Flying high: First class upgrades

From Champagne-pairing menus to private jet upgrades, Tamsin Wressell looks at what's in store for passengers turning left

By Tamsin Wressell
Published 29 Jan 2016, 10:00 GMT

From Champagne-pairing menus to private jet upgrades, Tamsin Wressell looks at what's in store for passengers turning left

01 Swiss International: Suite dreams

Bringing home comforts to long-haul in 2016, the plush first-class suites on

Swiss International

's new Boeing 777-300s will feature a 32in TV, wardrobes, wi-fi, soft walls and electric blinds. The new layouts will be rolled out throughout the year on Zürich routes, including New York, Montreal and Hong Kong.

02 Emirates: Champers and canapes


is offering first-class passengers on various routes Dom Pérignon paired with six canapes co-created with Pascal Tingaud, Dom Pérignon's chef de cuisine. The gourmet nibbles — designed to enhance the taste of the fizz — include a charcoal cracker topped with ash-coated goat's cheese and quince jelly.

03 American Airlines: Jets for pets

Pets no longer need to be left behind or stowed under a seat on flights from New York to Los Angeles or San Francisco, thanks to

American Airlines

' ‘pet cabins'. For an extra $125 (£80) first-class ticket-holders can tuck their dog or cat away in a carrier, in a ventilated compartment next to their seat. During the flight, pets are free to join owners on their lap or by their feet.

04 Lufthansa: A breath of fresh air

Dry air is a problem that will be all too familiar to anyone who's ever stepped off a long-haul flight — usually rubbing their bloodshot eyes, clearing a sore, croaky throat and feeling like their skin has shrunk several sizes. In an effort to combat these ill effects,


has introduced humidifiers in the first-class cabins of its Airbus A380s. The German-based airline hopes that improved air quality across the whole plane (25% humidity in first class, with 20% in the main cabin) will also make food taste better and improve passengers' quality of sleep.

05 Delta Air Lines: Unbelievable upgrades

Upping the ante on frequent-flyer upgrades,

Delta Air Lines

is offering Medallion-status passengers in its SkyMiles programme the chance to upgrade to a private jet on select flights. Offered a few days before departure, the upgrade includes transport to the airport and on-board catering.

Published in National Geographic Traveller – The Luxury Collection 2015


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