First-class airline service has long been the playground of the fabulously famous and fantastically wealthy, with luxuries ranging from free-flowing Champagne and mountains of caviar in the early years to private cabins with a bed and shower on some carriers today. But after British Airways in 2000 introduced lie-flat seats in business class for thousands of dollars less than first—an innovation that quickly spread throughout the industry—it was hard to argue that it’s worth the extra cash for a few more inches of legroom and a better wine list. Bookings started to fall sharply as the 2008 financial crisis curbed corporate spending and made public displays of wealth unfashionable, so over the past decade scores of airlines have ripped out some or all of their cushiest and priciest seats.Carriers today say they may have cut too far, especially as the ranks of the super rich continue to expand and the stigma attached to conspicuous consumption has faded. With the global … [Read more...] about First-Class Flying Is Back and It’s More Luxurious Than Ever
A380 british airways business class
On such airlines as Emirates and Singapore, you have to book into lavish first-class cabins to get enclosed suites, made-to-order meals, and name-brand pajamas. On others, these top-end perks exist one notch down, in business.Airlines such as Qatar Airways and Delta are installing next-generation suite-style seats in that tier; American and United pamper passengers with hotel-style bedding; and still others, like Air France and Japan Airlines, serve menus created by locally renowned chefs.Sometimes, that level of service is reflected in the airfare, with transoceanic business-class tickets topping $10,000 in some cases. But if you have airline miles or credit-card points that transfer to frequent-flier programs, they’re bookable for less than the cost of a coach seat. Here’s how to do just that for the best business-class cabins in the skies.1. Qatar Airways QSuitesWhy you want to fly it: Back in March 2017, Qatar Airways Co. was the first airline to install … [Read more...] about How to Fly the World’s Best Business Class for Less Than Coach
It’s a photo finish between Virgin Atlantic and Eva Air as to who introduced premium economy to the world first. Eva, a Taiwanese carrier founded in 1989 launched its “evergreen” class on its Boeing 747s in late 1992, flying from Taipei to Los Angeles with passengers spread across four cabins for the first time. Evergreen sat ahead of economy but behind “super business”. On the other side of the world, Virgin Atlantic unveiled its Mid Class in April 1992, entering service in July. With a Victoria station check-in service for Gatwick flights, priority baggage handling, a hot towel service and “seat arm video units”, Virgin said its “revolutionary new product” was a response to businesses reviewing their travel contracts and downgrading its passengers from business to economy. In short, as business class cabins evolved (think lie-flat seats becoming the norm) and airlines felt a growing pressure to accommodate more and more paying … [Read more...] about The death of business class? The rise and rise of premium economy
You’ve got a 12-hour flight to Dubai: would you rather be sitting up or lying down? For most, it’s an easy answer. No-one likes being strapped to a chair, sharing armrests with strangers for such a long stint; that's why it costs a lot of money to get horizontal on a plane. Which got us thinking. As we know, cabins these days are designed to fit an ever-increasing number of (smaller) seats in rows, but what of all that space above our heads? Wouldn’t it make sense to stack passengers horizontally, in bunk-style pods, the same way capsule hotels or even sleeper trains do? The problem of space is, after all, only getting worse. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) expects 7.2 billion passengers to travel in 2035, a near doubling of the 3.8 billion air travelers in 2016. And flights are getting longer too. Qantas’ Doha to Auckland route transports passengers a full 9,028 miles (more than 16 hours) with no stops, with its London to Perth route only … [Read more...] about Could planes start installing bunk beds in economy?
PUBLISHED: 15:15 13 April 2018 | UPDATED: 15:15 13 April 2018 Imogen Braddick L to R: Dominic Parry, Tommy Stuart and Harry Bond from the Saffron Ice Cream Company. Archant The award-winning Saffron Ice Cream Company has launched three new flavours and almost reached a milestone of 100 regular trade clients. Harry Bond and Tommy Stuart. Picture: CONTRIBUTEDDominic Parry, who launched the company eight years ago, started making and selling ice cream from his parent’s house in Saffron Walden after graduating from university.He moved the company into a premises in Henham before ‘bringing it home’ to a family farm in Saffron Walden in 2014. Explaining how his passion for ice cream began, Dominic said: “I didn’t know how to cook when I went to university and after putting two stone on in the first term, I knew I had to do something. My university flatmates taught me how to cook and one day, when I was bored and revising, I wondered … [Read more...] about The innovative ice cream company from Saffron Walden that adds a pinch of local in every scoop