I asked you guys what you’d like to read about, so this post is in response to a question posted there. I’ll address as many of the questions as I can in the coming weeks. Feel free to keep adding to the list and I’ll use it as a basis for future posts.
Reader AJK requested the following:
Your breakdown and opinion of the top 5 *hard* products in F.
Ah, hard products, my favorite! Service and food can vary from flight to flight, while the “hard” product remains the same. I’ll define hard product a bit different than most for the purposes of this post. For me hard product includes the seat, entertainment, and aircraft amenities. Basically everything that’s constant from flight to flight. Service and food can vary, so that’s what I consider to be the “soft” aspect of the flight.
With that in mind, here are my five favorite first class hard products in order:
Singapore Suites Class
This is probably no surprise, but Singapore Suites is my favorite product in the world, which is only found on Singapore’s Airbus A380s. It’s located on the lower deck, making the cabin a bit more spacious than the airlines that put first class on the upper deck, as that cabin is narrower.
Not only is the cabin extremely spacious, but I find the colors and design to be elegant and soothing. Beyond that, the KrisWorld entertainment system offers one of the most extensive in-flight entertainment selections of any airline.
Ironically enough, given how over the top Singapore usually is, the plane lacks amenities other than the seats themselves. There are no onboard showers, bars, or massive lavatories, as some other airlines offer on their Airbus A380s. Then again, Singapore does have the only double bed in the sky, so that more than makes up for any deficiencies.
Etihad First Class
While I have somewhat mixed feelings about Etihad as a whole (their service is hit or miss and lounge isn’t that great), their first class seat is simply phenomenal. It’s a fully enclosed product and I find the design to be surprisingly soothing and low key for a Middle Eastern airline.
Their bedding and entertainment system are top notch as well, so it’s an all around great product.
Emirates First Class
On one hand I feel bad including Emirates on this list, since their product is so uncomfortably blingy that you can’t help but just not feel worthy… and feel like an Arabian Prince and Flavor Flav got together to design it.
Their Airbus A380 first class is on the upper deck, so the cabin isn’t quite as spacious as you’ll find on the airlines offering first class on the lower deck. The first class cabin is also quite large with 14 seats.
And while I don’t find the seat itself to be all that massive or spacious, everything around it sure is an experience, from the vanity mirror staring at you the whole flight, to the in-suite room service phone. Their ICE entertainment system also has one of the most extensive libraries of any airline.
Emirates also deserves some bonus points for their onboard shower and bar, both things that make them totally worthy, even if we aren’t.
Qantas First Class
Qantas has one of the most unique first class seat designs on their Airbus A380. Unlike every other airline they didn’t go for an enclosed suite or the typical forward facing seat design, but instead all their seats are angled towards the windows when in the flat position.
The cabin colors are pleasant, the entertainment system is quite good, and they hands down have the best bedding in the airline industry. It’s indescribably good.
Lufthansa 747-400 First Class
I can’t in good conscience leave out the only airline that has a dedicated seat and bed for first class passengers.
Lufthansa’s 747-400s feature eight first class seats on the upper deck, each of which consists of both a seat and bed right next to it. So not only is it awesome to have your own bed, but you really can’t beat an upper deck cabin with at most seven other passengers.
Now, at times I feel the execution of the product isn’t perfect. For example, the TV doesn’t swivel towards the bed, so it’s tough to watch TV from bed. Similarly I wish the seat reclined a bit more. But this is a revolutionary product and unbeatable for getting a good night of sleep.
What are your favorite first class products?