For the past few years, I have had the chance to try out a lot of new airlines. From Ryanair to Emirates, I think I’ve been across the whole spectrum. Of course, my favorite class to travel in is First (whose isn’t it? lol), and so far I have a few airlines under my belt.
As learn to finesse the means to obtain more points and achieve elite status, I am becoming more creative with which airlines I want to try out. For the past few weeks, I’ve been trying to piece out the list of the top airline first cabins I want to try. Although there are many more I want to try out, and hopefully will be able to, here is a short list of the most likely next 5 I will be on, in no particular order:
Everyone raves about Lufthansa, Live and Let’s Fly and Lucky from OMAAT say it’s one of the most refined products out there. The food quality seems top notch. However, my favorite part of the whole experience is in the memorabilia you can take home. Lufthansa First offers a really cool new amenity kit, branded with the airline’s signature crane. On top of that, when you pass through Frankfurt or Munich, you can get a branded Lufthansa rubber duck, which are a major collector’s item.
After looking into what routes I can take, I have short listed it to ORD-FRA or JFK-FRA. If I take the JFK route, which at the moment is the more likely one, I get to try out their Wining and Dining area in their lounge. Think of it as the Lufthansa version of American’s Flagship Dining.
I’ve flown JAL a few times already, and they rank as one of my favorite airlines in the world. The hospitality, as well as the food quality, is very difficult to match. My favorite gastronomic experience (yes, I’m calling it that fancy) was with JAL First. So, naturally, I want to see how ANA stacks up.
ANA flies their 777-300ER with First Class on its US routes. The one route I’m looking most into is their NRT-ORD (Chicago), since it would be the same flight I took with JAL. However, availability seems to be more consistent on their NRT-IAH (Houston) flight.
This is one that I’ve had people ask me why it’s on the list. Well, after visiting Korea recently, I wanted to sample both of their airlines. Given that Korean Air is part of SkyTeam, and I haven’t signed up for the Chase Sapphire Preferred (which I should do), I am left with Asiana. I can book them through LifeMiles or with Aeroplan. They open a lot of award space from ICN to LAX, and occasionally from ICN to JFK or Frankfurt.
The challenge with this flight is the cost. It is 90K Avianca miles to fly from LAX/JFK to ICN and vice versa. There is, however, a way to book two great airlines on one ticket. United occasionally releases the greatest award I’ve ever seen: JFK/ORD-FRA-ICN. You can go to Asia the long way, for the price of the short way. I have seen it available a few times, but haven’t had the time to take the trip. Soon, though, soon.
I’ve been mystified by Kuwait Airways ever since I saw their new 777-300ERs. The aircraft look beautiful, and are a HUGE improvement from their 777-200, which TPG flew a few years back. I am interested in their First Class since there is so little information on it, it seems like a treat to try something that rare. They have fully enclosed suites and wifi onboard. However, they are a dry airline, so for some that may be a deal breaker.
To fly them, I would need to pay out of pocket, since they barely partner with other airlines. On a similar vein, I would love to try out Saudia’s First class, but I am much more tempted by Kuwait Airways.
Singapore is probably on everybody’s list. They were the first to offer fully enclosed suites on their A380s, as well as a double bed in the sky. Their new First class, however, is revolutionary. It looks like a minimalistic, beautifully prepared cabin. Pictures remind me of cabins on cruise ships, except you’re cruising at 38,000 feet.
SQ has an excellent product, with attentive service, wonderful amenities and great food. I like their concept of “book the cook” in order ot get your preferred meal option onboard. It’s a very difficult award to snag, but there are some creative routing options, with reasonable out of pocket tickets, that one can book in order to get the full SQ First experience.
Although those are my top 5 first class airlines, there are a few others I would love to try out at some point in the future as well:
- SWISS First– I would love to compare it to Lufthansa’s First class.
- China Southern– I know many people have had bad experiences with them, but everyone deserves a chance.
- Emirates New 777 First– Certainly the most amazing cabin on a 777, and maybe anywhere, the Emirates 777 new first class is the epitome of the airline: bling, luxury, and wow factor.
- American Airlines 777 First– It may surprise you all that as someone who has traveled so much with American that I have never tried out their 77W First class. I love the concept of the swivelling chair and with the newer enhanced amenities, it seems like the right time to try them.
- Air France First– The hardest and most expensive First class, I am interested in trying it once, but odds are I won’t be able to book it for a few years.
I know I named quite a few airlines up there, and there are probably many more that if given the chance to fly on I would. These are, however, the ones I am most interested in flying on. Hopefully, by the end of next year I will have all of them under my belt.
What do you think? Which airline first class do you want to try out the most? Why? Let us know!