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For a generation, air travel has been romanticized as living “la dolce vita”. Modern premium-cabin travel includes features like lie-flat seats, multi-course meals and pajamas. One of the features that conveys a true premium air travel experience is serving caviar as part of the onboard menu. Join us as we highlight those airlines that offer caviar as part of your journey around the world and how to use your airline miles to fly them.
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Lufthansa (LH) First Class
Lufthansa describes its caviar service as “an integral part of the First Class experience.” It distributes caviar from a larger container as part of its appetizer cart. We make this distinction because a subset of the other airlines in this article provide individual jars of caviar. Lufthansa provides onions and diced hard boiled egg as accompaniments, along with a selection of breads.
Lufthansa: How To Book
Lufthansa first class used to be much more reliably available 14 days out, although now it seems to vary. However, you can book it with many Star Alliance partners, including:
There are some other options with less accessible mileage programs such as Asiana Club, which charges 50,000 miles but often high fuel surcharges, for example. You can best search by looking for the over-water leg, but then try out onward itineraries to allow for a visit to the Lufthansa first-class terminal—don’t forget to get one of their famous rubber ducks!
Air France The Premiere First Class
Air France’s La Premiere first class is largely viewed as one of the least obtainable aspirational premium products. The full La Premiere experience includes escort to the first-class lounge in Paris (if you are departing or transiting Paris, that is), chauffeur to your connecting flight in Paris and we’ve read that Air France even has a minder to escort you at your final destination all the way to baggage claim. While caviar is a wonderful feature of La Premiere, the whole experience is what you splurge for.
The caviar experience is described as caviar sturia quenelle with vodka in addition to lime whipped cream and accompanied with blinis.
Air France: How To Book
Air France’s La Premiere first class is a pretty difficult award to find. If you book business, you can often “buy up” to La Premiere, if seats are available, but it can sometimes be awfully costly. $1,200 is not uncommon, and that is on the low end. Unfortunately, if you’re looking to redeem miles, you need to be a Flying Blue elite member, and even then, you’re looking at 200,000 miles, one way, from the US to Europe.
Emirates First Class
Emirates has largely been regarded as an incredible aspirational first-class experience, especially flying on the A380. Emirates has a lot to love: fully enclosed suites, multi-course dining, the only moisturizing pajamas in the sky, a shower on the A380 and of course, caviar!
Emirates provides a fairly traditional caviar service, offering egg, onions and blini as well as a bread basket to complement the individually sized tins of caviar. In addition, Emirates changed its caviar policy in August to allow for multiple servings per passenger. Emirates has upgraded additional aspects of its catering to include a more exhaustive selection of sweets and mid-flight snacks to complement the latest movie on your personal, in-flight entertainment screen.
Emirates: How To Book
Once upon a time, Emirates first class was easily available, bookable with Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles for as little as 100,000 miles to connect in Dubai to most regions. Unfortunately, those days have passed, and now the options for Emirates (at least for the time being) lay with Qantas and Emirates’ own Skywards programme, which is perhaps the most efficient currency to book.
Using Emirates Skywards, you’ll be looking at about 135,000 miles for first class, one way, from JFK to Dubai—though do note that Emirates charges pretty hefty fuel surcharges at the moment, having increased them numerous times over recent years.
Qantas bases redemptions on distance traveled. While Qantas caps out its awards at 227,500, you can expect to pay about 150,000 miles. Qantas does offer a handy calculator, but do be warned that fuel surcharges and taxes are high here, as well.
It’s important to note that Emirates and Air Canada have announced a strategic partnership which could lead to potential options to redeem Air Canada’s Aeroplan miles for Emirates, but we don’t yet have the details.
Etihad First Class
A fun feature of Etihad’s first class on its 787 aircraft is that it utilizes one of the only rear-facing first-class seats. Don’t worry, not all seats are rear facing, and Etihad’s other aircraft don’t have that feature. What all of Etihad’s first class does have, however, is caviar!
Etihad serves caviar with diced egg, onion, lemon and blinis. Like other airlines, it too serves smaller, individual servings.
Etihad: How To Book
Etihad is an interesting airline because it embraces partnerships more so than airline alliances, such as Oneworld, Star Alliance or SkyTeam. To that end, Etihad first class is bookable with Etihad Guest Rewards (transferrable from American Express Membership Rewards, Capital One Rewards and Citi ThankYou Rewards), for 136,250 miles between Abu Dhabi (AUH) and Washington, DC (IAD).
You can also book with Air Canada Aeroplan which can range based on the distance you are flying, but for example Washington, DC to Abu Dhabi would be 130,000 Aeroplan miles. Do note that various transferable points programs such as American Express Membership Rewards regularly do transfer bonuses which can make the redemption more palatable.
Qatar First Class
Qatar first class is not widely available; generally it’s only an option on its A380, with a subset of wet-leased Cathay Pacific 777s and a handful of regional aircraft. From our research, regional flights did not serve caviar—as would be understandable—that said, long haul flights do offer it.
One recent social media reference reported the caviar on the menu as balik-style salmon served with blinis and melba toast and a mother-of-pearl spoon. This is certainly one of the nicer caviar experiences in the air and one of the more limited caviar experiences, as well.
Qatar: How To Book
Qatar Airways only flies its A380s on fairly limited routes. At time of writing, those include: Doha (DOH) to Paris (CDG), Doha to London (LHR), Doha to Zurich (ZRH), Doha to Bangkok (BKK) and Doha to Sydney (SYD), and the wet- leased Cathay Pacific 777s flying on the Doha-Male, Maldives (MLE) route.
- Doha to Europe: 64,500 Qatar Avios, one way
- Doha to Bangkok: 75,000 Qatar Avios
- Doha to Sydney: 105,000 Avios
- Doha to Male, Maldives: 52,500 Qatar Avios
You can transfer Avios among British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus and Qatar. British Airways Avios is a transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards, Bilt Rewards, Capital One Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards and Marriott Bonvoy points. Qatar Avios is a transfer partner with Citi ThankYou points.
Japan Airlines (JAL) First Class
Japan Airlines takes a different approach to caviar—caviar with egg yolk mascarpone cheese cream, yukon potato blini and salmon tartare sauce.
The description doesn’t give it justice. It tasted more like a deviled egg with a salmon paste and a personal serving sized tin/ramekin. While the bread/starch accompaniment varies, the silver dollar sized blinis compliment the egg yolk mascarpone cheese cream, salmon tartare and, of course, caviar quite nicely.
Japan Airlines: How To Book
Japan Airlines Mileage Bank is your first answer. It utilizes a region-based award chart, however, Japan Airlines Mileage Bank miles are fairly hard to get—the only notable way is to transfer from Marriott Bonvoy. More commonly available mileage redemption options include
- Alaska Airlines: 70,000 Mileage Plan miles, one way, from the US to Tokyo
- Cathay Pacific: 240,000 Asia Miles, round trip, US to Tokyo; you can transfer American Express Membership Rewards and Citi ThankYou points to Asia Miles.
- American Airlines AAdvantage: 80,000 AA miles
Korean Air First Class
Korean Air’s first-class Kosmo 2.0 suites are spacious, and on some aircraft, even have doors. While Korean Air does not serve caviar on all routes, when it does serve caviar, it serves it with an individual serving jar, accompanied by a mix of breads; blinis and toast, a lemon and with an articulate presentation of onion and egg. And of course, accompanied by a mother-of-pearl spoon.
Korean Air: How To Book
Unfortunately, despite being a member of SkyTeam, Korean Air does not release first-class award space to partners. You can book via Korean Skypass for 80,000 miles off peak and 120,000 miles peak between South Korea and North America.
There’s a lot about Singapore’s suites on its A380 and 777s to love. Singapore has a suite product on the A380, which is different from the seat that it offers on its Boeing 777s. Both, however, offer the same catering amenities. In addition to the Book the Cook option, through which many choose to pre-order the well known Lobster Thermidor, Singapore Airlines also serves Oscietra caviar.
Singapore Airlines recently modified its offering, such that passengers are served an individual 30 grams (about 1.06 ounces) jar of caviar rather than the crew apportioning from a larger container. With the 30 grams individual serving, Singapore has also introduced a mother-of-pearl spoon, along with the normal accompaniments of diced egg, onions, lemon and blinis. Krug champagne is of course also offered and a wonderful companion.
Singapore: How To Book
Singapore is long known to block partners from booking Singapore Suites. But you can book Singapore Suites with Singapore’s KrisFlyer program, which is a transfer partner of Chase Ultimate Rewards, American Express Membership Rewards, Capital One Miles, Citi ThankYou Points and Marriott Bonvoy
You can book saver awards on the New York (JFK) to Frankfurt (FRA) route featuring the new A380 suite for 97,000 and East Coast to Singapore for 148,500 miles.
You can book saver or Suites/First Advantage awards on the New York (JFK) to Frankfurt (FRA) route for 143,500 Krisflyer miles. You can also book the US East Coast to Singapore for 243,000 Krisflyer.
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Whether you are a caviar aficionado or not, there are plenty of amazing airlines that fly first class and offer amazing experiences, including caviar. In some cases, airlines are doubling down, such as Emirates, on the onboard experience. For many, these are aspirational experiences and rightly so. The first-class experiences covered in this post are all attainable with miles and perhaps that’s the most amazing part.