The desire to travel in style is nothing new. The sheer act of air travel, especially on long haul flights, is naturally tiring and exhausting. Any effort to soften the rigors of spending extended periods of time confined inside an aluminum tube suspended at 30,000 feet are always welcome! Recognizing this, air carriers have consistently toiled with first-class options and amenities that infuse flight with pampering comfort for their premier clients.
Gone are the days where champagne and attentive service are the definition of airline luxury. Pure decadence can now be enjoyed above the clouds. Long-haul carriers are pushing the boundaries of luxury by offering amenities, privacy and hospitality that would be considered first-class by any standard, regardless of whether you’re on the ground or in the sky.
Asian airlines, in particular, are pioneering the cutting-edge of luxury in transit. Personal cabins and suites impeccably sculpted by renowned French and Italian designers, private showers, plush double beds topped with Egyptian-combed 500-count cotton duvets, personal butlers and nanny service for children are just a few of the lavish offerings available to travelers seeking the best.
While most first-class services include such amenities as expedited check-in and access to premier first-class lounges, the following are some of the industry-leading luxury offerings available in-flight through Asian airlines.
Singapore Airlines was the first airline to introduce double beds in its cabins. As winner of the venerable Skytrax World Airline’s 2018 Airline of the Year award, the carrier still wasn’t willing to sit on its haunches when it came to luxurious offerings. In 2018, the airline initiated a first-class cabin revamp to the tune of nearly 1 billion US dollars with completion scheduled for 2020. The refit provides discerning flyers with private suites crafted by French yacht designer Jean-Jacques Coste, adjustable leather seats designed by renowned Italian designer, Poltrona Frau and standalone beds that are separate from seats.
Singapore Airlines’ Airbus A380-specific retrofits also include enhanced entertainment systems with massive 32-inch HD screens mounted on motorized wall-swivels, noise-cancelling headphones, full control of lighting and service via a wireless tablet and luxurious hand-tufted carpet floors.
All of Singapore Airline’s first-class patrons are also treated to fine dining options curated by some of the best chefs in the world and served on bone china plateware. Rest assured, you’ll be feasting on first-rate cuisine that would be at home in any highly-rated ground-based restaurant!
While not technically an Asia-based carrier, Etihad Airways’s extensive operations in Asia and regular recognition by TTG Travel Awards Asia in the “Best Airline – Business Class” category position it as one of the most influential carriers in the Asia-Pacific region.
Recognized as the industry’s best first-class suite option, Etihad’s The Residence has all the luxury trappings and space to rival any apartment on the New York City real estate market. The Residence features a ground-breaking, 3-room suite that includes a living room centered around a double leather sofa and two dining tables, a bedroom with a double bed adorned with Italian bed linen and a private in-suite restroom outfitted with towels, plush bathrobes and an endless array of toiletries. Fancy a sprucing up before you arrive at your destination? Your private restroom also includes a dedicated shower stall, a first for any carrier.
If you’re traveling with children, Etihad’s Flying Nanny service supplies a nanny – yes, a real person – who will watch your children, play games, and entertain with arts and crafts activities so that you can enjoy your first class experience uninterrupted.
The Residence guests also have direct access to Etihad’s VIP Travel Concierge service. Nothing says you’ve arrived more than a chauffeured Mercedes that picks you up at your door and whisks you directly to a private check-in at the airport, followed by an escort to Etihad’s exclusive first-class lounge.
Cathay Pacific may not offer multi-room mega-suite options like Etihad Airways, but it more than makes up for it with the pinnacle of service, hospitality, comfort amenities, privacy and a finely crafted first-class cabin.
First-class passengers have exclusive access to Cathay Pacific’s first class lounges which covers an array of fine cuisine, drinks, nap rooms and private shower rooms. On board, guests are treated to 36-inch-wide plush leather seats. After slipping into your complimentary 100% cotton-knit pajamas and slippers, the carrier’s turn down service transforms your seat into a fully flat bed that features a thick mattress and sumptuous 500-thread-count cotton duvet.
All first-class passengers are treated to caviar served with a mother-of-pearl spoon (if you so choose) and finely-crafted meals that include unique and authentic flavors of Hong Kong and China.
A wood-grained interior that would be at home in a fine Bentley automobile, Japan Airlines’ first-class seating suites provide a luxurious and private haven for the carrier’s discerning guests. When the lights dim, fully flat bedding and pillows, exclusively designed for Japan Airlines by Airweave, are arranged by your flight attendant. You’ll also have the option of selecting firm or soft on your bedding to further customize your comfort during a long-haul flight.
A highlight of any trip for Japan Airlines’ first class guests will be the dining experience. Your meals, finely crafted by Chef Hideki Ishikawa, a renowned Michelin star awarded chef and owner of the highly-rated Ishikawa restaurant, bring the best of authentic Japanese cuisine and flavors to the sky.
ATJ specializes in crafting personalized adventures and luxury tours all across Asia. If you love traveling in style, our long-standing partnerships with Asian air carriers allows us to pair the best possible luxury flight arrangements for your journey. Start planning today for with ATJ to learn why we provide a Journey Beyond the Ordinary™.