Is business class not cutting it? Now you can take a first-class flight from New York to Los Angeles — but it will cost you.
Sleep comfortably from New York to Los Angeles on American Airlines. (Photo: American Airlines)
American Airlines has become the first and only U.S. airline to offer first-class seats on domestic flights. For an impressive $8,000, passengers can snag one of 10 coveted seats on the Airbus 321T flying from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), and from JFK to San Francisco International Airport (SFO).
As far as perks go, there are plenty. The seats are large flat beds that take up the space usually occupied by three seats. So you don’t have to worry about being kept awake by a noisy neighbor as you fully recline. The flight also has personal televisions with more than 200 movies, Wi-Fi, and personal AC power outlets. The cuisine also gets an upgrade with a three-course meal and cucumber-infused water.
American Airlines is the only U.S. carrier with a first-class cabin on domestic flights. (Photo: American Airlines)
It seems like an awful lot of money for six hours of your life, but American Airlines is clearly catering to a customer who favors luxury and comfort over a bargain. And if their experiment goes well, it could lead to other carriers following suit on domestic flights. So while first-class cabins are rare in the U.S., airlines all over the world have stepped up their services to cater to high-class travelers. Here are some International airlines that spare no expense when it comes to their first-class accommodations.
Passengers can take a shower in an Emirates first-class cabin. (Photo: Emirates)
To say that the first-class cabin on an Emirates A380 jet is classy is an understatement. The private suites are just that — suites. The rooms have sliding doors that guests can close if they don’t want to be bothered. The rooms also include a full flat bed with mattress, personal minibar, adjustable ambient lighting, vanity table, mirror and wardrobe. Hungry? Try the stir-fried lobster in black bean sauce. And if that isn’t fancy enough, the plane also has two shower spas for first-class passengers. So not only will you arrive at your destination well rested, you’ll also be fresh and clean.
Legroom is not a problem in the first-class seats on Singapore Airlines. (Photo: Singapore Airlines)
Singapore Airlines' first-class cabin features seats that may have more space than some New York City apartments. The cubbies on the Boeing 777-300ER aircraft have curved walls that give the passengers their own private room where they can read and watch movies on a 24-inch LCD screen without interference. But the most plush part of the seat is that it quickly turns into a luxurious bed complete with a mattress topper, fluffy pillows, a padded headboard, and ambient lighting. The menu is prepared by world-renowed chefs and the tableware was created by famed designer Givenchy. How chic!
There’s nothing quite like reclining when you are on a long flight. (Photo: Cathay Pacific)
Leather seats? Check. Reclining bed with plush bedding? Check. Personal television with hundreds of entertainment options? Check, check, check. Cathay Pacific prides itself on providing a luxurious experience for its first-class passengers, and the Hong Kong-based airline spares no expense in the first-class cabins on the Boeing 777-300ER. In addition to premier food and wines, first-class passengers enjoy a special checked-baggage allowance of up to 40 kg (about 80 pounds).
A new spin on the TV dinner (Photo: Etihad Airways)
The opulent accommodations on Etihad Airways' Diamond First Class truly makes flying a royal experience. In your personal suite there is a flat 6-foot 8-inch bed, a minibar, wardrobe, loungewear, and a silk duvet. Did we mention that your seat/bed also doubles as a massage chair? The doors to your suite slide closed for added privacy, and on-demand entertainment is at the tip of your fingers with a 23-inch cinematic widescreen. Before you fall asleep, a personal chef is on hand to cater to your gourmet dreams.
There is a world of entertainment at your fingertips in Lufthansa’s first-class cabin. (Photo: Lufthansa)
Getting to board first is the least of the perks in Lufthansa’s first class. After takeoff, you are treated to a caviar course before dining from menus prepared by world-renowned chefs and sipping on wines selected by world-champion sommelier Markus Del Monego. Passengers can rest in the ergonomically shaped seats that turn into a fully flat, 6.5-foot-long bed, perfect for watching a movie.
Experience comfort and gourmet dining in Air France’s La Première. (Photo: Air France)
The first-class cabin on Air France, aka La Première, may not be as opulent as some of the others on this list, but it sure is pretty. The Air France cabin consists of only four private suites, each with a private reading lamp, 24-inch screen with on-demand programming, and numerous storage areas for your belongings. The seat transforms into a 6.5-foot bed and includes a duvet by Sofitel My Bed. And the pièce de résistance is that you can enjoy the culinary delights of Michelin-starred French chefs, such as Joël Robuchon, Régis Marcon and Guy Martin. La Première service began this September.