3 First Class Airlines That Are Dripping With Luxury


We all crave a little luxury when we travel, and flying first class is a great way to turn what could be a draining journey into a pleasurable experience. Comfortable lounges, space to move around and stretch your legs, and free-flowing champagne can certainly make your travels more enjoyable.

Occasionally, airlines offer incredible deals that make first class seats nearly as affordable as economy. But most of the time, first class seats are extremely costly, and beyond what most of us could ever afford for a plane ticket. Unless you win the lottery, or score a massive inheritance, a private apartment on a flight overseas is not a wise purchase to make. But we can all dream, can't we? Besides, it's always fascinating to see how the other half lives (or the 1 percent, rather), and the level of luxury you could be surrounded in. (See also: 4 Airlines With the Cheapest First Class Seats)

To get an idea of just how luxurious first class can be, we turned to the annual World Airline Awards, which hands out accolades each year to airlines ranked favorites by passengers. The following three airlines were voted the overall best for 2017, and set the standard for first class comfort.

Etihad Airways

Since being established in 2003 in Abu Dhabi, Etihad Airways has won numerous awards for its service, and it’s been consistently recognized as having excellent first class perks. In the 2017 World Airline Awards, it took first place overall. Booking first class in Etihad doesn’t just get you a seat, but a whole room. For instance, the First Suite product, available on the airline’s B787 planes, walls you off into a room with a leather seat that can be transformed into a fully flat bed. Each suite also contains a personal wardrobe and your own refreshments cabinet.

Etihad's First Apartment option, available on its A380 planes, goes even further. The 39 square foot cabins feature both a leather armchair and a separate bed. You also have access to an onboard shower so you can make sure you're feeling fresh before you disembark.

Meals are prepared by an inflight chef who will cook up something unique at your request if nothing on the menu tickles your fancy. Entertainment includes TV shows and movies available on demand via your own flat screen monitor. You'll also have access to a lobby area where you can relax and interact with other flyers while enjoying a drink and watching a game.


Emirates is another U.A.E airline, but it’s based out of Dubai. It took second place in the World Airline Awards for 2017, and won in the Best First Class Comfort Amenities category. This rates details like the quality of bedding and little extras such as the provision of hot and cold towels.

The quality of amenity kits is also considered in this category, and Emirates doesn’t disappoint.

Its amenity kits are designer bags provided by Bulgari and packed full of indulgent skin care products and fragrances.

You'll also get a set of moisturizing pajamas, slippers, and an eye mask to help you get a restful sleep.

Private suites come with sliding doors, your own mini bar, a personal entertainment screen, and a seat that converts into a fully flat bed. Dining includes gourmet meals that can be ordered at any time from an a la carte menu, as well as nibbles and drinks you can enjoy with fellow travelers in a lounge. You can then freshen up and pamper yourself in the onboard shower spa before enjoying a special detoxifying fresh juice to get you ready for landing.


As the only airline on this list that’s part of a major international partnership (Star Alliance, the same partnership that includes United Airlines), Lufthansa may be the most accessible option for American travelers wanting to use frequent flyer points to book a first class seat. Lufthansa scored most highly at the 2017 World Airline Awards for categories related to its lounges and catering, taking the top spot in the Best First Class Lounge Dining segment and capturing third spot overall.

Lufthansa claims that its first class meals are prepared by world class chefs and accompanied by a selection of fine wines chosen by a world champion sommelier. All meals in first class are served on china, and there's even a special caviar course.

Unlike the other two airlines on the list, Lufthansa does not have suites. However, the seats are still designed to be transformed into comfortable 6 foot, 6 inch beds. Lufthansa's First Class lounges are consistently rated as some of the best in the world, meaning you'll travel in comfort and style from beginning to end of your journey. (See also: Best Frequent Flyer Programs with Free First Class Seat Upgrades)

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