Which Airlines Offer First Class From the UK and How to Book Them With Points
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First class is the ultimate way to fly commercially. You can expect vintage Champagne, lie-flat beds with direct aisle access and, quite often, closing door suites, dine-on-demand gourmet, multi-course cuisine, very personalised service and even the opportunity to shower on board some airlines. It can be an excellent use of points and miles given first class fares can easily run into five figures.
Here are a couple of TPG first class reviews:
- In Love All Over Again: A Review of British Airways First Class on the A380 With Its New Soft Product
- Dreamliner for One, Please: Oman Air in First Class on a 787-9 From London to Muscat
- Emirati Excellence: Emirates First Class on the 777 From Dubai to London Stansted
Fortunately, there are plenty of first-class flights from the UK, especially from London Heathrow (LHR). You are almost spoilt for choice given many mileage currencies can be used for multiple airlines. There’s also additional airlines that offer first class onwards from their hubs but only business class to the UK (like Lufthansa, Air France and Swiss), but for this comprehensive list, we are focusing on only those airlines that offer a proper, international first class all the way from the UK.
Some airlines only offer first class on some of their services to the same city (for example, Etihad), so the key is to match the aircraft types listed below with the flights you are choosing.
Here are the first-class routes from the UK, and how to book them with miles.
- American Airlines — Boeing 777-300ER services from London (LHR) to New York (JFK), Chicago (ORD), Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) and Los Angeles (LAX)
- British Airways — Approximately 54 routes operated by Boeing 747, 777-200ER, 777-300ER, 787-9 and Airbus A380 aircraft from both London (LHR) and (LGW). You can see a full list of destinations here.
- Cathay Pacific — Boeing 777-300ER services from London (LHR) to Hong Kong (HKG)
- Japan Airlines – Boeing 777-300ER service from London (LHR) to Tokyo (HND)
- Qantas — Airbus A380 services from London (LHR) to Sydney (SYD), via Singapore (SIN)
- Qatar — Airbus A380 services from London (LHR) to Doha (DOH) only, representing only a small portion of Qatar’s UK operations.
Malaysia Airlines has a ‘Business Suite’ product on its Airbus A350 services from London (LHR) to Kuala Lumpur (KUL), which sites somewhere between a business class and first-class product.
The best way to book these flights with miles is using either British Airways Avios (from 42.500 one-way flying British Airways, or 82,500 one way flying partner airlines), or American Airlines AAdvantage miles (from 85,000 one-way flying American Airlines, or 62,500 one-way flying partner airlines).
- Air China — Boeing 777-300ER services from London (LHR) to Beijing (PEK)
- Air India — Boeing 777-300ER service from London (LHR) to Mumbai (BOM)
- ANA — Boeing 777-300ER service from London (LHR) to Tokyo (HND) featuring its brand new first-class product.
- Singapore Airlines — Boeing 777-300ER and Airbus A380 services from London (LHR) to Singapore (SIN). A380 services feature its new first class suites.
- Thai Airways — Airbus A380 services from London (LHR) to Bangkok (BKK)
The only way to book Singapore Airlines first class is with its own KrisFlyer miles from 125,000 miles one-way. For ANA first class, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles are an amazing value at 120,000 miles return. For other airlines, United MileagePlus from 65,000 miles one-way, or Avianca LifeMiles from 60,000 miles one-way.
- China Eastern — Boeing 777-300ER services from London (LHR) to Shanghai (PVG)
- Korean Air — Airbus A380 services from London (LHR) to Seoul (ICN)
- Saudia — Boeing 777-300ER services from London (LHR) to Jeddah (JED) and Riyadh (RUH)
The best way to book these flights with miles is with Korean Air SKYPASS miles for Saudia and Korean Air, and Delta SkyMiles for China Eastern, though Delta doesn’t publish an award chart, so exact redemptions will vary.
- Emirates — All flights Airbus A380 and Boeing 777-300ER flights from London (LHR, LGW and STN), Manchester (MAN), Birmingham (BHX), Glasgow (GLA), Edinburgh (EDI) and Newcastle (NCL) to Dubai (DXB)
- Etihad — All Airbus A380 and Boeing 777-300ER services from London (LHR) and Manchester (MAN) to Abu Dhabi (AUH)
- Kuwait Airways — All Boeing 777-300ER services from London (LHR) to Kuwait City (KWI)
- Oman Air — All Boeing 787 Dreamliner services from London (LHR) to Muscat (MCT)
The best way to book these flights is with Emirates Skymiles for Emirates flights (from 85,000 miles one-way), American Airlines AAdvantage miles for Etihad flights (from 62,500 one-way), Etihad Guest for Oman Air flights (from 80,000 miles one-way though there are reports that unfortunately Etihad agents aren’t able to book Oman Air F redemptions) and Kuwait Oasis Club miles for Kuwait Airways flights (from 80,000 miles round trip).
Featured photo by Nicky Kelvin/The Points Guy.
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