Flying economy doesn’t have to suck—these airlines offer great amenities you didn’t know about

To help travellers get the most of their economy experience, we've pulled together some of the coolest amenities to take advantage of on your next economy flight.

When you think of flying economy you think of cramped seating, non-existent leg room, so-so food, limited amenities and a generally unimpressive flight often come to mind.

Well, we’ve got some good news for you. It’s not just the lucky ones in business and first class who get pampered; some airlines offer their economy passengers a range of amenities—complimentary items and goodies you didn’t know about—that will make the flight in coach way more enjoyable.

We’ve all had the same daydream about flying first class. We’re impeccably dressed, cosy and comfortable in our roomy first class suites and pods, treated to overflowing fine dining food and wine, receiving world-class service and just generally having the time of our lives.

Alas, we are mere mortals and our budgets don’t allow us to experience first class flying comfort. Business class might also be out of our reach, but there’s always dear old coach.

To help travellers get the most of their economy experience, we’ve pulled together some of the coolest amenities to take advantage of on your next economy flight.

Singapore Sling cocktails—Singapore Airlines 

Let’s start with the home airline and flag carrier. Did you know that Singapore Airlines was the world’s first carrier to offer free drinks to passengers in the main cabin? Flights were never the same after free alcohol in economy became a thing!

All passengers flying economy class with Singapore Airlines can avail of their signature cocktail, the Singapore Sling, which is made with Heering cherry liqueur, Cointreau, gin, Bénédictine D.O.M., grenadine, a dash of Angostura bitters, lime juice, pineapple juice, and ice. Enjoy it with their delicious gourmet dishes, prepared by world-class chefs.

The Singapore Slings are delicious, refreshing and free. Keep ’em coming!

In-flight nanies—Etihad Airlines 

Those flying with children have more than free cocktails on the mind (though I’m sure tired travelling parents won’t say no to some free booze!). It’s a major challenge to keep the kids comfortable, occupied and relaxed, especially during long-haul flights.

Etihad Airlines has a wonderful answer to exhausted parents travelling with children—nannies on board. The flying nannies are there to make the flight easier and more enjoyable for both the kids and the parents.

The nannies do everything from providing activities such as arts, crafts and games for the little ones to lending assistance for things like restroom trips. Parents can lean back and get some rest while Etihad’s in-flight nannies do their thing.

In-flight amenity kits with slippers—Korean Air 

When you’re on a long-haul flight, you want to get as comfortable as possible. Korean Air has got you covered, with a superb in-flight amenity kit that has the usual items like sleeping eye masks, toothbrush and toiletries set, but they have added something special—folding slippers packed in a pouch for your convenience.

All Korean Air passengers on lengthy flights to America, Europe, Oceania and the Middle East will be receiving the in-flight amenity kit with slippers. Give your feet a break—kick off your shoes, put your slippers on and relax. Or feel at home and walk around the plane to stretch your legs.

Korean Air even offers a special wake-up service to their economy class. You set the time and you’ll be woken up with a smile and a fresh hot towel for freshening up!

Economy Skycouch—Air New Zealand

Space is a premium amenity usually associated with business or first class. Now, Air New Zealand says you can have as much space as you want, and in economy class, too.

Their Economy Skycouch is something to behold. It’s a row of three economy seats that converts into a lie-flat bed or couch at the simple push of a button. All armrests go up and out of the way, and seat footrests can be adjusted (up or down, between 60 and 90 degrees) to make the couch wider. Bedding and pillows are included in the service.

Book an Economy Skycouch and you’ll have all the room you need to be relaxed as you cruise through the skies. Share it with your significant other, have a private area with your kids, or stretch out alone for maximum space.

Self-service buffet—Air France

One of the best things about flying is eating. I personally find it incredibly exciting to receive all those little dishes wrapped in foil—it’s like opening presents. While airline food used to get a bad rap, airlines have made it their business to raise the culinary quality onboard, with most carriers offering fine-dining experiences and special meals for a variety of special diets.

Air France’s long-haul economy class passengers will enjoy gourmet dishes, a free glass of champagne, complimentary cocktails as starters, and even digestive liqueurs for after the meal. They have also introduced an onboard self-service buffet with a selection of sweet and savoury snacks, sandwiches, ice cream and other goodies.

You’re not going to feel hungry on this flight!