Is Business Class Worth the Upgrade?

Everyone has been asked at airline check-in “would you like to upgrade?” As a business traveller, you might think that business class was built just for you, but anyone looking to turn ‘plane time’ into ‘productive time’ should consider the pros and cons of investing in an upgraded ticket to decide whether business class is worth the upgrade.

Of course, things aren’t as simple as always make the upgrade. Both regular business travellers and business class novices should step back and assess if it’s worth the cost. Even if your business is footing the bill, you might be able to put that money to better use within your department.

Here, we are going to detail the pros and cons of flying business class, helping you come to the decision that will let you get the most out of your travel.

What Does Business Class Provide?

The very first business class section opened in 1979 and for over forty years, business class has been offering better facilities to passengers compared to economy. Many different airlines stake their claim as to whether they were the ones who started the whole thing. Japan Airlines offered a new type of cabin called Orange Blossom, which sat directly behind the first class cabin and offered something better than economy class. Thai Airlines used the “business class” term first, and this was referred to because of the full fare economy cabin. However, the very first airline to offer a proper business class service that had different service to the economy cabin was actually Qantas. They launched it in 1979.

It’s been said that if you fly business class just once, you’ll never again want to sit in economy class. While the differences between economy and premium economy can, at times, be hard to distinguish, there is a marked difference between both of those classes and business class. To put it simply, business class provides a service that is just better. You may receive complimentary drinks in actual glasses, priority boarding for the plane, meals served on real china plates. It’s an experience to make you feel like you’re in a luxury hotel. With service on tap, passengers are spoilt with the full flat-bed seats, too, with wider seat widths and bigger pitches.

There are even airlines that tag on a chauffeur service for their customers if you live close by to the airport. Most airlines offer dedicated lounges, too, with free food and drink before you board the plane. There are pull-down desks for those who want to work, extra large blankets, and more comfort than you could imagine flying long haul.

Are All Business Classes the Same?

Putting it simply, no, not all businesses classes are the same. They all offer something unique to their customers, and when you compare the airlines to see what you get, you can see that Business Class isn’t just a cover term for “comfortable seats”. There is so much involved with customer care and a lot of attention is included. Let’s explore a few of the business class options with different airlines so that you can get a better look at what upgrading to business class would get for you.

Singapore Airlines

In business class, Singapore Airlines provides a 34-inch wide seat which transforms into a full, flatbed for aisle access. The screen is 15.4 inches and comes with noise-cancelling headphones to block out the rest of the plane. Some flights offer a WiFi service and if you want to indulge, you can use their “Book the Cook” meal in advance to get a personalised dish. Singapore Airlines trialled amenity kits until January 2019 before taking them away again, as they do not believe in them for their flights. You do, however, get slippers and eyeshades to enjoy on longer flights and Penhaligon toiletries are freely available in the lavatories.

British Airways

On long-haul flights, British Airways Business Class offers fully flat bed seats that go to 72 inches. On European flights, the seats have a 30-inch leg room, too. You can get a three-course meal and choose from a range of drinks menus, too, with Club Kitchen available throughout your flight. The screen is a 10.4-inch flat screen, and you get stunning amenity kits that are geared towards both men and women. There are over £100 worth of cosmetics in a Temperley bag, and there is an arsenal of products added by Elemis.

British Airways First Class Amenity Kit

Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways offer the self-proclaimed ‘World’s best business class’ in the Qsuite. A key part of their appeal is their culinary offerings. With on-demand meals from an a la carte menu, cooked by the best chefs in the world, this is far from your typical cheese and crackers in-flight meal. 

In terms of space, upgrading to Business Class on Qatar Airways means you will be far from short on it. There are full lie-flat seats for overnight flights and spacious footwells for shorter ones. 

Qatar Airways business class truly pampers passengers with its amenity kits. You can stay refreshed with a luxurious selection of amenities from Costello Monte Vibiano Vecchio, including an anti-ageing moisturiser cream and a hydrating facial mist. If this wasn’t enough, full cotton sleeper suits and slippers from The White Company are sure to guarantee a great nights sleep. 

Qatar Airways Amenity Kit


Business class with Emirates means huge 78-inch fully flat bed seats, 23-inch television with touchscreens and free WiFi, too. There is a huge drinks menu and a wonderful choice on the food menus and all of the food is served on Royal Doulton china. Emirates offers extremely luxurious amenity kits including Hydra Active Moisturising Sleepsuits for passengers on long haul overnight flights. Huge wash bags in eight different designs, there are the usual basics along with branded goodies from Gillette (for men) and Bvlgari (for women). 

Why Business Class May Not Be For You

While business class sounds fantastic, it may not be something that is for you and there are plenty of reasons as to why. Let’s explore them:


Business class is a premium service, which means that it comes with a premium price. Sometimes, the price is over triple the cost of the economy seats and for a lot of people, it’s not worth the added expense.


When flying as a family – especially with children – business class may not be the best option. Firstly, the cost of the seat x4 is unimaginable, and then there’s the fact that people are doing work in Business Class. It’s better for solo travellers to enjoy when they want to work and chill quietly on a flight.


The money used for Business Class can often be put to better use, such as for spending money during the holiday.

Making The Right Choice

Business Class is a luxury that most people put on their bucket list to do at least once in life but it’s a luxury that won’t be for everyone. It can be tempting to upgrade, but it’s important to consider how much it will really add to your trip. A family of five with children may not find it valuable compared to a honeymooning couple, for example. Think about what you need from your trip, and make your choice from there.

It’s Excellent – If You Have Reason to Be There!

Business Class offers every passenger the chance to feel important. It gives those who have to work while they fly the ability to work with enough space to do so. There is simply more of everything in Business Class, so if you don’t absolutely need it and it’s going to break the bank, it may not be worth it. If you can step up to Business Class at least once, we highly recommend it, but if not? There are plenty of wonderful Economy and Premium Economy options!