Luxurious first class cabins from Singapore Airlines, Emirates, Etihad and more
When you fly long, you want to fly first class (or a class that is more first class than first class, because that just doesn’t cut it any more)
Flying first class gives a whole new meaning to the term “on cloud nine”. Like one King Lear said, vile times make small things precious, or something like that. Flying long distances is vile. You’ll need your basic human rights like your shower and bed. And yes, since you are travelling first class, why not aim for the best service and comfort a flight can bring 35,000 feet in the air?Surrounded by luxury and style, it really is the best way to fly and if you have the miles, booking a cabin should be as easy as ABC. With an array of airlines to choose from, finding a suitable carrier to ferry you from destination to destination seems like the best kind of problem to have. From showers to a flatbed where you can rest your tired body, we check out the best first class cabins. While most of the amenities mentioned below are available, it would be wise to check with the airlines so as not to be left disappointed.
Singapore Airlines Suites
We like how the airline talks about its Suites: “How close is too close? You’ll never have to know.” Privacy — a luxury on planes. Slide those doors, close up those window blinds. Stretch out and enjoy the space you should always have had in-flight. On your honeymoon? Connect two suites to make a double room. We hope you booked a chef at least a day before your flight, because you can enjoy a decadent, bespoke meal, served on bone china by Wedgwood specifically designed for Singapore Airlines.
Emirates First Class Suites
A380 Shower Spa. Just the three words alone make us want to use our miles (if we had them) to book these first class suites. Travel time totalling near or over 20 hours (we’re looking at you, Sydney to Dubai, then Dubai to Chicago) means you reach your final destination with frizzy hair, the clothes you had on from the day before, and a desire to enter into a hole in the ground, no matter which class you fly. Unless you happen to be Victoria Beckham who steps off long haul flights looking like a goddess. Sure, with Emirates First Class Suites, there’s mingling at the Lounge (on board) and the Bulgari amenities kit for long-haul overnight flights, which don’t hurt, but A380 Shower Spa is the key. If you’re still not convinced, learn more from Jennifer Aniston here:
Etihad Airways The Residence
Was there ever a time where Etihad was not upping the game for first class (and beyond)? Your chauffeur awaits, before you even step out of your house. He or she brings you to the airport, where the Porter and Concierge are ready to assist. After enjoying top-notch hospitality and a light, delicious meal at the Lounge, your cabin manager walks you to the plane. Then it’s welcome to the flight. We have no idea how the airline manages to give each of their most well-heeled traveller duos a living room with a reclining couch, a private en-suite bathroom, and a private double bedroom on their A380 flights, but they do. Well played, Etihad. Well played.
Lufthansa First Class
If a private jet with the airline is not your thing, there’s always the Lufthansa First Class. For the airline, it’s all in the details. Pampering with the wellness programme the spa at the Lufthansa First Class Terminal, exploring a library of DuMont coffee-table books, and if you smoke, heading for the cigar lounge-within-the-lounge — just some of the things you can do at the Frankfurt Airport. Ready to fly? At five airports including Frankfurt and Zurich, you might just board the flight in style with limousine service. Sound-cancelling curtains and Michelin-star-standard food (which includes caviar) on board complete the first class experience. Airline agreements means if you book first class for that (seemingly endless for coach) Sydney to New York flight with Lufthansa, one leg of the trip might be operated by Singapore Airlines, which works well for us.
Note: Frequent flyers between Bangkok and Frankfurt, rejoice! Lufthansa says that they will be rolling out A380 flights between the two cities, with First Class cabins starting October this year.
Qantas First Class
G’day mate. Two things are for sure in this world: we love Qantas and we love Australia. If you’ve watched the video where Ellen DeGeneres takes (or rather, “gives up taking”) first class on her Qantas flight home from Melbourne to Los Angeles, you would notice a couple of things: the bed in First Class is spacious enough for more than one (and you’d be the only one with all that space), there’s an ottoman for guests, and flying top-tier means too many pillows (which we welcome). Then there are the things the video doesn’t show, like a chauffeur to bring you to the airport, an eight-course dégustation menu courtesy of Neil Perry, and a Sommelier in the Skies so you know the right pairings for the exquisite food you’re tasting. First Class? Absolutely!
Air France La Première
There have been many videos in this article, we know. This one doesn’t have a celebrity, but we couldn’t resist showing it to you. It beckons you right in. Air France wasn’t kidding on their website when they mentioned how uber-comfortable the La Première beds are. After you watch the flight attendant lay out a futon mattress, a large pillow and a Sofitel MyBed™ duvet and tuck yourself into the two-metres long bed, you’re drifting off to sleep and hoping that you wouldn’t have to land so soon. Depending on how social you feel at any moment, you could close the curtains or open it up so it doesn’t feel claustrophobic. Sleep is important on a flight, we know but the airline shows that there’s more to being one of the best than a comfortable bed. Say you are departing from Paris. Would you like to have something from the menu crafted by the likes of Joël Robuchon? How about some Aquitaine Sturia caviar? Oui and oui, please. Oh, and just in case you prefer even more exclusivity, there’s always the option of private jet from Charles de Gaulle.
Asiana Airlines First Suite Class
Excuse us. We were just fascinated with the Seat Function Control Unit, from which we can control the universe! (Disclaimer: We have no actual dominion over the world, just our seat.) Besides conveniently adjusting your seat, you can also enjoy the 32-and-a-half-inch LCD screen on which your entertainment plays. You would know that there are more important things than movies, especially on long-haul flights. Besides lying flat (the joy!) on the 2.1 metres bed, and a shower, which Asiana sadly does not offer, nutritious and delectable food is your other priority to stay refreshed and upbeat on the flight. If you’re flying the airline’s First Suite Class from Seoul to the United States or Europe, you can choose between 10 royal Korean menus — simply reserve in advance.
British Airways First Suite
Picture this: if Ritz-Carlton came to us saying that flat beds are a reason to stay, we would stare at them blankly. With air travel, however, we cannot overstate the importance of the two words that sound like music to our ears: “flat bed”. Besides being home to a 1.98 metre flat bed, the First Class suite infused with British design looks aesthetically pleasing. Add to that essentials (we gave up using the word “luxurious” because so many things on the flight are vital, as we previously mentioned) like a quilted mattress, white cotton duvet and yes — the pillow. If like us, you appreciate fine amenities, the Liberty London amenity kit (currently available on flights from London’s Heathrow Airport and Los Angeles only) on board might bring a smile. The airline’s First Suite only comes on Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner planes flying to selected locations like Kuala Lumpur and Abu Dhabi, but never fear — there’s First Class on other planes.
Cathay Pacific First Class Suites
If you’ve seen articles deliberating whether Singapore Airlines or Cathay Pacific is America’s Next Top Model (we mean the World’s Next Top Airline for First Class), you’ll know this airline means business when it comes to first class experience. Pretend your flight is a Hollywood film. First it starts with someone greeting you by name, then there’s a close-up shot of 500-thread-count cotton duvet, pillow and cushions. If you think that escalated pretty quickly, then here’s the climatic point of the narrative — in-flight in-chair massages — this is as relaxing as it gets. Did you find all that underwhelming? Here’s an Aesop amenity kit, award-winning wine, fine cheeses and freshly-brewed coffee to make it all right. And now, excuse us while we curl up in our private suite to pursue that flighty temptress known as sleep.