Best Websites for Booking First-Class Flights
While many airlines offer first-class seating, some are better than others regarding seating availability, facilities or quality of service.
Note – Not all flights on airlines will offer the same first-class seating options. Some will only be available for specific journeys.
FlyDubai is the Middle East’s fastest-growing airline, and since it was launched in 2009, it has helped more than 70 million passengers reach over 90 destinations around the world.
With a network covering the Middle East, South East and Central Asia, Africa, Europe and the Indian subcontinent, passengers who want to fly from Dubai have several options, especially if they are looking for some well-priced luxury.
Seats are offered as either economy or business class. If you are looking for a business class flight, you can expect VIP treatment on the ground in the form of priority services, faster flight check-in and access to business lounges.
In the air, the well-spaced seats are made from soft Italian leather, and with built-in lumbar support, a generous recline and extendable leg rests, your flight will be taken in comfort. Meals on board are internationally inspired, and you can choose from a wide range of menu options that cater to allergies and religious requirements.
The search facility for booking flights with FlyDubai is very simple – just select your destination, whether you are travelling one-way or need a return flight, how many passengers and what class. The date selection allows for some flexibility – you can see if flying on a slightly different day makes the journey cheaper on the results page.
You can also book over the phone, or by going to a partner travel agent if you prefer to book in person.
Avianca is a Latin American airline with a history that spans more than 100 years under different names.
From humble beginnings in 1919 to running 25 aircraft in Latin America to being entrusted with the Columbian delegation at the 1950 Olympics in Australia, the Avianca business has grown and developed to offer global travel opportunities and puts on 4,000 flights per week.
Searching for flights is simple, with a straightforward planning portal that includes departure and arrival options, the dates you want to travel and how many passengers.
Through the filters, you can decide if you want to make it a one-way or round trip, and you can even make group reservations, which is a great option if you are headed on a work function.
Once you have booked your flights, you can upgrade with the click of a button to business class.
Frequent fliers can take advantage of reward miles with the LifeMiles scheme, and Avianca also offers a credit card to earn even more miles.
Singapore Airlines is in the process of upgrading its first-class cabin spaces. Each first-class seat will include an individual suite with a swivel leather chair that has a full-flat option, 32-inch HD monitor, a full-sized wardrobe and mood lighting.
Your in-flight meal can be selected up to 24 hours ahead of your flight, with wines selected to match the menu options.
The most impressive option when it comes to flying first class with Emirates is on its Boeing 777 aircraft. This model offers individual cabins with floor-to-ceiling doors. The soft leather seating reclines into a full-flat bed with the option of a ‘zero gravity’ feature that uses technology inspired by NASA.
If you prefer to be left alone during your flight, you will enjoy the ‘serving hatch’ feature, enabling you to access refreshments quickly and easily without being disturbed. Other features include widescreen television, complimentary headphones, private dining options and a personal shower area.
5. Air France
On long-haul Air France flights, passengers can book first-class seating known as ‘La Première’.
These highly exclusive cabins feature curtains that can be closed for privacy. The seats have a full-recline function and there is also space to invite another first-class passenger to eat or socialize with you.
Air France is in the process of adding Wi-Fi to its first-class cabins.
When flying with Etihad Airways, first-class passengers have access to a suite. Features include comfortable leather armchairs and a completely separate bed, as well as shower facilities.
Selected compartments are also connected, so you can spend time with any travel companions you may have. The in-flight chef will prepare your chosen meal whenever you’re ready, so you are not restricted by set meal times.
The majority of long-haul aircraft operated by Lufthansa feature individually adjustable seats and a cabin-style space. This seat can be turned into a full-flat bed, complete with mattress topper and temperature-regulating duvet.
Unlike other first-class flight options, passengers do not have the option of a private cabin, but there is enough space between individuals for you to enjoy a degree of privacy.
Passengers also have access to individual screens, exemplary service and pre-flight champagne.
On a small selection of Qatar Airways A380 planes, you will find a truly luxurious first-class experience.
Featuring removable central and aisle dividers, you can choose to socialize or enjoy a peaceful flight by yourself, while extra-wide seating adds a touch of comfort. The seat converts into a full-flat bed and the tablespace can be extended to allow passengers to enjoy a meal with a guest.
One of the best ways to book first-class flights is to use a comparison website. This can save time as you can see all of the available options in one go, rather than having to look at each airline.
All comparison sites essentially work in the same way. They pull data from available airlines and present it in a format that shows all of the relevant information for the flights you are interested in.
It is worth noting, however, that not all airlines feature on all comparison sites, so it is a good idea to look at two or three different sites to see which option is best for you.
On most comparison sites, you simply input the date you wish to leave, the date you wish to return and your chosen airports. You will then be presented with options.
Another benefit of using comparison sites is that you can usually book directly through them rather than needing to go onto an airline’s website and input your flight information again.
Once you have decided on your flight, click ‘Book now’ and you will be taken through the purchase process step by step.
Some of the best comparison sites for booking first-class flights are:
OneTravel is a comparison site where you can book flights around the world, as well as hotels and full holiday packages.
Launched from a barn in Pennsylvania, OneTravel offers 24/7 customer service and the opportunity to take advantage of cheap flights in coach, premium economy, business or first class.
The search function allows you to choose whether you want to get a round trip or a one-way flight. You can search by preferred airline and for direct flights.
Once you have completed a search, you get immediate results, and the site will also suggest cheaper ways to get there – like choosing alternative dates.
Founded in 2005, CheapOair is part of the wider company Fareportal, and uses intuitive and innovative technologies to make finding travel options easier.
With both a website and a mobile app available, CheapOair allows passengers to book flights, hotels, car hire, and even packages and activities using a simple search function.
Choose your departure airport and destination, whether you want to book a return or one-way flight (there is also an option for multi-city) and the dates you will be traveling. State how many passengers and whether you want to travel coach, premium economy, business or first class.
The results returned are listed in price order, and you will also see recommendations for potentially cheaper dates and airports or flights that are shorter or faster as well. The prices shown are all in, including fees and taxes per person.
If you are not ready to fly just yet, you can sign up for price alerts to be notified of any last-minute deals or exclusive discounts to certain locations.
CheapOair also offers a reward scheme for booking through its site, and a credit card backed by VISA that earns reward points on travel, dining and other purchases.
- You can set up price alerts to receive notifications of changes to flights you are interested in
- It is easy to change the language and currency options
- It offers functions that are widely available on other sites
With headquarters in California and a staff of 125 travel enthusiasts that are 100% US-based, CheapAir is a progressive and technology-driven flight comparison site for expert travel advice, deals and inspiration.
Originally established in 1989, CheapAir has sold more than five million airfares and uses a proprietary shopping engine to search for the best deals available online, including last minute and first-class options.
CheapAir has many payment options – not only does it offer a monthly payment system, but it also began accepting bitcoin as payment for flights back in 2013, and it now accepts Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash and Dash, as well as fiat currency.
The search engine itself has similar options to other sites – you can select the basic information like departure and arrival point (by airport or city) and whether you are looking for a one-way or round-trip ticket. There is also an option to find multi-city travel tickets too.
Once you have selected your preferred dates, you can choose the number of travellers and the class – including economy, premium economy, business and first-class.
The results are loaded with the cheapest options first, but you can refine the choices by other class options, airlines and whether there are any stops. The results also show you what amenities are available on the flight.
FlightHub has lofty ideals as a place to find flights – describing the business as being 'founded on the principle that broadening travel possibilities and connecting people across borders increases human consciousness, reduces fear, and inspires positive change.'
Established in 2012, FlightHub is a place to find the cheapest deals in Canada on flights and hotels, using a simple search engine with the benefit of a map to help you decide on your preferred destination.
To begin the search, just choose your destination and departure airport or city, and the number of passengers that are travelling.
You can use the pop-up calendar to choose your dates, and decide in which class you want to travel, including economy, premium economy, business and first-class.
If you aren’t ready to travel just yet, you can sign up for fare alerts to your chosen destination, to get the first look at new deals and last-minute bargains.
The results are shown starting with the cheapest, but you can also filter by the shortest or most direct. All prices shown include taxes, and you can see at a glance what the onboard amenities are with each flight. If you have a preferred airline, you can show flight options specifically from them.
- Trend graphs make it easy to see which days and times are potentially the cheapest
- Searches can be highly customized using the search filters
- If you are not a regular traveler or familiar with the website, it can be complicated to use
- KAYAK Hacker Fares give you the option of bundling one-way flights with multiple airlines to get the best deal
- The price tracker feature ensures changes are kept up to date
- The site is focused on flexibility. It may not be able to offer the most suitable options if you need a specific flight
- Easy to navigate
- The search results are easy to understand
- It doesn’t always offer the cheapest options
- Some other websites may offer a wider range of airlines
When it comes to flying, we all want to get to our destination as quickly and as comfortably as possible. Choosing the right seats can be a big part of making the journey feel less like a chore.
There are usually three categories of airplane tickets available:
- Business class
- First class
First-class tickets are generally the most expensive air-travel option. As a result, they offer a degree of luxury that won’t be found in coach or business class and various perks while traveling through the terminal or waiting for your flight.
Each flight category has different standards. While coach is the cheapest option, and often the one most suited to those on a budget, first-class tickets usually come with perks that can make air travel more enjoyable.
Each airline will have slightly different perks with their first-class tickets, but some features generally occur across all airlines.
Faster check-in – As a general rule, people with first-class tickets will experience a faster check-in process. There will often be a separate desk for first-class passengers. This helps to make the check-in process more stress-free.
First-class lounge – While you are waiting to board, you will have access to the exclusive first-class lounge. Most lounges offer free Wi-Fi, refreshments, newspapers and televisions. Some offer extra services such as pre-flight massage and spa treatments.
Priority boarding – First-class passengers are among the first to board. This gives you time to get comfortable before the other passengers come on board.
Concierge service – Some airlines offer a concierge service for their first-class passengers. This is particularly useful if you are likely to struggle with your bags. The availability of this may vary, so check with your airline.
Better food – The food on a long-haul flight can be incredibly variable. As a general rule, first-class passengers are treated to an experience that is more like dining in a restaurant. Meals are prepared by a chef, more care is taken with presentation and the menu is usually more appealing when compared to what is available for coach and business-class passengers. Some airlines offer an in-flight bar area where you can have a drink and chat with fellow passengers.
Additional luggage allowance – Most airlines will allow first-class passengers to check-in more bags at no extra cost. This usually means that you are allowed two or three bags in the hold rather than the standard single bag. If you are someone who doesn’t pack light, flying first class might benefit you.
Legroom and/or private cabin space – One of the biggest perks of flying first class is the amount of room on the plane. This is especially important for long-haul flights as hours in cramped seating can make a journey seem endless. First-class passengers will automatically have more legroom and space around them. You may even get your own ‘pod’ area, where you can shut themselves away from the other people in first class.
If you know in advance that you will be flying, it is usually best to book as far in advance as possible. Most airlines will let you book up to six months ahead of your flight. Booking ahead will allow you to gain some of the best advance deals and discounts on first-class air travel.
It is often cheaper to buy a return ticket compared to the price of two single flights (unless you’re able to find a good multiple one-way deal, for example via KAYAK Hacker Fares). So, always book your return flight, even if you aren’t sure exactly when that will be. Most airlines offer flexible return options, allowing you to change the date of your flight if you need to.
It’s usually cheaper to fly on certain days and at particular times. As a general rule, flights on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday are cheaper than those on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday. If you can, booking a flight for a cheaper day can save you a lot of money.
Airlines will often offer discounts in January when people start thinking about their summer holidays. There are also last-minute deals available for people wishing to book a flight at short notice. It is always worth keeping an eye out for sales and offers as these can save you a lot of money. Some also come with added benefits.
It isn’t always guaranteed that an upgrade will be available, but if you want to get a last-minute deal, you can always ask at the airport when you check in. If there are seats available, you will often be able to upgrade at a reduced cost.
First-class tickets are usually the most expensive option for plane travel.
In 2020, Airport Spotting identified the following as being the top 10 most expensive plane tickets:
- New York to Tokyo (ANA, First Class, $15,000)
- New York to Abu Dhabi (Etihad A380 Apartments; $16,000)
- New York to Singapore (Virgin Atlantic Upper Class; $20,000)
- New York to Hong Kong (Cathay Pacific 777 First Class; $20,000)
- New York to Singapore (Swiss Air First Class; $22,000 round-trip)
- New York to Beijing (Korean Air First Class; $27,000)
- San Francisco to Abu Dhabi (Etihad Airways; $28,000)
- Los Angeles to Dubai (Emirates First Class; $30,000)
- New York to Hong Kong (Lufthansa First Class; $43,000)
- New York to Abu Dhabi (Etihad Airways Residence; $64,000)
What is considered the most luxurious first class comes down to interpretation. However, the Qatar Airways cabin provides first-class passengers with complete privacy and ultimate comfort.
The seat can be converted into a fully flat, comfortable bed and passengers dine on food prepared by some of the world’s best chefs.
Other airlines providing a luxurious first-class experience include Etihad Airways, Air France, Emirates and Singapore Airlines.
The price of a first-class flight is different from airline to airline, but a first-class flight is usually much more expensive than an economy or cabin class flight.
As an example, you would expect to pay around £747 for a main cabin, one-way flight with British Airways from New York JFK Airport to London Heathrow on 21 March 2022.
For a premium economy seat, this would cost you around £1,015. For business class, you would expect to pay £3,249 and for first class, you would expect to pay in the region of £8,725.
In this example, the difference between an economy seat and a first-class seat is several thousand pounds, although this will vary between airlines and the details of your preferred flight.
FlyDubai is widely considered to be one of the most luxurious airline operators in the world.
On FlyDubai flights, the airplane seats are crafted from luxury, soft Italian leather. They also include built-in lumbar support, extendable leg rests and a generous recline to ensure ultimate comfort.
Luxury international cuisine is served on board, with a wide range of options to cater to specific dietary requirements.
Other luxurious airlines include Singapore Airlines, Emirates, Air France, Etihad Airways, Lufthansa and Qatar Airways.
The most expensive class on a plane is usually first class. For a first-class seat, you can expect to pay around two times the price of a business class seat.
However, this does vary, depending on your chosen route and airline. Some airlines offer other higher-level ticket options. For example, The Residence is Etihad Airways ultra-exclusive class on Airways A380 planes.
If you are flying short-haul, you may consider flying first class a waste of money. After all, choosing a first-class ticket will not mean your flight arrives any faster at your chosen destination.
However, for long-haul flights, a first-class ticket will offer you a better level of comfort than a lower-grade ticket.
If your flight duration is more than a few hours, choosing a first-class ticket may be worth the extra money, although this will depend on your personal preferences.
It is best to compare what each type of ticket offers before spending any money.
If you want to enjoy a more comfortable flight experience, it may be worth flying first class. However, if you are looking for a flight ticket that offers good value, you might prefer to choose an economy-class ticket.
For long-haul flights, it is probably worth considering flying first class, as you will enjoy a more comfortable flight experience. You should always compare the different types of tickets before booking a flight.
How first class looks like on a plane will vary between airlines and aircraft.
If you are traveling on an international flight, your first-class ticket might include a private car transfer to the airport, access to a first-class private lounge, luxury refreshments such as champagne and career, a lie-flat cabin seat or even a private suite or apartment.
Before booking a first-class ticket, view your chosen airline’s website for an idea of what to expect from a first-class flight.
There are a few different options to consider if you want to fly first class for cheap. Flight comparison websites, such as Google Flights, KAYAK and Skyscanner, offer a useful way to compare different first-class ticket prices.
Aside from hoping for a free upgrade at the check-in desk, you might choose to upgrade your economy ticket using air miles or points.
Waiting to buy a last-minute upgrade may offer better value, but it can be riskier. In many cases, the cost of upgrading to a premium class flight will drop in the weeks leading up to your departure date. You can check what is available by visiting the airline’s website or asking the kiosk staff at the airport.
Some airlines offer the chance to bid for a flight upgrade. To be eligible, you will need to have a confirmed booking for an eligible flight.
Finally, many airline flights are overbooked, so if you are willing to give up your seat, you could be offered a first-class seat for a different flight.
According to Lifestyle Asia, these are some of the top 10 airlines for long-haul first-class flights:
- Air France
- ANA (All Nippon Airways)
- Singapore Airlines
- Etihad Airways
- Swiss International Air Lines
Other airlines offering long-haul first-class flights include FlyDubai, Qatar Airways and British Airways.
The service for first-class passengers varies between airlines. In most cases, you will enjoy a range of benefits before even boarding the plane.
This might include a faster check-in process, higher baggage allowance and an easier route through airport security.
On board, you can expect a seat that offers high levels of comfort, space and service.
First-class amenities might include private suites or apartments, gourmet dining, onboard shower facilities or a minibar.
If you are traveling long haul, flying first class is likely to appeal. Although first-class seating offers more space and comfort, it looks different from seating in economy class.
First-class cabins have fewer seats in a row, usually configured as 1-2-1 or even 1-1-1.
You can expect to pay much more for a first-class flight ticket, although frequent flyers may benefit from discounts or reward schemes.
Before flying first class, visit the airline’s website to find out what is included in the cost of your ticket. This will ensure you can enjoy the full benefits of your first-class flight experience.
Luxury air travel may seem the preserve of the wealthy, but it doesn’t have to be. There are ways to find deals and discounts that make first-class flights accessible to everyone.
With so many comparison sites available, finding affordable flights for your next holiday or business trip has never been easier.