How flying first class has evolved over the years
Remember the golden age of jet-set air travel in the 1960s? Now, flying has mostly become a practical matter for people. Yet some still fly in style.
The era of high-capacity passenger jet travel began in 1952 with the British DeHavilland Comet 1.
However, a series of fatal accidents between 1952 and 1954 forced the aircraft to be grounded for modifications. Although later versions of the aircraft, such as the Comet 3 seen here, would serve successfully in air fleets around the world, this model was no longer at the forefront of the industry
...the Douglas DC-8 as the flagship jet of the air transport industry.
The airliners of the time, although not as refined as today's aircraft, were faster and more flexible than their propeller-driven contemporaries.
They were a perfect complement to first-class services offered by airlines around the world, including gourmet meals...
...and cocktail bars.
A flight attendant serves cocktails in the lounge of a new Pan American World Airways Boeing 707 in 1958.
The introduction of the Boeing 747 double-deck Jumbo Jet in 1970 took first class service to new heights.
The extra width of the 747 cabin has given airlines the opportunity to further improve first class space.
...the lounge on the 747's upper deck. Some of these early giants even carried pianos.
Between 1976 and 2003, Air France and British Airways passengers had the opportunity to fly on the Concorde supersonic aircraft.
The main selling point of the Concorde was its speed.
Consequently, its cabin was small and somewhat cramped. However, passengers were treated to fine wines and gourmet meals.
In the 1990s, airlines began equipping their first class cabins with extendable seats and improving in-flight entertainment.
In the late 1990s, a new generation of first class cabins with more privacy began to take shape.
This impressive double-decker aircraft started its service with Singapore Airlines in 2007
Along with the A380 cale the first class suite. The closed suite offers passengers even more privacy.
In 2014, the Abu Dhabi-based airline introduced the Residence First Class suite on board its A380s.
Residence passengers also enjoy the services of a personal butler.
There is only one Residence suite per aircraft, and tickets can cost upwards of €35,000 for a round trip between New York and Abu Dhabi.
Passengers flying in The Apartment suites have access to a communal shower and a separate toilet.
In 2017, Emirates introduced its new generation of first class suites on board its Boeing 777 fleet.
These are the industry's first suites that close from floor to ceiling, creating flying hotel rooms.
The suites even have artificial windows that use cameras mounted on the plane's fuselage to give passengers a view of the outside
In 2017, Singapore Airlines also announced that it would spend $850 million on first class suites for its 19 Airbus A380 fleet.
Once again, these suites can be combined to create a large suite for two passengers.