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Top 5 best first class experiences in the sky

While most of us love to travel far away, we also dread the thought about sitting in a long metal tube (no, not the one that is riding underground in London) next to a bunch of screaming kids who make you feel like the plane ticket was a total rip off. Lucky enough some airline companies got your back offering us first class. No, not business class cause that’s for people who actually do business. We’re talking about the full blown, out of the ordinary, sometimes insanely luxurious first class! Let’s take a look at the best to see if there’s any difference with the last time you took a flight. Emirates The airline that is known to have the biggest fleet of Airbus 380’s has also one of the biggest arrays of fancy features on board their planes. To begin with, they introduced full sized bathrooms for first class, including a shower which is cleaned after every passenger left the bathroom (yes, there is a dedicated crew member on board for this job). They also were one of the first to put a bar between first and business class in order for the lucky few to stretch their legs while not running dry on champagne and cognac. The seats are covered in bling, but hey, what do you expect from a country where everything that glitters is gold! Air France The French know exactly how to bring some style into a metal tube, transforming its first class section into both an area of relaxation as a showpiece for everything French. Expect fine dining menus, wonderful wines from the best French vineyards, … Even the bedding which is provided when transforming your chair into a bed is French, as Sofitel works together with Air France to make you feel like you are sleeping in a suite near the ocean instead of 30.000 feet up in the sky. The food is a feast of French cuisine making sure you’ll remember the flight weeks after when you ask yourself where you possible could have picked up that extra weight. Singapore Airlines This airline has always been known for their outstanding service. But when they introduced a double bed in their first class people’s jaw dropped to the floor as it was never seen before. How much more luxurious can it get? Imagine lying on this huge bed with your partner while eating the most delicious meals and drinking some of the world’s best wines and spirits. You can even do a luxury champagne tasting with their signature champagnes Krug and Dom Perignon which they serve in First class. Pure bliss. Lufthansa Known for a very long time, this airline not only makes sure you are having a great time while up in the air, but also on the ground. They have even build a complete terminal to host their First Class passengers in their main hubs being Frankfurt and Munich, cause let’s be honest, first class lounges are offered by all the other airline companies. Want to enjoy a relaxing bath before your flight, or try one of the great cigars in the cigar lounge, or rather try one of over 50 whiskeys at the bar? Not a problem at all. And when you think the fun is over, they’ll drive you from the terminal to your plane in a Mercedes or a Porsche, making sure you get the full German experience. Etihad Airways This big player in Middle Eastern aviation has introduced a whole new dimension to the first class product. They changed the regular (though very wide and luxurious) seat into a little apartment with your own bench, bed, seat and vanity mirror. They even introduced the Residence, which is even more elusive that first class, as it has not only everything the apartment has, but also a private bathroom with shower, and a whole bedroom with a double bed. The dedicated butler who will accompany you from your arrival at the airport all the way till your destination is just the cherry on the cake. Have you flown First Class? And if so, was it as good as the above? Let us know.

Kristof Eyckmans

Kristof Eyckmans is a travel writer from Antwerp, Belgium. He’s been living all across the globe and while he loves wildlife and nature, he can still enjoy a good urban jungle.

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  1. Another great thing about Etihad is that they have a live sports channel on their flights, obviously that’s available to all and not just those in 1st Class.

    It is a great innovation as the time just flys by when you are engrossed in sporting contests. On my last Abu Dhabi to London flight I watched two Big Bash T20 Cricket matches followed by the first half of a Liverpool home game. I didn’t want to get off the plane as I wanted to watch the second half.

    1. It is indeed a plus, though other airline companies have it too, like Emirates for example.

  2. I read a very interesting piece in a newspaper about the characteristics that make a nation and show that it has arrived on the international stage.

    Very interestingly having your own airline was one of the key features. Very revealing that all of the airlines chosen are national carriers, though in fact Abu Dhabi and Emirates take it further, representing Emirates.

    Their First Class accommodation is a representation of their nation at its very best. It’s great when the decor, menu and hosts dress reflects the country.

    1. All carriers with First Class try to represent their home country through details like culinary specials, typical amenities,… Though it doesn’t only happen on national carriers, it also happens on other ones for example ANA, Cathay Pacific,….

  3. We all dream of being able to afford the champagne luxury of first class and transforming flying from a chore to a luxury experience but I thought that I read somewhere that some airlines are cutting out or cutting back on their first class offering. Is that the general trend?

    1. It is indeed a trend for airlines to cut back on First class, replacing it with more business and premium economy seats.
      One of the reasons is the fact that the difference between first and business has become much smaller than it used to be. Qatar Airways is the perfect example as their business product is so solid, it makes it almost impossible to justify the extra you pay for First.
      Then again, I do believe there will always be a market for First.

    2. I’ve never flown First Class but I have flown Business Class, unsurprisingly for Business, a few times.

      Once I got chatting to a fellow passenger and he turned out to be an airline employee. He said that it is very difficult now for the airlines to justify the step-up from Business to First Class as Business Class is usually hard to beat.

      Personally, in business I would like a changing room or two, so that you don’t have to scurry off into the loo to change into your pyjamas.

      Another thing that I have found is that I have very broad shoulders, I’m a size 46 chest and there isn’t always room for me to lie on my back, but I suppose that most people sleep sideways in a sort of foetal position anyway. Maybe I do need that bit extra space in First Class.

      And one last thing, the entertainment systems are so good and distracting, particularly the noise cancelling headphones, that I don’t actually get much work done. That’s probably something of a First World Problem.

  4. How the other half lives. I love getting a sneak peak look at things like this, the experiences that usually only those with status or money to afford the luxury will get. The bathroom in the Emirates first class is very impressive. I wonder how many people actually shower during their flight?I’d definitely like to fly with Singapore Airlines, a double bed would definitely be far more comfortable. I imagine all of these luxury touches, from decor to comfortable, laid back seating, would help settles the nerves of the more anxious travellers, too.

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