In 1970, Hugh Hefner's Playboy jet was celebrated for its on-board disco and fur-lined circular bed. Since then, the wow factor offered in some airlines has only increased. For example, in Casey Neistat’s recent video about a $21,000 first-class Emirates flight from Dubai to New York, the YouTube star plays with the motorized doors on his personal cabin, marvels at free pajamas and lotion, and rhapsodizes about the opportunity to take a personal shower while in the air. Here, we rounded up some more of the most over-the-top airplane perks available today.
1. Emirates’ In-Flight Shower
When the Emirates A380 plane was being designed, a curved interior section seemed difficult to use until a creative mind came up with installing an in-flight shower. Each passenger can now reserve a 30-minute time slot in the spa cabin, which also includes Bvlgari toiletries and plush bathrobes. If the temperature of the heated floor is a little too hot, adjust it with the turn of a knob. Shower attendants also ensure the room is cleaned between uses and that all requests (within reason) are fulfilled. And upon returning to their seat, passengers are served a plate of sliced fruit.
On several of its flights, Emirates also features a lounge that Neistat has called “a nightclub.” Not only does it have its own bartender, but there’s a wall-sized TV and plenty of happy hour snacks to go around.
2. Singapore Airlines' Double Bed Cabin
Devised by French luxury yacht designer Jean-Jacques Coste, the suite cabins on Singapore Airlines pamper passengers in the sky. The doors feature wooden veneer, the seats are finished in leather, and the counters are topped with a shade of cream. If you’re traveling with a companion in an adjoining cabin (or the flight isn’t full), your bed can be made into a double. Passengers will also receive a Salvatore Ferragamo-designed amenity kit, which includes a full-size bottle of cologne. Oh, and the blankets, slippers, and pajamas are all by Givenchy.
3. Lufthansa’s Mile-High Wine Cellar
While most first-class sections have a nice wine selection, Lufthansa takes pride in serving a series of high-quality and hard-to-find varietals. Working with Markus Del Monego — the only German world champion sommelier — the company curates bottles for discerning palates. Just keep in mind that the wine list changes monthly.
4. Etihad’s Residence
The Residence, or three-room in-flight suite, on Etihad features a living room, bedroom, and private shower. Created for two travel companions, the living room comes with a double-seat leather sofa and two dining tables. Factor in Vera Wang glassware and Bernardaud china for an even more luxurious experience. When your snack supply is running low or restarting the in-flight movie on the 32-inch flat-screen TV is proving to be particularly difficult, turn to the butler on board. They also serve jet-setters breakfast in bed. Travelers who get tired of spending time in the suite can take a stroll to the lounge, which sits between first and business class and features banquettes and plenty of drinks.
5. Air France’s Celebrity Chef Menu
While plenty of first-class airlines offer Champagne and caviar, Air France has teamed up with star chef Daniel Boulud to serve dishes that are a little more out-of-the-box. His plates include sea bass in vine leaves, za’atar, farro, and grapes as well as peppered beef tenderloin, cranberry, squash, and spinach custard. The catch: His meals are only available from flights departing from major cities in the U.S. Air France planes that take off in other countries serve dishes created by world-renowned chefs like Joël Robuchon, Guy Martin, Anne-Sophie Pic, and Michel Roth.
6. Air Malta’s Sky Spa
Travelers who can’t shell out five figures for a first-class ticket can still get the luxe treatment when flying Air Malta. The airline teamed up with Myoka Spas to offer free in-flight hand, feet, and neck massages while calming music plays. Recipients are also given lotions and certificates to use at the spas on land. Just keep in mind the service is only available on some selected flights.
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