I was talking to my friend Sieto over at Never Not Flying about his amazing videos of luxury airline flights. If you have a chance, be sure to check out the videos of NeverNotFlying on YouTube. I am especially impressed by his coverage of Air France La Première (Air France‘s international first class) since it is quite rare to see very much high-quality video of this exclusive product.
His recent video Air France First Class – New La Première Cabin – CGK-SIN-CDG B777-300E is truly the “stuff” dreams are made of. Ok, well, maybe what MY dreams are made of. You will also get a quick glimpse of the new Air France business class, which we reviewed on TravelZork almost a year ago.
Over the Top – Vintage Commercial Aviation
All of this luxury aviation had me thinking a bit. Prior to the current incarnation of luxury premium classes and some of the vintage photos of premium classes what else is out there that is “over the top” with regard to amenities and furnishings? Shortly after the introduction of the 747s there were many on board enhancements. Piano bars, both first and economy class lounges and lots of space and enhanced food and beverage offerings. The introduction of the 747, in my opinion, was the “golden age” of in-cabin enhancements. This also extended to the other widebody aircraft introductions of the DC-10 and L1011 in the early 1970s.
I mean, how about a Polynesian Pub on Continental? It truly does not get much better than this. Yes, it does get better. You can now take a shower in flight on an Emirates A380. And let us not forget about the free flowing vintage Champagne.
Actually, maybe there are a few things more impressive than showering above the clouds . How about an onboard disco? Or perhaps a Tasmanian opossum-fur-covered elliptical waterbed. Not sure if I am more impressed by the use of opossum fur or the elliptical waterbed on this aircraft. If you guessed it, my congratulations! It’s “Hare-Force-One!” (Not to mention, Hefner’s girls were showering inflight long before the A380.)
In February 1970, Hugh Hefner took his maiden flight aboard the Playboy plane – a brand-new McDonnell Douglas DC-9-32, bought for an alleged USD 9m (a simply colossal sum at the time). This particular DC-9, though, was worlds away from its commercial brethren. In typical Playboy fashion, it was packed to the rafters with flamboyance and excess. Painted jet-black with Playboy rabbits adorning the tail fin, it was crammed with lavish décor and then-state-of-the-art technology.
You can find more details about this amazing plane by referring to Hare-Force One: Boarding the Playboy plane.