The smartest touches on airlines
More often than not the different factors regarding our choice of airlines is limited, especially now complimentary meals are disappearing and the variances between quality and budget airlines are blurring after years of cutbacks.
But given that our interest in travel is only increasing, some canny airlines have figured out that paying attention to the small details can help them stand out from the crowd. Especially on longer flights, little touches can make a significant difference to the comfort of a journey – and therefore, our holidays.
So here are five nifty touches that the Flexicover team think make the following airlines unique in their own customer-friendly way.
Usually cited as one of the world’s best airlines, Eithad Airways are experts at understanding the common grievances of passengers. That’s why even economy passengers have a nifty amenity kit which contains a double-sided eye mask. It offers the user the option of displaying either a ‘do not disturb’ message or ‘wake me up to eat’ option so that when it’s time for a meal service, the air stewards know whether you want to be left to continue your sweet dreams. It’s not the only way they assure a good night’s rest; their square pillows double up to become a neck pillow, so you can sleep according to your preference. Now that’s clever service.
We may have to go to Canada to experience Porter Airlines, but it seems worth the trip. Economy passengers are treated to the handy perks usually reserved for those paying extra for first class. The premium experience starts before flying, as the airline’s airport lounges throw open their doors to all their passengers, offering a plush place to snack, read newspapers and use free Wi-fi before boarding the plane. Once airborne, the luxury continues with no middle seats (hurray!), complimentary snacks and an open bar of local Canadian beer and indulgent wine – all served in real glassware. No wonder it was awarded ‘Top Small Airline in the World’ by Condé Nast’s readers.
Au fait with long-haul flights, Singapore Airlines aren’t short of entertainment options. Their inflight system features hundreds of television programmes and the latest movies to make the hours fly by. But for those tired of staring at a screen, or those preferring to pass their time in an old school fashion, they also offer a complimentary set of Singapore Airlines postcards, playing cards and writing kits if you ask for them. It means you can get started with writing home as the journey’s just begun – a wise use of the free time.
Talk about putting themselves in the shoes of their passengers – British Airways has solved the problem of mid-flight loo trips by providing slippers. This means that passengers don’t have to choose between an unhygienic trip in flight socks or the hassle of putting their shoes back on. Currently, this perk is available to Club World and World Traveller Plus passengers to China and Hong Kong only, presumably in a bid to attract the growing Chinese market. But we hope it’s only a matter of time before all passengers benefit from the useful gift.
The low-cost carrier has a high-class feature in its Boeing 787 Dreamliners. Thanks to new technology the windows of the planes are 65% larger than usual, meaning the astronomical views of the Earth’s curve at cruising height will be clearer to those with a window seat. But the neatest trick is its dimming feature: rather than using plastic shades, passengers control the light of the window with a dimming dial. It’s the result of an electrified gel sandwiched between two thin pieces of glass, which darkens as the current increases, and lightens as the current drops. Norwegian, the only budget airline to use the plane, has 10 among their fleet – so booking with them gives you a significant chance of experiencing it for yourself.
So wherever you plan to head to this year it’s good to know that Flexicover Travel Insurance is committed to providing you with the highest level of cover to ensure you are safe and secure 24 hours a day when away.