Recently, I listed five “commonplace” business class products that I should have tried by now, but hope to try in the near future. Now I’ll do the same for first class.
As with business class, a primary mission on my blog is to sample as many premium products as possible. Only by actually experiencing competing products will I be able to authoritatively compare and contrast in my flight reviews. Here are five first class products I need to try soon:
Nearly everyone who flies Air France labels it the superlative first class experience. I’ve been putting off a journey on Air France due to schedule and cost constraints, but need to find a work a flight in. We have not seen any great fare sales lately and the cheap paid fare out of Algiers has been pulled.
I feel like if I do not take advantage of Korean Air soon, I’ll miss out due to a stealth devaluation. Currently, Korean Skypass charges only 80,000 miles for an off-peak award from North America to North Asia (as far south as Hong Kong). Korean is a Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partner. This is a great-value award for a carrier that is consistently highly-regarded and generous in releasing award space.
I did fly in first class on American Airlines a few years ago from Chicago to Beijing in first class, but that was on the old 777-200 product. Since that first class product has now been removed, I never published the trip report and do not plan on ever doing so. But the first class seat aboard the 777-300 looks excellent and it appears that American Airlines has stepped up its soft product, at least on longhaul routes to Sydney and Hong Kong.
Oman Air recently unveiled its new “First Class Mini Suite” aboard the 787-9. It’s not much different than the APEX suites in business class and resembles the first class suites I just flew on Malaysia Airlines. But Oman Air often offers excellent business class fares and is a product I’ve wanted to try for years (and a country I wish to re-visit).
China Southern is a difficult one. All flight reviews (though there are not many) suggest the product is inferior. Furthermore, China Southern first class awards can no longer be booked with Korean Skypass, meaning this award will be out of reach for many…perhaps for me too (haven’t checked the prices). Thus, the value of this report would be limited. Even so, China Southern is a major Chinese airline that serves Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York. Additionally, I’m trying to sample A380 first class at least once on every carrier.
Anything I am missing?