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Top 5 Airlines in Europe for First Class flights

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Are you asking yourself: ‘are First Class flights worth it?’ We certainly cannot make a definite decision for you but we can say that if you are travelling on a transatlantic flight and you really are bothered by other passengers and the limited room and facilities you have available, then we can recommend trying a First or even a Business Class flight. However, it is a given that not all First Class cabins are the same and offer the same standard and service.

For this reason, Flight-delayed.co.uk has selected the Top 5 amongst the European airlines, that exceed above all others when it comes to their First Class experience on board!

5. Virgin Atlantic: Upper Class


In 5th place on our list of the 5 best European airlines for First Class flights is Virgin Atlantic. The British airline brands its first class by calling it the ‘Upper Class’, which is targeted at business passengers that frequently fly . What makes the airline secure 5th place is that it creates a more informal but still professional First Class atmosphere.

Before you arrive at the airport a Virgin Atlantic chauffeur may pick you up at home and drive you to the airport, straight to one of the Virgin lounges or clubhouses. There you are welcomed by Virgin before your flight schedule. Virgin invites you to relax before your flight, where you may be able to enjoy carefully prepared food or indulge in a beverage or two before the flight, if you feel like you need to calm the nerves!

Once you arrive on board, the staff tend to all your individual needs and serve complimentary champagne once on board. What might be good to know is that all aircraft apart from the A330-200 have on board bars, that are available if you wish to have another beverage.

If you are hungry on a Virgin Atlantic flight whilst flying First Class then no need to worry. The British airline even offers you an express menu, that allows you to receive your food fast so that there is more time to sleep. This is typically offered for night departure flights. However, the airline offers starters, main course and pudding as well as cheese and biscuits after your meal.

The seats are typically larger than the Virgin economy and premium seats, where the First Class seat is flat as it can be put into bed mode and ranges from 50-55cm in width.

4. Swiss International: SWISS First


Before you board the aeroplane you are greeted at the Personal Check-in, that is separate to the economy check-in desk. From the check-in desk you are then guided to the fast-lane passport control in which all your documents are checked without you having to wait any long queues.

Unfortunately, every aeroplane has to undergo regular re-fuelling procedures as well as safety and hygiene checks. But this is the time you can use to check out the Swiss First Lounge, in which you can enjoy relaxed time away from all the madness that goes on in the terminal! Additionally, you have the choice between a range of different foods from salads to various different meals that entail 3 or more courses.

When you are finally able to board the aircraft, you are greeted by a Swiss crew member who will be able to serve your favourite drink on demand.

On board the size of the seat in the Swiss First enables you to have plenty of legroom and space to get comfortable. Furthermore, the seat is the same size in every single aircraft that the airline operates, so no matter what aircraft the airline is operating, you will always get the same seat size.

Entertainment on board offers a great range of choice of the newest blockbusters and TV series, as well as podcasts and audio books.

What makes this first class such an experience has to be the Swiss products that every passenger encounters on a SWISS First flight. From typical Swiss Bircher Müsli or La Prairie beauty products to a pyjama by Zimmerli, a company for luxury clothing.

3. Air France: La Première Class

Air France

Rank 4 on our list of the 5 best European airlines for First Class flights is Air France, which brands its top class as La Première Class. The airline especially focuses their first class concept around accessibility and ‘going the extra mile’.

For example, if a passenger is flying La Première Class from Paris Charles de Gaulle they are welcomed by a staff member who guides them to a separate check-in lounge where passengers flight documents are checked and other pre-flight preparations are handled.

Then passengers can enjoy a meal or a drink within the own Air France lounge. What you can also enjoy is a relaxing treatment within the Spa treatment centre.

After a short wait in the airport’s lounge, you are granted priority boarding in a luxurious car that may pick you up and drop you at the operating aircraft.  Once you get on board you are personally welcomed by Air France crew and guided to your seat, where you will be served an accommodating drink upon arrival.

The First Class on an Air France flight will give you a special service once you board. Whatever you may require the Air France staff are willing to go the extra mile to make you happy and see to all your needs.

Especially, the interior of the First Class air cabin has specifically been chosen to create a luxury and comforting feel, that distracts passengers from the typical aircraft interior. Additionally, as part of your First Class flight offers your own cloakroom and storage space. You also have your own large table which is perfect if you are travelling with another passenger.

The bed that which is part of the seating facilities measures 2m by 77cm and features a memory foam mattress, a pillow and a large comforting duvet.

Onboard entertainment offers a passenger a wide selection of movies, documentaries and more, where most of the entertainment variety is available in HD on 24-inch screen.

2. British Airways: First Class

Air France

In second place on Flight-delayed.co.uk list of the top 5 European airlines for First Class flights is the First Class from British Airways. The British air carrier has a popular First Class and is known for its traditional British roots. Before you book with British Airways, you should know that the First Class allows you to bring almost more baggage than you can pack, which include up to 3 bags in the hold and a small cabin bag and personal bad on board which may come in form of a hand bag.

Additionally, British Airways offers a bag collection service in the London area, that is dedicated to picking up your bags ahead of your flight and checking them in, to save you the time and the hassle. At Heathrow airport in Terminal 5, where the airline has its main base, it has the so-called ‘First Wing’ which allows all passengers booked onto a First Class flight to check-in privately but also to two own security lanes and a track that allows passengers to walk into the Lounge and the Concorde Room.

When you arrive at the airport, you may have to wait to board the aeroplane. However, the wait can be very enjoyable if you wish to enjoy the spa at Heathrow Terminal 3 and 5. As mentioned above, the airport also features British Airways’ own Concorde Room, which essentially is the airline’s most prestigious lounge. However, you may also wish to wait in its departure lounge which offers exquisite drinks and food as well as the option of business facilities if you are in need of them.

Once it is your time to board you may enter the aircraft with priority boarding from one of the departures lounges. Once boarded you will not be disappointed as British Airways First Class offers your own personal suite which is spacious with a full flat bed and fine dining. This is the First Class for passengers who really value in luxury treatment and high standard service.

On board, passengers are also given exclusive loungewear, amenity bag and slippers as well as acquiring various different high-end skin care products.

A special effort is put into the dining and the quality of food onboard. On a First Class the British airline has included meals that have been overlooked by some of Britain’s top chefs as well as designers to make sure every meal is served with perfection. Great pride is put especially into the typical British afternoon tea that is featured in the menu through a selection of sandwiches, pastries and typical British scones with whipped cream and jam. The airline serves Champagne, wines, spirits but also non-alcoholic drinks.

1. Lufthansa: First Class


In first place on the list of our top 5 European airlines for First Class flights is Lufthansa. The German airline has a lot of history and tradition and recently redesigned their Premium Economy as well as their First Class to make it even more prestigious, giving customers a different flying experience.

If you have booked as passenger in Lufthansa First Class and are travelling to the airport by car then Lufthansa offers a valet parking service, where the parking of your car is in good hands. Additionally, if you are returning a rented car then the airline’s partner Sixt will also handle the valet parking service for you.

Upon arrival at the first class terminal at the German airport in Frankfurt, where Lufthansa has its main hub, you are greeted upon arrival by a personal assistant who takes care of all check-in procedures and makes sure your baggage is dropped off. Additionally, the personal assistant will guide you through all security checks and is a helping hand in any queries you might have but also will inform you of any gate changes, delays or other issues that may occur on your way into First Class.

Especially, in Lufthansa’s newly designed First Class lounge in Frankfurt, you have the choice to use a range of facilities, depending on what you feel like. The First Class lounge offers Relax Chairs, Daybed rooms in which you can recover from a jetlag , if you have had a connecting flight. Additionally, you are able to freshen up in the exquisite washrooms and afterwards are invited to a dining experience that is brought to you by multiple-star cooks, or the cigar lounge which offers over 100 different types of whiskey.

The lounge also offers library facilities as well as office facilities with everything you might need whilst working such as a printer, Wi-Fi, USB connections and many more.

When the time has come for you to board the aircraft and enjoy the rest of First Class above the clouds, a Limousine may take you from the lounge to the aircraft. This service is included in airports of Frankfurt, Munich, Duesseldorf and Zurich.

Finally, when it is time for you to board the aeroplane you are welcomed by the crew and guided to your seat. Upon arrival you are offered Champagne or other complimentary drinks if you wish. The First Class offers large comfortable seats for relaxing at leisure. These seats are also able to be converted into a luxurious spacious bed, which invite you to sleep whenever you wish to do so. Additionally, Lufthansa offers you an amenity kit to make sure to take extra care of you, which are available in all spacious bathrooms.

You will never be hungry or disappointed on a Lufthansa flight. Your taste buds will be treated to a whole different flying experience, as you will be catered by star-cooks and the food will be served on China. What makes the First Class dining experience on a Lufthansa flight so special is the extraordinary choice of wines. The airline offers wines that are specifically chosen by the world best Sommelier Markus Del Monego. This is an absolute highlight for many passengers and attracts many passengers to re-book for a First Class Lufthansa flight.

What also makes many passengers come back to this class is the exquisite choice of caviar that the German airline offers. During Day and Night flights, caviar is served as a separate course combined with the meal. However, you are able to choose when you wish to eat as all First Class flights operate under flexible menu schedule.

Top 5 European First Class flights

  1. Lufthansa
  2. British Airways
  3. Air France
  4. Virgin Airways
  5. Swiss International

Have you travelled with any of the airlines mentioned above and been delayed, cancelled or overbooked?

Delays, cancellations and overbookings happen even on First Class flights. Whether your flight was First Class or you booked to travel Economy, you may receive up to EUR 600 in compensation!

If your flight has been delayed or cancelled and you are not sure if you are entitled to compensation, you can check it for free with us. Afterwards, you can decide if you want Flight-Delayed to manage your claim. We will not let the airline reject your claim for compensation without proof. Best of all, our 25% rate covers absolutely all possible expenses - claim your compensation and exercise your rights!

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