Travel isn’t just about the destination— it’s about the journey, too. Some airlines truly take this adage to heart, bringing their A-game when creating a first-class passenger experience. Whether you’re taking a relatively short trip or are about to settle into your seat for the long haul, here are the airlines who are providing the most luxurious first-class cabins imaginable – with some of them even offering in-flight caviar.
Best for the full suite experience: Etihad Airways (UAE)
For a truly luxurious experience that makes you forget you’re soaring among the clouds, Etihad Airways’ “Apartment” option is unbeatable. Personal cabins including an armchair, a separate bed, and a private shower make flying with Etihad an unparalleled experience. There’s simply no going back to being stuck in a single seat when you can freely roam about your private cabin and take a relaxing shower at 20,000 feet. Still somehow not enough space? Upgrade to Etihad’s “Residence” option to accommodate two guests in your not-so-humble abode.
Best for picky sleepers: Singapore Airlines (Singapore)
The first airline to ever offer a double bed in-flight, Singapore Airlines certainly doesn’t skimp. Enjoy a variety of seafood including lobster and, yes, caviar, accompanied by your choice of top-tier Champagnes, then stretch out and sleep off the rest of the flight in total comfort, wrapped in Givenchy bedding and pajamas.
Best for indecisive travelers: Lufthansa (Germany)
Arranged in couplets of one bed and one seat per customer per row, Lufthansa gives the impression of traveling in a celebrity friend’s private jet. Each couplet feels uniquely private, as there’s only two per row. In flight, sample the airline’s caviar selection and enjoy the quiet comfort of complimentary Bose® noise-cancelling headphones.
Best for privacy: Japan Airlines (Japan)
For the “apartment” privacy without the palatial feel, Japan Airlines fits the bill. Cozy woodgrain interiors lend a stylishly minimal feel, made all the more inviting by a luxurious armchair that converts into a bed. The beds run the full length of your private cabin, and come complete with your choice of firm or soft luxury mattress pads for even greater comfort. Best of all, each “seat” can be closed off entirely from the rest of the plane for complete privacy and peace and quiet or so you can enjoy entertainment on your private 23-inch LCD monitor, whichever you choose. For those who are feeling peckish, a selection of Japanese and Western-style menu items are available, which of course includes caviar.
Best for traveling in twos: Qatar Airways (Qatar)
If you’re someone who likes to roam around mid-flight, or if you’re traveling as a pair and enjoy the bar scene, Qatar Airways might be the choice for you. Their “Sky Lounge” feels like something you may encounter on a yacht, with a fully-stocked curved bar and lounge seating. After some cocktails and snacks, you can retire to your seat, which reclines fully into a flat bed and features luxury bedding. Seats have partitions that can be raised once in flight, which offers you the option to pick your privacy level. Additionally, the ottoman at each seat can be turned into a bench for getting some face-to-face time during meals. The luxury flying experience is topped off with a Giorgio Armani amenity kit and Missoni pajamas so you can snooze in style.