First-Class Travel

by Mark Ellwood


Your jet: Boeing 747 and Airbus A380

Killer app: The Newson-helmed First Class lounges in Sydney and Melbourne reinvent what a lounge should be (the retro departure boards alone are mesmerizing)

Amenity you'll want to steal: The baby-soft Aussie wool blanket

Ultimate itinerary: Well, New York City to Sydney, of course, to switch up the seasons

Life up front: Two words: Marc Newson. The rock-star designer first partnered with the airline in 2004, introducing category-shattering comfy Skybed seats in first and business class (those built-in shoe boxes are especially nifty). In 2007, Newson cemented the partnership by designing its new lounges for first-class passengers at Qantas's twin hubs in Melbourne and Sydney. Designed using feng shui principals, each retro-mod space has a leather-floored library, old-fashioned click-clack departure boards, and marble-lined shower suites with individual stereo systems. Then there's the Payot Paris day spa: Everything, from a 30-minute energizing facial to a 50-minute all-over massage, is free. Every first-class passenger is personally greeted curbside, checked in, and escorted upstairs by one of the two dozen concierges. Newson's not just the creative director of the preflight experience, either: He helped pick the contents of the onboard amenity kits and approved touches like the lambswool blankets and bathrooms stocked with La Prairie lotions.

Platinum card-smashing price: New York City to Sydney from $ $24,733 roundtrip

Tel: 800 227 4609

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.



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