Business class is more economical than first class while offering many of the same amenities. At the same time, it offers a significant upgrade to leg room and reclining space, making it a more comfortable option than economy class.
Business class, as its name implies, is targeted to business travelers in several ways. It offers many of the comforts of first class, including seats that recline flat, free food and free alcohol. First and business class passengers also usually have access to the same airport lounge, as well. For some international flights first class has access to more elaborate meal choices and individual cabins, but otherwise the experience is much the same. Many companies are more likely to allow the purchase of business class tickets with expense accounts, as well, meaning this luxurious experience is available without direct cost to the traveler.
From the other end, these same amenities offer a significant upgrade over economy that usually features bare-bones in-flight refreshment, no lounge access, and much less leg room in traditional seats that barely recline. Further, business class tickets often redeem for 150 or 200 percent more frequent flyer miles, making business a good choice for frequent travelers wishing to maximize their rewards.