USA | A Guide To Flying Business Class

16 Feb 2016

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This handy guide gives you the low down on direct flights, stopover options and the little extras you can expect if you fly business class to the USA.

Business Class Direct

Australians have never had so many non-stop business class options to the USA. Let's take a look:

  • Qantas from Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney to Los Angeles; Sydney to Dallas; Sydney to San Francisco.
  • Virgin Australia from Brisbane and Sydney to Los Angeles.
  • Hawaiian Airlines from Brisbane and Sydney to Honolulu.
  • American Airlines from Sydney to Los Angeles.
  • Delta Airlines from Sydney to Los Angeles.
  • United Airlines from Sydney to Los Angeles and San Francisco; Melbourne to Los Angeles
  • Jetstar from From Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney to Honolulu.

Stopover Options

Pacific Stopover Options

A Pacific stopover is just the ticket for a relaxing holiday. Set out for Honolulu on a Hawaiian Islands adventure with Hawaiian Airlines. The airline continues on to multiple mainland US destinations including Los Angeles, Seattle and New York. Fiji Airways flies to Los Angeles via Fiji (Nadi), or, take the scenic route with Air New Zealand via Auckland and Rarotonga in the beautiful Cook Islands.

Asia & Middle East Stopover Options

Stopover choices are endless when travelling through Asia or the Middle East. Some of the most popular destinations include Abu Dhabi with Virgin Australia and Etihad, Dubai with Qantas and Emirates and of course all the big Asian destinations such as Hong Kong (Cathay Pacific), Tokyo (Japan Airlines), Singapore (Singapore Airlines) and Bangkok (Thai Airways). Virtually every Asian airline flying to Australia offers connecting service to North America.

Lounging About

At Los Angeles, Virgin Australia guests are invited to use Delta’s newly renovated LAX Sky Club. The inviting lounge space features a free bar service, buffet, Wi-Fi, plentiful recharge ports and all new bathroom facilities with showers and Isaac Mizrahi soaps and lotions.

Drive On, James

Changing planes at a Delta hub? The airline takes terminal transfers to a whole new level with their gate-to-gate Porsche service. Available to Elite SkyMiles members at Los Angeles and six other domestic airports, this posh service turns a terminal transfer into an enjoyable experience.

Stopover Perks

Fancy a shower, dinner and some shopping on your international transfer back to Australia? The new Qantas Lounge at Los Angeles International Airport provides guests with a stylish bar, Neil Perry menus, and refreshing showers. Before boarding, the new LAX international terminal also serves as an upscale shopping mall full of designer names and big brand shops.

Space For Shopping

A generous baggage allowance is always handy when on holiday. If part of an international itinerary, guests do not need to purchase a baggage allowance for travel on domestic sectors. Delta and United allow economy guests to check two 23kg bags free of charge, while top tier frequent flyer members and first and business guest receive even more.

Earning Loyalty

When it comes to earning frequent flyer points and status credits, perhaps the easiest way to ‘earn and burn’ those points is with Qantas and Virgin Australia. As partners of American and Delta respectively, points and status credits accrue even when flying domestically in the USA. More points and status credits translate to higher status levels and increased perks such as lounge access, on either side of the Pacific.

Culinary Heights

For those looking for an Asian stopover on their way to North America, the airline with a menu full of delights is Cathay Pacific. From hot noodle soup, delectable Asian dishes with fresh rice cooked in flight and that perfect cup of freshly brewed coffee or tea, Cathay’s in-flight meal service will surely satisfy.

Stretching Out In Business Class

Not only does Air New Zealand offer the longest lie-flat bed in the sky on its Boeing 777-300s, but with its comfy one-inch thick mattress and plush bedding, it’s also the most comfortable. Lie back in the 6-foot, 6-inch bed and relax all the way to the USA.

Endless Drama

No matter what class of service you travel in, on Qantas the in-flight entertainment will keep you occupied the entire way. Easy to navigate touchscreens are provided at each seat and the list of TV shows, movies, music and games goes on and on. All in all, there are over 1500 entertainment options to choose from.

Top Shelf Service

Virgin Australia is regularly touted for its friendly service and attention to detail and nowhere is this more evident than on the airline’s long-haul flights from Brisbane and Sydney to Los Angeles. Business Class guests enjoy an in-flight lounge bar and flight attendants are always ready to make up your bed or serve you a mid-flight snack.

Classy Amenities

Guests travelling on American Airlines’ new service from Sydney to Los Angeles will find an aircraft that’s been decked out in the latest cabin design. Business Class guests will enjoy cubicle suites that are perfect for work or sleep. The cabin includes a self-service bar area too. And For those with a sweet tooth, the after dinner ice cream sundae is a real treat.


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Making Sense Of Business Class Seats

From lie-flat seating to full beds, we’ve outlined the differences between business class seats. Let's take a look:

Lie-flat bed

A large number of airlines boast about having ‘lie-flat’ seats, but don’t actually mention the seats are lying at an angle. These seats will usually recline to between a 150- to 170-degree angle and have some form of foot rest included.

Fully-flat bed

A ‘fully-flat’ seat will recline a full 180 degrees when horizontal and will result in the passenger laying parallel with the floor. The benefit over lie-flat beds is that you won’t wake up having shifted down (or off) the seat in your sleep.

The Recliner

This seat does not lie flat, but instead reclines and include a leg rest, meaning a much more comfortable sleep than you get in the economy cabin. They are generally found on flights of shorter duration where sleep is not expected.

Todd Sturm

I currently live in Brisbane, Australia. No matter where my travels take me, I enjoy experiencing each destination from the perspective of the locals. Some of my favourite attractions include historic sites, national parks and architectural landmarks.