Since January of this year, I've been able to experience every direct offering from LAX to LHR - VS, AA, BA, DL, and UA - in whatever their business class offerings are. They are obviously all different, but...Not one of them gets it quite right.
VS has had the best "service" in terms of airport experience and onboard service quality (attentiveness, professionalism, cadence), but the seats are small and cramped (on both their A350 and 787 configurations) and their need to innovate and be trendy makes for an inconsistent experience.
AA and BA both feel like they're stuck in 2005 (even in the new BA Club Suites), and their onboard experiences are negligent, with terrible food.
DL has the most uncomfortable J seat I've ever experienced in this class, but the food and attendant service are consistently good.
UA has by far the most comfortable seat in Polaris, but the food and onboard service are abysmal.
Then, two weeks ago, I experienced by first transpacific routing on SQ. Night and day difference to anything else. And...it doesn't seem that hard to do? Thoughtful UX through LAX and SIN. Personal but polite onboard service. The best food I've eaten in the sky. Incredibly comfortable seats with about the same physical footprint.
I'm inclined to say it's just a cost thing and the US/UK airlines are being tight in their investments, but I can't put my finger on what about the SQ experience is "more" invested in.
Then I got to thinking...if one airline could take VS's service, DL's food, and UA's seat...they'd have something worth committing to.
Perhaps the answer is "those airlines just suck and they don't care about you". Fair enough. But with so much transatlantic competition, why isn't any one of them genuinely trying to be the "best" (whatever that means)?
"Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocre minds." - Albert Einstein