The Best First-Class Experiences in the Friendly Skies, Ranked

Champagne, wagyu beef, pajamas ... it doesn't get any better

The Best First-Class Experiences in the Friendly Skies, Ranked
By Tanner Garrity / March 9, 2020 2:04 pm

Airline review blog One Mile at a Time, helmed by travel consultant Ben Schlappig, recently published an updated review of the world’s best first class airlines. Schlappig is a constant flier — he logs 400,000 miles a year — and reviews his flights anonymously, with a refreshing level of subjectivity. While most airline reviews follow a set rubric, Schlappig’s rankings dive past amenities listed in the press release; he discusses the privacy only found with fully-enclosed seating, airlines that offer extensive catering, and options to choose the firmness of your mattress pad.

Interestingly, when cross-referencing the One Mile at a Time rankings with those from Skytrax, arguably the most respected objective airline reviewer on the web, there’s some slight disagreement. Nine of OMAAT’s rankings also make Skytrax’s top 12 list, but Garuda, Cathay Pacific, Korean are unique to Schlappig’s preferences. He mentions that Garuda’s wine pairings are excellent, Cathay has one of the best beds in the sky, and Korean offers particularly spacious seats.

Also a little different — Schlappig’s top three are Emirates, Air France and ANA, compared to Singapore, Lufthansa and Air France for Skytrax. For those who need multiple points of view before unloading a ton of dollars or miles, looks like Air France is a safe bet. Find Schlappig’s full rankings below, and his full review here, which includes photos of each experience. (They’re a bit grainy, but that’s another reason to trust his review.)

The full rankings:

1 Emirates First Class 777-300ER
2. Air France First Class 777-300ER
3. All Nippon Airways First Class 777-300ER
4. Garuda Indonesia First Class 777-300ER
5. Singapore Airlines Suites A380
6. Cathay Pacific First Class 777-300ER
7. Japan Airlines First Class 777-300ER
8. Etihad Airways First Class A380
9. Korean Air First Class 747-8
10. Lufthansa First Class A380 Or 747-8
11. SWISS First Class 777-300ER
12. Oman Air First Class 787-9

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