[box]Kick-off your luxury vacation the right way and fly in style on one of these luxury First Class cabins.[/box]
Flying long-haul can be a tedious journey, but with airlines upping their game in the First Class stakes, air travel is now becoming an experience in itself! Chauffeur-driven limousines, premium terminals, onboard showers and designer bedding are just some of the luxurious perks you can enjoy when flying First Class.
At this year’s Skytrax World Airline Awards, held at the Farnborough Air Show, 5 airlines came out on top in the category for World’s Best First Class Airline.
So without further ado, here are the 5 Best First Class Airlines that are injecting a bit of glamour into flying long-haul. You’ve been warned though- once you’ve had a taste of First Class, it’s very difficult to go back!
Etihad’s Diamond First Class was voted the best First Class in the skies two years running at the Skytrax World Airline Awards, and it’s not difficult to see why! The First Class suite features an comfortable seat that converts into a flat bed, a 23″ television screen and a personal mini-bar so you can help yourself to a drink during the flight. Get ready for bed with your complimentary Ferragamo valise, slippers and sleeper suit, then slip between the 600 thread Edyptian cotton sheets and drift off into a deep sleep with cosy blankets and full-sized pillows.
Exclusive to the Singapore Airlines A380, the Singapore Airlines Suites are the ultimate in luxury. What sets this First Class suite apart from the rest is that it features a standalone bed; not one that converts from a seat. Relax in your roomy armchair hand-stitched by Italian craftsmen Poltrona Frau, and when you’re ready to sleep, move over to your separate bed made up with bedding designed by Givenchy. Savour special menus exclusively created by the airline’s International Culinary panel, and wash it all down with wine hand-picked by a distinguished panel of wine experts.
ANA All Nippon Airways
OK so ANA’s First Class Suites may not look as impressive at first glance, but you have to experience their First Class to really appreciate it. The ANA First Square cabins onboard ANA’s newly refitted 777-300ERs are designed with soothing wood tones and finishes reminiscent of fine dining and grand pianos. The cabins come with a 23″ personal television, a large dining table, a separate cocktail table, package storage space under the ottoman, and a functional storage space where you can keep things like headphones and glasses.You can also place your jacket and shoes in cleverly designed storage compartments fitted to the wall of each cabin. If you’re into Japanese cuisine, you’ll love the ANA First Class dining experience. Drink premium Japanese sake and dine on a multi-course “Kaiseki” style meal, accompanied by freshly prepared rice with miso soup and pickles. Delicious!
Cathay Pacific Airways
Cathay Pacific’s First Class comes with the usual perks such as flat beds, personal televisions and noise cancelling headsets, but there are lots of little extra details that make this one of the Best First Class Airlines in 2012. Men are supplied with Ermenegildo Zegna travel bags containing Acca Kappa goodies, while women receive Ipa-Nima travel pouches filled with Aesop products from Australia. To ensure you get a good nights sleep, Cathay Pacific also offers luxury duvets, pillows and a sleepsuit so you can get the best sleep possible. Food-wise there’s a large choice of Asian and International cuisine, which is freshly prepared in a state-of-the-art galley boasting rice cookers, toasters, steam ovens and fresh coffee-making facilities.
On the Emirates A380 you can take a shower at 38,000 feet in the Onboard Shower Spas, which are exclusive to the First Class cabin. Featuring a classic walnut and marble design, fresh linens and Timeless Spa shower kits, you’ll feel like you’ve walked into the bathroom of a hotel, not an airline! Then there’s the super luxurious First Class Private Suites, equipped with a sliding door, personal mini-bar, vanity table, mirror and wardrobe to provide you with your own personal room in the sky. When you’re ready to go to bed, the cabin crew will convert your seat into a fully flat bed with a mattress, so you’ll sleep just as you would at home. And if you want to stretch your legs you can wander over to the Onboard Lounges and chat to your fellow passengers over a cocktail and some hors d’oeuvres…talk about traveling in style!