This is one of the posts I lost, that I recently unearthed in a raw PHP coded archive. It first appeared on this blog in March 2011, just when I was launching my very first indie title, Blood Knot. This is some of the research I did for that novel. — t.
We tend to buy airplane tickets these days with usually only one thought. “How can I get the best deal?” In other words, how can I spend the least amount of money? But not everyone thinks that way.
If you live in the United States and it’s a domestic flight, if you know just a smidgen about hunting down flight deals, you can getting eye-popping flight sales. Ridiculous bargains like flying from L.A. to N.Y. for $100. Add in Airmiles and you’re flying free. International long haul flights are more expensive, but if your departure date is far enough into the future, you can still find some terrific deals, especially if your destination and departure date is fluid. However, there are some travelers for whom being inconvenienced in any way, like not getting the date or destination they want, is an outrageous idea.
The airlines are hurting, economically, so they’ll do anything to sell a seat, which is why there are stupefying sales closer to the date of the flight. (If you can stand the stress of flying stand-by, the price is even sweeter.)
But there are some airlines who have also realized that there is another emerging market to milk. Luxury travel for those who can afford it is a whole new world of travelling. These airlines cater to the growing numbers of travelling who have the money to spare to get all the convenience and comfort they crave while travelling. All the buffers against jet-lag an airline can devise, along with all the distractions that can be provided to make a long flight bearable.
There are a handful of luxury class airlines in the world, and some airlines who offer luxury class sections and options. Perhaps the most famous of these is the United Emirates line, who offer Luxury Class travel, with a First Class section where your seat is actually a room with a flat bed and your flight includes a hot shower.
Most of the luxury class airlines include beds, world class cuisine, free alcohol, movies, plus some offer computer services and a personal assistant to help you. But an average flight from New York to London will cost you anywhere from $5,000 to $7,000.
AskMen.com listed the Top 10 luxury class airlines in the world.
10. British Airways
8. Eos Airlines
7. Thai Airways International
6. Virgin Atlantic
5. Cathay Pacific Airways Limited
4. Japan Airlines
3. Lufthansa Airlines
2. Singapore Airlines
1. Swiss International Air Lines
First class travelers also get to use the First Class lounges at each of the airports where they stop over, too. These lounges have fully-stocked bathrooms, offices, free hot and cold buffet meals and sometimes à la carte dining, too. There’s usually fully stocked bars, as well, so the weary traveler can wet his whistle.
I used this idea of luxury long haul travel in Blood Knot, as my characters were going to spend the first quarter of the book chasing each other around the globe, and spending most of their time in the air. I couldn’t imagine them being crammed in economy seats (“cattle class”), especially Nial, my 1,500+ year old vampire who was too used to getting his own way, which included a certain standard of living.
So my research for the book included luxury travel — and I had my eyes opened for me. I would love to one day fly as a luxury class passenger and be pampered that way! Although, for Blood Knot, I couldn’t resist “rearranging” some of the cabin appointments just a tad in order to facilitate certain…er…activities that went on in the book.
The Mile-High Club lives on in fiction. 🙂
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