The World’s Most Unique Airlines
Before you reach for the internet to book your next flight, spare a thought for the bizzare and unusual- if you’re going to travel why wouldn’t you endure that lengthy trip in one of the world’s most unique airlines?
I’ve reached out to fellow bloggers for their most crazy, original experiences (the good, the bad and the ugly) in airlines around the planet- so which in your opinion is the world’s most unique airline?
Air New Zealand is one of the world’s most unique airlines because of its viral in-flight safety videos (featuring, among others, the Hobbit and Men in Black themes, Bear Grylls, Betty White and one in which everyone is in full-body paint), it’s pioneering Economy SkyCouch or “cuddle class” (which allows for three economy seats to be ‘fused’ together to allow a flat playing surface for children of a lie-flat bed!) and superb customer service. It also regularly wins airline of the year, which is not surprising given the legendary Kiwi hospitality, I mean how many pilots have your heard of regularly requesting diversions to give tourists the best view of the Southern Alps or circling back so both sides of the plane can see it?! An airline like no other and one which I will always be happy to fly with!
Last September I had the chance to spend a wonderful stopover in Finland while travelling with Finnair between Europe and Japan. Just as we were about to board our Tokyo-bound flight we had a wonderful surprise – we were on the Finnair Marimekko plane! Marimekko is an iconic Finnish fabric brand, known for its bold and colourful prints.
Their most famous print is the ‘Unikko’ poppies, decorating the plane just in front of us on the tarmac. The Marimekko plane is often used on routes to and from Japan, as the brand is also very popular there. I barely had time to snap this pic before half the plane started to pose for selfies!
#3 WOW air- purple fever
WOW air is one of the most quirky-cool airlines in the business right now! They are currently making waves in the market with their $69 fares, but that is just the start. The single most unique feature of this airline is that everything with WOW air is purple. This includes the stewardesses’ attire, website, boarding passes, luggage tags, advertising, and even the plane!! WOW truly takes the purple theme to the next level and we totally love it. In addition, they pay attention to the very last detail when it comes to being ‘cute.’ WOW air even purposely doesn’t capitalize the ‘a’ in ‘air’ in order to stand out even more.
#4 Singapore Airlines- suites
One of the world’s most unique airlines that I have ever flown on is Singapore Airlines. What makes this airline so unique are the luxurious Singapore Suites on Singapore Airlines A380 aircraft. Singapore Suites are enclosed first class suites which are more private than typical first class seats as they have doors and blinds. Singapore Airlines was the first airline to offer a double bed in the sky – the two middle seats in each row can be combined to form one large double bed. The double bed is available for couples or two people traveling together but if the flight is empty the flight attendants will sometimes make the double bed even for those traveling solo. Passengers in Singapore Suites class can order multiple courses of decadent food and fine wine and champagne such as Krug and Dom Pérignon from an extensive menu. Not only was my flight in Singapore Airlines Suites unique, but it was hands down my best and more luxurious flight ever.
#5 Emirates- Champagne luxury
Where else in the world can you take a shower while flying at 40,000 feet? I still remember the hot water running over my face during my 17-hour flight from Dubai to Houston. This is just one of the many incredible features of flying first class on the Emirates A380. I also enjoyed my own private suite with a 27-inch TV and a full lie-down bed. I had three windows all to myself, which with the touch of a button, the blinds would open or close. When I wasn’t playing around with all the high-tech gadgets in my suite, I’d simply wander down to the business class portion of the plane where a full complimentary bar was waiting for me. As I stood around the bar talking to other passengers, I had the bartender whip me up a mojito. Then I had a glass of Dom Perignon. It was all a very surreal experience made extra special by the fact that I used travel hacking to get the $15,000 one-way flight for just $89.
#6 VietJet- Eggs on Board
I flew VietJet a number of times on my last trip around South East Asia, and calling the service bare bones is an understatement, to the point that it makes Ryanair flights shine as luxury. The bizarre behavior of VietJet staff starts at check in, when the checked in bags are sent to the plane pretty much right away, and only afterwards the carry on bags are checked. The whole point is to find a way to make passengers pay for overweight luggage. My checked bag was much lighter than the allowance, and the carry on was slightly over. I could have easily moved some stuff from one to the other, had my checked bag not been sent right away. I could have outsmarted the personnel and worn a number of extra layers in order to avoid the overweight charges.
Once on board, I got the full measure of how bare bones VietJet is. The planes are rotten dirty – leather coming off seats, tray tables falling apart. An annoying song plays on and on – I can still remember it after a year. And although the seats are assigned, passengers push their way through the plane, completely disregarding the presence of others. Once seated, they remove their shoes and cross their legs. I spent my 90 minutes flight with the foot of the lady sitting next to me pretty much right under my nose.
It was entertaining, to say the least
#7 Turkish Airlines- The Flying Chef
We have flown with Turkish Airlines quite a lot in the past couple of years and we weren’t surprised to hear that they had won awards for their in-flight food. As airline food goes, it was the best we‘d had, even in economy. Recently though, we experienced one of those mythical surprise upgrades on a flight from Istanbul to Buenos Aires and suddenly we were in Business – literally! Details aside, we’re going to find it very hard to go back to being ‘regular people,’ but what amazed us the most was the food service.
We had expected good things as it was Business Class after all, but we hadn’t expected to be served by a fully garbed chef, from the trousers, to the double breasted jacket, all the way up to the big white hat! The chef made sure we had our food just how we liked it and even advised me which wine would compliment my meat dish the best; the Argentinian, of course! We had a good 16 hours to kill, so we had a quick search online. It turns out that these guys are not just cabin staff in disguise, they are actual chefs retrained to make your food the sky the best it can be. Lets face it, in a giant Coke can at 30,000 feet food is always going to be something of a compromise, but it can’t hurt to know there’s a pro keeping a close eye on what happens to it!