What's New in Luxury Air Travel (SLIDESHOW)

From in-flight dining services to cabin layout, airlines are continuing to upgrade premium offerings to improve trip quality and comfort. 


Air France

Terminal 1 in New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport is now home to Air France’s revamped VIP lounge, which is reserved exclusively for La Première, Business and Flying Blue Elite Plus passengers. 
The lounge features a large mezzanine that overlooks the runways, two buffets, a relaxation area and a Clarins well-being area that offers free beauty treatments. There is also free Wi-Fi access, as well as local and international publications in both French and English. La Première customers also receive a personalized welcome on their arrival at New York-JFK airport. 

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All Nippon Airways

In addition to adding in-flight services on flights to Singapore, Bangkok and Jakarta, ANA will debut premium economy class seating (making it the first carrier to do so in Asia). The new class has roomier seats with leg and foot rests, laptop chargers, LCD monitors, USB ports and personal lights. Along with business class wine and dessert offerings, sparkling wine will also be available.

In March 2015, the airline will add first class seating to the Singapore route. Passengers can expect greater privacy, dedicated service, and amenities such as cashmere blankets and seats that can recline to a fully horizontal position. More meal options, including a specialty menu from “The Connoisseurs,” will also be added to business class offerings. 


Delta will also be updating a few seating and service options in March 2015. These include:

- Delta One (formely Business Elite) will feature full flat beds that will be available as of spring 2015 on long-haul trips, and flights between New York-JFK and Los Angeles, or San Francisco
- First Class, for short-haul domestic and international routes
- Delta Comfort+, an upgraded seating option

Additional improvements to the Delta line will consist of new seat covers on all Delta One, First Class and Delta Comfort+ sections.

Etihad Airways

Etihad Airways' newest aircraft, the Airbus A380, has a number of premium amenities for its luxury clientele, including:

- The Residence by Etihad, a 125 square-foot three-room cabin suite situated on the upper deck of the aircraft, comprised of a living room, a separate ensuite shower room and a bedroom (can be reserved for single or double occupancy). Personal butlers will also be available upon request.
- The First Apartment, a complete living space with a reclining lounge chair and an ottoman, which opens up to become a separate 80.5 inch long fully-flat bed
- 70 Business Studios with aisle access and an 80.5 inch long fully flat bed 
- The Economy Smart Seat, which features ‘fixed wing’ headrests 

First class passengers aboard the airline are also treated to a welcome note from the cabin service manager and a silver tray full of Arabic dates, a hot towel and a welcome drink.

The updated first class dining menu now offers more variety as well as new chinaware from Japan’s fine bone china producer, Nikko, and Royal Oak cutlery from Studio William. A first class turndown service will also be available. 

United Airlines

United has added new premium dining services for United First and United Business clients aboard mainline flights in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and select destinations in Mexico. 

Featuring dishes from several major North American cities, the menu was specially created by United Airlines chefs and will be served, as of March 2015, on chinaware in place of the current snack boxes.


The Australian airline has recently launched a three month long trial of Samsung virtual reality headsets for first class passengers. In addition to watching 3D films, the technology allows users to preview Qantas destinations and services.

The headsets will be distributed at Sydney and Melbourne International First lounges and aboard select A380 flights. 

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