Best Business Class Seat from LA to the UK

March 03, 2014
Fares from Washington DC:

    Q. Which airline has the most comfortable business class seats to the UK? I have a bad back and first class costs too much but I would like to recline as much as possible. I’ll be flying from Los Angeles.

    A. As long as the plane you’re flying has fully-lie-flat seats as opposed to those that merely recline, you should be in good shape. But even all lie-flat seats are not created equal in business class. Currently, all airlines flying nonstop between LA and London offer fully lie-flat seats in business class.

    There are basically two types: one type reclines from fully upright to lie-flat while you’re in the seat; these seats offer an infinite number of positions between sitting up and lying flat. The other kind requires that you get up from your seat, flip the seat cushion over or down, and then provides a different (usually cushier) surface for sleeping on. Many people find this type more comfortable (one side is an upholstered sitting surface, the other is more like a mattress).

    In the first category, American Airlines flies LA to London nonstop on its new Boeing 777-300ER planes, and I find their business class seats to be Goldilocks-approved: not too firm, not too soft (the entertainment system is also excellent); all seats have aisle access, so no climbing over your neighbor.

    In the “flip-over” category, Virgin Atlantic has a very comfy business class (it’s called Upper Class) that has recently been re-imagined on some routes (not from LA yet, however). All seats have aisle access, which isn’t true of all business classes. If I had to choose, I’d go with either Virgin Atlantic or American.