1st: Etihad The Residence
In Brief: The most out and out luxury on any commercial flight.
Having flown by Private Jet and The Residence, this comes close to topping the king of luxury aviation. The main plus point is the choice of food, drink and wine. The treatment you get is nothing short of royal. You feel super rich, with a three room suite and the lounges are amazing. Food is amazing and the service inflight is much better than a private jet. You even get your own butler! The only downside is that with three rooms, they are all a touch too small to really have some personal space.
However, a jet is still better for choice on the ground (food in advance; you can ask for anything), flexibility and space.
2nd: British Airways First
In Brief: Discreet and a very nice experience
There is not as much out and out luxury as one may find on the Arab airlines, but the service is, well, very British. Discreet with very nice cabin crew. They have character and think for themselves and adapt to each passenger. The rewards scheme (Avios) is also very good. It tends to be in between the Arab airlines and Virgin for comfort.
3rd: Virgin Upper Class
In Brief: Less luxury than others, but the best value.
Now, this is a really interesting one. I do like it – but not because of the luxury. If I want to be discreet and have good service then Virgin is the answer. It is not flash – but has the luxury that one could reasonably want.
It is a cheaper way to go first class because it costs about the same as BA business. I would take this over BA business any day. (BA first does beat it though)
The lounges are very good and customer service is arguably the best from any airline. Inbetween first and business in my overall rankings, at business prices. Bargain!