Flying in style is perhaps one of the biggest upsides to having funds to spare. While being on a plane today may be a far cry from the glamour of the jet age – air travel was initially marketed primarily to the rich in the 1950s – some airlines offer an experience that comes close to that era when carriers went out of their way to offer a five-star flight.
These days, sometimes even business travel offers standards to rival those found in first class. Fancy a customizable private suite or a double bed? Scroll down for a peek at three outstanding examples.
Qatar Airways’ QSuite
The Qatari carrier’s customizable private spaces feature the industry’s first-ever double bed available in Business Class. Each partitioned suite has adjustable panels and movable TV monitors that stow away, allowing passengers in adjoining seats to create their own private room. It’s also possible to form a “cabin within a cabin” by fusing four individual suites into a private communal space, perfect for families and friends travelling together.
Each partitioned suite has adjustable panels and movable TV monitors.
As added flourishes, seats will be crafted with details such as hand-stitched Italian leather and satin rose gold finishing, and Milanese luggage brand BRIC’S will provide bespoke amenity kits with products from Italy’s Castello Monte Vibiano Vecchio.
The new QSuite concept will be retrofitted on to the existing Qatar Airways fleet starting from June 2017, at an estimated rate of one aircraft a month.
Etihad Airways’ Business Studio
The Business Studios on the Abu Dhabi-based airline’s A380 and 787 Dreamliner offer more space for passengers to unwind. Each has a unique dovetail design with forward and rear facing seats, offering greater personal space for everything from concealed storage and a meal table to a separate large side table that can be used for laptops. Seats in the Studio convert into a comfortable fully-flat bed of up to 6 feet and 8 inches. Seat and aisle dividers offer more privacy and each seat has access to the aisle.
Full-size comforters and pillows, adjustable headrest, back support and cushion firmness enable passengers to sleep soundly.
The Business Flatbed in Business Class, meanwhile, reclines into a fully-flat bed with direct aisle access. Full-size comforters and pillows, adjustable headrest, back support and cushion firmness enable passengers to sleep soundly. Found on board Etihad’s narrow-body aircraft, Business Seats feature generous recline and ample legroom as well as an adjustable headrest, footrest and lumbar support.
Emirates’ Business Class
At 78 inches long, the new Business Class seats on board Emirates’ Boeing 777-300ER were inspired by the interior of a modern sports car, from the ergonomic headrest to the grey leather finish. Passengers also have access to a personal 23-inch entertainment screen and an in-seat mini-bar. There’s even a HDMI port to stream content from one’s personal device directly onto the screen. A touchscreen controller eases the seat into a fully flat 180-degree position. Flat-bed seats are also on all of the Dubai carrier’s A380 aircraft.
Passengers also have access to a personal 23-inch entertainment screen and an in-seat mini-bar.
Guests are pampered with Bulgari amenity kits and meals are served on Royal Doulton bone china plates with Robert Welch cutlery. Award-winning wines plus fine champagne and vintage port – selected annually by Emirates’ own sommeliers – complete the fine cuisine. Those who fly Business Class can book a complimentary chauffeur service to and from the airport in over 70 cities.