Aviation has always been associated with a luxury way of travel. Even though the golden age of the industry seems mostly in the past, there are still some airline companies that like to add that little extra flair to the experience, by adding a bar onboard their planes in order for the passengers to pass their time onboard in the most relaxed way possible. Truth be told, these bars are only accessible for travelers in business and first class, but nonetheless they do make the overall experience much more enjoyable. Let’s take a look at some of the best flying bars.
Probably the best known by most of us, as they are installed on their A380’s of which Emirates has the largest fleet in the world. Their massive marketing budget might also have to do with it of course. But let’s be honest, it looks amazing and recently they have started to roll out a new look for their bar, which looks and feels more like a mix between a private jet and a yacht. It takes some time to get used to all the bling when flying Emirates, but it only takes one drink to get used to this bar.
In my opinion the most beautiful bar in the sky, and surely also the largest one. With ample space on both sides of the bar, there is loads of space to sit down and relax to try some of the cocktails or snacks which are offered. The location of the bar is ideal, on the upper deck of the A380 in between business class and economy class. It provides a space where there is minimal traffic from passengers or crew, making the lounge the perfect spot to relax and have a little chat.
A bar has been one of the staple amenities onboard Virgin Atlantic, and even on their new A350 they still installed one for their business class passengers. While less exuberant than the ones you’ll find on the Middle Eastern carriers, it is still a nice space where you can have a drink instead of having a glass on your own in the seat where you are already spending way too many hours. The only downside about the onboard bar on Virgin Atlantic is the fact that there’s little separation between the cabin and the bar, which means it can get rather disturbing for the passengers seated close to it when there is a lot of people having a drink, often resulting in a lot of noise.
While being very known for their onboard Residence (yes, the seat that comes with its own bedroom and bathroom), there are far less people aware of the fact that Etihad also has an onboard bar on their A380s. Between the first and business class you can find “The Lounge” which features a circular seating area which can host 6 passengers. Not massively big, but again a nice space to unwind outside your own seating area. There is no dedicated bartender, but the friendly crew is always in the neighborhood to help and serve up your favorite drink. A downside is the galley which is located next to it, and as a results there’s more noise and lots of traffic to and from the business class cabin by the crew.
Another airlines that has an onboard bar on their A380’s is Korean Air. Located in the back of the upper deck, you’ll find the Celestial bar. It has an open and inviting atmosphere, with plenty of seating space. As it is operated in collaboration with Absolut Vodka, they only serve you the signature vodka based cocktails in this bar. Maybe that is why it may look a little bit like an ice bar. However, as we all know how customer orientated the Asian airline crews are, you can always ask a friendly staff member for anything else to drink, though they will have to go and get that for you in the galley.
Have you visited one of these onboard bars already? And if so, what were your thoughts?