I flew business class across the world on a top-rated airline and came home on Delta - here's how they stacked up



Julie Zeveloff/INSIDER

Emirates appetizer? Or Delta snack?

Thanks to a last-minute booking, I recently flew to Bangkok, Thailand on one airline, and returned to New York City on another. It gave me the chance to experience business class with two very different airlines.


My flight east was with Emirates, the state-owned Dubai company that was recently ranked the fifth-best airline in the world. And I flew west on Delta, the publicly traded, Atlanta-based airline that came in 49th in the same ranking. (It's the third-best airline in North America, according to Skytrax.)

Delta doesn't offer a pure business class on its intercontinental routes. Instead, it offers a first class/business class hybrid called Delta One. Until last year, Delta One was known as Delta Business Elite. However, many of the planes aircraft in the airline's fleet, including the ones operating my flight, have not yet received the upgrade to the shiny new Delta One interior.

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Delta may have a reputation for dated, no-frills planes on its domestic routes. But I was surprised by how much I enjoyed my flights across the world in both directions - not just on much-lauded Emirates.