Can we all agree that travel just sucks right now? Seats get smaller, meals get less common, and everyone just hates being confined together in such close proximity for any length of time. International flights are even worse – the longer we spend in the sky, the worse we feel physically, and that compounds all of the other parts of air travel that are deeply unpleasant.
For these many reasons, you might be considering whether it’s worth a splurge on your flights to London. Imagine boarding without lines, not worrying about meals or overhead space, and having plenty of room to rest so that you arrive in London without the jetlag. That’s the dream, right?!
I took my first business class flight to London for my September 2022 trip; it was a bucket list item that I definitely had to save up for – but it was also worth every penny to be treated as much like royalty as us peasants ever can be.
If you also want to book business class flights to London, this post will share the basics of seven air carriers that offer a good business class experience for Transatlantic London flights. Hopefully, you’ll find one that works for your travel plans and budget, so that you can live the “suite” life on your London flight too.
London Airport Options
Before I jump to the list of business class flights to London, it’s worth having an idea of how many airports London has and to which ones U.S. flights arrive:
- Heathrow (LHR): London’s largest aviation hub, Heathrow receives the vast majority of U.S. and other intercontinental flights.
- Gatwick (LGW): London’s second-largest airport, it is most popular for commercial flights.
- Luton (LTN): Luton is one of London’s busiest airports and covers primarily commercial flights within Europe.
- Stansted (STN): While it operates commercial flights, Stansted is popular for being a freight airport.
- City (LCY): The smallest and most convenient one, City mainly operates European flights.
- Southend: Despite being the smallest airport, Southend’s popularity has increased. It’s famous for short-haul commercial flights across Europe
Almost every U.S. airport offers daily flights to London, though most are not direct flights. If you’re going to have a layover, your best (and most likely) layover will be in New York City, as there are over 25 direct flights daily to London.
Most U.S. flights land at Heathrow although a few airlines have added new flights that arrive at Gatwick, too.
7 Best Business Class Flights to London
Flying business class is a whole new experience. If you’re thinking of making a splurge for your next trip to London, here’s a list of the business class flights to London from the U.S.
1. JetBlue Mint
Flights from: New York and Boston
JetBlue is mainly known as a domestic U.S. airline with one of the best domestic business-class products. But did you know that the carrier now offers flights across the pond with its Mint Service?
Despite being one of the newest entrants to the market, JetBlue quickly escalated to be considered to provide the best business class to London in the market. The airline is currently flying its Airbus A321LR between New York or Boston and London. Their main asset is the seats. JetBlue’s Mint cabin offers the longest fully lie-flat seat (6’8″) on a domestic premium flight – say bye to that post-flight low back pain.
The onboard service and catering are exceptional, too. The Mint cabin is arranged in a 1-1 configuration with 24 suites. Each offers a sliding door, a high-end entertainment system, and a Tuft & Needle mattress embedded within each seat. The restaurant-worthy meals you’ll be served are catered by Do & Co.
2. Virgin Atlantic Upper Class Suite
Flights From: Los Angeles and New York
Upper Class is Virgin’s most premium upgrade available; it’s what I decided to splurge on for my September 2022 trip as I’ve always wanted to do a transatlantic flight to London in Business Class.
The airline offers its Upper Class product on all the Airbus A350-1000 aircraft they’ve recently acquired. Its business flights to London boast an impressive assortment of benefits, from gourmet treats to an onboard bar area.
Let’s start with the seats, which Virgin calls “suites;” the cabin is laid out in a 1-2-1 configuration, so every suite faces towards the window. Moreover, each suite offers retractable screens for extra privacy and immersive entertainment – Virgin Atlantic has the largest ever in-flight entertainment screen at 18.5” and features an intuitive new system, controllable by passengers’ personal devices.
Fancy a drink? Virgin’s aircraft features a new bar area known as The Loft, where you can gather to chit-chat and enjoy a drink with fellow passengers. As for the dining experience, Virgin’s Upper Class designs menus that complement your departure time, origin, and destination; I enjoyed incredible Indian food on my flight, which was a fittingly delicious British dish on the way to London.
3. British Airways Club Suite
Flights From: Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Miami, New York, and San Francisco
British Airways has a big legacy behind it when it comes to offering business class flights to London: it was one of the first global carriers to offer a lie-flat seat in business class.
Currently, the airline offers its latest premium product, Club Suite, on all of its Airbus A350-1000s and Boeing 787-10s. The Club Suite cabin is laid out in a 1-2-1 configuration and is meant to provide extra space and comfort to passengers. Each suite has sliding privacy doors, direct-aisle access, and lie flat-bed seats. They also have 40% more storage space, including a vanity unit, mirror, and an 18.5-inch inflight entertainment screen.
4. United Polaris
Flights From: Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Newark, San Francisco, and Washington, DC
United Polaris is one of the business class flights to London among the U.S.-based airlines; I’m not the biggest fan of United for domestic flights, but I can’t pretend I wouldn’t be happy to flight their business class cabin on a London flight
United has come a long way and improved its premium cabin travel to provide the ultimate flight experience. Designed with a 1-2-1 configuration, the United Polaris offers loads of more personal space. The onboard service and amenities are excellent. It partnered with Saks Fifth Avenue to create custom, luxury bedding, and also offers mattress cushions upon request for extra comfort – they have a limited amount, so ask for it in advance and store it in your personal overhead bin until you’re ready for it.
5. American Airlines Flagship Business
Flights From: Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Raleigh/Durham, Seattle
Having been one of the first carriers to upgrade its fleet, American Airlines Flagship Business used to be the best business class to London. The current product may fall a bit behind compared to its counterparts, but it’s competitive enough to be mentioned in the list; it’s also your best option for direct business-class flights to London from the largest number of U.S. cities.
American’s Flagship features a 1-2-1 reverse-herringbone seating arrangement, so you don’t have to worry about stepping over a seatmate to reach the aisle. The only downside is that there’s not as much personal space, and you’ll need to place most carry-on bags in the overhead bin. During your flight, you’ll get a lie-flat seat with partial privacy dividers, Casper bedding, Bang & Olufsen headphones, full meal service, and an expanded drink menu.
Note: Just to add extra confusion for travelers from the U.S. with all these different classes! American actually offers an even higher class on some flights, called Flagship First.
6. Delta One
Flights From: Atlanta, Boston, Detroit, Minneapolis, New York, and Seattle
In late 2017, Delta launched the Delta One Suite, a prime product that impressed more than one traveler. Unfortunately, the U.S. carrier doesn’t offer the product on flights between the U.S. and London.
Don’t despair, though: you can fly an updated version of Delta’s 767 business class. The 767 cabin features 34 Delta One seats arranged in a 1-2-1 configuration across nine rows. Delta One uses a staggered configuration. Odd-numbered rows have window seats closer to the windows, while even-numbered rows have window seats closer to the aisle.
Some other perks you’ll encounter are a lie-flat bed, gourmet food, a reading lamp, a headphone hanger, a modest entertainment screen, and a water bottle holder.
7. Cathay Pacific Business
Flights From: New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles
Asian airlines are hard to beat these days when it comes to premium flights; they’re regularly among the world leaders in various awards. Cathay Pacific, a Hong Kong-based carrier, offers one of the best business-class experiences when flying to London.
Its business-class product features huge seats (over 82 inches long) that can be converted into flat beds, a personal closet, a private work desk with free WiFi, and an 18.5-inch HD inflight entertainment screen. The airline provides Bamford amenity kits and bed linens, but what truly sets Cathay Pacific apart is its astounding customer service, impressive lounges, cabin crew training, and award-winning cuisine. The menu focuses on Hong Kong and Western cuisine, along with route-specific cuisines for each country Cathay Pacific serves.
Benefits of Flying Business Class to London
Although each airline offers unique benefits in their first-class flight experience, there are some standard perks that you can expect when flying business class.
- Say goodbye to standing in long lines: first-class fliers enjoy priority check-in, security, and boarding.
- You won’t suffer for hours in a tiny seat, as premium cabins feature comfortable seats designed with more space and the ability to convert to lie-flat beds.
- You won’t have to walk the entire airport looking for a seat. Your business-class ticket gives you access to lounges where you can unwind before your flight in comfort; the Virgin Upper Class Clubhouse in JFK, for example, is a truly delightful way to start a trip without any of the chaos of the gate area.
- Forget about tasteless (or too salty!) food; one of the perks of flying business class is that you get delicious food options and complimentary alcoholic beverages. Some airlines even partner with restaurants and chefs to provide gourmet-like meals.
- You’ll be pampered with amenity kits, as business class always includes a kit with premium products like a dental set, hand cream, face moisturizer, hairbrush, and many more things.
- You won’t arrive at your seat only to find the overhead bin space is occupied with someone else’s luggage. Business-class cabins have generous overhead space for your carry-on and other belongings.
Sold on flying business class to London? Let me know any questions in the comments below!