While low-cost airlines are booming, there still exists a segment for expensive plane tickets. Steven Richardson takes a look at the 10 most expensive plane tickets for purchase in 2020.
If you’re reading this blog it’s most likely that you enjoy watching planes. Whether it’s how they look, how they fly, or something else, planes are a majestic thing.
While they are beautiful on the outside, they are often just as equally, if not more, wonderous on the inside. Of course, I’m not talking about your bog-standard low-cost flights. I’m talking about those luxurious experiences of first-class and above.
In this article, I’ll introduce you to the ten most expensive flights in the world. If you’d like to learn more about them, then I’ve helpfully linked to the company’s website in each case. And if you think these are cheap, then you should probably start looking at chartering a private jet which takes things to a whole another level completely!
Sidenote: Due to COVID-19 many carriers are not operating as often or as large an offering. Therefore, many of these flights are currently unbookable. However, if everything goes looking on the up, then many of these routes and flights will reopen. In fact, you might even be able to land these deals cheaper.
New York to Tokyo – ANA 1st Class – $15,000
With Japanese culture so based around respect and honor, it’s no surprise that you’ll experience the perfect service upon any ANA flight. 1st class just takes this one step further and provides you with everything you could require at your fingerprints. Their first-class cabins have plenty of privacy, and you’ll get all the luxuries you’d expect from such a high-value service. Surprisingly with a price of $15,000, it’s the cheapest on this list.
New York to Abu Dhabi – Etihad A380 Apartments – $16,000
As the UAEs second-largest carrier, you can expect complete luxury from basically any Etihad flight. Of course, flying on an A380 is even more luxurious. These first-class apartments were the first in the world to take up a full single-isle. At 40 square feet, they offer you full autonomy and the bench opens up to a bed for comfortable sleeping on longer routes.
New York to Singapore – Virgin Atlantic Upper Class – $20,000
Richard Branson is a man known for luxury and exorbitant taste. Therefore, it’s no surprise that his company, Virgin Atlantic, has one of the most expensive flight options in the world. Upper Class is similar to first-class but taking stepping it up (appreciate the wordplay). The cabins are swanky, with great levels of privacy, a common bar for drinking, and of course all of the amenities you’d expect from such a high caliber flight.
New York to Hong Kong – Cathay Pacific 777 1st Class – $20,000
Cathay Pacific has a reputation for having the best flights around the globe. While it has remained mainly unchanged over the years, it’s nothing to be laughed at. At 36 inches wide these cabins are some of the most spacious you can get and will convert into an extremely comfortable bed to sleep in. While luxury and comfort at an all high, some passengers do wish that the food would be of higher quality. However, on the whole it’s still a fantastic flight experience.
New York to Singapore – Swiss Air First Class – $22,000 (round trip)
Swiss likes to refer to this class “Your Home Above the Clouds”. With complimentary pajamas and luxury amenities, this is an extremely correct statement. The food is extremely enjoyable, even Michelin-starred, and the whole Swiss experience is seamless. While not as spacious as other providers, Swiss does allow for more baggage per person so there is that.
New York to Beijing – Korean Air First Class – $27,000
Korea is a technologically advanced country so it’s natural that its first-class suites are as well. Officially called the Prestige Suites these cabins come with touchpad controlled everything, fully reclining seats, and 17″ inch flat-screen TVs. You can enjoy all of these in full privacy and with Mercury Award-winning food. Unfortunately, they have limited the number of flights offering this service you’ll have to choose your flight carefully if you’d like to enjoy it.
San Francisco to Abu Dhabi – Etihad Airways – $28,000
This is the second listing of Etihad on this list so by now you should know that this suite will be a fantastic offering. Your suite comes with a 23-inch flat-screen TV, middle eastern menus, and super comfortable leather seats. You also get a minibar filled with goodies, but with the delicious range of items on the menu, I doubt you’ll need this.
Los Angeles to Dubai – Emirates 1st Class – $30,000
When you hear the most expensive flights your first thought will probably be Etihad but Emirates probably won’t be far behind. Honestly, when you’re paying up to $30,000 for a one-way ticket you’re going to be expecting the best of the best. Alongside the fully partitioned private suites, there’s a communal “living room” with a bar, minibars, vanity tables and even spa facilities. If that wasn’t enough the spa facilities come with Bulgary amenity kits. On the whole, this is about the most enjoyable you can get on one of the longest flights in the world.
New York to Hong Kong – Lufthansa 1st Class – $43,00
Many people think of European flight when they hear the name Lufthansa. However, they’d be wrong, as they provide some of the best ways to travel the world. Like with many of the services on this list, the experience starts long before you board your flight. In-fact you can ask for a brand new Porsche to take you to the exclusive lounge from your hotel. The food is Michelin starred, theirs fantastic wine on offer, amenity kits that include everything par the kitchen sink. I could go on, but by now you probably get the picture.
New York to Abu Dhabi – Etihad Airways Residence – $64,000
Etihad appears multiple times on this list which isn’t surprising as it’s the flag carrier for the UAE. Furthermore, as an #avgeek you’ve probably already heard about Etihad’s Residence Suites. If you thought the other items on this list were luxurious and out of this world, then I have a surprise for you.
The Residence name is fully justified as you get a three-room apartment composed of a bedroom (with a double bed), a lounge, and a bathroom with a shower. If that’s not enough, you get all of the bonuses that you’ve read about above, and a personal butler to cater to your every whim. A one-way ticket will cost $64,000 on the Airbus A380. However, the residence provides travel for two people so when you think about it, it’s not that pricey(!).
So there you have it, that’s the most expensive flights in the world! I’d love to know what the most expensive or interesting flight you’ve taken is so let me know in the comments and I’ll try and reply in a timely manner.
Discover More About the World’s Airliners
Flying Firsts is an airliner reference guide full of pictures of all the airliner types and variants that have flown since the 1930s to the present day. Presented with lots of facts, interesting histories, and colour photographs. Perfect for the aviation lover’s bookshelf!