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Luxury in the air: The Qantas first class cabin.

By Mark Chesnut

No one looks forward to a long nonstop flight. But sitting in the front of the cabin can make a big difference when it comes to comfort and amenities. Here are a few examples of the advantages of flying first class on long-haul flights.

British Airways: This airline’s new First Class includes access to luxurious Concorde Lounges at London Heathrow and New York Kennedy airports, and the services of private concierges. On board, travelers can savor gourmet cuisine and traditional British afternoon tea before slipping into cotton pajamas, which sound perfect for sleeping in flat-bed seats dressed with 400-thread Egyptian cotton duvet and pillows.

Etihad Airways: When flying Diamond First Class from the airline’s Abu Dhabi hub, passengers have access to the airport’s First Class Lounge, which has a spa, champagne bar and cigar lounge. On board Airbus A340-500, A330-200 andA340-600 aircraft, seats—each of which has its own minibar—transform into a 6’8″ flat bed, complete with 600-thread Egyptian cotton sheets.

Lufthansa: At the airline’s Frankfurt and Munich hubs, a limousine takes first-class passengers directly to the aircraft. On the Lufthansa A380 aircraft, a washing and changing area that’s separate from the lavatories, makes it easy to freshen up before arrival.

Singapore Airlines: This Singapore-based carrier’s new Boeing 777-300ER and refitted 777-300 planes have new, 35-inch-wide first class seats upholstered in leather with mahogany wood trimming. A personal 23-inch LCD screen provides plenty of in-flight entertainment options.

Qantas: Before boarding, international First Class passengers can indulge in a free treatment at the Payot Day Spa, located in the airline’s First Lounges in Sydney and Melbourne. On board, the “First Suite” features lie-flat beds and in-flight dining options that include an eight-course tasting menu.

Mark Chesnut is a travel writer, editor and publisher of, which focuses on travel to Latin America. Unfortunately, he usually sits in the back of the plane. 

Tagged: Europe

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Mark Chesnut
Mark Chesnut is a travel writer, editor and photographer. He's written for Fodor's, the Huffington Post, the Miami Herald, Travel Weekly, various inflight magazines and the New York Times best-seller "1,000 Places To See Before You Die." He also operates a travel blog,, which focuses on travel to Latin America. Find more from Mark on Twitter @munderamedia and Instagram @mundera

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