1. Etihad’s The Residence on the A380 Airbus
Not so much an airline cabin as an apartment in the sky, Etihad’s ‘Residence’ is the last word in luxury. With a bedroom, living room and bathroom, each Residence offers a huge private space for passengers to unwind in. Sadly, you can’t invite colleagues in economy class around for tea, but the on-board spa and complimentary chauffeur service more than makes up for it.
2. Korean Air Prestige on the A380 Airbus
An inflight cocktail is a must in the Celestial Lounge on Korean Air
Korean Air’s club-lit ‘Celestial Lounge’ was designed in partnership with Absolut Vodka. With a minimalist, futuristic vibe, this roomy bar lets you socialise with fellow business-class passengers while feeling like you’re on the Star Trek Enterprise.
3. Icelandair’s Vatnajökull experience on the Boeing 757-200
Iceland’s Vatnajökull is the largest glacier mass in Europe. Now, travellers to this ice giant can get there on an equally glacial aeroplane. Designed to feel like an ice cave, Icelandair’s signature Vatnajökull plane offers a distinctly different travel experience.
A blue LED lighting system projected onto the ceiling mimics the aurora borealis, while everything from the drinks trolley to the soundtrack is also glacier-themed.
4. British Airways First Class on the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner
British Airways carried out plenty of research when designing the interior of this latest addition to its fleet. While Middle Eastern airlines offer first-class seats with high sides and doors for privacy, BA travellers preferred to be able to make eye contact with a steward. They didn’t mind being seen; but they did want a comfortable space where they could create a nest.
What resulted was a plush leather seat with an Aston Martin-style finish, and all the ergonomic storage you could want. New areas to store shoes, handbags, tablets and passports have been gratefully received by passengers. BA is also one of the few airlines to offer three different types of champagne and sparkling wine, so you’re spoilt for choice.
5. Virgin Atlantic’s Upper Class on the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner
If a martini on the rocks is your thing, then this is the business-class ticket for you. Virgin Atlantic is big on cocktails, and is the only airline to have bars on all of its planes available to business-class passengers. A favourite with regulars is its mojito – a refreshing, clean tipple to enjoy in the air.
With WiFi and complete privacy while cocooned in your seat, this is a great option for those who want to sit back with an expertly mixed drink in private.