Flights So Luxurious You’d Wish They Were Longer

When Jess Kimball boards Flight 12 from JFK to Rome, she’s traveling coach. On the Hunt for Jack Reacher, Kim Otto and Carlos Gaspar fly coach, too. I would venture to guess that for most of us, air travel means a tight seat with very little leg room in Economy class, similar to the British Airways flights I took last week to and from the London Book Fair. Cramped, indeed!

Whether they’re called First or Business class (the lines between the two are blurring), the seats in the front part of the plane seem like some sort of exclusive club, don’t they? What’s up with that? So I put on my Investigation Cap that I often use when writing mysteries, and did some research for us to reveal just what the hell is going on up there that’s so dang special, right?

First Class Curtain

It varies by airline and by flight, but if you’re made of money and you’re willing to use it for a plane ticket, these are some of the extra amenities often offered in First or Business Class:

  • Extra leg room (couldda used that last week)
  • Extra arm room (wouldda been nice, too)
  • Cushier seats (now you’re talkin’)
  • Lie-flat seats (oh, boy! for the red eye on the way over, a place to sleep would have been great)
  • Early boarding (meh)
  • Gourmet meals (yeah, right. Nothing about airplane food is gourmet unless you bring it with you)
  • Free cocktails (getting’ closer to nirvana now)
  • More movie options (I’d rather read, thanks)
  • Tables that extend to create a work desk (wouldda been nice on the way back when I was working)
  • Entry to exclusive airport lounges (nah. I don’t wanna hang around inside an airport long enough to use ’em)
  • Comfort kits with toiletries, eye masks, skincare products, etc. (nah, I’ve got my own)

So six of these are features I’d like, but they’re still probably not enough to make me pay a bundle of bitcoins or wish for an even longer flight. Eight hours over to London and ten hours back was plenty for me.

That’s where luxury suites come in. When I win the lotto or discover oil in the back yard, I just might go for these babies.

Several commercial airlines are now offering private suites or cabins in the sky, so luxurious they make flying First Class look like steerage.

Again, these are suites on commercial flights. Not on private jets.
Now… take a look:

Photo Courtesy

Photo Courtesy

Photo Courtesy

Photo Courtesy

On Etihad Airways’ Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 Dreamliner passenger jets, for about $20,000, you can book a trip in The Residence. In addition to the amenities pictured above, you get a chef and a butler, plus a living room with a 32-inch flat screen TV.

Singapore Airlines has an offering similarly private and luxurious on the Airbus A380. For up to $23,000, the Singapore Airlines Suites offer private cabins with a bed, 23-inch TV, hand-stitched armchairs, and exquisite custom dining.

Singapore Dining

Photo Courtesy

Traveling in one of these suites is more than a little out of my price range. But using one of these suites as a setting in an upcoming thriller novel. Hmmmm…..

What are the most lavish accommodations you’ve ever encountered?

Meanwhile —

Caffeinate and Carry On!

Diane Capri

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6 Responses to Flights So Luxurious You’d Wish They Were Longer

  1. Elizabeth Farish April 28, 2015 at 1:19 am #

    I was upgraded to first class in 2007 on a flight from Paris to Atlanta. Still don’t know why they did it. When I showed my boarding pass they asked my name and swapped my seat from coach to first class. It was wonderful. Free wine was good . Much nicer than being squished in coach. Would I pay for it ? NO. I’m so old my first house in Buffalo NY cost $17000.00

    • Diane April 28, 2015 at 11:26 am #

      WOW! Luck was certainly on your side that day. You had plenty of hours to enjoy the magical upgrade, too. Nice!!!

  2. Dianna Slowey-Thomas April 28, 2015 at 9:20 am #

    while not on an airplane this is still a funny story. Back in 1973 some recent friends of mine but old friends of my boyfriend at the time decided to rent a house on Lake Tahoe(did I mention they were all fairly wealthy?) As a Fl.girl borne and raised I was excited to see snow for the first time, and as an expert water skier how hard souls snow skiing be? I reasoned. Well, when we arrived at Reno to p/u our rental cars it was snowing but astonishly not as cold as I feared. By the time we arrived at the house it was a full blown blizzard. Ten days in in a huge home with virtual strangers do not friends make.(I now knew what cabin fever was) finally after 6 days we were able to ski!( that’s another story for another huge laugh) when our 10 days were up everyone boarded planes home but U.S., as ther were lots of things I still hadn’t done, like build a snowman or make snow angels. We decided to make reservations for a room at Reno’s nicest hotel and drove around so I could do all those things.(Did I mention we were all extremely hung over that morning waking to find out we had less then an hour to pack up, clean up and be gone?!) by the time we reached the casino/hotel we were rough looking having played in snow all day( did you know it melts when contacting your skin making ice water all over you,thus colder no matter what you’re wearing?) in our rented Porsche we changed into dry jeans and shirts with our dark sunglasses to cut the glare and hide our bloodshot eyes. As we pulled up the head doorman had 3 boys there before we got out of the car to help us with our luggage. Let me digress a little, the morning we had to leave his friends needed our luggage to pack all the junk they’d acquired at Tahoe and being in such a hurry we just tossed all of our stuff in garbage bags. Okay, back to Reno that afternoon, checking into the top rated hotel/casino. We exit the car in jeans, long underwear shirts and flip flops over socks with our dark sunglasses and stringy hair,telling the baggage boys our stuff was in the 2 black garbage bags in the tiny backseat. As we entered the lobby with bellboys on our heels, we noticed the consierge speaking to a man we soon learned was the hotel manager. It seems we were ‘recognized as famous rock and rollers( who else?)

    • Dianna Slowey-Thomas April 28, 2015 at 9:46 am #

      The manager insisted that the room we booked was inadequate and insisted on putting us in a VIP suite on the house. We looked at each other then down at ourselves then back at each other and said “That would be lovely”. We followed the manager with our entourage carting our garbage bags through the packed casino, up the elevator and to our room. When he opened the door I thought I’d die. The room was in chartreuse and black zebra print with a HUGE round bed with mirrors on the cieling and everything you could ever want just a call away. After tipping everyone generously,( they even offered to unpack our garbage bags) when we shut the door and looked at each other, then the room and back at each other laughing so hard we were crying and snorking. I’ve always wondered who they thought we were and the whorehouse room they thought we’d like best.

      • Diane April 28, 2015 at 11:24 am #

        Dianna, that story is CLASSIC! That’s hilarious — thank you for sharing your adventures! 😀

  3. Rhonda Albom April 29, 2015 at 6:42 pm #

    We were once given a tour of the A380 on Emirates, and I finally understood why some people get off these long haul flights looking refreshed.

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