top of page
  • Writer's pictureYosef Rosenzweig

Here's what it's like to fly first class on 10 different airlines

For most of us, flying isn't exactly a luxurious experience — we have to deal with screaming babies, people potentially invading our privacy, and questionable food.

But for those lucky few that can spend thousands of dollars on first class tickets, flying can be a downright treat.

Skytrax, an aviation consumer website, ranked the 10 highest-rated first class cabins in the world. And to help you live vicariously through those who can almost enjoy 15-hour flights, we're giving you an inside look at each.


Qantas Airways is the largest airline in Australia. It has been around since 1920

QANTAS stands for its original name, Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services.

Both the Sydney and Melbourne first class lounges have day spas — so guests can grab a massage before hopping on a 14-hour flight to Los Angeles.

A Qantas Airways spa. Qantas

The first class lounges also have private business suites, a library, and a custom menu.

You can easily drift off to sleep in one of their private cabins that come complete with pillows, blankets, a duvet, and a sheepskin mattress.

You'll also receive a complimentary pair of noise-canceling headphones, pajamas, spa products, a dental kit, ear plugs, deodorant, and an eye mask.


Japan Airlines became the national airline of Japan in 1953. Their first class "suites" are nothing short of luxurious.

Japan Airlines. Japan Airlines

Japan Airlines calls their first class option the "JAL Suite."

The suite is roughly the same size as a New York City apartment — but with more amenities, like pajamas, perfume, lip balm, a face mask, and more.

To entertain yourself, you can choose between tons of games, music, movies, and TV shows, all on a private 23-inch screen. Of course, there's a partition for privacy.


Qatar Airways is a state-owned airline. It's regularly called one of the best airlines in the world — and it's easy to see why.

Qatar Airways. Pascal Rossignol/Retuers

A typical Qatar Airways first class section only has eight seats.

Qatar's first class seats convert to a full bed, practically ensuring a good night's sleep.

Qatar Airways. Qatar Airways

You'll also receive a swanky amenity kit and a pair of pajamas.

Of course, there are also chargers, wifi, and over 4,000 entertainment options.

And the food looks like a meal at a five-star restaurant, not an in-flight meal.

You can choose what your main course will be up to 14 days in advance of your flight. There's also a dine-on-demand service.

You can read more about what it's like to fly first class on Qatar Airways here.


Cathay Pacific Airways has its headquarters in Hong Kong, and has been around since 1946.

Cathay Pacific offers passengers what they call a Luxury Aesop amenity kit, which includes a "variety of creams, such as the Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm."

The Cathay Pacific seats are also massage chairs.

The seat also converts into a flat bed, which boasts a 500-thread-count cotton duvet, pillows, and cushions.

They also have first class lounges around the world, including this one in New York City that gives customers a front-row seat to the action.

While Cathay lounges are luxurious all over the world, the two located in the Hong Kong airport are particularly lavish.

In The Wing, one of the two Hong Kong lounges, you'll find five temperature-controlled cabanas that each have a large bathtub, rain shower, and daybed.


ANA, or All Nippon Airlines, is the largest airline (by fleet size) in Japan.

ANA's first class seats are called the First Square seat, and come equipped with a 23-inch LCD screen, a compartment for your jacket and shoes, a personal satellite phone, and total privacy thanks to sliding doors.

This is ANA's lounge at Tokyo's Narita Airport.

While it may not be as flashy as some of the other lounges, ANA's lounge does not disappoint — patrons have access to showers, work spaces, and food and alcohol.

ANA's menu changes from month to month, and from route to route. The airline also boasts master sommeliers that choose the best wines to complement each dish.

ANA won prizes in 2013 and 2014 at the Cellars in the Sky Awards, which is a worldwide in-flight wine competition — their sommelier was ranked the best in the world in 2000.

In addition to hot towels, ANA has a range of amenities available to first class passengers.

ANA offers a pair of pajamas, toiletries, and slippers, as well as a foot roller you can borrow.


Singapore Airlines was ranked the world's best airline in 2018 by Skytrax. It's one of the only airlines with a double bed option.

Skytrax also awarded Singapore Airlines with the titles of best first class, best first class airline seat, and best airline in Asia. Their Suites Class' double bed option costs a cool $23,000 — here's a tour.

Eight different world-renowned chefs collaborate to create the first class cabin's in-flight meals.

Among the eight, there's a judge on "MasterChef Italia," the host of the longest running cooking show in Asia, a three-time Michelin star recipient, and the Best Chef in New York in 1993.

And if you don't want to share your space with anyone, you can have your own suite, complete with a leather armchair and separate bed, which has a full turndown service.

The wood and leather-heavy suites were designed by French luxury yacht designer Jean-Jacques Coste.


Air France has been in operation since 1933. Their first class option is called La Première.

A curtain provides privacy.

La Première's seats convert into a 6.5-foot-long bed with a memory foam mattress.

You'll be sharing the La Première with just eight other people.

In addition to world-class French food being brought to your seat, La Première passengers have their own bar and buffet.


Lufthansa, founded in 1955, is Germany's largest airline.

First class passengers on a Lufthansa flight have access to their own personal assistant who will accompany them through security and baggage claim, as well as inform them about connecting flights and delays.

Lufthansa's first class seats convert into completely flat beds, and come with a temperature-regulating duvet cover.

There's also the Lufthansa private jet option.

Here's what a seat looks like when fully converted.

Traveling business class on Lufthansa isn't too shabby either — they recently unveiled "throne-like" seats for a jet that will be available in 2020.


A first class ticket on Emirates, a Dubai-based airline, gets you access to this bar that serves beverages like Dom Pérignon Champagne.

If you don't feel like getting up for a drink, your seat has a minibar in the armrest.

To freshen up before you land, you can book a slot in one of the two onboard showers and spas.

You can spend up to 30 minutes inside, with a five-minute allowance of running water.

While you're showering, a flight attendant will leave a fruit plate with honey on your seat for when you return.

You also get a glass of complimentary Champagne when you arrive at your seat. And, of course, your seat converts into a flat bed.

Passengers also get a wash bag filled with goodies like shaving foam, deodorant, and Bvlgari fragrances.

You can read even more about flying first class on Emirates here.

Etihad Airways is the United Arab Emirates' second-largest airline, and has a few different options when it comes to flying first class. This is part of "The Residence," a three-room suite.

The Residence includes a living room with a leather sofa, two dining tables, and a 32-inch flat-screen.

The bedroom has a double bed, with another 27-inch flat screen. And the third room is the bathroom, which contains a full shower, as well as bathrobes and a hairdryer.

If The Residence is a little much for you, there's also the First Suite option, which includes a leather seat that converts to a bed, a personal wardrobe, and a refreshments cabinet.

Of course, your food will be prepared by an in-flight chef.


The luxury of Etihad doesn't stop in the air though — the lounges are swanky too.

The whole lounge subtly incorporates Etihad's "signature geometric design,"according to Business Insider.

The lounge also offers a buffet and á la carte options for food, and a full bar.


Privy to off-market deals, Executive Flights specializes in helping our worldwide clientele save on Business and First Class International airfare.

bottom of page