for Condor from Whitehorse to Frankfurt or vice versa (don’t think there’s a direct flight to Yellowknife?!)

  19. How about Westjet plus on their 767 (or 787 which they ordered).
    Though I’m not sure if it’s a premium economy product or Business class?

  20. Have you ever reviewed passengers?
    I am certain passengers would be entertaining.

    A comparison of Hongkong Airines business and Cathay Pacific would be interesting as would Rwandair A330 business; happy and safe flying

  21. @Lucky I would not fly Boliviana or the Venezuelan airline that comes to Miami (SAB). They do not do all repairs and services necessary on their fleet.

  22. Hey Lucky, want a REALLY random flight on a REALLY random airline? Try flying TACV- Transportes Aereos Cabo Verde, a.k.a the national airline of Cape Verde. They have a fleet of 757s and ATRs and fly from Sal in Cape Verde to Portugal, Brazil, aaaand… Providence, Rhode Island, which happens to be the state’s only international flight.
    Last i heard, TACV was beeing privatised and i think Icelandair is taking over TACV and trying to make a hub between the Americas, Africa and Europe, just like they did in Iceland, but their network has not changed so far. Why don’t you take the ~unique~oportunity to fly from Rhode Island to Cape Verde? From there you can go to either Brazil or Portugal and return to the US.

    Here’s their website if you happens to be interested
    https://flytacv.com/?lang=en

  23. Hey, @Lucky!
    Since you love flying random airlines and routes i think TACV – Transportes Aereos Cabo Verde is just the PERFECT option to you.
    They are the national airline of Cape Verde, but they were just privatised and Icelandair took over, so they will try to make Cape Verde a hub between South America, Africa and Europe, like they did to Iceland. Their fleet is currently just two 757 leased from Icelandair, but at least that means that their hard product is good. i read some reviews about them as well and the soft product seems okay.
    But the best part is their destinations: they fly out of their hub in Sal, Cape Verde to destinations in Brazil, West Africa, and also to Portugal, Amsterdam and Paris. But the big surprise is that they have a destination in USA: Providence, Rhode Island, and their service is the only international route of the tiny state. Why don’t you fly from Providene to Sal and then to Brazil or Europe? That would sure be a flight to remember!

  24. If/when you do cover KLM, can you possibly try upgrading from Economy to Business with a cash offer, the day of? I’ve heard that this is common practice for them and Air France, but I didn’t see an opportunity to purchase an upgrade on either of my recent KLM flights (granted, I purchased my ticket through Delta)

  25. @Willem @lucky. We just flew yuck-AMS on KLM 787 and did their promo award for 46500. The service was great. Availability was 4 tickets. The lady to my right did a day of upgrade for $500 CAD for the flight. The service was great by one FA so so by the other. The seat was fairly comfortable. We liked coming back on the LH 747 better personally. We did travel with our 2 year old son so the LH flight gave him more room as the seats are side by side and open. But the KLM was still nice. Calgary is a super easy airport also

  26. I flew Edelweiss Air from ZRH to the USA and it was a pleasant flight. Soft product was great. I recall you or Tiffany writing about an article on it having a 1x weekly flight to TPA and 3x weekly flights to SAN. If you haven’t tried it, it would be cool to read a review of yours. I enjoyed the soft product very much.

    One flight I hope to fly someday is the Cubana flight from MAD to CDG on the IL-96.

  27. 2 years ago I redeemed 70k DL miles to fly KLM PVG-AMS-AUH. Not sure if that routing can be tricked through DL anymore. AMS-AUH was pretty nice in a 789 though! But compared to the 747 on PVG-AMS where I lucked out and snagged 1A… still prefer the KL 747 anytime.

  28. I know these are not transatlantic. But, what about:-

    Air Madagascar’s Baobab Class on their A340.
    Air Austral’s Club Austral on their 777-300ER.
    AirCalin’s Hibiscus Class on their A330.
    AirVanuatu’s Business Class on their 737-800.
    Air Niugini’s Business Class on their 767.

  29. Lucky if you want to fly Aerolineas Argentinas you can use miles out of Cancun or Punta Cana in shoulder season. Not horrible but not a gimme

  30. Condor is worth a look. J out of San Diego was marginal but FRA-YVR was very good.

    Check out their premium economy – not so great in my opinion.

  31. Lucky on a slightly unrelated note you said you want to try Norwegian premium and with them starting EZE – PER – SIN you could just fly them on EZE – PER and then fly Qantas new PER – LHR route in their new Vantage XL business class seats and as an additional bonus you get to fly over Antarctica and also you could go form to US to Madrid in the of the 9 transatlantic airlines you want to review then Madrid to EZE on Aerolineas Argentina and then LHR back to the US on another of nine transatlantic airlines you want to review

  32. @Lucky, Air Mauritius new A350 business? They fly Paris-Mauritius and I think it’s about time you spend some time in Mauritius, lovely place

  33. @ Nick Nunes

    Norwegian fly between Cork (which is my home town in Ireland) and Providence, so they have more than one international route out of Providence.

  34. What about Azul from FLL or MCO to VCP (near Sao Paulo) with new interior on their A330, and then all the way to Lisbon.

  35. I fly BoA several times a year and find them an excellent value, especially compared to American Airlines. I recently flew Santa Cruz, Bolivia to Buenos Aires, Argentina in their 767 with the old style configuration. The business seats appeared to be angle flat but in coach everyone had more leg room than any USA airline. Domestically, all flights get beverage service and a snack even on flights of 25 minutes. Their flights to/from Miami do not show on their web site so you have to call their Miami call center.

  36. Fly LOT Polish. They are taking delivery of 787-9 and have greatly improved their service in Business class. Plus you could check how they compare on the longer LAX route or their quirky route ORD-KRK or even check their Hungarian routes.

  37. I really love your reviews on unusual airlines, they’re my favourite part of the blog!
    I will echo lots of people here and say that Cubana Il96, Edelweiss A330/40, TACV B757 (Just because why not) and Air Greenland A330 would be the most interesting ones that you didn’t mention, while BoA would definitely be the most interesting one that you did (I would LOVE to see a review of that!). Other non-transatlantic products that I’d definitely read would be Aircalin A330 ‘Hibiscus Class’ and Turkmenistan Airlines B777 Business (if you can ever book it). I do have two airlines (one transatlantic) that i bet you’ve never heard of: Plus Ultra Líneas Aéres, who are a Spanish long haul airline flying from Madrid to placed like Lima, Caracas, Santa Cruz etc with a fleet of A340s and one B777. I just looked up some random dates for MAD-LIM and it was under 1000EUR one way:

    https://plusultra.com/en/

    There’s not a lot of stuff about them online, but they seem to be pretty reputable, so giving them a try would be fun.
    The other airline is Med-View Airline, a Nigerian airline who operate long haul routes from Lagos to London Gatwick and Dubai. From what I can tell, they are definitely not very reputable, and seem to have scammed a few people, but their business class fares are reasonable…ish (~£1200 one way LGW-LOS):

    Customer2.videcom.com/med-view/VARS/Public/FlightSelect.aspx?VarsSessionID=0f209593-4bab-46ac-86fb-b95173498814#

    I should say that there are no pictures of either of these business classes anywhere on google (trust me: I have looked), so you would be doing everyone a valuable favour if you flew and reviewed them!

  38. In a spirit of “taking one for the team”, even though it’s not TATL, I’d love you to try Air France millennial start-up Joon.

    The whole experience looks utterly vile. But compellingly so.

    And they’ve just announced their next route will be Paris-Mumbai – which should give you more than enough time to experience their A340 business class and, especially, to admire their casually-attired F/As.

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