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Smart traveller: Which airlines have first class?

1 Dec 2021 by Hannah Brandler
British Airways B777-300 First seat with sliding door

First class has become a rare sight in the sky, with airlines instead focusing on higher-end business class cabins and premium economy offerings, while the pandemic has also hastened the removal of ultra-luxe cabins because of the decline in passenger numbers.

Here we round up the airlines that still offer first class cabins on international flights. Note that some services may be suspended due to the pandemic.

SERVICES CURRENTLY OPERATING

AIR FRANCE: LA PREMIÈRE

  • Available on: most B777-300 aircraft flying between Paris CDG and Atlanta, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Washington, Mexico, Sao Paulo, Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore, Tokyo Haneda, Abidjan, and Johannesburg.
  • On the ground: Complimentary chauffeur service (within a 40km radius of Paris CDG); priority check-in and boarding; fast-track security; priority baggage claim; lounge access.
  • Seat: Fully lie-flat in a first class suite with privacy screens
  • Amenities: touchscreen IFE system with noise-cancelling headphones; individual cloakroom; amenity kit with Carita toiletries; loungewear.
  • Dining: à la carte menu by renowned chefs; Jean-Marie Massaud table settings, Bernardaud porcelain plates, and Christofle glasses and flatware; wine list.
New Arnaud Donckele dish for Air France La Premiere customers

AMERICAN AIRLINES: FLAGSHIP FIRST

  • Available on: B777-300 aircraft.
  • On the ground: priority check-in and boarding; fast-track security; priority baggage claim; lounge access.
  • Seat: fully lie-flat in a suite.
  • Amenities: IFE with Bang and Olufsen noise-cancelling headphones; Shinola and DS and Durga amenity kit; loungewear and Casper sleep set.
  • Dining: multi-course menu by James Beard Foundation chefs; wine list.

ALL NIPPON AIRWAYS: FIRST CLASS

  • Available on: B777-300ER and A380 aircraft.
  • On the ground: priority check-in; fast-track security; priority baggage claim (at select airports); lounge access.
  • Seat: fully lie-flat in a suite with privacy doors or self-contained seat with high-panel walls depending on the configuration of B777-300ER; fully lie-flat seats with a privacy door on A380.
  • Amenities: IFE with Sony noise-cancelling headphones; complimentary wifi; loungewear; Globetrotter amenity kit with Ginza toiletries.
  • Dining: à la carte menu by renowned chefs; premium wine list.

BRITISH AIRWAYS: FIRST

  • Available on: B787-9, B777-200, B777-300, A380-800 aircraft.
  • On the ground: priority check-in and boarding; fast-track security (at select airports); priority baggage claim; lounge access.
  • Seat: fully lie-flat in a suite
  • Amenities: touchscreen IFE with Meridian noise-cancelling headphones; complimentary wifi (on select aircraft); Temperley London loungewear and amenity kit with Elemis toiletries.
  • Dining: à la carte menu with exclusively designed crockery, cutlery and glassware from William Edwards, Studio William and Dartington; wine list.
Emirates' first-class

EMIRATES: FIRST CLASS

  • Available on: A380 and B777 aircraft.
  • On the ground: chauffeur drive (at select destinations); priority check-in and boarding; fast-track security; priority baggage claim; lounge access.
  • Seat: fully lie-flat in a suite with privacy doors (floor-to-ceiling doors on B777).#
  • Amenities: touschscreen IFE with Bowers and Wilkins noise-cancelling headphones; A380 onboard shower spa and lounge bar; Bulgari amenity kit; Byredo skincare set; minibar; wardrobe (on B777).
  • Dining: à la carte menu served on Royal Doulton fine bone china with exclusive Robert Welch cutlery; wine list.

ETIHAD: FIRST

  • Available on: select B787 aircraft.
  • On the ground: chauffeur service; priority check-in and boarding; fast-track security; priority baggage claim; lounge access.
  • Seat: fully lie-flat in a suite with privacy doors.
  • Amenities: IFE with noise-cancelling headphones; complimentary wifi; Acqua di Parma amenity kit; wardrobe; loungewear.
  • Dining: à la carte menu; wine list and signature Cognac service.

JAPAN AIRLINES: FIRST CLASS

  • Available on: B777-300ER aircraft#
  • On the ground: priority check-in and boarding; fast-track security; priority baggage claim; lounge access.
  • Seat: fully lie-flat in a suite with privacy partition.
  • Amenities: IFE with Bose noise-cancelling headphones; Etro amenity kit; Shiseido personal care set; Nendo loungewear.
  • Dining: ‘Bedd Sky Auberge’ menus by renowned chefs; wine list

KOREAN AIR

  • Available on: B777WI on its ICN-LAX and ICN-JFK routes.
  • On the ground: priority check-in and boarding; fast-track security (at select airports); priority baggage claim; lounge access.
  • Seat: fully lie-flat in a suite with privacy doors.
  • Amenities: touchscreen IFE with Samsung noise-cancelling headphones; amenity kit with Atelier Cologne toiletries; Gianfranco Ferré loungewear.
  • Dining: à la carte menu; wine list.
New Lufthansa first class amenity kits

LUFTHANSA: FIRST CLASS

  • Available on: B747-800 aircraft.
  • On the ground: priority check-in and boarding; fast-track security (at select airports); priority baggage claim; chauffeur service at Lufthansa’s hubs to transport guests to the aircraft; lounge access.
  • Seat: fully lie-flat with curtains.
  • Amenities: touchscreen IFE with Bose noise-cancelling headphones; complimentary wifi; personal, lockable wardrobe at entrance to cabin; amenity kit.
  • Dining: à la carte menu by chefs from select hotels served on fine china; caviar service on daytime and evening flights; wine list.

OMAN AIR: FIRST CLASS

  • Available on: B787 Dreamliner aircraft to Salalah in Oman and London Heathrow only.
  • On the ground: priority check-in and boarding (at select airports); fast-track security (at select airports); priority baggage claim; lounge access.
  • Seat: fully lie-flat seat in a suite with sliding doors (or adjustable dividers in centre seats).
  • Amenities: touchscreen IFE with noise-cancelling headphones; individual wardrobe; minibar; loungewear; Amouage amenity kit.
  • Dining: à la carte menu; caviar service; wine list.

SINGAPORE AIRLINES: FIRST CLASS

  • Available on: B777-300 aircraft flying to Sydney, Hong Kong, Frankfurt, Jakarta, Tokyo and London and A380.
  • On the ground: priority check-in and boarding; fast-track security; priority baggage claim; lounge access.
  • Seat: fully lie-flat with partitions on B777; beds and reclinable seat in a suite with sliding door on A380.
  • Amenities: touchscreen IFE with Bang and Olufsen noise-cancelling headphones; Lalique amenity kit; loungewear and other amenities available on request; complimentary wifi. Wireless tablet and ensuite wardrobe (on A380).
  • Dining: Book the Cook service; Wedgwood bone china tableware and Lalique glassware
Singapore Airlines A380 first class (suites)

SWISS: FIRST

  • Available on: B777-300 ER, A340-300, A330-300 aircraft.
  • On the ground: priority check-in and boarding; fast-track security access; priority baggage claim; lounge access.
  • Seat: fully lie-flat with privacy walls on A330-300, or a suite on B777-300ER and A340-400.
  • Amenities: IFE with noise-cancelling headphones; Zimmerli of Switzerland loungewear (on night flights); private wardrobe (on B777-300ER and A340-400); Bally amenity kit with La Prairie toiletries.
  • Dining: Taste of Switzerland à la carte menu by renowned chefs; wine list

SERVICES THAT MAY RETURN

CATHAY PACIFIC: FIRST CLASS

  • Available on: currently monitoring demand for B777-300ER routes.
  • On the ground: priority check-in and boarding; fast-track security; priority baggage claim; lounge access.
  • Seat: fully lie-flat in a suite with built-in lumbar massager; working area.
  • Amenities: IFE with Bose noise-cancelling headphones; complimentary wifi; amenity kit with Bamford toiletries; Pye loungewear.
  • Dining: à la carte menu; wine list.

QANTAS: FIRST

  • Available on: A380 aircraft between Sydney/Melbourne and Los Angeles/London from April.
  • On the ground: priority check-in and boarding; fast-track security; priority baggage claim; lounge access.
  • Seat: fully lie-flat in a suite with privacy screens.
  • Amenities: touchscreen IFE with noise-cancelling headphones; sleepwear by Martin Grant; amenity kit with Lagaia skin care products; onboard lounge and bar.
  • Dining: tasting menu (on select services) or à la carte menu by Neil Perry.

THAI AIRWAYS: ROYAL FIRST CLASS

  • Available on: exploring possibilities for the service on new B777-300 aircraft.
  • On the ground: priority check-in and boarding; fast-track security; priority baggage claim; lounge access.
  • The airline is currently exploring and designing the service elements.
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