The 21 World’s Best First Class Seats for Couples

Etihad Residence Bedroom

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In the business of premium cabin travel, you constantly see airlines duking it out for the best first class products. In order for you to know which products are best, here are the best first class airlines in the world, but the focus of this guide is going to be slightly different.

Instead of focusing on the best first class products overall, you’ll find this list focusing on the best first class seats for couples. There are a number of different first class products, and it becomes clear which are best for couples, especially those that offer double beds.

SkyTrax’s top pick for the world’s best first class airline was given to Singapore Airlines. While there are a host of familiar names on this list such as Emirates, Singapore Airlines, Lufthansa, Air France, and Cathay Pacific, you’ll also find some lesser-known first class products that are excellent for couples.

What Makes a First Class Seat Great for Couples?

When couples are traveling together, one of the biggest points of emphasis is the privacy of the seat, the existence of double beds, and a product that enables easy conversation and interaction.

The products ranked in this guide are noticeably ordered differently than the best first class products in the world. This isn’t too surprising, considering a certain first class product might be optimized for solo travelers whereas another first class product may be focused on couples travel or leisure markets.

The key characteristic of an amazing first class seat for couples is the presence of a double bed. This takes precedence over nearly everything else, and you’ll notice that the products at the top of this list offer double beds. After that, you should consider aspects such as service, privacy, ease of communication with your companion, food, and amenities.

The 21 Best First Class Seats for Couples

Etihad Residence on the A380

Etihad Residence Bedroom
Etihad Residence. Image Credit: CNN.com

The Etihad Residence is known to be the most luxurious experience in commercial aviation. It’s only offered on the A380, flown on a handful of routes. In the Etihad Residence, you will have exclusive, private access to a living room, bedroom, and shower room.

The living room consists of your oversized loveseat with a long ottoman.

Etihad Residence Living Room
This is your Etihad Residence seat, also known as the Etihad Residence Living Room. Image Credit: ausbt.com

In addition to the living room, your separate bedroom is a full-sized bed adorned with some of the most luxurious furnishings you’ll ever see.

Your private shower suite consists of your own vanity, a full-sized shower, and other bathroom facilities.

Etihad Residence Shower room
Can you imagine having your bathroom, plus shower, to yourself? Flying on the Etihad Residence will afford you this, and so much more. Image Credit: Etihad.com

If you have the cash (~$30,000) or 1-3 million Etihad Guest miles to book this product, it could be the most memorable experience of your life — private butler, in-flight chef, chauffeur service, and basically any other request met. The Etihad Residence is truly the best first class product for couples. Period.

Here are the routes on which the Etihad Residence can be found aboard the A380:

  • New York City (JFK) – Abu Dhabi (AUH)
  • London Heathrow (LHR) – Abu Dhabi (AUH)
  • Paris (CDG) – Abu Dhabi (AUH)
  • Seoul (ICN) – Abu Dhabi (AUH)

Singapore Airlines’ New First Class Suites on the A380

Singapore Airlines new A380 First Suite Double Bed
Singapore Airlines’ new A380 Suites features a double bed and separate lounge chair. Image Credit: Greg Stone

Singapore Airlines is known for providing an extravagant experience in first class. Ever since they revealed their original first class suites in 2006, premium cabin travelers have raved about them left and right.

Now, Singapore Airlines offers a new A380 First Class Suites product that has dethroned its predecessor. With 50 square meters worth of space, this is one of the most spacious first class products in the world.

Hot Tip: What to see what it’s like to fly on Singapore? Read all about it in our new A380 First Class Suites review from Zurich to Singapore.

In Singapore Airlines’ new First Class Suites, you’ll have an enclosed suite that contains an oversized armchair and a separate bed. Some of these beds can be put together, effectively converting your seat into a double bed.

This is a one-of-a-kind product that Singapore Airlines outdid themselves with, yet again! In addition to the seat and beds, you’ll enjoy Lalique amenities, a 32″ in-flight monitor, unlimited Dom Perignon champagne, and delicious food via the a-la-carte Book the Cook service. There are only 6 of these suites in any given aircraft, and they are arranged in a 1-1-1 configuration.

Sadly, these first class suites are currently only available on select A380 routes, none of which fly to the United States. These routes are bookable with Singapore KrisFlyer miles:

  • Singapore (SIN) – Hong Kong (HKG) for 37,500 miles one-way
  • Singapore (SIN) – Shanghai (PVG) for 50,000 miles one-way
  • Singapore (SIN) – Sydney (SYD) for 80,000 miles one-way
  • Singapore (SIN) – London Heathrow (LHR) for 115,000 miles one-way
  • Singapore (SIN) – Zurich (ZRH) 115,000 miles one-way

Wanting to book? Here’s a step-by-step guide to book Singapore Airlines first class on points.

Bottom Line: Ultimately, Singapore Airlines’ new first class suites are a huge step up from the old first class suites, which are still extremely impressive. These suites are excellent for couples traveling together due to the additional privacy, the double bed, and the signature Singapore Airlines soft product. 

Singapore Airlines’ Original First Class Suites on the A380

Singapore Suites First Class - Double Turndown Service
The original Singapore Suites on the A380 also feature double beds. Even though this is not their newest product, it’s still a phenomenal offering. Image Credit: Upgraded Points

Singapore Airlines’ initial First Class Suites were first put into service in 2006 on the A380 Superjumbo. They were (and still) a massive hit. The main reason why they were a media sensation was because this was the first double bed ever offered in commercial aviation.

The suites are arranged in a 1-2-1 configuration across 3 rows for a total of 12 seats. Only the middle seats can be converted into a double bed, so couples will definitely want to reserve those when booking the original First Class Suites.

The soft product is almost identical to the New First Class Suites, which means that the product lags behind only in the seat. Nonetheless, they do have 1 route to/from the United States:

  • New York City (JFK) – Frankfurt (FRA) – Singapore (SIN)

There’s an important drawback to these seats, however. There is a privacy divider separating the headrest area, which means that you might hit your head or otherwise be constrained.

Hot Tip: Want to know more? Read our Singapore Suites A380 review to compare the new suites to the original for yourself.

Etihad First Class Apartments

Etihad First Class Apartment - Comfy in Bed Watching TV
Etihad First Class Apartments feature double beds aboard the A380. Image Credit: Upgraded Points

We talked about the Etihad Residence, which is certainly the most sensational aviation experience out there. In addition to the Etihad Residence, there is an additional first class product: Etihad First Class Apartments.

These apartments, while still crazily luxurious, are a tier below the Etihad Residence. The first class product has the functionality to convert to a “quasi double bed”. There is a partition that doesn’t truly make it a double bed. The wall comes up to the mid-section area, which means that there’s no room for overlap in the bottom portion of the bed.

Hot Tip: Ready to book? Explore the best ways to book Etihad first class using points.

The Apartments can be found on all of Etihad’s A380s. In addition to your bed, which measures 6’10” long, you’ll have a separate armchair you can use for dining and lounging:

Etihad First Class Apartment
Image Credit: Upgraded Points

All in all, the only way you’ll be able to book this with points and miles from the U.S. is to do so on the New York City (JFK) – Abu Dhabi (AUH) route. In addition to the spectacular seat, you’ll enjoy usage of the inflight shower, bar, vanity, inflight chefs, and Acqua di Parma amenities.

This award-winning Middle Eastern carrier can be booked with points, including American Airlines miles, Etihad Guest miles, and Asiana Club miles.

China Eastern Airlines First Class

China Eastern 777 First Class
China Eastern’s 777 First Class offers fully lie-flat double beds along with doors! Image Credit: ausbt.com.au

Most people don’t know about China Eastern Airlines’ first class suites. The Shanghai-based airline is a SkyTeam partner, and it is majority-owned by the Chinese government.

Hot Tip: Since China Easter is a member of the SkyTeam alliance, here’s a step-by-step guide on finding award availability on SkyTeam so you can book.

The reason why they are at the top of the rankings is simple: the double bed. Offering a double bed is an honor that even the likes of Emirates Airlines doesn’t have. China Eastern, however, exceeds in this regard. It joins the exclusive ranks of Singapore Airlines and Etihad as being one of the few airlines that has double beds in first class.

The seat is 26.5 inches wide, 79 inches long in bed mode, with a total of 6 seats in first class. Additionally, each of these suites has sliding doors for extra privacy. The hard product is certainly the highlight of China Eastern first class.

Despite the airline’s poor reviews in the past, their commitment to improving their soft product has been impressive. While you won’t receive a service level near that of Singapore Airlines’, you will receive an awesome sleeping experience with your partner. Other highlights include Salvatore Ferragamo amenity kits and lots of food.

Bottom Line: China Eastern offers the best first class hard product among Chinese airlines. If you want to fly in maximum comfort and don’t care that much about the bells and whistles from the likes of Emirates or Etihad, China Eastern is an excellent choice. 

Emirates First Class Suites on the A380

Emirates First Class A380 - Turndown Service
Emirates First Class A380. Image Credit: Upgraded Points

Emirates offers a spectacular first class product on the A380; the Emirates A380 First Class Suites have some of the snazziest touches, including gold finishes, polished wood, an onboard shower, and motorized window shades.

In addition to this, you’ll receive a Bulgari amenity kit, stationery as a souvenir, and unlimited caviar and Dom Perignon champagne. While the seats are arguably the most Instagramable seats in the world, you may feel that Emirates emphasizes form over function. The seats aren’t that wide at only 23 inches.

To provide more perspective, the Singapore Airlines business class seat on the 777-300ER is 26 inches wide. Another concern with Emirates First Class Suites is that the privacy divider between the 2 middle seats can detract from the couples experience.

When flying Emirates first class with points, you’ll no longer be entitled to the chauffeur service. Award prices are generally high, and fuel surcharges are eye-poppingly high.

All in all, Emirates First Class Suites are still a phenomenal choice to travelers. It is absolutely an aspirational airline that offers one of the best experiences in the world. However, one can’t help but feel that the main appeal of Emirates is the novelty.

Japan Airlines First Class

Japan Airlines 777 First Class Bed Made
Japan Airlines First Class bed. Image Credit: Stephen Au

Japan Airlines First Class is the most underrated first class product out there. There’s an extensive review of the Japan Airlines 777 First Class, but the impression left of guests is like no other.

By itself, the hard product isn’t the most spectacular thing out there. It’s an open-air suite with an oversized leather armchair. It boasts up to 33 inches in width when the armrests are fully lowered and 23 inches with the armrests deployed. Additionally, the seats in bed mode are nearly 79 inches long.

The first class cabin consists of 8 seats in a 1-2-1 configuration — a great seat design for couples because it allows you to communicate effortlessly.

If you don’t feel like talking to your companion, feel free to use the motorized privacy partition to give some space to your significant other. Other highlights include an unparalleled soft product, which includes uber-expensive whisky, caviar service, a mattress pad, fluffy bedding, and tons of souvenirs to commemorate your flight.

Japan Airlines First Class is notoriously difficult to reserve, but for those who can, you’re in for a treat. This is especially true if you’re sharing the experience with a loved one.

Hot Tip: While difficult to reverse, it’s not impossible as long as you know the best ways to book Japan Airlines first class.

Air France La Premiere on the 777-300ER

Air France 777 La Premiere
Indulge in French elegance and perfection with Air France La Premiere on the 777-300ER. Image Credit: businesstraveler.com

Air France constantly gets good publicity for being one of the most exclusive airlines in first class, though it is nearly impossible to book with points and miles unless you have elite status with Flying Blue. Even then, you must pay 200,000 miles one-way for a first class award redemption.

Nonetheless, those who can get the coveted La Premiere first class experience on the 777-300ER are in for a sublime flight. There are only 4 seats in first class, across 1 row in a 1-2-1 configuration. The suites are open-air with curtains for privacy. As far as commercial aviation is concerned, Air France is the only airline to use curtains, which is surprisingly elegant.

The biggest highlights are ground service and inflight fine dining and service. The open-air seats make it easy to talk to your seatmate in the middle seats. Because the cabin is so intimate, you’ll truly feel like you’re in a private jet. Also, one cool aspect is that the footrest/ottoman can be used as a companion seat, and you can dine with your partner!

Cathay Pacific First Class

Cathay Pacific First Class Seat 2A
Cathay Pacific First Class. Image courtesy of Upgraded Points

Cathay Pacific first class is world-renowned for having some of the best first class products in the world. If you’ve read our Cathay 777 first class flight review, you know what an amazing experience Cathay offers.

The first class cabin is arranged in a unique 1-1-1 configuration. With only 2 rows of seats, the size of the cabin can accommodate a maximum of 6 passengers. The arrangement is sitting next to your companion, simply due to the fact that you’ll generally be pretty far away from the other person’s seat. However, the ottoman doubles as a companion seat so you’re able to dine with your partner, savoring Cantonese delicacies such as dim sum, caviar, garoupa, and egg tarts together

These seats are some of the largest first class seats in the world. With 36 inches in seat width, and 81 inches in pitch, it blows the rest of its competition out of the water.

Other highlights include high-quality amenities from Aēsop, phenomenal service, an unprecedented lounge experience, and so much more.

Hot Tip: Flying from the U.S and want to experience Cathay first class? Explore the definitive guide to Cathay Pacific’s direct U.S. routes to plan your next adventure.

Lufthansa First Class

Lufthansa Airbus A380 First Class Bed
Lufthansa First Class. Image Credit: Greg Stone

The next product is also a European carrier. Specifically, Lufthansa first class is an excellent first class choice for couples and can be booked on points. The first class seats are similarly open-air suites with oversized armchairs.

Although typically in a 1-2-1 configuration, you may also find them in a 1-1 configuration if flying in the nose of a 747-8, for example. The huge seats are approximately 31 inches in width and 81-83 inches in bed length.

If you are traveling with a companion, the best choice is to reserve the duo of middle seats on Lufthansa first class. The layout on these seats makes having a conversation with your partner easy.

Lufthansa is known for having an extremely polished and professional first class service from the moment you leave your door until the moment you leave the airport to head towards your hotel or house. They have an awesome ground service, sophisticated lounges featuring a cigar lounge, excellent catering, and a fantastic flight offering.

The main qualm that people have with Lufthansa first class is the lack of privacy due to the open-air nature of the seats. However, you don’t want to be completely isolated from your companion, so we consider that a plus.

Lufthansa First Class is a classic way to experience first class in style. Although their hard product isn’t the most cutting-edge out there compared to the double beds from Singapore Airlines, it is certainly worth considering.

Korean Air First Class

Korean Air first class seat
Korean Air first class seat. Image Credit: Stephen Au

Korean Air is known for offering first class on tons of routes. Although it’s been cutting back on on first class offerings, there’s still a rich market to tap into.

Korean Air, along with Emirates and British Airways, have traditionally been the leaders in offering first class on the most routes (3- or 4-cabin aircraft). However, Korean Air seems to be cutting back tremendously, which means that Korean Air first class is a dying breed.

Korean Air first class aboard the A380 is a great travel experience. Korean Air first class for specifically couples is great because the A380 contains open air first class suites, which is the next best thing for couples after enclosed first class double beds. Over the course of a long-haul flight, you’ll probably want to have a conversation or two with your partner, and the design of Korean Air’s first class cabin makes it a seamless experience.

Also, Korean Air’s soft product is excellent, with plush bedding, excellent food, and a cool first class bar. In addition, award availability is the best you’ll see for a first class flight. The only way to book is by redeeming Korean Air miles, which can only be transferred from Marriott Bonvoy.

SWISS Air First Class

SWISS Air Lines First Class
SWISS Air Lines First Class. Image Credit: Swiss.com

The next winner is Swiss International Airlines first class. It is nearly impossible to book these tickets with points.

In first class, the arrangement is 1-2-1, and couples will want to select the middle seats. The seats are generally regarded to be extremely classy and aesthetically appealing. It is a technologically advanced first class product with excellent bedding, food, and great service. The user experience and seat functionality allows you to fully customize your position, setting the precedent for a comfortable flight.

These seats would be excellent for solo travelers. However, the ranking for couples drops because it’s a little bit too private for most people. In any case, the product is still stellar, just less so for couples.

Thai Airways First Class

how to redeem and use united miles
Thai Airways’ Royal First Class is truly something to look forward to. Image Credit: THAI Airways

Although Thai doesn’t have any direct U.S. routes, it’s a major Star Alliance carrier with a diverse route network, particularly within Europe, Oceania, and Asia.

Thai first class consists of open-air suites with oversized armchairs, similar to Korean Air. Thai is famous for offering an hour-long massage in the first class lounges. In addition, the service provided is known to be stellar, highlighting Southeast Asian hospitality.

If you’re situated in first class, you’ll have no problem sharing your experience with your partner. Other highlights of Thai Airways first class include Rimowa amenity kits, amazing food, and a sweet buggy service that whisks you across the airport in no time.

Garuda Indonesia First Class

Garuda 777 First Class
Garuda 777 First Class is stunning, not only for its hard product (private suites with doors), but also because of the service and warmth. Image Credit: thedesignair.net

Garuda Indonesia is also one of the world’s most underrated first class airlines. The Indonesian flag carrier airline offers first class suites on a small number of flights. These flights are all aboard the 777-300ER.

  • Jakarta (CGK) – London Heathrow (LHR)
  • Jakarta (CGK) – Amsterdam (AMS)
  • Jakarta (CGK) – Jeddah (JED) 
  • Bali-Denpasar (DPS) – Tokyo Narita (NRT)
  • Jakarta (CGK) – Tokyo Haneda (HND)

These tickets are typically extremely points-expensive and very difficult to find availability. Garuda’s first class product consists of enclosed suites in a 1-2-1 configuration, amazing inflight food and beverage offerings, an awesome chauffeur service, and immaculate service.

There are 8 seats total, which means there are 2 seats of middle seats. Furthermore, Garuda Indonesia has a boarding door exclusively for first class. In addition, the Loewe amenity kits are fully loaded, pajamas are comfortable, and the entertainment selection was diverse.

The middle seats have a motorized privacy divider if you need a little more time to yourself. All in all, Garuda Indonesia curates a special experience just for you and your partner in first class.

Qatar Airways First Class

Qatar Airways A380 First Class Seat
Qatar Airways A380 First Class Seat. Image Credit: Greg Stone

Qatar Airways first class is slowly dying off. Offered exclusively on the A380, it is available to/from cities like Guangzhou (CAN), London (LHR), Bangkok (BKK), Paris (CDG), and more. Since the A380 production is slated to end by 2021, it’s worth trying out this excellent first class product before it’s unavailable or retired.

This particular first class layout consists of 8 seats across 2 rows in a 1-2-1 configuration. Although the first class lounge, which is huge and feels more like a museum, it’s not actually the highlight of the experience. Qatar Airways first class feels super exclusive.

The open air suites in the middle are great for couples. There’s a level of intimacy that simply can’t be explained on Qatar Airways first class. The onboard bar is epic, too. Some might think that the seats lack privacy, but the best first class seats aren’t the most private; they walk the fine line between privacy and convenience between you and your companion.

Oman Air First Class

Oman Air First Class
Oman Air First Class. Image Credit: Omanair.com

Oman Air’s new first class suites aboard the 787-900 Dreamliner are ridiculously huge at 87 inches in pitch. The suites have sliding doors to enclose each suite. The sleek design and incredibly technologically-advanced features at this seat are some of the most eye-catching aspects.

This new product is in a 1-2-1 configuration across 2 rows. Because of the capability to close the sliding doors, the middle seats in these first class cabins are excellent for couples.

The catering consistently receives high marks, especially the Middle Eastern options. Similarly, the service tends to be the highlight aboard Oman Air, even though the hard product is fantastic.

Saudi Arabian Airlines First Class

Saudia First Class
Saudia First Class. Image Credit: Saudia.com

Saudi Arabia Airlines is known for being a “dry” airline, which means they don’t serve alcohol.

If this is a deal-breaker for you and your partner, you’ll want to avoid Saudia entirely. If this is fine with you and you want to experience something that few people have ever experienced, Saudi Arabian Airlines is excellent in this regard. The seats are comfortable, spacious, and the suites are capable of becoming enclosed with sliding doors.

Saudia first class doesn’t get a lot of attention in the international aviation scene. However, those who choose to try it will experience an onboard chef customizing your meals, excellent amenities (Acca Kappa and Porsche), an awesome seat/bed, and a well-intentioned crew.

Final Thoughts

Whew! That’s one exhaustively list of all major first class offerings for couples. From arrangement and design to seat engineering, all of these factors are important when traveling with your partner. There are some subtle aspects of a flight that could also make or break a couple’s experience.


FAQ

Which airlines have double beds in first class?

The airline products in this guide that have double beds are the Etihad Residence, Singapore Airlines’ New AND Old First Class Suites, Etihad First Class Apartments, and China Eastern First Class.

Which airline products are enclosed in first class?

The airline products that features enclosed suites are:

  1. China Eastern First Class
  2. Emirates First Class Suites
  3. Etihad First Class Apartments
  4. Etihad Residence
  5. Garuda Indonesia First Class
  6. Oman Air First Class
  7. Saudi Arabian Airlines First Class
  8. Singapore New First Class Suites
  9. Singapore Old First Class Suites
  10. SWISS Air First Class
  11. THAI Airways First Class

The airline products in this guide that aren’t enclosed are:

  1. Air China
  2. Air France La Premiere
  3. ANA First Class
  4. Cathay Pacific First Class
  5. Japan Airlines First Class
  6. Korean Air First Class (except Kosmo Suites 2.0)
  7. Lufthansa First Class
  8. Qantas First Class
  9. Qatar Airways First Class
  10. Singapore Airlines 777-300ER First Class

What is the difference between business and first class?

First class offers a much better soft product. You’ll enjoy better food, more privacy, more comfortable bedding, more space, and even better service than business class.

Which airline has the widest first class seats?

The widest first class seats are Cathay Pacific first class and Singapore Airlines 777-300ER First Class seats. Cathay Pacific is 36 inches wide, while Singapore Airlines 777-300ER First Class seats are 35 inches wide.

How do I fly first class?

Generally, the process you’ll want to follow is the same as booking business class. However, the catch is that some airlines don’t allow you to redeem points and miles for first class. In almost all cases, you’ll have to pay even more points to book first class than business class.

What is a hard product?

The generally accepted definition of a hard product is whatever is actually attached to the plane. Some of these are the seat, lavatories, in-flight monitor, armrest, windows, etc.

What is a soft product?

A soft product includes food, beverage, service, amenities, and ground service. It is defined as anything that changes depending on what your exact flight is.

Stephen Au

About Stephen Au

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Stephen has been privileged to enjoy many premium cabin products and 5-star hotels. A petroleum engineer by trade, Stephen caught the travel bug in college when he traveled to Asia several times. After 2 years of continual promotions, Stephen quit his safe and secure career path in favor of entrepreneurship.

Disclaimer: Any comments listed below are not from the bank advertiser, nor have they been reviewed or approved by them. No responsibility will be taken by the bank advertiser for these comments.

4 comments

  1. Erica T · July 27, 2019 · Reply

    There is no longer Hibiki 17 or 21 on JAL. I flew ORD to NRT RT last week and am a whisky snob. Instead they are now serving Hibiki Blender’s Choice, which is the replacement for the 17.

  2. Emma Johnson · July 29, 2019 · Reply

    Great post, thanks for sharing!

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