Uncomfortable seating, sub-par food options, and a ‘sardines in a tin can’ type feeling – we all know the difficulties of flying. 

Comfort is key when traveling 30 000 to 42 000 feet in the sky. Thus, when soaring into the clouds, choose one of the most luxurious airlines to start your long journey with a first-class flying experience. 

Make sure your designer luggage is packed, as we take you on a journey of the finest airlines in the world. This includes what features and services make these highest rating airlines head and shoulders above their competition.

Top High-ranking Commercial Airlines 

The highest-ranking airlines of the world excel in a variety of categories, including unparalleled in-flight customer service and spacious seating arrangements. Listed below are the best airlines that provide an unforgettable superb flight experience.

The most luxurious airlines in the world
The most luxurious airlines in the world

Qatar Airways

Ranked as the top airline of 2021 at the World Airline Awards, Qatar Airways does top-class service like no other. Established in 1997, this young airline company quickly became one of the fastest-growing airlines in the world.

Equipped with the first business class sliding door feature in their suites, the opulent seat options of Qatar Airways offer a private oasis in the sky. From designer pajamas to a delicious à la carte on-demand menu and lcd screen, this airline has it all.

Singapore Airlines

Launching its triumphant commercial aircraft company in 1947, Singapore Airlines is the flag carrier airline of Singapore.

This high-ranked airline offers a wide range of curated amenities for passengers to ensure a pleasant flight. First class passengers enjoy double room suites with a separate bed and chair and flat-screen televisions – need we say more?

One of the new Singapore Airlines new suites
One of the new Singapore Airlines new suites

Etihad Airways

This airline is one of the official flag-carrying airlines of the United Arab Emirates. Providing a glint of glamor in every sense, flying first class on Etihad Airways is a five-star experience from start to finish. At Abu Dhabi International Airport, there’s the impressive Etihad First Lounge, with a fitness room and feature bar.

On the flight, you’ll enjoy a top-tier tailored wine selection and a turndown service to whisk you off to sleep in luxury. There’s a luxurious first class amenity kit with toiletries by Acqua di Parma.

The airline also provides exceptional upgrade options for economy class to provide a sense of exclusivity on a budget. This includes the add-on option of Economy Neighbour-Free, where fliers can bid to have an extra three adjacent seats.

Etihad Airways first class suite
Etihad Airways first class suite

British Airways

Serving the epitome of extravagance and top-of-the-line services since 1974, this United Kingdom flag carrier airline is the best of the best.

Offering a coveted afternoon tea service, you’ll get to nibble on scrumptious finger sandwiches in traditional British fashion.

Amenity kits are provided by The White Company in Club World, BA’s long-haul business class. In first class, you receive a seven piece skin and body care collection by Elemis, as well as Temperley London loungewear, slippers and an amenity bag.

The full flat bed in first class has a microfibre and foam mattress topper and 400 thread count linen, so passengers feel like they’re drifting off to sleep on a pampering cloud.

A British Airways first class suite
A British Airways first class suite

Virgin Atlantic

With a slogan such as ‘Depart the Everyday’, it’s easy to see why this airline has made the (upper) cut. A glass of champagne and a seat that converts into a fully flat bed – the Virgin Atlantic Upper Class is an experience you can write home about. 

The lavish The Loft onboard lounge, available on the Airbus A350, is a great place to set up a workspace away from your designated seat. So, be sure to pack in your portable laptop power bank if you plan on working on-board.

The Loft lounge on board the Virgin Atlantic A350
The Loft living room on board the Virgin Atlantic A350

Air France

Providing a sense of je ne sais quoi to your trip through the clouds, this fancy commercial airline will captivate you with all its posh trimmings. 

Embarking on a La Première flight includes an air of exclusivity, as you’ll have a private suite to enjoy at your own leisure. While traveling to your destination, you’ll appreciate Air France’s elegant fine dining and entertainment lounge on board.

Air France La Première private suites
Air France La Première private suites

Air New Zealand

Decorated with the Māori symbol of a hammerhead shark on its aircraft tails, this Kiwi airline incorporates a feeling of class in every seating section. 

With priority baggage and premium check-in on their Business Premier package, passengers will be able to enjoy a worry-free flight experience. The lie-flat seats are popular on long-haul flights.

The Air New Zealand economy class also offers the world’s first Economy Skycouch option enabling passengers to bid for the opportunity to transform their seat into a couch. 

Air New Zealand Business Premier lie-flat seat
Air New Zealand Business Premier lie-flat seat

Swiss International Air Lines

Launching passengers through the air since 1952, a premium flight on this airline never goes out of style. Adorned with a minimalist style of Swiss craftsmanship, this first class cabin provides a sprinkle of refinement to your secluded sanctuary.

From the gourmet menus to the complimentary designer pajamas Swiss International Air Lines is an air carrier that cares about your flight experience.

First class on board Swiss International Air Lines
First class on board Swiss International Air Lines

American Airlines

Creating a dazzling emblem of top-quality air carriers and innovation, American Airlines is a well-known pinnacle of top luxury airlines.

From priority privileges to the delectable cuisine of the renowned chef Julian Barsotti, a first class flight on this airline will be sure to make you feel pampered.

American Airlines lie flat seat
American Airlines lie flat seat

Japan Airlines

This captivating commercial airline company is the first international airline in Japan, established in 1951, and remains one of the elite air carriers in the world.

The private capsules of first class provide the perfect cocoon to emerge fully refreshed after a long flight. Whether you prefer a Western dish or looking to delve into the rich tapestry of Japanese cuisine – the in-flight menu will have any foodie swoon. 

Japan Airlines First Class seat cabin with woodgrain interior
Japan Airlines First Class seat cabin with woodgrain interior


When traveling first class with Emirates, passengers enjoy complete privacy in their suite. Floor to ceiling privacy doors shield you from noise and ensure that you get a great night’s sleep.

The A380 and Boeing 777 Private Suites have a fully flat bed and noise-cancelling Bowers & Wilkins E1 headphones designed specifically for Emirates. There’s a luxurious Byredo skincare collection and access to the A380 Shower Spa.

Emirates is also the winner of the World’s Best Inflight Entertainment awards 2021. They have over 4,500 channels on their ice system, including movies, games, music and TV shows in multiple languages.

Emirates Boeing 777-300ER First Class Suite
Emirates Boeing 777-300ER First Class Suite

All Nippon Airways

Known as the largest airline in Japan, this 5-star airline provides a sense of elevation and wonderment to your in-flight experience. All Nippon Airways provides flights to over 50 domestic and 25 international destinations.    

If you find yourself on a route from Narita/Haneda to North America or Europe, a delectable dance of international flavors awaits first class passengers. The duck prosciutto and “Daichi” ramen are a tasty combination of East meet West cuisine.

Their new 777-300ER cabins have the widest first class seats in the world, at 38 inches wide. The first class suites, known simply as The Suite, have a self-contained shell seat with a 43 inch 4K TV monitor.

An All Nippon Airways airplane
An All Nippon Airways airplane

Cathay Pacific

Founded in 1946 by ex-Air Force pilots Roy Farrell and Sydney de Kantzow, Cathay Pacific has been voted the best airline in the world four times at the World Airline Awards.

Embellished with 600-thread count bed linen to mouth-watering charcuterie boards, stepping onto this flight adds a sense of cultured elegance to your first class air travel experience. 

Craving a bubble bath or shower after a long flight? The five temperature-controlled cabanas in The Wing, Cathay Pacific’s first class lounge in Hong Kong are the perfect solution for soaking your travel anxiety away. On board, you’ll enjoy wide seats at 36 inches for first class flights.

A Cathay Pacific Boeing 777

Flying Sky High in Style – Final Thoughts on the Most Luxurious Airlines

From the ever-flowing glasses of liquor to hotel-style bed arrangements – a fancy flight experience is a glamorous getaway within your vacation. Get ready to experience an exceptional excursion through the stratosphere.

Read next: Most Luxurious Cruise Liners | Most Luxurious Train Journeys

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The most luxurious airlines in the world
The most luxurious airlines in the world

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