From double beds, gourmet meals and VR windows – this is how to fly in the ultimate First Class luxury.
Flying first class is a luxury many dream about. That coveted first class ticket can turn a dreaded long-haul flight into something that can be enjoyed, a time to sit back, relax and enjoy some of life’s finest pleasures.
From ensuites, on-board fine dining, and double beds, here are airlines that offer some of the most luxurious first-class tickets worldwide.
Prices start: Singapore to Sydney, $5851 AUD per person, one way
Voted the number one luxury airline carrier by FlightFox, Singapore Airlines delivers on quality and comfort with their first class suites.
Privacy is the drawcard here; with each individual 50-square foot cabin separated from other passengers by sliding doors and window blinds.
The space is ample, with enough room for a leather swivel chair, chaise lounge and large dining table. A separate, stand-alone bed truly turns this into a suite, the full length bed size promising a comfortable sleep, complete with a turndown service. Entertainment wise, there’s a 32 inch TV screen offering over 1,000 entertainment options.
The design is classic, with interiors finished in creams and browns, accented by wood and leather.
And if one is travelling with a partner, adjacent suites can be converted into double rooms.
Food wise, expect a full restaurant service from acclaimed culinary chefs from around the world. There’s also the option to “book the cook”, and pre order fine dining meals up to 24 hours before the flight, so one knows exactly what food they are getting.
Lobster thermidor, roast rack of lamb, veal mignon in red wine and sauce and Tasmanian salmon are just some of the gastronomic delights. Each meal also comes paired with an exclusive wine.
And for flights with long layovers, the exclusive private first-class lounge in Singapore’s Changi Airport is luxury at its finest. Dom Perignon flows freely, served by a full bartender service, and the food is warm, fresh and inspired by Singapore’s delicacies.
There’s even “productivity pods”, where users can work and sleep in private, comfortable armchairs, separated from the rest. Showers top off this lounge, allowing to be fully refreshed and restored for the flight ahead.
Baggage allowed: 1x50kg
Prices start, Paris to Sydney: $12,010 AUD per person, one way.
With the leather interior in shades of chic grey and beige, it almost feels like one is in a sophisticated French hotel room, and not in the sky. Air France’s first class offering La Premiere is elegant and refined.
Unlike other airlines, Air France utilises full-length curtains that have a magnetic close, instead of half-size doors, allowing for the utmost privacy.
There is also only a 1-2-1 seat configuration per aircraft, meaning a maximum of four first class passengers per flight. This enhances the exclusive, luxury feel, while also ensuring service is tailored and at its best.
A leather armchair seats turns into the single bed, allowing one to lay fully flat on superior bedding with a memory foam mattress. Choose from one of four windows per suite to enjoy the view flying by.
The Air France travel kit is also an elegant touch; complete with products from Carita Beauty Institute Paris such as an anti-fatigue eye patch, moisturizing cream, hand creams and lip balms.
Entertainment wise, a 24 inch TV screen doesn’t quite reach the size of other airlines, but complimentary Wi-Fi and noise cancelling headphones are an added touch.
For meals, expect the finest of French dining – including caviar and free flowing Krug from the sparkling bottle, or other wines selected by the 2013 best sommelier in the world, Paolo Basso. There’s lobster, steak cooked to how one prefers, salad with flaked cod and smoked salmon, and even a cheese platter.
Bypassing the waiting game of the terminal completely, there’s even a private chauffeur service directly from the lounge to the plane.
The first-class lounge offers complementary 30-minute spa treatments, with the option to extend to up to 2 hours. There’s also full meals from acclaimed chefs, cocktail service and even a library to enjoy.
Baggage allowed: 3x32kg
Prices start: Sydney to London, $13,432 AUD one way per person
Voted the World’s Best First Class in 2019 by Trip Advisor, Emirates’ take on First Class does not disappoint.
Entering into the suite, floor to ceiling doors and personal temperature controllers make this feel more like a hotel room than an airplane seat.
The leather seat reclines into a full-size bed, which the cabin crew also turns down whenever is needed, providing pyjamas, slippers and eye masks.
In a world first, Emirates has also introduced “self-moisturizing” pyjamas, which contain “Hydra Active Microcapsule Technology” that releases billions of tiny nutrient-rich sea kelp capsules. This keeps the sky from drying out, making them perfect for flying, which can often wreak havoc on one’s skin.
The airline also hasn’t skimped on décor: gold trim, faux-burled wood and leather interiors provide a luxurious feel.
Emirates $500-million wine cellar ensures a delectable drop won’t go astray, chosen by expert sommeliers. Additionally, meals can be prepared by the on-board chef whenever the passenger feels like it, with exclusive first-class room service on offer.
In another first, gone are the days when the middle seat was the dreaded worst option. In first class Emirates, passengers with the “middle-seat” suite don’t miss out on the window views: there’s virtual reality “windows”, which detail the outside in HD clearness, so much so it’s easy to forget one’s not actually looking outside.
The first-class seats have also been engineered to create a zero-gravity feeling, so it literally feels like one is floating and flying through the sky.
The only downside to this service is the lack of a “companion” space, so there’s no option to dine with another passenger, or to create an adjoining suite. On the 777, there’s also no inflight showers or first class bar, however these are offered on the A380 flights.
And for the ultimate luxury…
Prices Start: Sydney to Abu Dhabi, $36,000 for two people, one way.
On board selected A380 flights, Etihad have taken luxury flying to a whole other level with the introduction of “The Residence”, the world’s first three-room apartment in the sky.
Enter into the separate living room, which contains two dining tables, a lounge, separate reclining chair and a private refreshment fridge stocked full of champagne, fine wines and soft drinks. A 32-inch LCD screen offers an unprecedented entertainment selection, with a second TV also included in the bedroom.
Containing a full-size double bed with premium bedding and luxury sleepwear, a turndown service is, of course, just one of the features. It’s complimented by breakfast or dinner in bed, if one desires.
Meals are crafted from gourmet chefs and can be personalised to any tastes, with on board chefs personally taking the orders of passengers.
A full, private ensuite bathroom with a shower offers the chance to freshen up. Step into luxury bath linen and soft robes, before retiring to the private bedroom via a private hallway. Etihad is currently one of only two airlines to offer showers onboard.
On hand is a private butler, dedicated to every and any need or want, and two flight attendants are also assigned to each apartment. There’s also a VIP travel concierge to manage everything pre-flight, from food and beverages, pillow preferences and private limousine chauffeurs to the plane.