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Whether it’s your first time flying in international first class or your fifth, the experience is sure to be luxurious, with fancy food options, incredible seating and over-the-top service meant to make it a memorable flight. On the heels of last week’s post about your favorite international business-class products, we asked our TPG Lounge readers to share what they felt was the best international first class product. Here’s what they had to say. (Some responses have been lightly edited for style and clarity).
Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines and JAL
Of all the Asia-based carriers, TPG Lounge members favored three — Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines and Japan Airlines — praising their seats, amenities and fabulous first class service.
“Cathay Pacific, American Airlines and Emirates get my vote. Cathay’s seat is good, not great, but the service was outstanding. Emirates has the best seat. AA lacked in both.” — Alex M.
“Japan Airlines: incredible food experience, soft mattress pad, Royal Blue Tea, charming and very professional crew and a Shiseido gift. On Cathay Pacific, I loved the PJs and fantastic crew, though I was indifferent toward the food, and the amenity kit was pitiful.” — Tim P.
“Singapore Airlines’ double bed in the sky was nice. Cathay Pacific for the size of the seat. Emirates for the shower and privacy. Japan Airlines for the Wi-Fi.” — Joshua J.O.
“Singapore Airlines is better than Emirates. I don’t know what people are thinking or maybe they haven’t flown both.” — Mike M.
Air France for the Win
In terms of European carriers, Air France received the most praise from our TPG Lounge readers, with some folks impressed by epic ground service and others saying the first-class experience was their best ever.
“I agree. Air France is the best for overall experience, including the ground service. From pure onboard seats and service, it’s Singapore Airlines, though I haven’t experienced the new suites yet.” — Suprotik P.
“The new Air France suites are beyond amazing. Easily my best flying experience ever.” — Mike M.
“I haven’t flown a lot of different first-class products but based on the ones I have, I’d say Lufthansa and Air France. I actually enjoyed the ground experience more than the in-flight experience. I was really surprised that Air France had ground agents meet the plane at SFO to assist with immigration.” — Jannis N.
“Though I haven’t tried many international first-class products, I was lucky enough to fly in Air France’s La Premiere on the 77W and it was by far the best flying experience I’ve ever had. From the complete privacy of the seats to the meals and wine lists, top-notch ground service and lounge in Paris (CDG), it really was an experience that was out of this world. I’ve never flown in Singapore Airlines’ new suites or in the Etihad Apartment, and though Air France’s hard product may not be as spacious, I’m sure its soft product could stand toe to toe with the world’s best first-class products.” — Robi C.
Emirates vs. Etihad
When it comes to luxury in the sky, nobody does it quite like the Middle Eastern carriers — who else lets you shower at 35,000 feet? Let’s just say it was almost a tie between Emirates first class and Etihad’s First Apartment for our TPG Lounge members.
“Emirates. The amount of space and privacy you get is amazing. I also loved that I had my own little mini-bar and I didn’t have to constantly ask for drinks. Air France is nice as well, but I’m not a fan of their food.” — Elizabeth M.
“Etihad’s Apartment.” — Pranav M.
“Emirates. I loved being able to shower when I woke up!” — Alanna M.
“Emirates. Price was reasonable and they fed you well.” — Raj G.
“Etihad. I’ve experienced only two international first-class products — American on the 77W and Etihad on the A380 — so that makes the choice easy. Had a perfect medium rare steak, my own apartment, a shower and felt rested and clean upon landing at JFK. No contest.” — Chris B.
Don’t Forget About Qantas
Last but not least, let’s not forget another praise-worthy product, Qantas First.
“I just added Qantas. It was super hard to get an award ticket but it was amazing! The food especially was fantastic.” — Olga T.
Featured image of Etihad’s Apartment by The Points Guy staff.
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