Image courtesy of Virgin Australia

Which airline has the best luxury cabin?

The ticket's booked, the Out of Office is on and your gear is Rimowa-ready. It’s time to hit the long haul...

The experience of flying has truly taken off in recent years. In this golden age of decadent travel, the liberty of crossing continents within a day is no longer considered a luxury. Instead, with airlines locked into a high-end one-upmanship, fliers are expecting much more comfort for their money: bed-like seats, Michelin-worthy cuisines and suites akin to a Manhattan penthouse.

Because of the array of choices now available, and with premium spots demanding a high price, it’s becoming harder to decipher which cabin is truly worth the cash. To help you cut the wheat from the chaff, we’ve rounded up the finest airborne options that’ll make you never want to touch down again.

The one you can customise

Singapore Airlines first class

Which airline has the best luxury cabin?
Image courtesy of Singapore Airlines

Best features?

Singapore Airlines boasts an array of first-class options, but things are turned up to eleven as soon you step into any one of the Airbus A380’s six private suites. Each nook is furnished with a Poltrona Frau upholstered leather chair (which reclines up to 135 degrees) and a bed that can be stowed away or converted into a seating area; however, for couples who want to open things up, you can take the wall down and connect two suites together to create your own airborne abode.

Is that it?

If you want to work on a presentation or do some last-minute grooming before disembarking, there’s a console which holds a large table for laptops as well as several small stowage compartments that are replete with Lalique amenity kits and a lit vanity mirror.

Available on: A380 airbus
The damage: Return flights from London to Singapore for £7,009 this March

Which airline has the best luxury cabin?

Singapore first-class

Book now

The one that'll keep you looking good

Delta One Premium suite

Which airline has the best luxury cabin?
Image courtesy of Delta

Best features?

One of the key reasons you’ll look a little spent after emerging from a flight is that all the air within the cabin is recirculated, meaning it’s completely devoid of moisture. To sort out your complexion, Delta’s unveiled a sweep of amenity kits for its long-haul and domestic flights, including products from grooming giant Kiehl’s – namely the brand’s Lip Baum #1 and grapefruit-scented lotion with aloe vera and oatmeal.

Where can I store them?

Passengers that are leaving the US will also be gifted a hard-shelled, silver Tumi case (which can be taken to a Tumi store, apart from airports or outlets, for free monogramming), while those heading stateside will receive a soft-sided case from the luxury luggage maker.

Available on: A350 airbus
The damage: Return flights from London to New York City for £3,976 this March

Which airline has the best luxury cabin?

Delta One Premium

Book now

The one for business meetings

Qatar Airways QSuite

Which airline has the best luxury cabin?
Image courtesy of Qatar Airways

Best features?

Dubbed as the “future of premium travel”, the QSuite certainly lives up to its moniker. With over 3,000 entertainment options and secluded single beds (ideal for binging those TED Talks in peace), it’s designed to provide solo passengers with even more privacy and comfort than other competitors can offer.

Didn’t you mention business?

Despite its focus on seclusion, the QSuite simultaneously aims to enhance group flying. Notably, each of the partitions in the centre of aisle can be swivelled and adjusted to create a quad cabin, allowing friends to dine together or colleagues to conduct meetings. For the latter occasion, the hand-stitched Italian leather seats should make dealing with your workload slightly bearable.

Available on: Boeing 777 or A350 airbuses
The damage: Return flights from London to Doha for £4,180 this March

Which airline has the best luxury cabin?

Qatar Airways QSuite

Book now

The one that's better than your apartment

Emirates first class

Which airline has the best luxury cabin?
Image courtesy of Emirates

Best features?

The first-class cabin on Emirates’ Boeing 777 jets is considered to be the most exclusive and private in the sky – and it’s easy to understand why. There are only six seats which are configured in a 1-1-1 design, and, for passengers situated in the middle of the plane, there are “virtual windows” on the cabin walls which project the outside view using live footage; as a result, you don’t have to step over fellow fliers if you want a quick glimpse of the vista.

How private is private?

With the aim of keeping contact to a minimal, there’s also a built-in service hatch where flight staff can serve food and drinks, and the suite is fully enclosed with floor-to-ceiling walls. The Mercedes-Benz-inspired seats which offer a “zero gravity” position will also make sure you’ll never want to get off the plane.

Available on: Boeing 777 airbus at the end of 2019

Which airline has the best luxury cabin?

Emirates first class

Book now

The one for drinking and socialising

Virgin Australia business class

Which airline has the best luxury cabin?
Image courtesy of Virgin Australia

Best features?

Aptly titled ‘The Business’, Virgin Australia’s luxury carrier is both contemporary in design (there’s a monochromatic colour palette of charcoals and whites and you can also turn on a low-lit lilac light when the mood strikes) and is as comfortable as a five-star hotel (there’s an 80-inch, triple-layer seat cushion supported by a hammock sub-frame). The 18-inch screen with noise-cancelling earphones and over 500 hours of entertainment should also keep you entertained once you’re awake.

Parched?

If you feel like leaving your cocooned vicinity, you’ll be able to sink a single malt (or five) at ‘The Bar’ – an area where guests can work (unlikely) and socialise (very likely) with the service staff at the countertop.

Available on: Boeing 777 airbus
The damage: Return flights from Sydney to LA for £6,305 this March

Which airline has the best luxury cabin?

Virgin Australia business class

Book now

The one for zoning out

United Airlines Polaris business class

Which airline has the best luxury cabin?
Image courtesy of United Airlines

Best features?

With bespoke bedding by Saks Fifth Avenue, 6.6-foot-long beds, cotton pyjamas on flights of 12 hours or more, and cooling-gel memory foam pillows, few airlines can compete with United when it comes to comfort. Each Polaris cubicle also has a cupboard with noise-reducing headphones (perfect for when you want to zone out) and the 1-2-1 pattern means that each seat has direct aisle access.

And if I can’t sleep?

There’s also wine tasting sessions on offer, which will, undoubtedly, set you up for a peaceful slumber.

Available on: all long-haul intercontinental flights
The damage: Return flights from £4,650 for London to New York this March

Which airline has the best luxury cabin?

United Airlines Polaris business class

Book now

So you know what cabin you want. Now read our guide on how to fly like a gent

Further Reading