The world’s premium airlines have rushed to make their first and business class cabins pleasure domes of comfort.
Caviar, celebrity chefs and seats that recline 180 degrees into beds are now mandatory if you’re going to compete for the globe’s top trotters.
A less visible industry trend now accompanies these high-tech thrones, and the battle for supremacy is just as fierce: yes, the airlines have gone to war over your pyjamas.
Passengers riding the premium cabin want to deplane "looking crisp and fresh", says James Bradbury-Boyd, a spokesman for Singapore Airlines, which has made sleepwear an integral part of its in-flight service. "We are flying many of the world’s longest distance and duration flights, and many of those flights are overnight.
"It’s simply practical in order to help passengers arrive in better shape."
Following years of financial duress, US carriers have also begun touting sleepwear as an amenity. Their aim is to get ever closer to the big leagues of lavish service in which Asian and Middle East carriers hold sway.
Pyjamas also provide an opportunity to stand out for carriers that already coddle their lucrative passengers.
Qantas Airways, for example, is offering Olympic-themed pyjamas on some international routes through September 18 to celebrate Australia’s athletes.
The limited-edition green/gold design, which matches the Aussie team colours, is a temporary replacement for the gray cotton ones Qantas normally distributes in business class. Almost every airline chooses cotton for its sleepwear fabric, and most, such as Singapore, have made the apparel’s presentation into part of the pre-bed ritual.
his includes pillows, duvets, and turndown service to replicate a posh hotel experience.
Delta Air Lines has pyjamas on flights to China in its Delta One cabin. United Continentalwill have sleep suits available for flights of more than 12 hours.
And American Airlines offers pyjamas in its "Flagship" first class on long-haul routes.
The Arabian Gulf’s airlines have become synonymous with first-class luxury. From Etihad’s The Reidence offering that includes private suite and even your own butler, to Emirates’ onboard shower facilities and on-call chef, to Qatar’s lie-flat bed accompanied by frette linen and a duvet, the region’s "Big Three" are at the vanguard of comfort at 36,000ft. And when it comes to pyjamas, Emirates even has a joint venture in the pipeline that it says will make the tedious business of jet-setting even less stressful. Here, the airline spokeswoman Rula Tadros gives The National the lowdown on its nightwear solutions:
ho gets the pyjama treatment on Emirates?
All customers in first class are offered sleepsuits, including the complimentary slippers, socks and eyeshades, on ultra long-haul daytime flights (over 9 hours and 30 minutes) and on late-night long-haul flights (over 4 hours and 30 minutes).
What’s the next big thing in Emirates’ pyjama-based development programme?
We are looking to introduce new sleepsuits in the coming months. The new sleepsuits is a partnership with Hydra Active sleepwear to promote skin hydration and comfort.
o your first-class guests get any other relaxation aids?
Other amenities in first class include exclusive Bulgari kitbag. The Emirates Private Collection men’s kitbags in first class are made from fine leather, while ladies have sophisticated satin bags with a satin lining. The kitbags are available on all A380 flights to use in the onboard Shower Spa, on long-haul night flights and on flights over 10 hours.
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