Ethiad Airways, the national airline of the UAE, recently made the headlines when it announced that it was introducing in-flight nannies. During long flights, the specially trained nannies will entertain kids with activities such as making sock puppets. According to a press release from the airline, “In addition to the arts and crafts, the Flying Nannies can also teach children simple magic tricks which helps retain their focus and interest while seated.”
Other airlines have also started offering unusual perks to travelers in the hopes of setting themselves apart from the crowd. Here are a few of our favorite over-the-top amenities that airlines are presenting as options to travelers.
1.) Emirates, based in the UAE, offers free transfers for first-class and business-class travelers in more than 55 cities. For example, in Dubai, first-class passengers can be shuttled to their flights in a Mercedes, and business-class travelers are picked up in Volvos.
2.) Do you prefer to avoid crying children on a long flight? Singapore’s Scoot airline, which is actually a budget carrier, has announced that it is offering a child-free zone for an additional $14.
3.) Would you like even more privacy? Singapore Airlines offers first-class suites on A380 Aircraft. Each cabin features a large armchair “hand-stitched by master Italian craftsmen Poltrona Frau,” exquisite dining and a comfortable stand-alone bed.
4.) For those flying business-class on long-haul flights, Austrian Airlines offers multi-course menus and a “Flying Chef,” who “will put finishing touches to the culinary specialties.” Skilled onboard sommeliers help passengers select wines, and the airline’s “flying coffee house” serves freshly prepared Austrian coffee specialties.
5.) At the Clubhouse Spa at Heathrow Airport, Virgin Atlantic’s “upper class” customers can choose from one of the spa’s complimentary services or upgrade to a specialized treatment. Options include facial treatments and massages.
6.) On Japanese carrier ANA, first-class passengers flying between Tokyo and the U.S. or Europe can savor Japanese-style Kaiseki cuisine, Pierre Hermé croissants or a steaming bowl of ramen.
7.) Cathay Pacific recently unveiled new first-class amenities including noise-cancelling headphones, bedding made from 500-thread-count cotton and a 100% organic cotton “sleep suit” (AKA, pajamas).
9.) On Malaysia Airlines first-class and business-class travelers on select flights may pre-order meals through its “Chef-on-Call” service. The menu features tantalizing items such as grilled lobster and braised lamb shank. Meals must be ordered at least 24 hours before departure.