Which airline has the best First Class product?

Airlines often showcase their First Class products to set themselves apart, and attract masses’ attention. After all, it provides great brand leverage, as many people aspire to get there one day and fly First. But First Class is either a dying flying style, or has gotten more exclusive than ever before, depending on how one looks at it. With the relentless piling of more luxury and space to the in-demand and lucrative business class, a number of airlines have done away with First Class on many routes. This article hunts the remaining First Class products where the very best is offered to the most privileged. First Class provides the passengers with what is the scarcest, and thus most exclusive, on-board an aircraft – Privacy, Space and Novelty.

Emirates Airlines First Class

First available on its A340-500, Emirates’ suites presented a novel idea of flying – enclosing the passenger with a door to create ultimate privacy. Although the seat is smaller and narrower compared to the newer SIA’s suites, Emirates’ suites are more elaborately furnished and still one of the world’s finest way to fly. Emirates wins my applause in providing showers for First Class passengers on-board their A380. Safety issues aside, I cannot recall how many times I had wanted a shower on a long flight before I settle down to sleep. A novelty with a strong dose of practicality – one of the few things rarely seen from Emirates in these days. Privacy: 9/10, Space: 7/10, Novelty: 9/10

Emirates First Class

Smaller but very tastefully decorated private suites on Emirates

Singapore Airlines First Class Suites

Available only on the A380, the Singapore Airlines Suites are slightly wider and larger than Emirates’, the pioneer to a room-suite seating concept on a major commercial airline. The 35in-wide seat transforms into a 27in by 78in bed. The ultra rich can opt to book one of the two pairs of adjacent suites and transform a pair of suites into a huge room with a double bed. The doors, however, are translucent and do not extend to the ceiling.  Privacy: 8/10, Space: 9/10, Novelty: 9/10

Singapore Airlines First Class Suites

Japan Airlines

International First Class on Japan Airlines is a novel concept. The seat is not particularly stunning on paper – measuring a mere 26in-wide with a 79in pitch, transformable to a flat bed. The novelty, however, lies in the seat layout. Japan Airlines have arranged for a unbelievable 1-1-1 arrangement on the wide cabin of 777, which puts Singapore Airlines’ new First Class to shame. This creates a huge expanse of space for the passenger and the feeling of utter exclusiveness. Using loads of space to create privacy in turn – is an art onboard JAL. Privacy: 7/10, Space: 10/10, Novelty: 8/10

The vast expanse of space onboard JAL’s First Class

The vast expanse of space onboard JAL’s First Class

Cathay Pacific First Class

Like Japan Airlines, Cathay offers a whopping 1-1-1 seating on its 777-300ER. The seat, at 36in, is even wider than SIA’s suites. Despite the seat being much larger than JAL’s, Cathay traded privacy for the sense of spaciousness that is so artistically presented by JAL. Nevertheless it is still a show of pulling out all the stops in defining today’s luxury flying. Cathay Pacific’s first class seats also come with massage capabilities and the seat gently converts to a chaise lounge as well as a totally flat bed. Privacy: 7/10, Space: 9/10, Novelty: 7/10

Cathay Pacific First Class with massaging seats

Cathay Pacific First Class with massaging seats

Which are your favorite First Class products? What about US and European carriers? Would service matter more or products is supreme when it comes to First Class? What do you think? Let’s discuss…

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