Flying in First Class: What it’s Really Like

Here are several renowned first class cabins experienced by writers at Herald Sun where they investigated everything from the seats, to the lounges, entertainment and food.

Cathay Pacific’s First Class

Champagne was immediately offered when writer Brian Crisp sat down in the sleek and modern lounge in Hong Kong equipped with comfortable leather chairs and great Wi-Fi. His seat 2k was big enough for two people, giving him room to move around. He then received fashionable Shanghai Tang pyjamas and a glass of pre-flight Krug as he listened to the friendly and engaging crew explain the entertainment system and seat functions.

The choices of grub were international Chinese favourites, where he chose the papaya with pork, almond and peanut soup with steamed cod and preserved mustard greens and Chinese olives. The expansive choice of snacks was healthy. There happened to be a first-class wine promotion from the Saint Emillion region- $60-$140 a bottle.

Noise-cancelling headphones came with StudioCX, the IFE for Cathay, along with on-demand movies and 25 video channels.

Qantas Airways’s First Class

Tiana Templeman flew Sydney to Hong Kong on QF127 to find herself in the elegant Qantas First mothership lounge which offered spa treatments and Neil Perry cuisine. The fully flat seats on the jet were in a 1 x 1 x 1 configuration and angled for privacy. She felt like she was sleeping on a cloud with the 212cm sheepskin mattress, and could be joined for chats by other travellers on an accompanying ottoman.

Food was served in a course of eight dishes from the tasting menu in a Silver fashion, only to be enjoyed with vintage Champagne and a choice of Australia’s leading award-winning wines.

Hundreds of on-demand viewing options were presented on a 17-inch touch screen TV and each seat has a personal telephone.

Thai Airways’s Royal First Class

Upon arrival to Bankok, Ramsey Qubein was taken by a personal assistant on a buggy to the Royal First Lounge for a one-hour spa treatment, restaurant service and tons of champagne to choose from.

The Thai seats turned into 2m beds with plenty of counter space on each side. Everyone got direct aisle access and the pillows were thick and comfy to match the comfortable pyjamas served.

Dom Perignon and caviar flowed with traditional Thai curries or pre-ordered online: lobster thermidor, barbecued duck or pad thai. Bose headphones were used with the expansive selection of entertainment on the large TV screen.

Emirates’s First Class

The huge first class lounge in Dubai has duty-free stalls, direct boarding gates, white tablecloth dining, places to sleep and a day spa. The first class suites are completely closed off with fresh orchids, stationary, personal mini bars and aromatic smellies to choose from.

With plenty of flowing Dom Perignon, one can be as puckish as he/she needs with the a la carte menu throughout the flight. The TV is almost too big—especially with over 600 channels to explore and cinema movies too.