Taking Care of Business

Tracy Stewart, July 23, 2010
Fares from Washington DC:

    Q. I just used 50,000 frequent flier miles to book a flight in business class from Hong Kong to San Francisco. Never having flown business before, what type of services can I expect? Online, I saw that there is an upper section, and a lower cabin section, both with business class seats. Can you tell me which would be best, and which section is safest and easier to exit, in case of mishaps ( I always look for my escape route when I get on board)?
    A. You’re probably flying on a 747 in that case, and I’d opt for the upper deck, since there’s less foot traffic and it’s generally quieter and more “private.” Don’t worry, there are emergency escape slides from the upper deck and it’s probably much easier to exit from the upper deck in the unlikely event of an emergency, since there are fewer passengers. It depends on the airline, but business class seats these days generally recline to a fully-flat, horizontal position, allowing for a more comfortable snooze, and you’ll find a wider choice of meal options and more attentive service. But the main draw is a more comfortable seat. Asian-based airlines such as Singapore and Cathay Pacific generally offer a better experience than United, Delta, and Continental.