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High-flying luxury for airline passengers willing to pay a premium

November 18, 2017
Qatar first-class compartment
Qatar Airways has introduced double beds with privacy panels allow couples complete privacy from flight attendants and other passengers.

Luxury on some of the world’s airlines has never been more luxurious for those with the means and desire for extra space and special attention from airline crews. Consider some of the most luxurious options.

Qatar Airways has introduced double beds with privacy panels allow couples complete privacy from flight attendants and other passengers. The “room” comes with a DO NOT DISTURB sign. The seats in the luxury cabin are finished with hand-stitched Italian leather and satin rose gold finishing. Nice.

Not to be outdone, Singapore Airlines first-class cabin is created by BMW’s Designworks with the effect of a cocoon filled with sensory experiences in mind. Think in terms of diamond-quilted leather, warm lighting and storage spaces. The airline is also emphasizing cuisine by partnering with such Michelin-grade chefs such as Alfred Portale of Gotham Bar and Grill, and Suzanne Goin of Lucques to satisfy the most discriminating palates.

Air France has waded into the competition with its La Première cabin, which Architectural Digest calls a boudoir-esque suite, clad in leather and suede and accessorized by a seahorse print lamp and a slate-gray ottoman, all of which can be cordoned off using sound-absorbing curtains. While you’re at it, dine on Atlantic lobster in a curried coconut sauce.

Prior to takeoff on Qantas Airways, first-class passengers can receive complimentary preflight pampering at the Aurora Day Spa in the airline’s lounge, designed by Marc Newson, an industrial designer specializing in aircraft, product, furniture and clothing design.

The first-class suites on Emirates feature a private butler, an onboard shower spa with Bvlgari products, and leather seats that convert into beds. The suite includes a pop-up mini bar for those who want to enjoy a private beverage or, if you choose to come out of your private room, there is the option of enjoying a beverage in the onboard lounge.

Flights on Virgin Atlantic airliners offer semi-private seats that, with the press of a button, convert into beds for restful travel. This option comes with complimentary pajamas and cotton bedding. Interested in a nightcap? There is a private bar provided for that.

The first-class cabins on ANA jets are not as ostentatious as some of its competitors, but Architectural Digest points out that, “In the Japanese modus operandi, every detail and inch of space is accounted for. The minimalist cubes boast 30 percent more room than the previous generation’s curvy compartments and are supplemented with space-organizing cubbies to store laptops, glasses and magazines. Textures and fabrics have been factored into passenger comfort: A cashmere-and-organic-cotton lap rug, a bedtime duvet, and a weight-distributing mattress topper are lightweight and breathable but also cozy.” Sounds nice.

Yes, airlines have taken a verbal beating from many travelers annoyed by smaller seats and less legroom. But some airlines spare no luxury for travelers willing ready to spend on comfort and convenience.

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