Plane Pleasure: The Best Posh Airline Cabins Around
Got a long-haul flight coming up? If you’ve saved up enough to shell out for a cozier ride (or the company’s paying), up your sky game with these cabins that feel like you never left home—if your home was a plush mansion.
The Suite Life
Ditch your cramped sardine class life for something a little more spacious with these extravagant palaces in the sky.
Delta Airlines: One is the Number
Having trouble falling asleep to the snores of your neighbor whose face is literally a hair’s breadth from yours? American airway Delta Airlines will fix that by fall 2017 with the new Delta One, the world’s first all-suite class cabin. Make yourself at home 30,000 feet above ground as you snuggle on the plush memory foam cushion, slap on a hydrating mask and dim the in-suite adjustable ambient lights for a good night’s sleep. Slide the full-height door closed and you’ll find yourself in your own private haven, complete with thoughtfully laid out storage compartments where you can stash your headphones and laptop, a well-rounded entertainment system displayed on an 18-inch monitor. All food is paired with wine selected by Master Sommelier Andrea Robinson.
Available by fall 2017 on long-haul international flights; delta.com
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Etihad: Head in the Clouds
If you think having a whole room to yourself on a plane isn’t enough, how about THREE whole rooms? Think of The Residence on Etihad’s A380 planes, the only three-room suite in a commercial airline, as the A5 Kobe strip steak of luxury flights. A round-trip flight from Hong Kong to London Heathrow will add a whopping $374,525 to your bill—that’s the same price as three flights in Cathay Pacific’s first-class cabin. But if you have the cash to splash, this flight spares no expense—from the double-seated sofa in the living room to the luxurious double bed in the bedroom, and trained butlers and inflight chefs who stand by for your every need. Each A380 flight is also equipped with its own orange-aproned “Flying Nanny” to keep the little ones entertained.
Spending 15 hours straight aloft is never fun... unless you’ve got the benefit of aviation’s best onboard bars to make the journey a lot more bearable.
Qatar Airways: Blue Sky Lounging
Walk through the business class cabin of Qatar Airways’ Airbus A380, push open the curtains and you’ll discover The Lounge, a contemporary Arabian-styled area decorated with vivid colors and an array of fresh flowers. Sip on a glass of Krug Champagne while snacking on canapés and mingling with other travelers on the smooth leather sofa—you’ll be at your destination before you’ve cracked open your third bottle.
Flights from $23,185 (Hong Kong to Doha on Boeing 787-8, Doha to London on A380), qatarairways.com
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Emirates: High Flyer
Emirates just walked off with the gold medal from the Skytrax World Airline Awards earlier this year (as well as the Best Inflight Entertainment prize), and they’ve definitely earned it. Their Airbus A380s have a dedicated bartender behind the table 24/7 to whip up whatever concoction you’re craving: Order a few Cosmos with your girlfriends at the bar and get the holiday started early, true “Sex and the City” style.
Flights from $22,821 (Hong Kong to Dubai), emirates.com
Virgin Australia: Mini Joys
The youngest airline on our list, Virgin Australia has just launched their new Boeing 777 1-2-1 layout business class cabin (named “The Business”) and we’re delighted to see a mini bar (named “The Bar”—guess they’re keeping it simple) has sprung up in the cabin. With its black and white interiors and shelves of lined up liquors, this one feels like it’s straight out of a James Bond movie. Here you can get your fix of wine, hors d’oeuvres, hot drinks or simply some extra legroom during long-haul flights.
Flights from $18,263 (Sydney to Hong Kong), virginaustralia.com