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The Most Insanely Luxurious Ways To Fly To Europe From Australia

Money can’t buy happiness – but it can wrangle an upgrade.

There’s a time in every young buck’s life when slumming it in economy is the ultimate adventure.

There also comes a time in every slightly-older man’s life when he thinks, “Screw that! Give me five stars or give me death.” For that second stage we did some #serious research.

After resting our heads (in some cases, sadly, only virtually), on the softest pillows in the sky, laying our lumbars on the most comfortable beds, and sipping champagne in the classiest cabins, let’s just say you aren’t going to miss the sleeping pills, eye masks and crying babies of economy.

So let’s get to it: these are the 6 most luxurious ways to traverse the globe.

6. First Class, British Airways

Seats

They claim a good flight’s sleep is virtually guaranteed in British Airways’ First Class. With an opulent fully-flat bed with a quilted mattress, crisp white 400–thread Egyptian cotton duvet and pillow on offer, it’s hard to disagree. They also provide luxurious pyjamas, Qantas-style.

Food

Some of the world’s top chefs contributed to British Airways’ First Class menu. Unsurprisingly, it shows. The main course changes monthly (due to seasonal availability of fresh food), but the focus is always on simplicity and flavours. Naturally, a quintessentially British afternoon tea is served afterwards, and you can order a snack at any time during your flight. As for breakfast, you can opt for full English, fresh continental or just a croissant with coffee—the ball is in your court.

Onboard Facilities

First Class in British Airways is essentially a private “cabin within a cabin,” with personal windows and electronic blinds, plus your own wardrobe. You also have access to a personal entertainment system with a 15″ screen and noise–cancelling headset. This features over 100 movies, TV programmes, 50 music CDs and audio books, as well as 20 interactive games.

Lounge

The Concorde Room lounge at London Heathrow Terminal 5 is renowned for fine dining, champagne and British heritage afternoon tea. It also has a business suite, which has everything you need to carry on working, including a boardroom. To top it all off there are also private cabanas, featuring day beds and en–suite bathrooms, where you can refresh or have a quick snooze. And for the ultimate in relaxation, before or after your flight, check into Elemis Travel Spa and Skin Therapies—available at Heathrow Terminals 3 and 5.

Aircraft

Boeing 777 or Airbus A380.

Price

From $10,000.

5. Suites, Singapore Airlines

Seats

In Singapore Airline Suites, their premium version of First Class, your bedroom will have what you would call in polite company, one heck of an armchair. Upholstered in full grain leather by Poltrona Frau, reclinable to 45° and with an insane swivel mechanism, this bad boy almost renders the entertainment system redundant. That said, you won’t need it to sleep, because your designer suite will also feature an exquisite, fully fledged bed.

Food

Picture this: bone china tableware sits atop crisp linen on your personal dining table. The smell of a mouth-watering entree drifts round the corner. All in the knowledge a main course crafted by Singapore Airlines’ acclaimed International Culinary Panel of chefs is up next. A wine list and selection of spirits to match.

Onboard Facilities

A 32” touchscreen monitor in high definition paired with noise-cancelling headphones will ensure optimum viewing satisfaction. An enhanced KrisWorld entertainment system that saves your playlists and preferences for future flights will make you feel at home. A spacious lavatory—complete with a sit-down vanity counter and boutique toiletries (such as the EDT, body lotion and facial mist from Lalique)—will ensure a quiet sanctuary to refresh, rejuvenate and recharge.

Lounge

Although not every airport will have one, if you’re travelling in Singapore Airline Suites (the premium version of Singapore Airlines’ first class), the place to be is The Private Room—an ultra exclusive lounge nestled within the SilverKris Lounge and the First Class Lounge. (Editor’s note: While First Class Lounge access is for Singapore Airlines Suites/First Class passengers and also for all Star Alliance First Class passengers, The Private Room is restricted to just Singapore Airlines Suites or First Class passengers flying out of Singapore). The main advantage (apart from its exclusivity making you feel like even more of a baller) is that it has a full-service fine-dining restaurant of jaw-slackening quality. The “standard” first class lounge also has excellent food, drink and refresh facilities, but if you’ve snagged a Suite ticket—make the most of it.

Aircraft

Make sure you’re on the Airbus A380 to experience the new suites (pictured above). Otherwise the Boeing 777 is another great experience, but not quite as chic.

Price

From $13,000.

4. First Class, Qatar Airways

Seats

Qatar airlines’ First Class is known for its ample stowage options and an ultra-comfortable fully lie-flat bed with Frette linen and duvet.

Food

A masterclass in indulgence: Qatar Airways’ First Class signature dishes are developed by world-renowned chefs, and an on-demand menu service is available as well. So make the most of it: enjoy sweet or savoury delicacies whenever you please. Mouth-watering flavours, artful presentation, luxurious table linen and deluxe cutlery are Qatar Airways’ calling card, closely followed by their range of signature drinks that you can enjoy as a refreshment or a complement to your dish.

Onboard Facilities

Bric’s amenity kits and designer sleeper suits by White Company, a world class cabin crew, work spaces with laptop power, USB plugs and on-board Wi-Fi are just some of the lavish onboard facilities you’ll be able to get your hands on here. And when you’re ready to relax, there are over 4,000 entertainment options offered on Qatar’s innovative entertainment system.

Lounge

From Al Safwa and Al Mourjan to its London and French outposts, every First Class Qatar lounge is an experience of pure luxury. London, for instance, showcases Arabian water fountains, a business centre, delicatessan, restaurant and showers. To (virtually) check it out, click here.

Aircraft

Airbus A380.

Price

From $13,000.

3. First Class, Emirates

Seats

The moment you slide the privacy doors closed, your private suite will enable you to unwind in your own world. Enjoy a glass of exclusive wine or champagne, or help yourself to your personal mini-bar. Features include: ambient lighting,  wide range of entertainment and a private cinema. Your seat also converts into a fully flat bed with a mattress. And to prepare you for the day ahead there’s also a vanity table and mirror.

Food

From sumptuous à la carte cuisine to a tasty midnight snack, Emirates’ cabin crew will prepare your meals whenever you fancy them. They will also inspire your palate with regionally inspired dishes, made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients. You can also match your meal with a fine wine, selected by expert sommeliers. Or if you’re after a pre dinner aperitif (or post dinner digestif), you can choose from their list of complimentary cocktails, champagne, beers and spirits.

Onboard Facilities

The main attraction is the trademark onboard bar, reminiscent of a private yacht cabin, available on the A380. Key features include: seating along the windows on each side (it has been recently updated to comfortably accommodate 26 passengers), a light champagne/oak colour scheme, and—of course—the alcohol selection and ambience. Highlights of the private suites include: soundproof curtains, mood lighting and a 55 inch LCD screen.

Lounge

More like a private terminal than an airport lounge, the Emirates First Class lounge features charging stations, children’s play rooms, a fine dining room, wine cellar, barista, a la carte restaurant, freshly baked bread (and French butter), spa, restrooms and showers, smoking room and a sleeping room.

Aircraft

Airbus A380.

Price

From $15,000.

2. First Class, Qantas

Seats

An expansive armchair of calming tones (and in-seat massage capabilities) awaits in your private suite, as well as inflight entertainment, lighting, window shades and a leather ottoman. That’s not to mention the 212cm bed, which (it goes without saying) lays down fully flat, is located in a separate, luxurious bedroom, has Sheridan bedding, 100% cotton woven throw, duvet and memory foam mattress, making for a truly peaceful—nay—divine, sleep. Oh and there’s also a “pillow menu”. Sweet dreams.

Food

Rockpool and Qantas have taken inflight dining to new heights. In doing this Qantas distinguishes itself from other airlines, permitting you to indulge in a tasting menu, or dine from their à la carte menu, offering signature dishes. All meals are designed by Neil Perry, Creative Director of Food, Beverage and Service at Qantas, prepared onboard and made to order with the finest ingredients. In addition, Qantas’ Sommeliers in the Sky can advise you on their selection of award-winning wines and champagne to match your meal.

Onboard Facilities

If you thought Business Class was good, wait until you see the entertainment options in First Class. Blockbuster movies, box set TV, the biggest comedies, and the world’s best documentaries are just a taste of what’s on offer. Your suite is also fitted with the latest technologies, a touch screen, noise-cancelling headphones, power access and a USB port. You also get, of course, Qantas’ signature soft-cotton sleepwear. Designed exclusively by Martin Grant, Qantas’ Creative Director of Fashion, they come with matching slippers and you probably won’t want to take them off. To top it all off is a bespoke amenity kit filled with Refresh indulgent male and female ASPAR products by Aurora Spa including socks, eye mask, dental kit, ear plugs and deodorant.

Lounge

Any traveller that wants a true, premium airport lounge experience should put Qantas’ First Class lounges (or at least the Sydney one) on their bucket list. Features include restaurant dining, lounge dining, bar service, barista, spa, showers and toilets, wifi, Apple computers, meeting rooms, private suites, a library, newspapers and magazines.

Aircraft

Airbus A380.

Price

From $15,000.

1. The Residence, Etihad

Seats

Hah. Seats. If you book into The Residence, you won’t need to think about such trivialities as “seats” or “recline” – you get a 6ft 10 inch double bed, with designer Italian bed linen.

Food

Menus are another laughable concept in The Residence. Here, you’ll have an inflight chef, who will prepare a personalised dining experience for you, using the freshest of ingredients. If you are feeling uninspired there is a range of gourmet menu options to choose from—but we recommend asking for your favourite dish. Whatever it is, your chef can make it.

Onboard Facilities

It’s basically a private three room apartment, with a bedroom, bathroom, living room—and dedicated butler. Highlights include: 27 inch flat screen television (in the bedroom), noise cancelling headsets (in each room), luxurious ensuite shower and toiletries, leather double seat sofa, two dining tables and a 32 inch flatscreen TV (in the onboard lounge).

Lounge

The Residence passengers have access to a private “lounge within a lounge,” inside Etihad’s first class lounge and spa, which features hospitality comparable to a 5 star hotel. With fine-dining prepared in-house, a Spa Centre, Fitness Room, Relax and Recline Room and Cigar Room, you probably won’t want to leave.

Aircraft

The Residence is the centrepiece of Etihad’s A380 superjumbos and 787 Dreamliners.

Price

From $40,000.

RELATED: We’ve Ranked The Best Business Class Experiences For Your Next Trans-Pacific Flight 

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