There’s nothing quite like flying coach on a commercial airline. Even if you have a relatively uneventful experience, you’re still likely to have to deal with persistent cramp, obnoxious passengers, and stomach churning turbulence; all of this and you don’t even have a standard sized bathroom to freshen up in. We all know that flying is a means to an end, but it would be nice if it could be a little less stressful.
The good news is that there are plenty of ways to enjoy a touch of luxury while traveling. The bad news is that you need to have a lot of cash to access them. The billionaires of the world are, in many ways, right at the forefront of aviation technology, because they’re demanding things that have never been done before. Take Saudi business magnate and all round big spender, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, who has a garage on his private jet.
It’s time to take a closer look at some of the incredible technologies and features that are being installed on luxury planes all around the world:
Full Sized Power Showers
Yes, that’s right. If you have enough money, you can get a full sized bathroom suite installed on your luxury plane. While everybody else is feeling travel sick in closet sized restrooms, billionaires are relaxing in Jacuzzi tubs and power showers. A good example of this is Trump himself, who has a gold plated sink on his private jet.
The mechanics of having a long shower or a bubble bath, while 39,000 feet in the air, are not simple. If you have the cash though, anything is possible. It helps if you’re one of only a handful onboard of course; just you, your personal stylist, personal assistant, and personal chef. That way, you never have to worry about using all the hot water. If you want a bubble bath, the world is your oyster. If you want to drink champagne while you shower, dive right in.
Luxury Kitchen and Wine Cooler
What do you do if you’ve just finished luxuriating in a bath and need a glass of wine to soothe your nerves before landing? If money is no object, you ask your personal waiter for his finest vintage and put an order in for a two course meal. These days, luxury planes are kitted out with fully functioning kitchens. They include convection ovens, wine coolers, sprawling refrigerators, and even breakfast islands.
One of the most luxurious can be found on the 2012 Business Jet manufactured by Boeing. It contained all of this and more. The price tag did run to a cool $77 million though, so you’ll have to start saving now. If you add a private catering team, you’ll be able to enjoy world class meals without ever lifting a finger. It’s certainly a world away from curiously colored mashed potato and lackluster veggies.
Personal ‘On Board’ Garage
As already mentioned, there is at least one Middle Eastern entrepreneur who is flying around in luxury planes, complete with their own personal garages. There’s no waiting around for a taxi at the airport for this guy. Prince Alwaleed bin Talal owns a customized Airbus A380, which has been kitted out with a secure place for his Rolls Royce. As soon as his jet rolls onto the tarmac, he can be in his Rolls, ready to – well – roll.
The on board garage is just one of many luxuries that the Prince can enjoy. Remarkably, the Airbus also contains a concert hall and a Turkish bath. And, he didn’t stop there. If reports are to be believed, he owns a second luxury plane that has its very own golden throne. The customized Airbus is believed to have cost somewhere in the region of $500 million.
Personal Entertainment Center
While we all like to think that we’d follow suit and, in a fit of lavish entitlement, kit out a private plane in diamonds and hand crafted Italian leather, but the reality is that most of us would be happy with a huge TV. Comedian Tyler Perry certainly is, because he paid $125 million for a luxury jet with a bespoke cinema room.
The jet, which is called Gulfstream III, contains a 42 inch HD LCD cinema screen, satellite television channels, several Blu Ray players, state of the art speakers, and cutting edge home theatre lighting. To go one better (of course), Donald Trump has a similar set up on one of his luxury planes, but his flat screen television is 52 inches. With that level of technology on board, even Avatar could be entertaining.
Passengers on regular commercial airlines aren’t even allowed to keep their mobiles on for take-off and landing, but billionaire businessmen are holding meetings in the sky. The Boeing 737 contains some very pricey pieces of kit, because it has its own fully functional conference and meeting room. There is full computer connectivity, so that flying doesn’t have to disrupt the order of the day.
For presentations, there’s a state of the art entertainment system, with surround sound speakers and an extensive suite of digital tools and applications. For business magnates like Donald Trump and high profile politicians like the POTUS, the work is never done. So, it’s lucky that they can retire to sprawling private bedrooms when they’ve finished running their empires for the evening.
Luxury Master Bedrooms
Speaking of those private bedrooms, did you know that the co-founder of Microsoft owns a $100 million Boeing 757 jet? It contains a suite of luxury bedrooms, rather than just one, so that he can fly his team around in style. With king sized beds, interactive smart screens, and plush décor, there’s nothing that quite compares to taking a nap in the lap of luxury.
Many of the biggest movie stars fly with full entourages, so there needs to be lots of space on board their luxury planes to accommodate this small army. Do you think Kim Kardashian and Kanye West ever fly without a personal chef, stylist, and nanny? If they’ve got enough bedrooms, they could even bring a personal trainer along and never miss a gym session.