Some might associate prestigious airlines with being lavish, luxurious and inaccessible. In the era of ever-cheaper flights, this luxury becomes, although partially, available for the taking. What are the secrets behind popular, prestigious airlines? What should passengers know about them and how they should use the services they offer? Which services are reserved for the richest and which can be enjoyed by passengers of all classes?
Visit Doha with Qatar Airways
The Qatari airline not only does everything to ensure that even economy class passengers feel appreciated on board of their planes (free toiletry bag full of small gifts, such as socks, eye mask, toothbrush and toothpaste, earplugs and even lip balm, is a standard offer in this airline), but also pays attention to additional aspects, unrelated to flying. At the airport in Doha, the capital of Qatar, a great surprise awaits those travelling with Qatar Airways. Passengers for whom Doha is a transfer hub and whose stopover exceeds 5 hours can take up an unusual offer and take a city tour with a guide provided by Qatar Airways. During a few hours of sightseeing passengers can see the most significant places in Doha, visit a souk for quick shopping, admire the development of the city and historical buildings, which are rarely mentioned in the context of Doha’s expansion. The tour is 2.5 hours long and the passengers are transported to and from the airport in an air-conditioned bus. It costs a symbolic amount of money, namely QAR 40 (around PLN 42). It’s worth it! Qatar Airways takes responsibility for the visas by granting each passenger a short-term free visa for such a tour.
Abu Dhabi Experience with Etihad
The Etihad airline chose a similar approach. As a way of promoting the main city, Abu Dhabi, the passengers who decide on a short (one day) stopover in the city can enjoy free accommodation (they pay only the, so-called, city tax amounting to around a dozen zloty) in one of the chosen hotels. They can choose from hotels of the highest standard: for instance, Le Royal Meridien, a five-star hotel located in the city centre, with a restaurant rotating through 360 degrees, offering amazing views and sensations. Those planning a longer trip (as a part of the Etihad special offer the prices for long distance flights, e.g. to Australia, are really attractive) should seriously consider this airline!
Polish citizens don’t need a visa in the United Arab Emirates – a stamp in their passport is enough. That’s another reason why Abu Dhabi can be something more than just a transfer place and duty-free zone visit.
China Southern Airlines doesn’t fall behind…
offering an unusual opportunity of a short stop in China: namely, in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province. Passengers can use this offer provided they, obviously, have a stopover at the airline’s flagship airport in that city. China Southern provides a stay in a chosen hotel, depending on the class the passenger is travelling in. This is a great choice to visit at least a part of China without a separate trip just for that country and visa documents.
On-board entertainment at the highest level with Virgin Atlantic…
Prestigious airlines provide passengers with great travelling comfort, even in the economy class. Virgin Atlantic focused on an advanced system of on-board entertainment, where, alongside the TV, passengers can find the most recent TV series, games and animated films. There is a multiplayer mode available in an application allowing to play with other passengers, making it easier to make friends with them! Virgin Atlantic tries to get passengers’ attention during the in-flight safety briefing in an interesting way – instead of choosing the way low-cost carriers are known for, namely, flight attendants and staff presentation, the airline shows the necessary steps by displaying a special animation on every passenger’s screen.
…but it’s still Emirates occupying the leading position
An award-winning entertainment system on board of the Emirates airline planes provides the passengers with way more than TV channels or games. With Emirates, every passenger can enjoy the view option from three on-board cameras. One of them, located at the front, shows the pilot view. The bottom camera offers an aerial view and the third one, located at the airplane tail, enables passengers to admire the plane itself or cloud shapes.
Special event surprises
Many airlines, instead of sending wishes via an e-mail or a text message, choose to surprise the passenger in a completely different way.
Magnum Air, known also as SkyJet Airlines, is a Philippine boutique airline. For a passenger’s birthday, SkyJet decided on giving them free tickets for a chosen round-trip during the month of their birthday, for now just in 2018. The offer is valid on condition that the passenger will be accompanied by an additional person who will pay for their own flight.
Ukraine International Airlines offers a 25% discount on… honeymoon flights. The only thing the passengers have to do is to book a flight to their dream destination within 3 months of their wedding and a return flight within 6 months of their wedding date. UIA offers discounts, up to 20%, also for various anniversaries and birthdays. It’s a significant difference compared to a 5% discount offered by carriers such as China Airlines.
ANA/JAL, i.e. All Nippon Airlines and Japan Airlines, offer the price of 12,000 yen (equivalent of 108 dollars) for a domestic flight within a week of the passenger’s birthday. The birthday passenger, as well as their three companions, can take up this offer and go to another place in Japan for twelve thousand yen.
A birthday cake on board, 10 thousand kilometres above ground? It’s possible with Turkish Airlines. A request for a free of charge celebration cake (ordered for birthdays or wedding anniversaries) should be made in advance through Turkish Airlines helpline or at the sale counters. The only condition for receiving this sweet surprise is a flight during the period of three days before or after the celebration date.
SriLankan Airlines, a little bit envious of that idea, introduced their own, slightly modified version. For as little as 20 dollars passengers can order a special set: a cake with a special inscription served onboard and two glasses of champagne.
Is that all?
There are plenty of interesting options to make the most of the flight, and prestigious airlines do their best to please their customers by constantly adding new ideas to their offers. It’s important to remember that more and more often airlines care for their passengers not only during the flight, but also before it begins and after it ends. Unique opportunities of city tours, paid stays at hotels or vouchers are just a couple of examples, and in the age of personalization and competition even better discounts and surprises, which often aren’t even mentioned aloud, are to be expected.