We’ve covered low-cost airlines and their no-frills approach to air travel. But, more often than not, when stuck in the same seated position for more than an hour, you tend to “stiffen” a bit. And then there’s the baby girl who’s wailing as her 2 year-old brother laughs maniacally kicking your seat with both feet. There’s no room. Too much noise; there’s no way out!
Sorry, but sometimes leg room is more than just a perk; it’s a necessity. Besides that, for long flights of four or more hours, your throat gets parched, or you get a little tired and need some coffee. Liquor is nice, too. Some things become a luxury only when they’re not available. There are times when cash is tight, and discomfort is worth the price of the ticket. But a serious traveler demands a comfortable trip.
Standard coach seats in just about any major airline will be relatively cramped, and the typical problems of the crying baby behind you, and the fat, bald man drooling on your shirt will persist. But even there you’ll find a level of service excellence that is absent from coach in many other airlines. Everything from the way the flight attendant sees that everyone is comfortable to the on-flight entertainment is simply better with the most prestigious airlines.
* Singapore Airlines
Singapore Airlines is based in the country of Singapore, not the ghost town in the Michigan. There are certain amenities that come to all passengers as part of the flight. Their amenities include meals, complimentary drinks and in-flight entertainment. They also have an on-flight “radio” service. By plugging in the ear phones and picking a channel, you can listen to anything from classical music, to R&B.
* Qantas Airlines
Australia gave us Forster’s Beer and Crocodile Dundee, but they didn’t stop there. After dominating the leisure and entertainment worlds, they tackled air travel. Qantas is the national airline of Australia and rivals every airline on the planet in terms of the service you receive from the flight attendants and pilots. But the food they serve, even to coach customers, is cuisine. They are rated in the top 10 airports in the world in arriving and departing on time. The Aussie’s have made air travel a pleasure again.
* Cathay Pacific
Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific has the pretense of being refined and cultured, one of the finest ways to travel; and it is! But the online customer ratings in comfort were higher in economy class than in both business and first class! The widest praise was on the friendliness and hospitality of the flight staff, as well as incredibly high marks for on-flight entertainment.
* Qatar Airlines
From now on when you think of the Middle East and Airplanes you’ll immediately remember the exquisitely comfortable accommodations, world-renowned service, and cuisine-quality meals that have made Qatar Airlines the best in the region. In fact, they have set the standard of excellence airlines around the world must judge themselves against.
A standby joke for any lame comic is to lament airplane food. Online reviews for long-haul trips gave Qatar 5-star ratings on both the meal and on the plane’s cleanliness and comfort. Quite simply, they know how to make you happy.
* Thai Airways
There is a legend that out there in the East there is a place where you can sip a cocktail and get a massage; all while flying 30,000 feet above Mongolia. If that’s never happened to you, then you’ve never flown Thai Airways. They are an official 4-star airline, and has a first-class that features a spa, massage service, and on-demand dining.
No, you don’t need a massage to have a good trip. Nor does the food have to literally sing to you from the plate. But if you know you’ll be taking a long flight, and you understand that at some point you’re going to need to sleep-because that baby will not stop screaming-then spend a little more to get the most out of your trip.
If it were only possible to live in the air, then we’d all be birds…