Frequent flier Raul Dias lists the top business class indulgences on four of the best Middle Eastern airlines flying out of and into India
From free onboard WiFi and in-flight lounges, to amenity kits by Bulgari and Frette linen-lined plush flatbed seats, these are the top business class indulgences on four of the best Middle Eastern airlines flying out of and into India. Each making it their mission to see that you’re hedonistically ensconced in the lap of luxury at 35,000 feet in the sky!
Imagine this. You’re flying somewhere over the Hindu Kush, enjoying Turkish Airlines’s legendary brand of onboard hospitality, en route from India to Istanbul in their superbly kitted out business class cabin when you decide to whip out your phone and Instagram pics of the mighty mountain range to your posse of followers on terra firma. And no, we aren’t alluding to some jet-lag-induced, mid-air fantasy! With free high speed WiFi offered to all its business class guests, joining the digital ‘mile high club’ is just a click away on Turkish Airlines. But for those who prefer to prefer a digital detox, simply sit back in your fully flat seats, put your feet up on the fixed ottoman in front of you and sip on the airline’s signature raspberry lemonade with mint or perhaps indulge in a glass of the cloudy raki—the aniseed-based traditional Turkish spirit best accompanied with a mezze platter.
Enjoy your multi-course meal at any time during your flight, prepared by an onboard Skychef—another unique feature exclusive to Turkish Airlines. The Planet digital system is used for in-flight entertainment and comes pre-loaded with over 350 films and TV shows that you can also choose from and activate from the handheld control in case you’re too lazy to bend forward and tap your personal individual touch-screens. Much too lavish to be called a mere toilet, the powder rooms on board resemble those you’d find at a starred upscale hotel, with special mood lighting and a hands free sink with a large rectangular basin.
Making for a great souvenir, the leather amenity kits by Furla contain everything you need to look your best for your day ahead once you land. Speaking of which, here’s a tip: just before your flight begins to start its descent, make sure you call for a demitasse of the robust, freshly made Turkish coffee along with some Turkish delight or lokum as it’s called locally in Turkey. Trust us; it’s the perfect way to end your tryst with a business class service that is up there (pun intended!) with the best of the best.
Voted the Best Business Class yet again at the 2018 Skytrax World Airline Awards, Qatar Airways puts on a spectacular show in its cosy business class cabin. For starters, your seat doubles up as your personal cocoon of bliss with its 180° reclining ability, along with privacy screens and ample stowage facilities for all your travel-related paraphernalia. Kitted out in fine Frette linen when you’re ready to sleep and bathed with soft LED lighting, the seat truly is the most comfortable business class seat in the world! With everything from sushi to typically Qatari delicacies on offer, mealtime aboard Qatar Airways is punctuated with freshly brewed tea served from individual porcelain sets. And yes, you can have your meal at any time you prefer.
With up to 3,000 IFE entertainment options, the Oryx Entertainment System is a great way to catch up on that latest blockbuster. All this displayed on a one-of-its-kind dual screen interface where you can multitask. The snazzy limited-edition amenity kits from luxury luggage brands BRIC’S and Nappa Dori containing exclusive products from Italy’s Castello Monte Vibiano Vecchio are designed to keep you fresh, while the cool-n-comfy sleep suits (given out on long haul flights) give you the feeling of being invited to one big pyjama party in the sky!
Your tryst with Emirates’s legendary brand of Middle Eastern business class hospitality begins a few hours before your actual flight! Confused? Well, one of the aces up the Dubai-based airlines’ sleeve is the super-convenient and supremely luxurious free chauffeur service that picks you up from your home, hotel or office and deposits you at the airport—all in the cool confines of a sleek sedan. Once on board, you can enjoy a cocktail at the specially fitted lounge bar in their A380 aircrafts or sit back and enjoy a spot of Moët at your personal mini bar cubby attached to your seat, which by the way, can later be configured to transform into a fully flat bed.
Served on Royal Doulton bone china with Robert Welch cutlery, your meal will be from a wide selection of regionally-inspired gourmet dishes, paired with a sommelier-curated list of six award winning wines and grand crus. And to keep you entertained, Emirates lets you choose from over 2,500 channels of the latest films and TV shows on your personal in-flight entertainment system.
Finally, making sure you reach your destination all fresh and invigorated is the gargantuan on-board vanity room called ‘The Spa’ that comes with its own shower. But that’s not all, for your in-flight comfort Emirates presents you with its divine faux leather amenity kits (in eight rotating design variants) that contain top-of-the-line Bulgari products to indulge you even further with. Trust us, high flying was never this decadent!
Loathe to call it a mere business class, Etihad Airways prefers the term ‘Business Studio’ when it comes to their business class product on the A380 and 787 Dreamliner aircrafts that it operates. With a unique dovetail design, with forward- and rear-facing seats, Etihad optimises the personal space for you with direct aisle access for all fully flat seats and with convenient individual storage spaces. Perfect to socialise with other flyers is The Lobby on the upper deck of the A380 that is inspired by the intimate spaces found in boutique hotels.
Another superb concept is Etihad’s onboard café where you can nosh on light snacks and a choice of teas, Arabic coffee and even hot chocolate. But for a more substantial repast, the ‘All Day’ menus that you can opt for at any time during your flight are inspired by upmarket bistros around the world and are served with your choice of fine wines… or a flute of bubbly perhaps? With one of the largest touch-screen TVs (18.5 inches) offered in any business class cabin, your entertainment needs are taken care of with a range of on-demand programs that you can listen to with noise-cancelling headsets.
A limited edition amenity kit (that changes every month)—with designs inspired by some of the most vibrant cities on Etihad’s route map,