Which Airline Has The Best First Class Flying Experience?

Travel

November 28, 2017 | BY Kevin Cureau

First class travel is the penultimate experience for those looking to fly in style and comfort. With airlines constantly pushing the boundaries of what can be fitted inside an airplane, here are the best first class products, in no particular order:

Photo: Courtesy of Emirates
1

Emirates First Class Suites Boeing 777

The new Emirates First Class Suites will debut on December 1 on their Boeing 777 between Dubai and both Brussels and Geneva. The fully enclosed suite features floor to ceiling sliding doors and design features inspired by the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, giving fliers up to 40 square feet of personal space in the air.

Passengers can communicate with the crew or request room service by using the video call function, and a small hatch at the front of the suite allows food and beverages to be served without being disturbed.

Each suite is fitted with an "Inspiration Kit" featuring luxury skincare by Byredo found exclusively on Emirates, Hydra Active moisturising pyjamas, and Bulgari amenity kits, and the entertainment system will have over 2,500 channels of on-demand content.

If you can't fly in the new Emirates Boeing 777 First Class suites, the current First Class suites on their Airbus A380 will surely satisfy any frequent flyer. It features their famous on-board shower-spa room, which is perfect if you want to arrive at your destination refreshed.

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Which Airline Has The Best First Class Flying Experience?
Photo: Courtesy of Air France
2

Air France La Premiere Boeing 777

Air France's La Premiere is an intimate and elegant cabin comprising only four suites. Each suite ensures optimum privacy and is dressed with thick curtains, allowing passengers to either be totally or partially alone. When you are ready to sleep, the seats turn into a fully-flat bed over two metres long.

An ottoman opposite to the seat provides an option for couples to dine or just spend time together. The amenity kit features facial and body products from Carita Beauty Institute Paris, and the on-board dining menus are prepared by Michelin-starred chefs.

On flights departing from Paris, you can savour the prestigious Aquitaine Sturia caviar and enjoy delights crafted by Guy Martin and Michel Roth. Make sure to stop by Air France's La Premiere Lounge at Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport to enjoy a personalised spa treatment before your flight.

Photo: Courtesy of Etihad
3

Etihad Airways The Residence Airbus A380

Arguably the most impressive first class suite available, Etihad's The Residence is the only three-room suite in the sky and is designed for two people travelling together.

The first part of the suite is the lounge, or living room area, where you will find a luxurious double-seat leather sofa and two dining tables. A door next to the entrance of your suite opens up to a hallway that gives access to the bedroom featuring a double-bed with designer Italian bed linen.

In between the two, you will find your own private ensuite shower room with full-height shower, luxury amenities from Acqua Di Parma and plush bathrobes. Dining is on-demand with an on-board chef, and passengers a Savoy-trained butler is at your service for the whole duration of the flight. 

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Which Airline Has The Best First Class Flying Experience?
Photo: Courtesy of Singapore Airlines
4

Singapore Airlines First Class Suites Airbus A380

Singapore Airlines has also announced a new First Class Suite to be introduced in December on the first of five new A380 aircraft entering the fleet, before being retrofitted in their current fleet.

Each suite is furnished with a full-flat bed featuring luxurious mattress bedding, two pillows and a fluffy cotton duvet, complete with embroidery crafted by French label, Lalique. A separate leather recliner chair allows travellers the option to lounge comfortably in the chair or to rest in bed.

For couples travelling together, the beds in the first two Suites of each aisle can be converted to form a double bed. When not in use, the bed can be stowed completely, creating even more personal space within each Suite.

The exclusivity of the Suites cabin is further accentuated by two stylish lavatories, one of which has a sit-down vanity counter with a special citrus-scented facial mist, body lotion and fragrance by Lalique.

Photo: Courtesy of Cathay Pacific
5

Cathay Pacific First Class Boeing 777

Cathay Pacific First Class features only six large seats, which makes the cabin feel very intimate. Wood accents and flower arrangements add a pleasant touch to the front cabin. The seats are padded with soft leather and comfortable fabrics where you can even enjoy in-chair massages.

A thick mattress and 500-thread-count cotton duvets, pillows, and cushions turn your seat into one of the widest fully-flat beds available in the sky. Amenities for the flight include pyjamas made by PYE and an amenity kit by Aesop.

Before taking off, enjoy a pre-departure amuse bouche and beverages. In-flight dining happens at your request—simply place your order with the flight attendant. We highly recommend ordering the caviar, as you'll get a whole tin to enjoy for yourself.

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Which Airline Has The Best First Class Flying Experience?
Photo: Courtesy of Swiss
6

Swiss First Class Boeing 777

Swiss' First Class is a sleek cabin made of eight seats that can be fully enclosed with sliding doors. The middle seats are great for couples, as the partition can be kept down for easy conversation. Each seat also features an ottoman, ideal for a fine dinner à deux.

You will find a large amount of storage around your suite and the amenity kit features items from La Prairie.

A nice pre-departure amuse bouche will definitely put you in a good mood before flying and, like other first class experiences, lunch or dinner can be served whenever you desire.

Photo: Courtesy of Lufthansa
7

Lufthansa First Class Boeing 747

For aviation geeks, Lufthansa's 747 First Class is particularly special as it is situated in the nose of the plane, and selecting the first row of the First Class cabin places the passenger at the utmost front of the plane.

The cabin has an elegant and understated look with a small bar set up in the middle. It strikes a balance between offering privacy while not feeling claustrophobic. The large ottoman in front of the seat provides ample storage space and can be adjusted so that it's closer to you. Amenity kits also feature items from La Prairie.

If you're lucky, the captain will come to the First Class cabin to greet passengers before doing all the necessary pre-departure announcements.

This article first appeared on hk.asiatatler.com.