Economy class doesn’t necessarily have to mean a no-frills flight experience. Sure you might not have the leg space, but there are tons
of other inflight services that airlines are providing, for both the premium and economy passenger, to ensure a smooth flight for body, mind and soul.
You’ve just boarded your flight – a trip overseas means you’re in for
the long haul. Your inflight entertainment system has ceased to work,
leaving you with nothing to look at but its pitch-black face. You’ve
studied your safety manual for lack of anything else to read, and
you’ve swallowed your bland, microwaved-to-oblivion meal in one gulp.
Your cramped economy class seat makes you feel larger than Big Foot
himself, and as you twist and turn and struggle to sleep, you can’t
help but dream of what it would be like in first class. If only.
All hope needn’t be lost. There are quite a few airlines that ensure
quality service and entertainment for the cooped-up passenger. Here’s
a sneak peek at some that offer a first class experience, economy
Virgin America is known for having one of the better inflight
entertainment systems. Known for attention to detail, they even offer
a customised British experience on their Heathrow-JFK flight – from
English publications like Hello, to free toiletry kits, and a high tea
service that comes with scones and clotted cream.
Singapore Airlines pulls out all the stops, for both first and economy
class. The airline spares no expense in their amenities – all
passengers are even given Givenchy socks! If you happen to be flying
on the Airbus A380 or Boeing 777-300ER, you can even flip through
publications – from Wall Street Journal to Elle Magazine – on
Krisworld, the airline’s inflight entertainment system.
Despite being a budget airline, JetBlue still offers one of the better
inflight experiences in the US. Their entertainment system includes 36
channels of DIRECTV programming, and the snacks on flight range from
Terra Blues to animal crackers. Overnight flights also include their
Shut-Eye Service, one that includes free eyeshades and earplugs, hot
towels, and a Dunkin’ Donuts coffee upon arrival.
Virgin America sets the tone for the overall flight experience with
its dim, “sexy” cabin lighting. Every seat also has a standard and USB
plug, and the ability to offset your carbon emission through a credit
card swipe to Carbonfund.org. Some magazines and airline associations
have also voted Virgin America as the one with the best inflight
And finally, Emirates – the airline offers 600 odd channels on ‘ice’,
its “groundbreaking” entertainment system. Not to mention telephone,
SMS and email services too. Multi-course meals are designed according
to region, with locally sourced ingredients to boot. And best of all,
the cabin lighting has been so designed so as to ease or reduce jet
lag. Oh, and did we mention that you could take in the view from the
aircraft’s external cameras as well?