As airlines reinvent the wheel and do everything they have got to beat the competition, many “luxuries” we used to know have now become the “norm”. We have all felt flutters in our hearts when we first heard about fully-reclined massage chairs, welcome champagne and food by on-site chefs. Then, we silently squealed in delight as we were pampered with Givenchy pyjamas, Salvatore Ferragamo amenity kit and Bose noise-cancelling headphones.
Nowadays, it takes more to be the No.1 choice for wealthy expats to fly in style. We already see how more of them are investing in premium services just to relocate without lifting a finger. It is no surprise that, for the ultimate in-flight comfort and service, they find no price tag that is too high. Below are some of the higher-than-first-class luxuries that the elites, celebrities and even dignitaries have enjoyed.
Space and privacy
Lufthansa Airlines has up the ante by introducing a seat and a separate bed. Sure, an 180° flat seat is awesome, but it cannot beat the comforts of a bed. With the space, you can now toss and turn all you want!
Jet Airways and Cathay Pacific Airways, on the other hand, appeal to those who value privacy with the installation of sliding doors and individual cabins respectively. For couples on honeymoon, Singapore Airlines’ cabin, where the privacy wall can be retracted and the two seats can be converted to a double bed for sharing, is perfect.
If you absolutely do not want to compromise anything, there is always the airline suites provided by Etihad Airways. Their suites range from studio rooms to three-room suites! Just like a hotel apartment, there is a living room for entertainment and dining, a double bed in the bedroom, and a private en-suite bathroom with shower. Did I mention that you get a butler service along with the suite?
The extra touch
Mini-bars are so yesterday. Several airlines now have a professional bar and cushy lounge area onboard for long-haul aircrafts. That means that you can sip on freshly made cocktails and dictate the technicalities of your drink by telling the bartender your preferences.
If you do not want to waste time with stopovers, take note that the longest non-stop flight can take up to 17 gruelling hours! Of course, with first-class flights, the experience will be much more pleasant. Emirates make it better for germophobes with its in-flight shower facilities and spa products.
People from all walks of life travel abroad. The trick to winning the passengers’ hearts really boils down to how well the airline serves the different psychographics. Gulf Air and Etihad Airways, for instance, have done a great job at relieving parents of wailing babies with its provision of qualified nannies and children entertainment on-board. American Airlines provide swivel chair seating for delegates to hold discussions with ease and Nippon Airways provide a personal international phone for the C-suite to make those all-important business calls.