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-   -   First class flights (https://www.pprune.org/passengers-slf-self-loading-freight/604090-first-class-flights.html)

olympus 11th Jan 2018 12:47

First class flights
Looking for some advice/recommendations regarding first class flights...

Whilst I can still afford it and before I become too old to enjoy/appreciate it I would like to fly first class long-haul on one of the current (modern) types such as A380, B777, B787 and possibly the 747-8 (although there are not many operators of these).

The destination is not that important but I have in mind to go somewhere congenial so I'm thinking along the line of Thai to BKK, SQ to SIN, CX to HKG, Qantas to somewhere ex-London (but not all the way to Oz). I suppose I would consider the ME-based airlines (Emirates, Etihad, Qatar) but this would involve getting off one aeroplane and getting on another, possibly in the middle of the night, which rather defeats the object of having a full night's sleep in one's jim-jams in a full lie-flat bed. I wouldn't go on BA as a matter of principle.

Can the collective offer any suggestions or make comments as to the merits or otherwise of the various first class services on offer from the point of view of comfort, space and service provided?

There are lots of videos on You Tube purporting to show the first class service on various operators but they are often confusing and conflicting in the opinions given so any advice would be welcome.

Thanks in advance.

Jet II 11th Jan 2018 13:58

Out of the airlines you mention 1st class in SQ is the the best. The middle east airlines are very close but not sure the timing would be correct - although why not fly out during the day and back over night?

ExXB 11th Jan 2018 14:35

You might get a better price on SQ if you travel beyond SIN - ie a connecting flight to ... KL or JKT or PER, etc. Airlines tend to charge a premium for non-stop flights to their hubs, but have to be competitive on pricing to beyond points.

PS Don't tell anybody, this is a secret.

Load Toad 12th Jan 2018 02:08


Or one of the M.Eastern airlines.

Mr Mac 12th Jan 2018 07:22

I would say SQ / EK /LH - 747 -8 for me.

lomapaseo 12th Jan 2018 14:16

First class is much more expensive on the better airlines listed above.

There is both the inflight product and the on-ground product to consider.

You need to research the ground product (free limo service and super lounges) as well as what kind of enclosed or open suite on the airplane suits your fancy.

As others have stated the cheapest fares will be those that connect through a major city to a less major city

ExXB 12th Jan 2018 16:35

You realise that you are looking at 7,000 each way.

Another James 12th Jan 2018 20:49

Garuda Indonesia is my first choice for long haul and have taken advantages of their promo fares.heathrow to jakarta direct 3,800 return (2017 fares) first class.

Cannot fault Garuda and planning another Jakarta trip in July,roll on July !

TCU 13th Jan 2018 09:10

How about two types? LHR-DXB-CPT on EK

To DXB overnight on the A380, to CPT in the day on the 777-300ER

A few days at the One and Only or Cape Grace

Trip in reverse is overnight back to DXB and then day flight to LHR

Modest time zone transits so you wont feel like a dog when you arrive at either end

Heathrow Harry 13th Jan 2018 09:23

I've always thought that the great benefit of First is not in the air but on the ground - the absolute grovelling service makes you really start to think they care about you

ExXB 13th Jan 2018 11:06

HH, that is almost always the case. However a British airline won’t grovel for a one-off First passenger. You are nothing without status, and even then ...

Heathrow Harry 13th Jan 2018 11:59

Agreed - but why would you fly on BA for a genuine experience?

Any of the Mid East or Asian airlines have set the standard at all levels of service since the early 80's TBH

Saintsman 19th Jan 2018 17:47

It does seem a bit of a waste to fly 1st if you are going to sleep all the way. Club will give you a lie flat bed which gives you a reasonable nights sleep and the difference in cost will pay for another trip. Would it not be better to take a day flight and really make the most of the personal service?

krismiler 20th Jan 2018 05:18

Top level would be SQ suites, assuming you don't want to pay for Eti-hads residence with private butler. Emirates on the A380 with showers would be most enjoyable as would Qatar with their private terminal.

Premium pricing obviously applies on the top business and high end leisure routes. Best value is on mid level leisure destinations where the pointy end is usually empty except for those burning their FF miles. As the cabin flies anyway the airline may as well get some revenue.

Thai to Bangkok and possibly on to Phuket would give you the best value. Even business class fares on SQ or Cathay from London to their home base will prove shockingly expensive, let alone first class.

Mr Oleo Strut 11th Feb 2018 16:00

A very interesting thread, Olympus. I often ponder over what would constitute the perfect long distance flight. For me it would have to be safe, comfortable, quiet and on time with good food and ground facilities. First-class fares are very high and I've not been impressed with some of the very expensive first/business class 'egg-boxes' that I've seen recently - very claustrophobic looking. My best first class experience (some time ago), which satisfied all of my criteria, was Alitalia BKK/SYD on a 747. It was so good I refused to sleep so as not to miss any of the pleasure of it! Another good one was a fairly recent Thai A340 economy LHR to BKK. Impeccable Service and two seats to myself, it's just a pity that LHR is still such a mess, congested and shambolic.

So back to your thread. I would probably try BKK or SiN First or Business direct from AMS leaving plenty of time at the airports (except London) for the enjoyment of their lounges. The new BKK airport I know is fascinating and AMS/SIN look good as well on YouTube. All I need now is a good deal on price and hotel, my leave pass stamped by the management, and off I go!

Heathrow Harry 11th Feb 2018 17:02

Oleo - I agree

A few years back we did Brisbane Spore Qantas A330 - day time, Business Class - I can remember wafting thru both airports but the flight is a total blank - I know we didn't sleep but otherwise....... perfect!

ZFT 11th Feb 2018 18:37

Mr Oleo Strut

I doubt you were on a TG A340 fairly recently as they were removed from the fleet almost 3 years ago. Now a combination of A380, B777 and even A350. Agree their service is V good.

Mr Oleo Strut 11th Feb 2018 21:23

Turns out that flight was in 2012. How time flies, though very smoothly in that case.

wub 12th Feb 2018 09:22

There is a programme on Channel 4 tonight (12th Feb) about SQ first class.

tdracer 12th Feb 2018 18:12

Only flew international First Class once - back in 1990 I got bumped from business to first on Pan Am from Seattle to London Heathrow. The meal service was incredible - a full seven course dinner, for the salad course they had a 'salad bar trolley' with the ingredients and made your salad to order. One of the main course options was prime rib - again on a trolley, they brought it to your seat and you pointed at the cut you wanted. Seats back then were nothing special compared to today's lie-flat, but it was still pretty nice.
Best business class I ever had was SQ - 2 class 777 from Singapore to Las Vegas (with a stop in Hong Kong) - so pleasant I was actually a little disappointed when we landed.

All that being said, the whole idea of first class is to get you where you're going in relative luxury. Unless you want to go to the destination in question, why bother? If you want a great meal, go to a five star restaurant - the food and service will be even better than the best airline service at a fraction of the cost. If you want to be pampered, go to fancy hotel with a nice spa - again for a faction of the cost. And at a restaurant or hotel/spa, you can leave anytime you wish - hard to do at 39,000 ft.
If you want to experience good first class air travel, pick a luxury destination you'd really like to visit (Hawaii or similar comes to mind), then see who offers a first class product to that destination.

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