More Than Just Extra Legroom

Long-haul flights and absolute boredom are encountered together commonly enough to be near synonymous and most travellers typically bury themselves in work or drop off for a not-so-restful snooze. EXEC takes a look at a few carriers who are determined to give customers a flight to remember.

A Gadget Party – Virgin America

If you’re tired of always lugging your machine across the terminal and through security, Virgin America promises to become your preferred carrier. Free Wi-fi and the use of a Chromebook are what the airline is offering its customers – a major boon on long-haul flights, where you have a good 12-16 hours to kill. Passengers can expect to pick up the laptop at the boarding gate and return it to the airline once safely back on the ground.

Plus, the carrier also hosts one of the best in-flight entertainment systems in the world with 9-inch screen that allows you to sink into a selection of movies, cable and satellite TV, games, books, music – the works. And all of it is included in the price of your ticket, meaning you won’t have to fritter away cash on anything besides food and maybe phone calls.

The SkyCouchAir New Zealand

Air New Zealand may not be at the top of the list as far as first-class comforts go, but they certainly know how to charm the knickers off the economy traveller. A trio travelling from the Kiwi capital to London or L.A., can avail of the SkyCouch – a row of three seats that transforms into a couch, once the leg rests have been lifted into place.

The Shower Spa – Emirates

Emirates, arguably the world’s most successful airline, gives first-class passengers a chance to cool off with an in-flight shower on any of their 25 Airbus A380 aircraft. The mammoth aircraft takes on about 500 kg of water that goes exclusively towards airborne sanitary pampering and yes, they offer hot water, along with designer cologne and plush towels. 

Sky Sommeliers – Asiana Airlines

Flight attendants at Asiana are trained by top international wine schools to become certified sommeliers. A business or first class ticket on select flights, will earn you the privilege of being served by these winophile cabin crews who will be more than happy to select the perfect vintage to accompany your in-flight meal – prepared by the in-flight chef, of course. On the flipside, this service is currently only offered to those travelling to Frankfurt or Los Angeles.

Love Is In The AirSingapore Airlines

Singapore Airlines is known for their absolutely unique brand of service, but their Airbus A380 takes hospitality to a whole new level. The aircraft offers the amorous (or sleepy) couple a cosy, double bed strewn with roses and a bottle of bubbly (both Dom and Krug). To avail this service simply book two centre-aisle cabins, and you can enjoy your entire flight in the arms of your significant other. Whether you can do more than that, however, is entirely a matter of how stealthy you can be. The airline’s official line is that no hanky-panky is allowed inside the plane and coming from a country that rewards sexual exhibitionism with a caning, all carnal adventures should wait until you’re on solid ground.

A Tipple On The House Virgin Atlantic

Most airlines will tuck you into your economy class seat and hand you a cocktail menu with a packet of peanuts, but on Virgin Atlantic, even cattle class brings with it a complimentary cocktail. Not one for martini glasses with little umbrellas? Well, for the gritty guzzler, the airline offers a selection of beer, wine and soda too.

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