In America, first-class airline service has little more meaning than a perk for frequent travelers. Sure, the seats are a little more plush and the passenger may have more legroom, but beyond getting seated before other passengers are allowed on the plane a first class ticket in the American skies doesnâ€™t deserve the â€˜luxuryâ€™ term.
The worldâ€™s most luxurious airlines hail from Asia and the Middle East. One of these, Singapore Airlines, is among the most trusted and admired brands in the airline business. Singapore has assimilated luxury in their first-class service along with the Singapore Girl as a definition to their airline brand. Called the SkySuites, there are only 12 on each plane. Luxury begins with checking in with a personal attendant available to help you the moment you step out of your car, or from the available limousine. The leather-upholstered, Burrwood-trimmed seats fully recline and come complete with a turn-down service with a down-filled mattress and duvet. Singapore Airlines also brings new definition to â€œairplane foodâ€ with their meals prepared by world-class chefs. Passengers can make their meal choices before the flight. Entertainment options abound for the lengthy flights the airline makes. First-class passengers enjoy a personal 23â€ LCD screen with on-demand movies (reportedly 1000 titles) and video games. Plus, the Dom Perignon and Krug flow freely here. Offering these services itâ€™s no problem flying the two longest non-stop commercial flights from Singapore to Newark, New Jersey and Singapore to Los Angeles, California.
Cathay Pacific is the next airline hailing from the Far East worth mentioning among the worldâ€™s â€˜most luxuriousâ€™ airlines. Checking is made simple through a concierge-style service. While still in the airport, first class passengers can take advantage of The Wing, a lounge complete with reading rooms, a spa, and various cafes. Within the first-class cabin are 12 seats that come with his and her amenity kits, Acca Kappa Italian products within Wiss Victorinox travel bags for him and French Darphin products contained within Vietnamese Ipa-Nima carrying cases. The seat is easily extendable into a full-length bed with pillows and duvets and, with the privacy screen, the seat is transformed into a cozy bedroom. The bedroom experience is completed with the complimentary â€˜sleepsuit.â€™ Entertainment options include a personal 10.4â€ television and noise-cancelling headphones with audio-video on demand.
The Middle Eastern entry among the worldâ€™s most luxurious airlines is no also-ran among this elite class. Emirates, headquartered in Dubai, has made it a goal to make flying a wonderful experience. Thereâ€™s no denying that with their new first class, fully-enclosed cabins that represent the epitome of luxury flight. Due to be unveiled in the next year, these cabins are reminiscent of sleeping cabins commonly found on passenger trains, Emirates is the first to bring this experience to the sky. The doors to the cabins can be opened and closed at will, and has a â€˜do not disturbâ€™ signal available. Throughout the cabin is fine wood and gold trim. Overhead storage bins are nonexistent here so taller passengers can freely move about, but donâ€™t worry there is plenty of space to stow your carry-on. A full size bar is in the first class passenger area and a mini-bar is in the personal cabin. Press a button on your chair and it converts to a flat bed. Meals planned by five-star chefs and wines selected by the UK Masters of Wine Guild can be ordered at will with a click from the remote that operates as a command center for the cabin. The in-cabin entertainment options are extensive and there is even an in-cabin vanity for freshening up.
The American airlines could learn a lot from the airlines of the Far East and Middle East. Perhaps itâ€™s a different clientele or maybe (probably) itâ€™s the typically longer flights; but these airlines have defined what it means to fly in luxury.