Sunday, June 24, 2007

Your First Class Seat Awaits

First on & first off the plane, complimentary fine foods and alcohol, massage, warm terry cloth socks, down-filled duvets and more are waiting for you (really); come aboard.

The quiet, the relaxation, the temptation...ugh, the price. Business and First Class for international flights can set you back well over $5000-$10,000. But, there are other options. First, consider this sampling of luxuries that await you when flying business or first class on some of these top international airlines:

Forget standing in long lines at the airport. Qatar airlines will have your personal escorted to the plane by way of a ride in a 7 series BMW. Once aboard and relaxed they offer a 10 course meal, "that typically includes caviar, lobster, prawns, Arabic mezzas, fine chocolates, cheese platters, freshly brewed cappuccinos, and the finest wines from the old and new world."

Singapore Airlines rolled out the SkySuite on some of its flights (ya can't just call it a seat), which fully reclines to any angle - right down to a flat bed. Also offered is turn down service, fresh bed linens and a down filled duvet.

Malaysia Airlines features 15" LCD monitors in first class, including video, TV and music on demand and tempting cuisines from around the globe. Malaysia Airlines also offers advanced onboard lighting systems, which replicates outside lighting providing a more natural feel to your journey.

Virgin Atlantic prides itself on having the longest fully flat (79.5") bed in its upper class suites, an upper body massage and mini-manicure.

Emirates Airlines 500 channels of on demand entertainment await their customers, along with Internet access on board for laptop enabled laptops and currently a promotion for 2 complimentary nights at the Ritz-Carlton, Dubai for first class travelers. First class cabin reportably comes with the highest ratio of crew-to-passengers of any airline in the world.

Wake up. Dream is over. These amenities (and really, this is a short list of them) do make hops over the Oceans a lot easier. An alternative to paying cash for these great seats is to redeem frequent flyer miles. For example, United frequent flyer members can redeem points toward business class travel on its partner Singapore Airlines. Another way are operational upgrades (rare), where an airline may be oversold in economy class and "bumps" folks (typically high paying or elite passengers) to business or first class.