Thinking of splurging on a business class cabin? American Airlines and British Airways are two business cabins that should be on your radar.
American Airlines is among the oldest airlines in the world. First founded in 1986, it’s one of the largest airlines by fleet size and passengers carried. Their American Airlines Flagship Business Class cabin dedicates a luxurious cabin for international travelers who want to be fully pampered during their flight.
On the other hand, British Airways is another magnificent airline consistently producing outstanding products through the years. Their revolutionary move to add lie-flat seats in business class or install sliding doors leading to the Club Suites has been emulated by different airlines – making these additions standard fixtures in business cabins today.
Find out more about these two giants in this American Airlines Flagship Business Class vs. British Airways Business Class Cabin comparison.
- Quick Glance: American Airlines Flagship Business Class vs. British Airways Business Class
- The Details: American Airlines Flagship Business Class vs. British Airways Business Class
- American Airlines Flagship Business Class
- British Airways Business Class
- Best For: Which Airline Class Should You Book?
- Wrapping Up
Quick Glance: American Airlines Flagship Business Class vs. British Airways Business Class
|American Airlines Flagship Business Class||British Airways Business Class|
|Ground Experience||Guest on American Airlines’ Flagship Business gets dedicated lines for check-in and boarding. Free entry to the Flagship Lounge is also available. Overseas, guests can access the Admirals Club in case there are no Flagship Lounges around.||British Airways Club World and Club Europe guests can access branded Galleries Club lounges in airports around the world. If one isn’t available, BA has partner lounges worldwide too. Guests onboard also get priority boarding, check-in, and even fast-track security from Heathrow Airport or LHR.|
|Seat||Onboard the 777-300ER, you’ll find 52 AA Flagship business class seats in a 1-2-1 configuration. Seats have aisle access with a 21.5-inch width and 45-inch pitch. On the 777-200 planes, there are 37 business seats. They carry a 60-62 inch pitch and 21-inch width. For the 787-9, it has 30 Flagship Business seats while the 787-8 has 20 seats. Both come with a 60-62 inch seat pitch.||BA’s Club Suites debuted from 2019 to 2022. All of these are found in BA’s international fleet. Club Suites are arranged in a reverse herringbone layout in a 1-2-1 configuration with direct aisle access. These seats measure anywhere from 73 to 79 inches in length and are 20-22 inches in width. However, on the 787, the Club World seats are 20-22 inches wide and 72 to 73 inches in length.|
|Amenities||For their amenity kits, Amerian Airlines works with Shinola to provide slim zipper pouches containing a dental kit, earplugs, socks, a pen, hand lotion, and an eye mask. You’ll find Casper pillows and a duvet for sleeping.||British Airways supplies The White Company amenity kits which contain an eye mask, a pen, moisturizer, lip balm, and hand lotion. It’s only given during long-haul international flights. There’s also a pillow, blanket, and headphones on the seats as well.|
|Food and Beverage||Pre-order meals 30 days up to 24 hours before flying. In-flight meal service is unusual since printed menus aren’t consistently provided. At times, attendants rattle off the specials and make guests choose that way. After they take your order, the meal service starts. Breakfast is given an hour or two before the plane lands.||Guests are given pre-flight drinks in a choice of water, orange juice, or champagne. Printed menus are provided to guests and meal orders are taken. The first meals come soon after takeoff, served in fine china over crisp white linens and real cutlery. Breakfast is serviced at least 90 minutes before landing. During red-eye, the crew can sometimes accommodate later dining to give guests time to sleep.|
|Entertainment||Installed on each AA Flagship business seat is an 18-inch monitor with many TV shows, movies, podcasts, music, and more. The monitors are a staple for international routes but domestic routes might see these disappear since AA wants to focus on streaming content through their app instead. American Airlines also has quality Bang & Olufsen headphones.||The seats include touchscreen monitors, ranging in size from 12 inches (found on older planes) to 17 inches (installed on newer Club World seats). They are pre-loaded with popular movies, TV shows, concerts, and Live channels.|
|Lavatories||All the lavatories are clean but kept simple. The number can vary depending on the plane.||On the 777 and A350, guests can use 2 lavatories. But onboard the 787, there’s only a single lavatory available. They all come with The White Company products.|
|Bed||Every seat lies flat, measuring up to 81 inches. The width can be extended when you lower the seat armrest. A pillow and blanket are on each seat too.||Each seat on Club World transforms into a comfortable 76 to 79-inch bed. Complementary items like a pillow and blanket are also provided to ensure a cozy sleep.|
|Service||While they provide a great hard product, the service can become inconsistent. On occasion, the crew is friendly and proactive but at times, they can be indifferent to passengers.||British Airways is known for cheerful and friendly attendants. The staff is professional and often multilingual.|
|Wi-Fi||A full-flight Wi-Fi access starts at $35 without a data cap. The lowest data plan starts at $10 for just one gadget. If you need to connect with 2 devices, there’s a $59.95 plan as well.||Club World passengers can purchase Wi-Plans starting at £4.99 or $6 for one hour. You can also connect for 4 hours for £11.99 or $14.50. Alternatively, you can have access for the full duration of the flight for only £14.99 or about $18.|
The Details: American Airlines Flagship Business Class vs. British Airways Business Class
American Airlines Flagship Business Class
Flying on American Airlines Flagship Business is quite an experience. It’s the second most premium cabin next to AA’s Flagship First so you can expect a lot of impressive perks in the cabin.
Those on AA’s Flagship Business receive priority boarding and check-in. American Airlines allows two free checked baggage for business class guests. You can bring as much as 32 kg. or 70 lbs. worth of items inside each bag. There’s even an option to check a third bag if you have a Oneworld Emerald status with a partner airline or carry an American Airlines Executive Platinum or American Airlines Platinum Pro status holder.
Another advantage to flying on Flagship status is you get access to AA’s signature Flagship Lounges. Found in selected airport hubs in the United States, Flagship Lounges offer an elevated experience.
Furnishing a premium experience, there are a host of great amenities and services such as chef-inspired meals, a full cocktail bar, a dedicated wine table, servers roaming around to collect dishes and serve you, shower suites, and more. There’s even a business center in case you need to get work done.
Open daily from 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., Flagship business class lounges are in the following hubs: Chicago (ORD), Los Angeles (LAX), New York (JFK), Dallas Fort Worth (DFW), Los Angeles (LAX), and Miami (MIA).
When you don’t have access to a Flagship Lounge, you can also use Admirals Club lounges available in local and international airports. These are less premium but still a great way to be pampered when on the ground and waiting for your flight.
Counted as one of the best business class cabins in the air today, you can expect a world-class experience when flying aboard AA’s Flagship cabin.
Depending on the plane type, the seat dimensions and design can vary a little. For instance, the B777-300ER carries Safran Cirrus seats with a 1-2-1 layout and aisle access for guests. However, the 787-9 and the 777-200 both carry Rockwell Collins Super Diamond Seats, also in a 1-2-1 format. The latter seat type is comfier, boasting a 60 to 61-inch pitch and a 21-inch width.
You can expect all Flagship business seats to lie flat, and supply ample storage, including strategic charging ports, a tray table, a dedicated in-flight entertainment screen, and extras such as a premium amenity kit, pillows, and blanket. There’s even a convenient personal air nozzle so you can keep yourself cool during sleep.
Shinola and D.S. & Durga amenity kits are distributed on long-haul flights only. Quite utilitarian in design, these handmade pouches contain a hand lotion, earplugs, a pen, an eye mask, toothpaste with a toothbrush, socks, and a branded D.S. & Durga lip balm.
If you’re flying overseas, on certain routes they will distribute Casper-branded duvets and pillows. On occasion, they will also give pajama sets except for flights to Sydney or Hong Kong. Those flying to Japan or Korea can also expect some slippers.
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Food and Beverage
One great thing about American Airlines is they allow guests to choose meals 30 days up to 24 hours before their flight date. While it’s not available on all of the routes, you can find make meal reservations on the American Airlines app or their website.
To reserve a meal on the website or app, just look for the “Reserve a Meal” button. Any special requests like indicating allergens or opting for vegan or Kosher meals can be placed here as well.
As for the inflight service, attendants usually come around providing printed menus shortly after you settle into your seat. You can order from the menu or simply reconfirm the orders you placed on the website or app. Meals start a short time after takeoff.
These are given in carts and trays. It’s not the most elegant but it’s efficient. It begins with appetizers where guests also get a side helping of bread. Mains can be chosen from a selection of poultry, meat, seafood, or pasta. For dessert, there’s a cheese plate, a selection of pastries or cakes, and even an ice cream sundae.
For drinks, there are premium wines, spirits, coffee, tea, and beverages available. You can also ask the crew for meals to be served later. While dine-on-demand isn’t offered on Flagship business flights, there are times when the crew can be accommodating especially if it’s going to be a long flight.
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Keep yourself entertained with hundreds of movies, shows, podcasts, and more. The AA system easily scores as one of the more robust in-flight entertainment systems in a business-class cabin today.
All seats in the cabin are fitted with an 18-inch touchscreen monitor. However, for convenience there’s a handheld remote tucked away on the side armrest which you can use to browse the titles.
While in-flight entertainment is still present in all long haul flights, American Airlines has expressed interest in removing the monitors on their domestic routes to give way to streaming content using the American Airlines app. You can also expect access to popular content channels like Apple TV, Rosetta Stone, or Skillshare.
Another thing that makes the in-flight entertainment system enjoyable is the Bang & Olufsen headphones provided by the airlines to guests. These are fantastic quality noise-canceling headphones. They’re so good some guests have resorted to taking them home. Hence, AA has made it a point to collect the headphones at least an hour before landing.
American Airlines Flagship Business class guests can buy Wi-Fi access for as little as $10 per hour. But, if you need a full connection for the entire flight, it costs around $35. Those flying regularly can look into a monthly subscription which starts at $49.95 per flight for one gadget and $59.95 for two gadgets.
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Passengers can access anywhere from 2 to 3 lavatories per cabin. Despite the number, these lavatories are nothing special. On occasion, they might feature high-end products but at times they won’t have any.
Expect a fantastic bed when you’re ready to visit slumberland. American Airlines Flagship Business seats recline flat, measuring 76 to 81 inches long. A blanket and a pillow are found on each seat too.
Staff and Guest Services
The service on American Airlines can be hit or miss, depending on the crew. At times, it can be spectacular but at other times can be substandard.
Who Is It For?
Traveling aboard AA’s Flagship Business is a great experience for anyone who wants to travel in comfort without breaking the bank. Access to the Flagship Lounge and Admirals Club is a highlight, plus there’s also priority check-in, boarding, and even priority bag collection.
American Airlines Flagship Business Class Gallery
British Airways Business Class
Get cozy before your flight by having a great ground experience when flying British Airways’s Club World. All business class guests receive access to the Galleries Club lounges found at Heathrow Airport (LHR) and several other hubs across the world.
The lounge has an array of food and drinks with both hot and cold options. A dedicated self-serve bar is available if you want alcoholic beverages. You can have coffee, tea, juice, soda, and more. Certain lounges also have shower suites, spacious seating, and a business center if you want to work.
At Heathrow Airport, business class passengers can find these lounges in both the North and South Wings of Terminal 5. There are also monitors available that indicate how crowded the lounges are at any given time so you can easily maneuver where to park yourself in the meantime.
Galleries Club lounges are also in airports like Washington’s Dulles Airport, Johannesburg, and New York’s JFK. You can also find branded lounges in Edinburgh, Glasgow, including Manchester.
If you can’t find a branded BA Club lounge, you can access partner lounges, often Oneworld lounges.
Upon boarding, business class guests get 2 free checked luggage as long as they don’t exceed 23 kg. or 51 lbs. They can also bring a single carry-on including a personal bag. Guests can access fast-track security (when available) as well as dedicated boarding and check-in lines too.
Leading the way in innovation, British Airways was the first to introduce the lie flat beds onboard business class cabins. They’re also among the first to introduce sliding doors to the seats, creating the famed Club Suites.
These Club Suites come in a 1-2-1 configuration with a reverse herringbone arrangement. Each guest gets aisle access, so there’s no more sidestepping a stranger to get to the bathroom. Center seats are great when traveling with a partner or family member. First introduced aboard the 787, the Club Suites are now available in a majority of BA’s 777 long haul fleet.
It uses a modified version of the Collins Aerospace Super Diamond seats with striking charcoal gray upholstery and charming stitched detailing. Each seat has storage including a small cabinet, armest, and cubbies – depending on the seating area. IFE monitors are available for entertainment while seat controls are within arm’s reach.
One thing to note, the sliding doors on the seat are locked in place during takeoff and landing but are usable once the flight is ongoing. By then, you can cocoon yourself in privacy to relax or sleep.
Those flying to the Middle East and North America aboard the Club World will receive amenity kits from The White Company. Housed in a gorgeous faux black leather zip pouch, they come with essentials like socks, eye shade, earplugs, a pen, hand cream, pulse point oil, and lotion.
BA also provides pillows and blankets for overnight or long haul routes. Meanwhile, for certain flights to Asian destinations, BA offers slippers to their guests as well. British Airways-branded headphones are on each seat too.
Food and Beverage
As you get settled on your seat, attendants will come around offering pre-departure drinks. Printed menus are also given so you can place your order. Afterward, the meal service begins.
Starter courses begin with a salad, appetizers, and bread. You can choose from three mains and several desserts including a plate of sweets or a cheese and fruit plate.
A second meal is handed around 90 minutes before the plane lands. Take your pick from a delicious Full English Breakfast or opt for a lighter meal of coffee and pastry. It’s up to you. Snacks and other light bites and drinks are available mid-journey as well.
Whether it’s ice cream, Twinnings tea, Union Coffee, or wines and spirits, BA has an impressive drinks selection.
The size of the monitor on Club World seats is dependent on the type of aircraft. Older seats have 12-inch screens while the newly fitted seats will have larger, 18-inch HD monitors. Both are touchscreen and are loaded with hundreds of shows, movies, music, and foreign films.
Popular blockbusters like Marvel films and the James Bond series are available. There are also documentaries and children’s shows to keep children entertained.
A handy remote is available to make it easy to navigate and headphones are given out as well.
Club World passengers have to purchase access to connect online. For an hour’s access, the price starts at $6 or £4.99. Those who want longer hours, can opt for the $14.50 or £11.99 plan and even connect for the entire flight by paying $18 or £14.99.
Those flying Club World can expect one or two dedicated lavatories depending on the plane. For instance, the 777 has 2 lavatories while the 787 only has one. These areas are always kept clean and come supplied with The White Company toiletries.
Inside the Club Suites, the seats can transform into a 79-inch bed to fit someone as tall as 6 feet and 6 inches. The White Company also supplies the pillow and blankets for each flight.
Staff and Guest Services
You can expect professional and attentive service from the staff and crew at British Airways. Attendants are helpful and will try to accommodate every guest’s needs.
The airline also makes it a point to have staff that can speak the native language of their destination to make it easier for those who can’t speak English well.
Who Is It For?
Expect a good time when you fly on Club World and the Club Suites. British Airways makes it easy to enjoy their hard product thanks to their wonderful seats. Plus, their soft service is professional, ensuring you get what you deserve.
British Airways Business Class Gallery
Best For: Which Airline Class Should You Book?
|Winner||What Makes It Great|
|Best for Food||British Airways Club World||American Airlines does offer a decent meal service, but British Airways offers a better selection and more consistent service.|
|Best for Seats||Tie||Club Suites and AA’s Flagship business seats are amazingly comfortable, spacious, and private.|
|Best for Ground Experience||American Airlines Flagship Business||Flagship Lounges are fantastic! It has all the amenities and services you can expect from a premium cabin.|
|Best For Comfort||Tie||The Club Suites or AA’s Flagship business seats are both cozy, well-designed seats that make flying enjoyable.|
|Best for Families||American Airlines Flagship Business||Middle seats on AA’s Flagship Business cabins are perfect when traveling with a child, spouse, partner, or friend.|
|Best for Couples||Tie||Honeymoon seats are on both cabins. Use the middle dividers for privacy or if you want to interact with your seatmate, you can lower them.|
|Best for Service||British Airways Club World||British Airways has attentive, friendly, and professional staff.|
|Most Exclusive||British Airways Club World||Get more exclusivity on the Club Suites.|
American Airlines is a celebrated airline with a rich history. Over the years, they’ve transformed their product, leading to the creation of the Flagship First and Flagship Business cabins.
The latter focuses on providing all the comforts of a lie-flat seat, gourmet meals, and superb amenities during long haul flights.
On the other hand, a pioneer in their own right, British Airways has also steadily improved their product. Being the first to adopt business class innovations, their Club Suites are praised as one of the best business seats today. Paired with distinctive service, good dining, and amenities, you get the complete package.
Take your pick from any of these fantastic business class cabins and travel in exceptional style.