Best First Class Cabins

Edited by Kathy McGraw, Maria Quinney

Air travel is the quickest way to travel around the world, but it is not necessarily the most comfortable. Indeed, packed into an aluminum tube jetting across the stratosphere at upwards of 600 miles per hour while trying to ignore the child kicking the back of your seat isn't what anyone would call traveling in style or comfort. However, if you have money to burn, you can upgrade your aircraft accommodations to something more humane than the sausage-like feel of traveling coach. Of course, first class travel doesn't come cheap, so, unfortunately, it is only available to the obscenely wealthy. Well, we can all dream, can't we? Here are 15 of the most luxurious first class cabins in the world.

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    ANA Suite Squares. ANA offers cubicles of luxury aboard its 777 aircraft flying between New York and Tokyo. Each little personalized cubby offers a bamboo-fiber lap rug, cocktail tables, slide-outs for laptops, and 23-inch touchscreen televisions which double as entertainment centers and a hub for ordering room service, including dishes such as spiny lobster dumplings. While you don't get a personal bathroom, the first-class bathrooms come with an electronically-controlled bidet.
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    Etihad Airways: The Residence. If you are a Saudi Prince or a Goldman Sachs executive, the $20,000 (one way) price tag of the luxurious Residence suites aboard Etihad Airways' A380 planes is well worth the cost. Offering an unheard of 125 square feet of living space in three rooms (a bedroom, living room and bedroom), you have room to move around while you're soaring 33,000 feet above the ground and jetting toward your destination. The spacious bed has room for two to sleep comfortably in Christian LaCroix pajamas while in the living room you will find a 32-inch television to watch movies, plush leather seats with plenty of legroom to stretch out in, and a cabinet stocked with an assortment of chilled drinks. As if that isn't enough, you also get the services of your own private butler as well as transportation to and from the airport in a well-appointed limousine.
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  3. 3
    Emirates Airlines: First Class Suites. Emirates Airlines offers you private space aboard its A380 airplanes complete with remote controlled sliding doors, 23-inch televisions, and seats that fold down into 79 inch beds. Additionally, you have access to the common area which includes a bar where you can meet and mingle with other first-class passengers, and the luxury of an in-flight shower in one of the two spa suites. Each suites passenger gets 30 minutes in the spa suite, complete with five minutes of hot water.
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  4. 4
    Singapore Airlines: Suite Class. Reminiscent of the private cabins aboard trains during the 19th century, Singapore Airlines offers passengers willing to pay the $18,000 one-way ticket price private space set off with a sliding door and window blinds. Each suite comes with a separate bed, and if you buy two suites, one wall can be removed to create a double suite. The suites were designed by luxury yacht designer Jean-Jaques Coste and furnished with leather and wood with 35-inch-wide arm chairs and a 23-inch television. Bose noise-canceling headphones and restaurant service complete this luxurious air travel package.
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  5. 5
    Korean Air. Let Korean Air whisk you to your destination in its state-of-the-art Kosmos seats, which are luxurious 83-inch pods surrounded by a wood-grain shell. Inside each pod are leather-upholstered seats with plenty of room to get comfortable. Inside your own little cave aboard the gigantic airplane, you can watch movies on your personal wide-screen television or sack out and sleep through the entire flight.
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    Cathay Pacific. When you want your own personal entrance to the first class area, away from the hoi polloi, you can't go wrong with Cathay Pacific. With a separate entrance to its first class cabin, boarding the airplane is a relaxed affair. Inside the cabin are six pods where you can rest yourself in luxury while you fly high in the sky. Inside each pod are amenities that you might expect in a high-end hotel room: vases with orchids, wood-grain accents, and flatbeds with large fluffy pillows.
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  7. 7
    British Airways 787-9 Dreamliner. British Airways offers a the techno-geek with more money than sense a luxurious pod in which to travel to their destination. Each sleek and stylish pod comes with a 23-inch television, touch screen remote control accessible from the plush console, and two USB ports so they can plug in their tablet, smartphone, or other geeky accouterments. It's available for the bargain price of $5,000 one way, a real steal considering some of the prices of the other first class cabins on this list.
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  8. 8
    Air France La Premiere. Air France's private suites are commodious and come with additional storage and a personal coat service, so you don't have to struggle with getting it off or putting it on while embarking or disembarking. The suites have plenty of legroom, and the seats turn into luxurious beds so that you can sleep well and arrive at your destination refreshed and ready to take on the day. It's not cheap: one of these suites will set you back $10,000 one way, but then again, it's one of those things that if you have to ask, you can't afford it.
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  9. 9
    Qatar Airways. For $5,000 one way, the luxury cubicles aboard Qatar Airways contain plush leather seats that fold down into flatbed and come with a duvet so that you can rest in comfort during your flight. Flat panel televisions offer entertainment options and the partitions surrounding each cubby ensure privacy. You may also enjoy a drink at the spacious curved bar and mingle with the other passengers like you might do in any elegant hotel in the world.
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  10. 10
    Qantas. Tucked into separated little compartments, Qantas offers reclining chairs and niceties such as eye cream and pajamas. You can even view the in-flight entertainment through virtual reality goggles. Can the holodecks of Star Trek: the Next Generation be far off? Who knows, but you can also sign up for a Qantas pre-flight signature massage in a room that's wall-to-wall plants to make you feel like you're in the middle or a tropical forest!
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    Thai Airways. At a minimum width of 21 inches, the luxury pods of Thai Airways' Royal First Class are both commodious and luxurious. Enjoy in-flight entertainment on a personal flat panel television and relax on seats that fold down into comfortable beds. In the world of luxury first class travel, Thai Airways is a bargain at $6,000 one way.
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    Swiss Airlines. Aimed at providing a superior first class travel experience for couples, Swiss' first class cabins are designed to comfortably fit two people with adjustable partitions to allow for additional privacy when you need it. Dine on gourmet fare with your special someone and recline atop cozy beds while you jet through the heavens toward your destination.
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    Japan Airlines Suites. In enclosed suites tucked away in the capacious cabins of Japan Airlines' 777 airplanes are suites that offer privacy and comfort for the discerning traveler. Leather seats curve in all the right places to make sure that you can recline in comfort, while ottomans provide seating for guests to visit you in your personal alcove. Not to be left out of this description are the dedicated mattresses specially designed by mattress maker Tempur for the airline to ensure that you have sweet dreams before you arrive at your destination.
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    Lufthansa. Lufthansa offers first-class suites with separate chairs and beds on its 747s as well as its A380 aircraft. To create the perfect home away from home while en route, the German airline pads its suites with curtains that absorb sound as well as noise-dampening insulation on the floor. Six and a half foot beds plenty of room to even the very tall and aboard its A380s, the suites include personal air humidifiers for maximum comfort.
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    Jet Airways. Aboard Jet Airways' 777 aircraft are eight luxury suites that offer passengers with the lucre to afford them 26 square feet of room to move around in-flight. Each suite is separated by walls and Venetian sliding doors and comes with a wardrobe to store your stuff and its own personal light settings that you can adjust to suit your preferences. Its luxurious seats transform into 83-inch beds, and even come with lumbar support and an eight-point massage system . For entertainment, there is a 23-inch screen television and access to a library e-books and audio books for your listening pleasure.
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Categories : Travel & Leisure

Recent edits by: Kathy McGraw

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