Luxury at its height

Designer furnishings, personal chefs, on-board lounges and even in-air showers make flying first class on these carriers the ultimate luxury, says Avril-Ann Braganza.

A 12-hour flight. Cramps in your feet, a sore back and a neck-ache that won`t go away! Kiss these aches and pains good-bye as some of the top airlines in the industry are ensuring your first or business class flight is much more than comfortable, gives you privacy and makes you feel right at home even at 40,000 feet.


Royal Doulton bone china, advanced mood lighting system, complete with a starlit sky, to reflect the time at the destination, and to help combat the effects of jet lag for First and Business class passengers and a fully-stocked bar, two fully-equipped bathrooms with a 15.4-inch LCD monitor, hair dryer, perfumes by Bvlgari and Timeless Spa bath and hair products in the First Class cabins, are just a hint of the luxuries Emirates offers its first class passengers on board the A380. First class passengers are not confined to fixed trolley meals at fixed times. Pamper yourself and order at will from a tempting range that includes lobster and arugula salad on noodles with Thai chilli, oven-roasted lamb with thyme, crème brûlée and more. The A380 has 14 private first-class suites with a wardrobe, personal mini bar, vanity mirror and multi-mode massage system with adjustable speed and intensity. First and Business Class passengers also have the exclusive use of a Lounge on the upper deck of the A380 which stocks not only premium branded liqueurs and spirits but also has a selection of hot and cold canapés and snacks. Two sofas, a 42 inch LCD screen and mood lighting creates a calming ambience.

Singapore Airline

Ultimate indulgence comes to you with armchairs hand-stitched by Italian craftsmen Poltrona Frau (A380 suites), eight wide First Class seats that spell luxury, the Givenchy designed soft furnishings, tableware, sleeper suit and bedroom slippers, on board Singapore Airlines` Boeing 777-300ER and refitted Boeing 777-300 aircrafts. Business Class seats in the A380-800, A340-500 and B777-300ER are designed with direct aisle access. For those who need to work, the new Business Class is easily converted into an office with its height adjustable table, well positioned reading lights, in-seat laptop power supply and USB ports. Whether travelling in Singapore Airlines Suites, First or Business Class, indulge in wines and food selected by award-winning international chefs like Matthew Moran, Carlo Cracco and Sanjeev Kapoor, and renowned wine consultants. This September, the B777-300 ER, which operates long haul sectors will be redesigned with more luxurious seats and in-flight entertainment. The first route will be Singapore-London.


Pure Dupion silk and cotton duvet, six foot eight inch flat beds, seats upholstered with leather by Poltrona Frau (suppliers of Ferrari’s interiors), personal chefs, an inbuilt massage, slippers and loungewear, luxury changing rooms is what Ethiad`s Diamond First Class offers on board the wide-bodied A340-500, A340-600, A330-300, B777 aircrafts. Shut your built-in screen doors and work, rest or enjoy your in-flight entertainment in your private cabin, which also has its own mini-bar and illuminated wardrobe with a mirror. You can also enjoy a Swarovski Elements embellished cosmetic purse or a cufflink box, complete with a La Prairie skin care product.

South African Airways

The Airbus A330-200, which flies the Mumbai-Johannesburg route, has 36 business class seats designed for safety, privacy and a feeling of spaciousness. A personal touch screen monitor with audio/video on demand is at your disposal. First class and Business class passengers can choose from 70 of South Africa’s best wines approved by a panel of local and international judges, and can try the Waverley Hills Sauvignon/Merlot 2007, a local wine produced using only natural ingredients while you enjoy your starters, main courses, and savoury and sweet finales. Chef Benny Masekwameng, a judge on MasterChef South Africa and the Executive Chef at Tsogo Sun has been instrumental in creating the menu on board for the Business and First Class guests.

Virgin Atlantic

Virgin Atlantic’s Upper Class (Business class) not only has a private bar where you can sit and socialize with other passengers, but offers complimentary drinks including pre-take off champagne and ice creams during movies. The 1-2-1 / 1-1-1 seat configuration means passengers have their own personal space with no ‘step over’ by other passengers and can recline in the seat even for take-off and landing. With luxury leather armchairs that flip over into a separate bed with a mattress, at the touch of a button, you can snooze peacefully on a 79.5 inch bed.