Eight Awesome Airplane Amenities!

It’s amazing to think how far aviation has come in just a bit over a century. 111 years ago the Wright Brothers set a record by flying 852 feet in just under a minute, and today we have double decker planes that can fly virtually anywhere in the world nonstop with some really awesome amenities.

So I figured I’d make a post with some of those amenities that I like the most. This list is by no means comprehensive, but I figured I’d share eight of my favorite airplane amenities… or perhaps some of them are “gimmicks,” more accurately.  These are features that some airlines have which aren’t necessarily the most practical, but are damn cool!

In no particular order:

1) Singapore Airlines A380 Suites Class Double Bed

It’s really just over the past decade or so that flat beds on planes became popular. Singapore took it to the next level by adding double beds. This is great if you’re traveling with someone else, or even if you’re traveling alone, the crew will be happy to make the double bed for you if the cabin isn’t full.

I know I quite enjoyed having a double bed all to myself for the 14+ hour flight from San Francisco to Hong Kong last year.

Keep in mind that Singapore now even releases two saver level Suites Class seats on their US routes.

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2) Emirates A380 First Class Shower Suite

I’ve flown millions of miles, but I don’t think I’ve ever been as giddy in my life as I was the first time I turned on an Emirates shower. They have two of these shower suites on the A380, and they can be reserved at the beginning of each flight. While you only get five minutes of water per shower, you can turn the water on and off to elongate the experience, if you’d like to.

I’ve showered on the Emirates A380 a few times now, and the excitement hasn’t worn off yet.

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3) ANA 777-300ER First Class Bidet-Style Toilet

ANA’s 777 first class lavatory looks pretty normal, though I randomly noticed a bunch of buttons on the side of it during my last flight on them from Chicago to Tokyo. That’s right, they have bidet-style toilets on an airplane!

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4) Korean Air A380 Business Class Celestial Bar

While several airlines have onboard bars, including Emirates and Virgin Atlantic, Korean Air takes it to a new level with their Celestial Bar. It’s a massive bar with quite a bit of seating, lots of bright lights, and several signature cocktails thanks to Korean Air’s partnership with Absolut.

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5) EVA Air Hello Kitty Flights

When it comes to bizarrely awesome airline branding partnerships, I think EVA Air and Hello Kitty take the cake. They operate select flights using Hello Kitty planes, and they go all out.

There are plenty of airlines with branding partnerships. For example, Air Asia has a Taylor Swift plane, though I knew they were trouble when I realized that it was only the outside of the plane that featured Taylor Swift — there’s no TSwizzle music blaring over the PA, teardrops throughout the cabin, etc.

EVA Air’s Hello Kitty flights are kittified inside and out.

The outside of the planes are painted with Hello Kitty “characters.”

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And the food, pillows, etc., are all Hello Kitty as well. Because let’s be honest, dessert just tastes better when you’re sharing it with Hello Kitty and her friends.

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6) Air France A380 First Class Powder Room

I’m a germaphobe. But I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a selectively ignorant germaphobe. I mean, I live in hotels full time, how much of a germaphobe can I really be?

Anyway, I almost always change into pajamas on longhaul flights, and it can be a bit of a dance routing to change into pajamas without touching the lavatory floors. You have to take off your shoes, then step “on” your shoes while changing, and then put them back on without touching the floor.

On the A380, Air France has a solution to that with their powder room. Very smart idea!

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7) Lufthansa A380 First Class Urinal

Lufthansa has two very nice bathrooms on their A380s. Almost wastefully nice, since they have benches large enough to take naps. But possibly my favorite feature is the urinal they have in the lavatory.

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8) Emirates In-Seat Room Service

There are certain aspects of maximizing the premium cabin air travel experience that don’t go well together. For example, there’s a real struggle between maximizing Dom and Hennessy Paradis consumption in Emirates A380 first class while also being in a state to shower.

Another one of those amenities that gets all the more fun the more you’ve had to drink is the Emirates phone. Each first suite has a phone which you can use to either phone the crew for “room service,” or you can use to phone another passenger.

A bottle or two in, is there anything more fun that starting a conversation with a fellow passenger… by phone?

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Those are a few of my favorite airplane amenities.

Do you have any favorite airplane amenities which I’ve left out?

Comments

  1. When I flew Saudia a month ago on their 747 and 777, they had a HUGE prayer room at the back. I’m not sure which other airlines have this amenity.

  2. OK, when I scrooled down after the discussion of the LH urinal, I stopped at the first page and my reaction was “that’s a sink, NOT a urinal!”

  3. I totally get the Air France powder room piece – I’ve definitely stood on my shoes in more lavs than I can recall — some, like the AA 772 are barely large enough to do it successfully. Thai’s A380 also has a nice sized powder room!

  4. Looks more or less like a porta-potty urinal? But I guess I like them, means no having to touch the toilet seat to lift it.

  5. EVA has the seat to seat phone calling feature in royal laurel. Never could get it to work. The connection was so staticky that it was unusable.

  6. The ANA bidet toilets are in economy class on the 777-300ER, as well. And, Air Asia does blast Taylor Swift. It’s a nightmare.

  7. You can play chess seat-to-seat on Turkish Airways. Who wants to talk to people when you can play chess, right?

  8. I flew ANA 787 early this year and the bidet toilets were available in economy as well. It even had a window!

  9. Virgin Atlantic has a feature in their IFE system where you can send instant messages to other passengers. Even in coach!

  10. @ Lucky – are you surprised no other airline has followed SQ in having full-on double beds? It is an extra cost compared to just having two regular first-class suites/seats next to each other… or are airlines don’t want to promote any, uh… fun activities?

  11. @ Ivan Y — Don’t think it’s really by design. We just haven’t seen too many new first products lately. And keep in mind the double bed isn’t perfect. It’s not actually very comfortable, as there is a “ridge” in the middle. So maybe an airline is just waiting to do it “right?”

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