French Champagne, fresh oysters, 1,000-thread-count linens and round-the-clock service are luxuries once reserved for five-star hotels, but these days passengers flying first class expect – and receive – five-star treatment in the skies. How to find the best of the best?
Skytrax recently released the results of its annual Airline Awards, which include the world’s best airlines for flying first class. Here are the rankings and what makes each top 10 winner stand out.
Malaysia Airlines was ranked 20th, followed by Asiana Airlines at 19th place, Korean Air at 18th, China Southern Airlines at 17th, Garuda Indonesia at 16th, British Airways at 15th, Saudi Arabian Airlines at 14th, Cathay Pacific Airways came in at 13th, Japan Airlines in 12th spot, Thai Airways in 11th place and Oman Air took out the 10th-best first-class flight.
The world’s top 10 first-class flights in 2019
Ultra-luxurious personal touches such as private spaces sculpted for comfort, extra-wide hand-stitched leather seats, mood lighting, and meals created by notable chefs make passengers feel ultra-special; no wonder Singapore Airlines was crowned best first-class flight on the planet for 2019.
Coming a close second, the German airline’s services include chauffeured limousines, valet parking and personal assistants who meet you at the airport and whisk you through tedious check-in procedures; and that’s just on the ground. In the air, first-class passengers relax in “intuitive” ergonomic seats and enjoy the airline’s signature “red rose and caviar service”.
La Première travel experience extends around the world, as assistants are on hand to help at every stage of your journey; meanwhile, onboard the plane you’ll receive personalised attention in four private suites in La Première cabins. The cuisine is sophisticated, naturellement [!make!]; on flights departing from Paris, menus feature signature dishes created in homage to Joël Robuchon.
Offering a private sanctuary kitted out with designer sleep suits, Frette linen and an ultra-comfortable lie-flat bed, Qatar Airways may be fifth in the top 10 for its first-class service but was recently named overall World’s Best Airline for the fifth time.
Described as being as close as it comes to having your own private jet, once the privacy doors close in Emirates first-class cabin, you’re in a world of utter luxury. An onboard shower/spa and stylish lounge bar are just a few steps away on the A380.
ANA All Nippon Airways
Travel the skies in ultimate comfort and privacy within ANA’s self-contained square shell seats, which have their own door and feature a 32-inch widescreen monitor and extra-generous storage space.
Swiss International Air Lines
Exclusive touches ripple through Swiss International Air Lines’ offerings, which include Zimmerli pyjamas and La Prairie products packed in a Bally bag. Free internet access is a first-class perk.
With just six seats in the first class cabin, guests are treated to ultimate exclusivity complemented by inflight premium dining and inflight connectivity.