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WOW Air is one of the most recent (and tragic) victims of the ruthless airline industry.

The handful of years between 2010 and 2017 saw the rise of industry-disrupting airlines that took the travel world by storm and threatened to change up the whole game.

The past couple of years have seen those upstart airlines rapidly collapsing in on themselves.

In 2018 and 2019, Primera, Jet Airways, and WOW Air all declared bankruptcy. Virgin America was acquired by Alaska Airlines. In less than a month, Joon will cease operations and be reabsorbed back into Air France. Wizz Air, Ryanair, and Norwegian, while still technically in business, all reported substantial losses in the last quarter.

It seems the sun is definitely setting on low-cost and innovative airlines.

The answer to the question what happened? is multi-pronged. Rising fuel costs, mis-management, and bargain-bin ticket prices that couldn’t turn a profit all contributed to the massacre, depending on which airline you’re talking about.

But never mind the past—what does this mean for the future?


Looking to the past for a pattern

In 2018, the jetsetting collective solemnly bade farewell to Virgin America when it was acquired by Alaska Airlines. Known for its funky mood-lighting and in-flight inter-seat messaging service, Virgin America looked all set to completely disrupt the industry when it came on the scene in 2007. A little over a decade later though, it was absolved into the up-and-coming powerhouse of Alaska Airlines.

Similarly, Joon, which was launched by Air France in order to attract a younger crowd (millennials were the target audience) lasted just under two years, from 2017 to 2019, before announcing it was ceasing operations and being reabsorbed back into its parent company.

Even Southwest, once known for its saucy advertising, rock-bottom prices, and general diffidence to the industry, has had to cool its jets—pun not intended—and get itself on the relatively straight-and-narrow in order to keep competing with legacy carriers.

But it’s short-sighted to assume that airlines only started to look to the future (and summarily had their vision crushed) in the past couple of decades. Long before Joon, before Virgin America, and even before Southwest, there were airlines like Concorde, Pacific Southwest Airlines, and Western Airlines. Each was an innovator or disruptor in their own way—setting the time record for crossing the Atlantic, promoting themselves by painting cheerful smiles on the nose of their planes, offering such funky amenities as punch served out of a volcano on their flights to Hawaii—and they all disappeared, more or less without a trace, from the industry.

When considering these innovative airlines of the past, one has to wonder if the airline industry is stuck in a homeostasis where fresh outlooks are tolerated only briefly, before being consigned to the annals of history. And if this is the case, is there anything that can be done about it?

The hamartia of hubris

If the existence of an industry-disrupting airline in inherently short and bleak, then why do airlines attempt to continue to buck the system (before shortly, and inevitably, going defunct)?

For an answer to that, we have to look at WOW Airlines, which declared bankruptcy only just this year. WOW, which was founded in 2011, commenced operations in 2012, operating low-cost flights from the US to Europe (with stopovers in Iceland). WOW Air was started by Icelandic entrepreneur Skuli Mogensen, who acquired the operations and network of the now-defunct (and also low cost) carrier Iceland Express.

This acquisition probably should have come as a warning sign. No amount of hubris was going to save WOW from following in the footsteps of its predecessor. For a few years, it certainly gave its competitor, Icelandair, a run for its money, and the cost of flights to Iceland and Europe briefly plummeted. At the peak of the competition, during the summer of 2017, it was possible to get round trip tickets from New York to Europe for under $300.

But in order to maintain this, WOW Air was forced to hemorrhage money. They expanded rapidly—even adding a route to India—and then folded just as quickly. Despite this, the CEO of WOW is already on the hunt for more funding, certain he can resurrect the airline.

The story of people stepping into the industry with no experience, thinking they know best as to how to run an airline is as tale as old as commercial flight—and probably one of the biggest reasons promising airlines go defunct or get absorbed by larger, more established (and boring) airlines.

Success is not a measure of success

One of the most beloved airlines in US history was Virgin America. When it announced its last-ever flight—from Los Angeles to San Francisco—dozens of travel bloggers coveted a ticket. Passengers with fond memories of the airline will wax poetic about its purple-and-red cabin lighting, free wifi, music played during boarding and entertaining safety videos (which launched a trend in the industry). “We simply want to make air travel better,” Virgin Group’s design director said at the original founding of the airline in 2007.

And by all measures, that is exactly what Virgin America did. For the next ten years, Virgin America embodied the pioneering spirit of every innovative airline that came before it, without sacrificing its competitive daring. It was low-cost, hip and friendly, and by all rights, it should have kept the airline industry on its toes for many years to come.

Instead, it was purchased, lock, stock, and barrel, by the larger Alaska Airlines, who saw the quirky Virgin America airline as a way to expand into the California market.

In this case, Alaska Airlines has made some noise about maintaining the innovative spirit of Virgin America, but there’s no saying how committed they are to this endeavor. And at any rate, the purchase hangs as a stark warning over the success of other upstart airlines: managing to thrive while upending the industry is no guarantee that the whole operation won’t be bought out from under them.

Holding out hope for the future

As disappointing as the boom-and-bust cycle of innovative and low-cost airlines can be, the pattern is trending upwards. Where once Virgin America was innovative for offering free wifi, for example, now a number of airlines have started to do the same. (And wifi, free or not, is becoming a prerequisite for all airlines that want to seriously compete in the industry.)

And even as the industry to laying to rest the previous group of innovative airlines, the next crowd of upstarts is making its way into the spotlight. In 2017 and 2018, no less than four new budget airlines commenced operations: Swoop, in Canada, Level, based out of Barcelona, World Airways, a relaunch of an old brand now with start-up backing, and Moxy, from the founder of JetBlue. Each hopes to balance along the precarious knife’s edge of offering low-cost flights without sacrificing too much in the way of passenger comfort (unlike, say, the Frontier or Spirit model of rock-bottom prices combined with endless add-on fees).

Will these airlines succeed in making a place for themselves alongside established carriers? History says no—but no doubt each will contribute a spark to the growing inferno that powers major changes in the airline industry. For now, there’s no saying what new innovations each might contribute. Time will tell what changes they will spur in legacy carriers desperate to keep up with the competition.

So while there may be no end in sight for the rapid rise and fall of innovative, low-cost airlines, their continued sacrifice is slowly pushing the airline industry into the future.

The post Industry-disrupting airlines are disappearing…what does it say for the future of travel? appeared first on .

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Getting enough Zzz’s can be a real challenge on a long-haul flight.


It can be tough to sleep on a plane.

But the next time you find yourself on a long haul, finding a way to get some sleep is a challenge you’re eventually going to have to contend with.

In order to facilitate that process, we’re here with a few tips to help you catch some shut-eye on your next flight.

Stay Hydrated

Falling asleep while dehydrated is already difficult enough, but waking up dehydrated is even worse. But when you’re 35,000 feet up, breathing dry, recycled air, it’s really difficult to remain adequately hydrated. Plus, when flight attendants come around with alcohol beverages, it can sometimes be difficult to refuse–alcohol is supposed to help you fall asleep, right?–but if you really want to try and get some rest on your flight, your best option is to stick to water or something packed with electrolytes, like Gatorade.

To avoid having to get up every half hour to use the restroom–which will definitely also cut into your ability to fall asleep–stick to sipping a little bit of water periodically over the course of your flight.

Don’t stay up late the night before

While it might seem like depriving yourself of sleep in order to pass out cold on the plane might be a good idea, it’s best to avoid this option. For one thing, if your plan backfires and you can’t get any rest in transit, you’re going to arrive at your destination even more exhausted. For another, disturbing your body’s natural circadian rhythm will make it more difficult to fall asleep in an environment as unusual and stimulating as the cabin of a plane.

Instead, stick to your usual amount of sleep the night before the flight, and aim to book red-eye flights, if possible.

Wear Layers

To fall asleep, the human body requires an adequate temperature:cool, but not too cold. Unfortunately, in a plane cabin–where the temperature can get quite chilly–this homeostasis can be difficult to achieve.

To make it easier on yourself, plan to wear comfortable layers on board, so you can get as cozy or cool as need be. Be sure to stick to thin layers as much as possible (an extra bulky jacket taking up your precious legroom is not going to help you sleep!), and keep in mind what normally makes you comfortable.

Avoid Interruptions

You can take a number of different steps to avoid having your sleep interrupted during the trip. Before your flight or shortly after take-off, let the flight attendant know you are planning on sleeping and don’t wish to be disturbed. Then, if you’re going to be using a blanket, make sure to buckle your seat belt over the blanket so if flight attendants come around to check, they won’t have to wake you up.

Another good idea is to avoid any screen time before trying to sleep; stow your phone and pass on the in-flight entertainment. Be sure to bring earplugs or noise-canceling headphones so as not to be bothered by your neighbor.



Upgrade

If none of the above options seem appealing to you, you usually have the option to upgrade, using points or miles, to business or first class. There, you’ll have access to lie-flat seats, which certainly make it easier to drift off on long-haul flights. While this option can be expensive, it’s certainly worth considering if you’re going to be on a flight for longer than twelve hours. Might as well use the time to get a good night’s rest, right?

The post How to Sleep Well On Long Haul Flights appeared first on .

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It’s no surprise that budget airlines skimp on legroom, but when it comes to the question of which airlines aren’t in the business of crushing your knees into a seat-back, the answer might surprise you (and no, it’s not the legacy carriers).

Without further ado, here are…

The top three airlines with the most legroom JetBlue

Economy seats on JetBlue’s A320s used to offer 34 inches of pitches—the most generous of any American carrier—but recently they’ve shaved that down to 33 inches on their A321s. Even with serious competition from other airlines, however, they still continue to extol their legroom virtues, and since only a handful of other airline compare, we will to.

Interestingly, JetBlue ranks second—behind Southwest, who also makes our “Most Legroom List”—in customer satisfaction on low-cost carriers. Could it be that customer satisfaction, like lifting heavy objects, is all in the legs?

Alaska

Alaska Airlines recently acquired the airline that has historically reigned supreme in terms of most legroom—and forever reigns supreme in this author’s circle of favorite carriers—Virgin America.

Alaska has already offered some of the most generous seat pitch in the industry—31-32 inches—but with the acquisition of 67 airbuses from Virgin America, the 32+ inches of seat pitch is about to become even more common.

The airline has said they’ll be refitting the Virgin America planes, but the likelihood that they’ll shrink the pitch down further is slim—Alaska Airlines is growing in popularity, and they probably won’t risk their up-and-coming hipness by immediately disappointing their new customer base.

Southwest

Southwest’s unusual manner of arranging seating—first come, first serve!—means the seating on their fleet of Boeing 737s is nearly identical across the board: except for exit row and bulkhead seats, which can have up to 39 inches of legroom, all Southwest economy seats offer either 32 inches of pitch (on Boeing 737-MAX and Boeing 737-800s) or 31 inches of pitch (on Boeing 737-700s).

If you’re lucky enough to be first in line, and manage to snag a bulkhead or exit row, enjoy your excess leg room. For the rest of Southwest’s passengers…just be glad you aren’t on Spirit.

And on the subject of Spirit, here are…


The top three airlines with the least amount of legroom

Spirit

Naturally, Spirit—more of a social experiment in discontentment than an airline, at this point, really—ranks high in airlines with the least amount of legroom. While an extra fee will get you a “Big Front Seat” option with 36 inches of pitch, the rest of the planes are fitted with just 28 inches of legroom.

You know, on top of the meal fee, and the baggage fee, and the seat fee and the…

You get the point.

Allegiant Air

Like other ultra low-cost carriers, not only does Allegiant have mediocre legroom—just 30 inches of pitch—they also remind you of how little legroom the seats have by offering you the option to buy Legroom+ seating (basically, seats in the bulkhead and exit rows) for—you guessed it—an extra fee.

Also, the seats have no recline. Because of course they don’t.

Frontier

These days, the only thing that gets us excited about Frontier is their adorable livery and their occasional $15 one-way fares. As for their seating, Frontier disappoints and continues to disappoint: the current seat pitch is just 28 inches on most of their planes, and they are currently in the process of phasing out their old A319s—which include a seat pitch of 31 inches.

As with other budget carriers, you can pay more for more legroom. In this case, a small fee will get you a seat in Rows 1-3, with 36 inches of pitch, or Row 13, with a whopping 38 inches.

That is, until they realize they’re letting precious space go to waste on something as trivial as passenger comfort.

The post Top Three Airlines With the Most Legroom (And Top Three Airlines With the Least) appeared first on .

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Every single traveler knows the unique dread of stowing your carry-on in the overhead bin, getting comfortable in your seat, and then looking up to the heart-wrenching sight of a weary set of parents drifting Hesperus-like up the aisle, a newborn baby in arms.

The dice have been cast, and your sanity is at stake: will the child spend the flight blissfully asleep, only occasionally waking to burble joyfully (and quietly!) for a few minutes at a time? Or will your long-haul flight become a Dantean horrorshow of ear-piercing shrieking from which there is no escape?

Once upon a time, this gamble was rarely relevant to passengers traveling in business and first class.

But times are changing.

Lately, there’s been a sharp increase in the number of juice-box-toting jet-setters traveling in luxury classes, which, for other passengers–who can sometimes pay upwards of $30,000 a flight–is deeply unwelcome. But the legality of banning toddlers and other neophytes from first and business class cabins is tenuous (and, not to mention, every howling child squeezed on to a plush lie-flat bed is another few thousand dollars’ in the airline’s pocket).

Are business and first class travelers therefore doomed to a future of a screaming baby or unruly children running amok throughout the cabin? Has the age of relaxing travel in fully lie-flat seats been replaced by the age of tossing and turning on your red-eye as the child in the next seat over decides the stress of travel (on an ill-advised red-eye, no less?!) is too much and there is nothing to do about it but unhinge their tiny jaw and let forth an endless howl?

Maybe not.

Some airlines have heard the complaints, and are stepping up to address it.  

By far the most stringent new regulations have come from Malaysian Airlines, which has unilaterally banned children from flying in first class. Perhaps a bit harsh, but first-class passengers on Malaysian air are no doubt thankful. Will other airlines follow suit? Likely not, but there are certain steps that many airlines have taken (or should consider taking) to make long-haul flights more enjoyable for customers, no matter what class they’re in.

Virgin Atlantic, a powerhouse in leading innovation in the airline industry—-singularly so, now that Virgin America has been acquired—-is one such brand that is doing their best to combat this growing issue. Richard Branson has spoken about introducing a children-only cabin on future Virgin flights, complete with nannies to look after them. Unfortunately, though, the idea hasn’t gotten off the ground—-pun entirely intended—-because of the FAA’s concerns with worst-case scenarios in the event of an emergency (i.e., children separated from their parents during an evacuation procedure).

Flying nannies, on the other hand, have started to enter the industry, on airlines such as Etihad. These nannies will greet passengers upon boarding, and act as an extra set of hands throughout the flight, usually equipped with entertaining diversions such as origami, arts and crafts, hand puppets and even face-paint.

Other airlines have introduced family lounges, complimentary stuffed animals, special in-flight kid’s meals, and Air New Zealand has even gone so far as to develop a bench-seat called the “Sky Couch” for families traveling in economy.

Will these steps be enough to stem the deeply-embedded, mostly-justified irritation of business and first class travelers forced to share their cabin with wee babes? Only time will tell.

Until then, thank god for complimentary noise-canceling headphones.  

The post Baby On Board: How Airlines Handle Infants in Business Class appeared first on .

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Photo credit: Jewel Changi Airport Devt.

Changi Airport in Singapore is a marvel. The sixth-largest airport for international travelers, Changi has been named SkyTrax’s World’s Best Airport for six years running.

In recent years, however, Changi officials have been expressing worry about losing their glowing status to competitors such as Kuala Lumpur International Airport and Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok. Singapore’s response? The creation of a 134,000 square meter, $1.7 billion mixed-use complex called Jewel.


Accessible from all three terminals at Changi Airport, the ten storeys of Jewel will be home to 300 retail and dining facilities, a 130-room hotel, an indoor garden, and a wealth of exciting attractions.

Photo credit: Jewel Changi Airport Devt.


The facility is set to open in April of 2019 and promises to outdo the previous standard of excellence that is Changi Airport. Here’s what you can expect:

Rain Vortex

Once opened, Jewel will be the home of the world’s largest indoor waterfall. At 40 meters high, it will cascade from the center of the facility, and at night, will become the backdrop for a sound-and-lights show.

Photo credit: Jewel Changi Airport Devt.


Forest Valley

Forest Valley will become one of Singapore’s largest indoor gardens, at five storeys tall and replete with 3000 trees. Visitors will be able to stroll among the gardens to relax between flights. Among the trees and plants, visitors will also be able to find life-size topiary animals and seasonal flower displays.



Sky Nets

The Sky Nets at Jewel Changi will be a fun way to view the canopy from above and provide traveler’s children with an exciting diversion between what may be very long flight legs. The Sky Net comes in two forms: a bouncing net that is 250 meters long suspended 8 meters above the ground, and a firmer “walking net” which will be 50 meters long and will enable visitors to look down 25 meters to Jewel’s first storey.

Jewel Changi Airport's Canopy Park - YouTube



Canopy Mazes

Situated on the eastern end of the complex, Jewel features both a hedge maze and a mirror maze. Once completed, the hedge maze will be Singapore’s largest maze, and will feature gates that can be adjusted to change the path of the maze.

Photo credit: Jewel Changi Airport Devt.

Changi airport seems determined to become a reason to visit Singapore in its own right. And with the latest addition of Jewel Changi, it seems that it very well might. 

A First Look: Jewel Changi Airport - YouTube

 

The post Jewel Changi: A virtual tour of Singapore’s new high-tech terminal appeared first on .

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When it comes to long-term travel, your packing list might look a bit different than it does for a short vacation trip. In fact, long-term travel can really force you to prioritize what you can really afford to bring with you.

With that in mind, here are five essential items for long-term travel that you absolutely should not go without.

Travel Insurance

You’re probably thinking ‘travel insurance’ isn’t exactly an item. But travel insurance still remains a vital part of long-term travel plans. Just as at home, you never know when tragedy or disaster could strike, and it’s important to be prepared for the unknown.

Very often, international travelers will balk at the thought–and the added cost–of insuring a trip. But a basic travel insurance plan can start at $150, and a comprehensive plan probably won’t get much higher than $2000.

A quick Google search turns up many companies offering travel insurance, so it’s important to do your research and find a plan that works for both your travel arrangements and your budget. But in the end, with so many options, you’re certain to find a plan that works for you, and the peace of mind it brings will give you a better opportunity to enjoy your trip.

Zipper Cubes

You may have heard of these before, considering they seem to consistently make their way on to every long term travel packing list—-but there’s a good reason for that. Whether you’re an organized sort of person who likes their suitcase to be neat and tidy, or you’re the sort of person who is constantly losing track of essential items in the mess that is your travel case, Zipper Cubes are the must-have long-term travel accessory.  

Not only do zipper cubes keep your luggage nice and organized, many offer compression features that allow you to pack more, and the extra padding protects your luggage from damage while on the road. Plus, they come in different sizes to help you keep your clothes separate from your toiletries, and to maximize packing space in your suitcase.

Power Bank/Portable Charger

Even when you’re not traveling, your phone or laptop running out of battery can be one of the most frustrating day-to-day inconveniences. But since traveling has a tendency to up the ante of everything by a factor of about three, what might be only a minor travesty at home can be a major tragedy abroad.

If you’re traveling in a foreign country and using your phone to translate, get around, stay in contact with people back home, make daily itineraries and any of the other hundreds of functions that make smartphones so valuable a resource, you’re going to want to travel with at least one, if not more, portable chargers. Having multiples is nice because, of course, you have to charge the charger. One to have with you on the go and one to leave charging back at the hotel while you’re out is generally a good way to go, depending on the time it takes to charge the powerbank and how much power it can provide your device.

Noise Canceling Headphones

For short-term travel, noise-canceling headphones are a godsend on long flights to block out the drone of plane engines and the occasional screaming baby. But for long-term travel, they’re even more invaluable–the sort of item you don’t need until you do, and then you really do.

Whether you find yourself overwhelmed by the din of sight-seeing, or are having trouble going to sleep in a new place, noise canceling headphones are a must for long-term travel. They come in a number of different sizes, styles, and price ranges, so you’re likely to find one that perfectly suits your needs.

Wireless Portable Internet Device

Gone are the days of using travel to get off the grid. For the most part, being able to stay connected while traveling has been a good thing: travel has gotten much safer, and people are now able to take their job with them, working remotely while exploring the world.

But to do so, you have to be able to remain connected. Fortunately, there’s a device for that (thank you, Internet of Things!)

Teppy is a handheld, portable wifi hotspot with a six-hour battery life and unlimited daily wifi. Occasional travelers are welcome to rent a Teppy device just for the duration of their trip, but for long-term travel, there is also the option to purchase one.

The post 5 Essential Items for Long-Term Travel appeared first on .

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For champagne aficionados, it has never been a better time to take to the skies–at least in international first and business class, where airlines are fiercely competing to provide customers with the finest libations.

So which airlines serve the best bubbly? That might be left up to personal preference, but the following airlines certainly are raising the bar across the board.

Emirates

Emirates has an exclusive contract with Moet & Chandon, which means first class travelers sip on rare vintages such as the Dom Perignon 2004 and 2005. For business class, there are various other Moet & Chandon offerings, although if nothing on board is particularly to your liking, the Emirates Lounge at Dubai International Airport also offers complimentary champagne tastings.  



Air France

As the flag carrier of the home country of champagne, Air France certainly can’t–and doesn’t–disappoint. Currently, Air France serves bubbly à la coupe, or by the glass. The selection ranges from Bollinger 2004 – La Grande Année, which retails at around $200 per bottle to Laurent Perrier Cuvée Rosé, which runs a mere $80 per bottle.



Lufthansa

Aboard Lufthansa, champagnes are selected by the world champion sommelier Markus Del Monego, and paired alongside Michelin-starred dishes. While new wines are available every month, for their sparkling selection, Lufthansa has been known to serve Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame and Laurent Perrier Grand Siècle, which both have strong fruity notes that maintain their character even at 35,000 feet.



Singapore Airlines

Singapore Airlines’ wine experts taste over a thousand different wines annually to determine which to serve aboard Singapore flights. The selection is sourced from France, Italy, Germany, Australia, New Zealand and America. For their selection of champagnes, though, they tend to stick to the iconic: Dom Pérignon 2006 and Krug Grande Cuvée are served in first class, and Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve is served in business class.  



British Airways

BA has recently invested 4.5 billion in its customer service sector, and a portion of this has gone to improving the food and drink onboard. For first class passengers, this means a choice between Gusbourne English Sparkling Wine and Lanson Rosé Champagne, and in business class, travelers can choose between Canard-Duchêne Cuvee Léonie Brut Champagne and Champagne Besserat de Bellefon inflight. Although unlike Emirates, BA doesn’t have a champagne tasting bar, the First Class BA lounge at Heathrow does carry a larger selection of bubbly should passengers like to have a glass before take off.

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For the average economy traveler, the idea of a long layover might evoke images of cramped naps in uncomfortable terminal chairs or hasty snacks at duty-free shops, as well as an overwhelming sense of boredom. There is, after all, a reason nonstop flights are considered superior to multi-leg trips.

For business and first-class flyers, however, the travel experience is a little more high brow. In recent years, airlines have stepped up their offerings for their most prestigious customers, and one of the biggest draws has become the amenities available at certain airport lounges.

Once upon a time, an exclusive lounge might have offered a handful of semi-upscale dining options and an open bar, but these days, luxury travelers expect–and get–more.

Emirates Champagne Tasting

It should come as no surprise that an airline that takes its in-flight libations as seriously as Emirates does would offer champagne tasting in their lounge at Dubai International Airport. Emirate’s partnership with Moet Hennessy allows travelers to sample a selection of champagnes, including Moët’s Rosé Impérial, Nectar Impérial and Grand Vintage 2008. Each drink is paired with a complimentary canapé, although if you’re in the mood for something more substantial, you’re welcome to pick up something from the lounge’s buffet zone to enjoy with your champagne.

To get in, you’ll need to be flying either Qantas or Emirates business or first class, or have Emirates silver or above Skyward status. And if you’re traveling economy, you’re not out of luck–you’re welcome to repose in the lounge for a fee.

Thai Airways Massages

While the lounge at Bangkok Airport leaves much to be desired, their spa offerings and massages are the best lounge treatments in the world. At the Royal Orchid Spa, first class travelers on Thai Airways international flights can enjoy one-hour full-body massages. Business travelers may choose between a thirty-minute neck and shoulder massage, or a thirty-minute foot massage. However, the Royal Orchid Spa does not take reservations for either business or first class travelers, so if you’re interested in catching a massage between flights, you’ll want to make sure you get there early to get your name on the list.

To get in, you’ll need to be flying first class or business class on Thai Airways. Guests are not allowed.

Virgin Atlantic Hair Salon

For travelers who enjoy getting pampered, the luxury doesn’t have to stop at Bangkok Airport. At the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse in London Heathrow Airport, business and first class travelers can stop in at the spa/hair salon for a relaxing facial or haircut. The salon is stocked with Bumble & Bumble products and highly-trained stylists, for both travelers who want a quick trim and travelers who are looking for a complete style update. This is by no means the only offering (the Clubhouse also including pools tables and a hot tub), but it does set this lounge apart from others.

To get in, you’ll have to be traveling in business or first class with Virgin Atlantic.

Lufthansa Whiskey Tasting

Emirates isn’t the only airline that understands that sometimes, after a long flight, all travelers really want is a drink. For first-class travelers passing through Frankfurt on Lufthansa, the lounge offers a cigar room replete with hundreds of choices of spirits to choose from. The real draw, however, is the option to taste-test different whiskeys. First class passengers are welcome to try as many as they like, and should any be of particular interest, the duty-free liquor store around the corner from the lounge keeps most of the lounge’s offerings in stock.

To get in, you’ll have to be traveling first class on Lufthansa.

Qantas Yoga Studio

Qantas operates one of the world’s longest flights, between Perth and London, so they understand how much travelers appreciate the chance to unwind. Which is why the Qantas Lounge at Perth International is equipped with a “wellbeing studio”, which offers classes in breathing, stretching and yoga every fifteen minutes before and after flights. The classes are run by trainers from Australia’s premier yoga studio, Bodhi Wellness, and the lounge wellbeing studio is the first of its kind. Other wellness features include light therapy in the restrooms, in order to help travelers re-adjust their body clocks and reduce jetlag after long-haul flights, and an outdoor terrace for a burst of fresh air.

The lounge is open to business and first class travelers on Qantas, as well as OneWorld status members.

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Lets Fly Cheaper by Sage From Lfc - 1y ago
Have you experienced Singapore Airlines business or first class yet? Here is why you need to fly with them:  Best business class seats according to SkyTrax   #1 rated airport in 2018  Beautiful lounges  5 Star Airline

Singapore Airlines offers stunning luxury accommodations aboard its fleet of A-380s and A-350s.

Singapore Air has one of the largest fleets of A-380 (double-deck) and A-350 Airbus aircrafts with a fully lie-flat business class seats of handstitched full grain leather.

Business class seats on Singapore Air are outfitted with a number of luxury amenities to accommodate traveler’s needs, including an 18″ touch-screen monitor, noise-canceling headphones, and a cutting-edge system that saves your playlists and media preferences for future flights.

Relax in comfort, or catch up on work aboard Singapore Air business class.

Singapore Air First Class Suites are the ultimate luxury experience. In a First Class suite, you can relax in total privacy and arrive well-rested at your destination after catching up on sleep in the fully-flat bed. If you are traveling with a partner, Singapore Air also offers a double suite.

The experience continues in Singapore Changi Airport, one of the largest transport hubs in Southeast Asia.

The Changi is a state-of-the-art airport rated No. 1 airport in the world for two years running and named “The World’s Best Airport” six times by Skytrax.

Changi’s airport emphasizes luxury, so travelers can properly enjoy their layover. The four terminals are loaded with amenities, including a rooftop pool, stunning art installations, luscious gardens, a free movie theatre, and duty-free boutiques for luxury brands such as Hermes, Gucci and Burberry. Because of this, many leisure travelers prefer having a stopover in Singapore.

For members of KrisFlyer–Singapore Air’s frequent flyer club–the accommodations are even more luxurious.

For First Class travelers, there is a personalized check-in service, so you can sit back and enjoy the comforts of the lounge while the check-in process is taken care of.

The lounges also feature complimentary wifi and a selection of food and beverages from a self-service counter and bar.

Whether you’re flying into Singapore or passing through on a stopover, Singapore Air provides an experience like no other.

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Although we’ve been in the midst of a technological revolution for at least the last two decades, technological advancement in air travel has crept forward at a snail’s pace and even–in terms of hypersonic travel–regressed.

But it appears that things might finally be changing.

Currently, the airline industry is working on a number of different innovations that could find their way into airports and on to commercial jets within the next decade or so.

Hypersonic travel

In 2003, the aviation industry took a massive step back, technology-wise. The Concorde, famously the first supersonic passenger plane, which had been in operation for nearly thirty years jetting travelers across the Atlantic in only three and a half hours, was grounded for good because of rising fuel costs and a number of other issues associated with supersonic travel.

In the last decade and a half, there hasn’t been much news in the way of supersonic travel, but recently, Airbus patented a hypersonic jet capable of traveling 4.5 times the speed of sound. While it’s not yet operational and no airlines have signed on to purchase such a jet–fuel costs and operational affordability is still at the forefront for most commercial airlines–it does appear to be a sustainable venture. Dennis Muilenburg, the CEO of Boeing, believes hypersonic commercial flights will be a reality within the next decade or two.

Although the grounding of the Concorde was a loss for aviation, the next generation of hypersonic jets should be worth the wait.

Biometrics

If the hassle of dealing with check-in and security has always irked you, you’ll be happy to hear that technology might soon be doing away with the stress-inducing processes that have long plagued travelers.

Recently, JetBlue, Delta, and several other airlines have begun to implement biometric technologies such as facial recognition or fingerprint identification that will speed up the boarding process, as well as cutting down on the time it takes to check in, get through security, and collect luggage.

Although some of these technologies, such as facial recognition, remain controversial, the use of these technologies to improve the airport experience of passengers opens the door for even more innovations that will make air travel faster, easier and safer.

In-flight entertainment

These days, in-flight entertainment is practically a staple of travel. Except for a few budget airlines, most planes have some form of screen, and these days, most of those screens are embedded in seat backs (rather than hanging over the aisle, forcing all passengers to be subjected to the same movie.)

But technological innovation invites airlines to step it up in the entertainment department, and in recent years, airlines have been implementing and continually updating on-board wifi, which has been a huge draw for travelers trying to decide which airline they should book with.

Furthermore, there has been some hype about the possibility of streaming services, such as Netflix, coming to certain airlines. Although this isn’t a huge technological innovation, it certainly will be a welcome one.

With advancements in everything from the check-in process, to the cabins, to the flight itself, it seems that aviation might finally be entering the future. And the way things are progressing, it looks like that future is going to be a bright one.

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