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Cars & travel.

Updated: 26 May 2021

Best and worst airlines for business and first class

We asked fliers to rate their latest experiences to find out which are the best airlines for business and first class, and which are the worst.
Which?Editorial team
Singapore airlines 458693

You'll need a pretty penny to fly business or first class and enjoy the swankiest cabins on offer. But is an upgrade really worth the money?

We surveyed more than 7,500 Which? members about their recent experiences. Of those, 1,160 had flown business or first class in the past year. They rated the customer service, food and drink, and value for money on Emirates, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Cathay Pacific. 

Members can log in now to see the full results, or if you're not a member, then join Which? now to access this and other reviews.

Best and worst airlines for business and first class

AirlineSeat pitch (inches)BoardingSeat comfortFood and drinkIn-flight entertainmentCabin environmentCustomer serviceValue for moneyCustomer Score
Using the table: Sample sizes are in brackets. A dash indicates that there were too few responses for this aspect to give a star rating.
Seat pitch: The distance between two rows of seats, an indicator of legroom.
Boarding: The boarding process - waiting time, queues etc.
Cabin environment: Fixtures and fittings, temperature and lighting.
Customer service: On-ground and on-board staff. Customer score Combines overall satisfaction and likelihood to recommend the airline.
Food and drink: Range and quality of on-board catering.
In-flight entertainment: Quality of free wi-fi, ear phones, TV screen.
Customer score:Combines overall satisfaction and likelihood to recommend the airline.
Sample sizes in brackets. All ratings for economy class travel.

Is a first class upgrade beyond your budget? See the best and worst airlines for premium economy.