5 of the best first-class airlines right now

Skytrax has announced the winners of the 2018 World Airline awards.

Celebrating its 18th anniversary, the awards are based on a satisfaction survey voted on by travelers across the world.

Over 100 customer nationalities participated in the survey with 20.36 million eligible entries counted in the results. All survey entries were screened to identify IP and user information, with duplicate, suspect or ineligible entries deleted. 335 airlines are featured in the survey results.

A number of categories were considered for the awards – including everything from the airline with the best cabin crew, to the airline with best amenities such as pillows.

Arguably the most prestigious award however, is the ‘World’s Best First Class Airline’, with the award given to Singapore Airlines in 2018 after a recent redesign of their first-class suites.

BusinessTech looked at these new suites as well as the first-class experiences offered by the other winners below.

Singapore Airlines

Singapore Airlines’ new A380 suites come in a variety of styles, with both single and double options available.

Highlights include:

  • Richly upholstered, full-grain leather seats by Poltrona Frau;
  • Sliding doors that screen the rest of the plane out;
  • Window blinds that close at the tap of a button;
  • A 32” touchscreen monitor in high definition paired with noise-cancelling headphones;
  • A handheld wireless tablet which allows you to control everything from tapping for service to controlling the lighting;
  • Ensuite wardrobe;
  • Spacious bathroom, including a sit-down vanity counter comes complete with toiletries such as EDT, body lotion and facial mist from Lalique.

Etihad Airways

Etihad Airways offers a ‘first apartment’  which is upholstered with the finest leather and features a wide armchair and a separate six-foot fully-flat bed.

Six of the First Apartments are interconnecting, perfect for those travelling with a companion.

In your apartment, you’ll find a vanity unit with lit make-up mirror. In addition, you can freshen up in the first-bathroom with an energising shower using exclusive amenities before landing.

Air France

When travelling in Air France’s La Première cabins, you will receive a tailored personalised service from its staff.

The private suite allows you to move around freely, with a range of services available to you, including an individual cloakroom, storage space, and a bedside lamp.

The upright seat transforms into a 6.5 ft bed, and boasts a memory foam mattress, a pillow and a large fluffy duvet.

Air France also boasts that from the moment you board the aircraft to the moment you land, you are in control of a complete, latest-generation entertainment system with thousands of hours of on-demand entertainment.


Lufthansa’s first-class features a sound insulation and  screen shield to protect your valuable privacy.

The ergonomic seat adjusts to your needs and by using intuitive controls you can quickly find your preferred seat setting.

When you are ready to rest or sleep, the flight attendant will assist in helping to transform your seat into a two-metre-long bed with a comfortable mattress topper and temperature-regulating duvet.

Travelers are also given an exclusive amenity kit and a selection of top-quality toiletries in spaciously laid-out washrooms.


Emirates allows you to fly in your own first-class private suite on most of its A380 and Boeing 777 aircraft.

Likening it to a ‘hotel room in the sky’, Emirates’ technology includes temperature controls and mood lighting, an industry first with virtual windows, and soft leather seating.

On the new Boeing 777 suites you can close the floor to ceiling doors, and are able to set the mood with your personal lighting and temperature controller.

If you’re sitting in a middle suite, you can open your ‘virtual window’ to enjoy HD projections of the outside world. And when it’s time to relax, recline your seat to the zero gravity setting to find your body’s natural resting position.

The A380 suites feature access to an onboard lounge and bar, as well as a shower spar.

Other amenities – which feature on both flights – include Bulgari amenity kits and the world’s first moisturising airline sleepwear.

Read: The 10 best airlines in the world – including one from South Africa

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5 of the best first-class airlines right now