These Are the Most Exclusive Airlines In the World
From private suites to excellent cuisine and luxurious beauty products, the most exclusive airlines on this list leave nothing to be desired.
November 30, 2022
All Nippon Airways
The extra friendly service is one reason why the Japanese always have a place on the list of the most exclusive airlines. © provided
While the Château Branaire-Ducru 2011 is still unfolding its delicate blackberry notes while sipping, the flight attendant is already serving the buttery-soft Wagyu beef with miso glaze - this is how guests of the All Nippon Airways dine in the First Class Suites. But the Japanese airline doesn't just set the bar extremely high for luxury when it comes to culinary delights: the Star Alliance member also pampers passengers with duck down pillows, cozy pajamas made of organic cotton and a 43-inch TV that creates a movie theater feeling. Refreshment is also provided by fruity sake from the famous Noguchi Naohiko Sake Institute and a perfectly tempered Grande Cuvée Brut Champagne from Krug.
The airline from the United Arab Emirates is undefeated when it comes to luxury. © provided
Inside of the A380 double-deckers of Etihad Airways (which are scheduled to take off again soon after a corona-related break), first-class passengers are not accommodated in seats, but in "apartments". Of the generous suites, only two can fit in an entire row of seats. "The Residence" goes a step further: arguably the most luxurious offering within commercial airlines, it feels like a seven-star hotel room in the air: with a private living room, separate bedroom and its own bathroom. The boutique wine list, cognac service, a butler, and chauffeured transportation to and from the airport round out the exclusive Etihad experience. Those flying via the main hub Abu Dhabi have access to a fitness center, cigar lounge and cocktail bar.
The Middle East's largest airline is known for opulence and scores with spectacular treats. ©provided
Endless caviar on airy blinis, plus 2012 Dom Pérignon and a 2006 Château Smith Haut Lafitte - this gourmet offering awaits first-class passengers on Emirates. The delightfully spacious suites feature floor-to-ceiling lockable doors for extra privacy - even the temperature can be individually regulated. For lounging and socializing, there's a bar, and for freshening up before landing, there's a spa shower with Bulgari cosmetics. In addition, the airline offers a private chauffeur for the round trip to the airport and an individual sommelier consultation in the wine cellar of Le Clos in Dubai.
The Star Alliance member regularly makes it into the top five most exclusive airlines - for good reason. © Flashfilm
Before flying with Singapore Airlines, First Class and Business Class guests are pleasantly spoiled for choice: the main course may be selected from many dishes, including lobster thermidor or lentil soufflé. First Class on board the A380 also features a leather armchair by designer Poltrona Frau, a huge 32-inch TV and cosmetics from Lalique; the First Class Suites also offer their own comfy beds - and those who can show a First Class boarding pass are allowed into Singapore Changi Airport's private room and the lounge's new ultra-luxury area. Here, Dom Pérignon brut champagne is served with the à la carte menu.
Off to the World Cup in Doha? The best way to get there is with the airline known for the world's best service. © Mauritius Images
In First Class, the Qatari airline serves Osietra caviar with buttermilk blinis, served on handmade crystal glass. Diptyque cosmetics and pajamas from the British luxury brand The White Company let passengers drift off into sweet dreams at an altitude of 10,000 meters, while the spacious seats in business class also add to their comfort. High side walls ensure maximum privacy, while movable panels transform the middle seats into a cozy lounge where up to four people can relax with a glass of rosé champagne. For the sixth year in a row, Qatar Airways was named "World's Best Airline" by Skytrax.
Four Seasons Private Jet
Experience the benefits of the tailored luxury series with Four-Seasons' private jet. © provided
Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts is taking the comfort and style of its luxury hotels into the air with a privat jet: The aircraft was designed specifically for the company and offers up to 48 amenities such as extra-wide seats that fully convert into a flat bed, a private chef and a large lounge area for chatting and lounging. But the flight is only a small part of the experience: guests choose between fully organized, family-friendly round trips, 24-day tours around the world or 13-day adventure safari trips. They are pampered around the clock by the Four Seasons team and, of course, transported from A to B in a private jet. The price for such a world trip starts at 160,000 euros per person.
This article appeared in the Falstaff TRAVEL issue Fall 2022.