The 2020 Legend Awards are meant to serve as inspiration for future travel—when it is safe to do so. Learn more about this year's awards on our methodology page.
Each year, it seems that the friendly skies get even more luxurious—to the extent that the amenities at 32,000 feet rival the ones at your favorite five-star hotel. The level of customization and meticulous sourcing that goes into in-flight amenities is downright impressive. From collaborations with the highest-end fashion houses and cosmetic brands to the caviar and libation offerings, the upper echelons of air travel are phenomenally over-the-top.
It’s not just the strong in-flight amenities game. The menus on long-haul flights are crafted by acclaimed chefs and served with sommelier-curated wine pairings. The lie-flat beds are ergonomically optimized to help passengers find relaxation and a good night’s sleep. And the exclusive, top-dollar suites and apartments offer travelers an unprecedented amount of privacy.
In the way that hotels can emulate the feel of a city, so too can A380s. The cultural roots of these airlines come through in the staff’s hospitality, the first class cabin’s design, the food and beverage offerings, and the amenities. These honorees are exceeding our highest expectations when it comes to in-flight experience and first class perks. These airlines offer the best in-flight amenities of the 2020 Legend Awards:
Japan Airlines, or JAL, offers business-class amenity kits designed in collaboration with hip, upscale Japanese fashion brand BEAMS. When booking, depending on the route, first-class guests can choose from a variety of sleep-optimized recliners, from JAL’s shell flat seat to their sky suites I, II, and III. In first class, the amenity kits are stocked with Shiseido and Cle de Peau Beaute products and the in-flight loungewear is made from organic cotton.
The A380 first-class suites on Emirates Airlines come with access to the onboard lounge bar and shower spa. Emirates says it’s “as close as it comes to your own private jet.” Emirates Boeing 777 first-class suites feature luxurious leather seats, temperature controls, and virtual windows—an industry first.
Etihad Airways’ first-class apartments on their A380s offer access to the first-class lounge on the plane’s upper deck. And, the first-class suites have beds separate from their seats. Flying first class with Etihad Airways from Abu Dhabi, passengers are driven to the airport by the Etihad Chauffeur and can relax at the First Lounge & Spa before take-off.
The All Nippon Airways first-class perks are executed with remarkable attention to detail. From the organic cotton lounge wear to the Nishikawa feathered down comforters to the 4K monitors you can hook your devices to with the provided cables, ANA has anticipated your every flying need. The flight experience kicks off at the ANA check-in suite for first-class passengers boarding at Narita Airport. And the luxe in-flight amenities are quintessentially Japanese; each first-class passenger is presented with a Ginza Essence Empowering Set and a miniature suitcase (the ANA Original Globe-Trotter Pouch) to keep their in-flight accoutrements organized.
Qatar Airways business class Qsuites, designed by noted UK firm PriestmanGoode, are one of the best ways to get a full night’s sleep in flight, thanks to the privacy guaranteed by the suite’s sliding doors, and the ability to turn two adjoining suites into one cabin with a double bed. Business class travelers benefit from Qatar Airways’ turn-down service as well as their authentic mezze platters, high-end champagne, and complimentary pajamas from The White Company.
Air France debuted La Première on their brand-new 777-300ER aircrafts in fall 2019. While Air France’s La Première has always been synonymous with over-the-top luxury, La Première (specifically on the Boeing 777s) has fast become a coveted first-class SkyTeam ticket. The plush, lie-flat seats are two-feet wide and the minimalist Parisian design elements make these cabins some of the chicest in the sky. In May 2019, Air France rolled out their new La Première magnetic-fastening amenity kits—which come in “iced mocha'' and “French grey” faux leather and are stocked with Carita facial products.
Singapore Airlines’ A380 first-class suites feature a luxurious lie-flat seat, a dining or work table, a full-length closet, and two windows. For optimal privacy, the walls are nearly five and a half feet tall. First-class passengers can unwind with noise-canceling Bose headphones and Singapore Airlines’ coveted Lalique amenity kits.