Photo: Malaysia Airlines
If you’ve flown economy on an American jetliner in the past few years or so, it shouldn’t come as any surprise that none of 2012’s best airlines are American companies. In other parts of the world—namely the Middle East and Asia—airlines take your comfort seriously, and not just on first class flights.
In business—and economy sections too—these top fliers, compiled by Skytrax, pack luxury into in-flight spa treatments, multi-course extravagent meals, and sleeping suites worthy of a travelling king.
Other Awards: Best Airline Cabin Staff (#1) Best Airline Staff Service in Asia (#2)
Amenities: Malaysia Airlines specialises in seamless travel for business-minded passengers. They have a mobile office centres with fax machines, satellite phones, and printers.
At night in first class, you can ditch your plush seat and ottoman and move onto their sprawling bed with tuck-in service, if you're comfortable with someone you don't know tucking you in.
Other Awards: Best Airline Ground Services (#1, International branch) Best Airline in Asia (#5)
Amenities: Thai Royal first class provides a 180 degree-reclining bed along with toiletries like EVIAN mineral spray.
Passengers can also pre-order food cooked by renowned Thai chefs.
Other Awards: Best In-Flight Entertainment (#1) Best First Class Seats (#4)
Emirates is amassing A380s and their business class passengers enjoy a sofa lounge.
Other Awards: Best Premium Economy Seats (#1) Best Economy Class Onboard Catering (#2)
Amenities: In business class, Turkish Airlines treats fliers to chocolate and champagne right off the bat. Then, as they ease into their 75-inch reclining beds, customers enjoy Armani perfume and world-class three and four course meals.
Other Awards: Best First Class Seats (#1) Best First Class Onboard Catering (#1)
Amenities: With a flip of a switch, Etihad's shelled seat turns into a flat 6x8 bed. For comfort, the Abu Dhabi-based carrier provides Ferragamo valise, slippers and a sleeper suit.
In each suite, Etihad provides a luxury changing room and mini bar.
Other Awards: Best First Class Onboard Catering (#3) Best First Class Airline (#3)
Amenities: The Japanese airliner's first class suite includes a fully enclosed dining table, private closet, and bed.
Even the economy class seats have enlarged windows, LCD touchscreens, and USB plug-ins.
Other Awards: Best In-Flight Entertainment (#2) Best Business Class Seats (#2)
Amenities: In business class, Cathay Pacific offers a wide-shaped bed with a cocooning effect. For first class, travellers experience flat screen LCD TV's and they can receive Ermenegildo Zegna bags.
When it comes to set in, let Cathay Pacific provide custom-designed pajamas.
Other Awards: Best First Class Airline Seats (#2) Best Economy Class Onboard Catering (#1)
Amenities: Diners can sip on Dom Perignon and other rare champagnes while enclosed in their sound-proof suite, which includes a full-length bed and a leather armchair.
If you manage to stay awake, rumour has it that Singapore Airlines has some easy-on-the-eyes crew members.
Other Awards: Best Airline Cabin Staff (#2) Best Airline in Asia (#1)
Amenities: Asiana--a Korean company--offers a specially designed, 74-inch long 'Oz Quadra Smartium' seat in its business class section.
The 'show' doesn't stop there, however. Asiana flight attendants teach origami, perform magic tricks and violin serenades, and carry out in-aisle fashion show.
Other Awards: Best Airline Staff Service in the Middle East (#1) Best Economy Class Airline (#2)
Amenities: The Qatari airline serves a 10-course meal for first class passengers. At their premium terminal in Doha, passengers can enjoy deep tissue massages, facials, and jacuzzi access.
It doesn't hurt that Qatar Airways also just bought a Dreamliner, featuring ample reclining space and windows that can change colours. The bathroom even has a window. Let that sink in for a moment...
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