Generous lie-flat beds with fluffy duvets and even more robust pillows swathed in 400-thread-count pillowcases, Billecart-Salmon Brut Champagne without end, 18.5-inch personal TV screens with video handset and noise-canceling headphones, melt-in-your-mouth meals and sweet-and-savory caramel popcorn whenever you’d like it. Not to mention juicy cheeseburgers at the ready (and, for health-conscious fliers, fresh juices and wellness tea). For airplane buffs or travel enthusiasts, the description of Cathay Pacific’s business class experience is like talking dirty—it paints an incredibly alluring picture of what travel can be like.
There are times that filing into economy seats for a long-haul flight can make you feel like cattle being herded. But ultra-civilized business class seats seem to harken to the good old days of travel, when people used to dress up. When means allow, which would you rather choose for the trip of a lifetime with your love? When honeymoon planning, it’s best to take things one step at a time. And for some couples, especially those who enjoy the journey as much as the destination, that might mean picking an airline product first and letting that choice inform the place. Think Qatar Airways for a Maldives getaway, or La Compagnie for a romantic Parisian escape.
Cathay Pacific—flying to Hong Kong from major U.S. cities and onward to places like Bali, Vietnam, Philippines, and Thailand—offers one of the best business class experiences in the game. And it’s not only because of recent enhancements to the layout that allow, for one, couples to dine together or toast their Champagne to kick off the flight. The lounge is another major draw—this is one time you’ll want a long layover! In the Hong Kong airport lounges (which are stunning when it comes to design), there are luxe shower suites, noodle bars, tea houses, and even yoga and meditation stations.
When it comes to privacy, Qatar Airways takes top prize for its Qsuite Business Class product, which has an actual closing door and a "do not disturb" indicator. The center two seats are the ones honeymooners should book, since they can be combined into one unit for flights from major U.S. cities through Doha to destinations including Shanghai, Sydney, and London. You’ll get PJs, plenty of skincare products, on-demand dining (as in whatever time you want your chicken tikka masala or king prawns), and 21.5-inch screens on which to watch flicks from your comfy seat.
You may have never heard of La Compagnie, but it’s decidedly the best airline to fly if you love rosé all day—and night! Whispering Angel is served on board the boutique airline’s all-business-class flights, which now include nonstop routes (seasonally, from May to October) between New York and Nice, making the South of France far more pleasant to reach. Side note: It partners with Monacair to offer honeymooners (and other travelers) direct, easy access from there to Monaco. On its new Airbus A321neo, couples can enjoy fully flat beds with enhanced privacy, state-of-the-art entertainment systems, and, hold the phones, free and unlimited WiFi. Caudalie skincare products fill amenity kits, there are seasonally curated menus from top chefs in Paris and New York, artisanal croissants by well regarded French bakery Maison Kayser, and a list of French wine and Champagne, naturally, to keep spirits high throughout.
Turkish Airlines flies to most countries in the world, making it an appealing choice for honeymooners up for adventures in far-flung places—with maybe a day or two in Istanbul en route, since stopovers are free and for business-class travelers even supported with luxurious hotel stays! The airport in Istanbul is brand-new, and with it the epic TA lounge, too. Hop on the new Boeing Dreamliner and its bespoke and brand-new business class cabins—with dimmable large windows, increased privacy, sumptuous sleeping sets, and Flying Chefs—to just about wherever your heart desires, whether it's Athens to Bali or Marrakech to Cairo.
All Nippon Airlines
With a reputation for having a superior business class cabin, there’s no better time to fly All Nippon Airlines—commonly called ANA. The 2020 Olympics are in Tokyo, after all, and the country has so much to offer beyond the capital, too. The new international business class product is referred to as The Room, and it really is since it has its own door, giving passengers ultimate privacy—a perk that’s valued even more on one’s honeymoon! Sleek and chic, the seats are super wide and lie flat, of course, and face a whopping 24-inch 4K Panasonic monitor—the feel is definitely first class. Architect Kengo Kuma (the guy behind Tokyo’s new Olympic stadium) played a role in making the suites beautiful, too, with Japanese rosewood and ash accents that make the environment feel more like a hotel than an airplane. In this cabin, you and your new spouse may practically wish for a longer flight to Japan.