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Luxury Holidays in the Sky

Singapore Airlines Suite
Singapore Airlines

Luxury Holidays in the Sky

story by: Jo Wedlock

Picture this…you have your perfect holiday planned and this time you and your partner are going to treat yourself.  You’ve done your research and booked an ocean front room with a lovely outdoor area in a 4 star South Pacific paradise and even upgraded to a room that has a separate sitting room and free champagne!

Then of course you turn up to the airport and realise that you’ve got to queue up with all the masses to fly your low cost flight during the middle of the night…urgh!

While low cost carriers are amazing and have made a wonderful contribution to allowing us all to have more holidays at a much more reasonable price than in the past, sometimes it’s worth treating yourself to that little bit extra.  Sometimes you just might want to upgrade to a lie flat bed, a sky couch, or a private bathroom!

So what are the options to really indulge on board a flight?  Well we’ve spoken to a few of our lucky House of Travel specialists who’ve flown some of the best airlines with the most luxurious service in the world – here are their top picks:

Air New Zealand
  • SkyCouch:- While not first class, or even a business class, this Air NZ innovation is a cool step up from the economy seating.  Installed on the new 777-300 aircraft, the SkyCouch is a design whereby the three seats on the left or right hand side of the aircraft can be folded out to create a lie flat bed by extending out the footrests.  It’s only about $200 more to lie flat than the economy seat when you have two seats and buy the third for half price.  The couches are in the first 11 row of the economy section and currently available on the San Fran and LA flights – a great option if you are travelling with kids or you and your hubby are wanting a bit of extra legroom. (http://www.airnewzealand.com/economy-skycouch)
  • Business Class Lie Flat Bed: I have flown on a lot of airlines in a lot of different classes and hands down I think that Air NZ offer some of the best service and product across the world.  One of my favourites is the Lie Flat Bed offered in Business Class and the accompanying Business Class service. The seat is a luxurious 22" wide leather armchair with separate ottoman footrest that doubles as a visitor's seat. It converts to a 6'6" bed with your own large cotton pillow, duvet and sleep sheet. The food is really, really good (better than some restaurants I’ve been to!) and designed by Air NZ’s selection of consultant chefs. The mouth watering dishes are innovative and feature the finest New Zealand produce and they can all be enjoyed with a glass or two of premium New Zealand wine. (http://www.airnewzealand.co.nz/business-premier)
Singapore Airlines
  • First Class Suites - Singapore Airlines have gone one step further (and this is for the truly special!) and offer a ‘suite’ on first class flights from Singapore to Europe.  They are exclusively on the A380 aircraft and offer a private space in the largest ever armchair hand-stitched by master Italian craftsmen Poltrona Frau. Each individual cabin features sliding doors and window blinds, offering you the freedom to decide on the level of privacy you prefer. For the first time ever in air travel you can experience the pleasure of sleeping on a distinctively designed, standalone bed; not one converted from a seat. Just like a fine hotel, it has a turndown service with fine linen and plush, full-sized pillows, ensuring a restful slumber!  What a way to start your holiday.  (http://www.singaporeair.com/en_UK/flying-with-us/suites/)
Emirates
Virgin Atlantic
  • Upper Class: Virgin Atlantic upper class is the best of the ‘mainstream’ first class offerings. It doesn’t go as far as Sinapore Airlines, with its hand stitched leather seats, but then it’s not anywhere near as costly either!  What it does offer is the same lie flat bed as you get in Business Class Air NZ but the service steps up a notch entirely.  You’ll get offered a set of your own pyjamas at bedtime, and if you would like a wee beverage and to get to know your fellow travellers (I sat next to Pierce Brosnan once, and definitely want to get to know him better!) then you can mingle at the first class bar.  Make sure you get a manicure, pedicure or massage while here, utilising the personal beauty therapist who travels on board to service the first class passengers! (http://www.virgin-atlantic.com/us/en/the-virgin-experience/upperclass.html)
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