We all have that desire to sit in first or business class every time we fly. Unfortunately, most of us can't afford the steep price that comes with that privilege. As an aviation journalist, I've been able to try out some of the world's finest airline premium cabin products. Below is my list of six carriers that offer over-the-top amenities for their best customers.
The carrier’s suites are available on the carrier’s fleet of Airbus A380s. Each cabin features sliding doors and window blinds for complete privacy. The suite includes a distinctively designed, stand-alone bed with fine linen and plush, full-sized pillows. Hungry? Use Singapore Airlines’ Book the Cook service, where travelers can pre-order and have specially prepared gourmet meals. After dining, enjoy the airlines’ inflight entertainment system that offers audio and video-on-demand via a 23-inch wide LCD screen. There’s also access to multi-ports with power supply and USB ports.
In December 2014, the Abu Dhabi-based carrier raised the stakes for premium passengers by unveiling The Residence, a three-room suite that can accommodate two travelers, aboard its fleet of Airbus A380s. The suite features a living room, a bedroom and a bathroom. Residence passengers also receive VIP Travel Concierge service, a butler and an inflight chef.
The London-based carrier’s Upper Class Suite features seats that are 22 inches wide that turn into a 33 inches wide, 6-foot 6-inch long, lie-flat bed with a padded sleep sheet. The seats also have a power point, a roomy table and laptop storage space. Travelers have access to a 10.4-inch TV with a large selection of movies, TV shows and games. Every suite has direct aisle access, along with space for a friend or colleague to chat.
This is another airline I’ve experienced in first class. I’m a big fan of the carrier’s ergonomically shaped seats with seat controls that allow you to get the ultimate comfort. The seat also turns into a fully flat bed with a mattress topper, a pillow and a duvet. The airline’s inflight entertainment system offers a large range of videos with movies in up to eight languages, TV programs, the news and sports, music magazines from around the world, CDs, audiobooks, 30 radio stations and computer games. If you have to work or use your electronic devices, seats have power sockets and wide pull-out tables.
I had the chance to fly on the Doha, Qatar-based five star airline in business class on the Boeing 777. It features a lie-flat seat with lumbar support, Italian Frette linen, a refrigerated space that holds bottled water, plenty of storage, USB and powerplugs, a gourmet menu created by a council of global celebrity chefs, a world-class selection of fine wines and champagne and an inflight entertainment system with more that 1,000 video, audio and gaming options, along with a 15-inch LCD television screen.
Cathay Pacific - Business Class
Business class amenities are offered on the Hong Kong-based carrier’s fleet of Boeing 777-300ERs and Airbus A330-300s. The cabin features a seat that allows for privacy or the opportunity to chat with your seating companion. The seat also turns into an 82-inch inch long bed. Travelers have access to a 15.4 inch touch-screen personal TV with audio and video on demand with access to a library of 100 movies, 500 TV shows, 888 music CDs, 22 radio channels, and 70 games, along with a noise-cancelling headset. You also have access to a multi-port connector that lets you connect your own electronic devices and stream audio and video content to your personal TV display. There is also a USB port for charging mobile devices.