I admit it. I always feel a twinge of jealousy when I board a plane and have to shuffle past those folks sitting upfront. They’re already settled and have a drink in their hand. And they try their best to throw an attitude by looking so comfortable! Money speaks everything dear. It’s all about having more of it as a first-class ticket can cost (approximately) triple or quadruple the price of one in the economy. Although most of the airlines around the world have given up the 1st class service, about 35 airlines still offer first-class and the competition is getting steeper and steeper. They’re providing everything from fully flat beds, 3:1 passenger to crew ratios, exotic high-end linens, pillows, toiletries, and even 7-course gourmet meals with caviar and Dom Perignon champagne. All that’s missing is a king-size bed and Jacuzzis on board! Forbes.com has rolled out a list to identify those airlines that do first-class best.
1) Qatar Airways
Flying first-class here means access to a separate terminal in Doha that mimics a five-star hotel with several fine-dining restaurants, a medical center, and a spa with sauna and Jacuzzi. Onboard passengers get caviar service, full-size pillows, white linen mattresses, Australian wool blankets, and Bulgari toiletry kits. The seats are 79 inches long, have 15-inch LCD screens, and come with a 23-inch meal table that allows dining for two, just as in a restaurant.
2) Singapore Airlines
Passengers here have total control of their experience including picking between Dom Perignon and Krug champagne and food whenever they want it and however they want it whether it’s an extravagant five-course blowout or a quick meal served all at once. The seats are 82 inches long and 35 inches wide. Fliers are given a Ferragamo toiletry kit, Givenchy sleepsuits, and slippers. Seats flatten into beds with sheets, a down duvet, and oversize pillows.
3) Cathay Pacific
Seats here become ‘suites,’ thanks to sliding panels that provide total privacy. They turn into 81-inch-long beds and have built-in massagers. Each flier also gets a personal closet to store belongings. Cathay got high marks for its food: It’s one of the only carriers to have rice cookers, skillets, and toasters onboard, so parts of meals are prepared fresh, like eggs made to order.
4) Malaysia Airlines
5) Thai Airways
7) Jet Airways
9) Korean Air
10) Qantas Airways
It’s no secret that flying, especially on long-haul flights, can take a toll on the body and also on the purse if you are opting for first-class!