In an age when some airlines are forcing passengers into the ever-smaller sardine can that is economy class, others are making room for a luxurious experience that goes above and beyond first class.
For passengers willing to shell out thousands of dollars for a serious upgrade, many airlines are now offering never-before-seen extravagances during flight. For example, Virgin Airlines offers massages on trans-Atlantic flights. Emirates Airlines has a first-class shower. Etihad Airways is about to debut a 125-square-foot, three-room apartment called "the residence," butler included.
"I think in general the luxury landscape has grown as more people are flying more, people are flying longer distances," said Pilar Guzmán, editor-in-chief of Condé Nast Traveler. "More people are willing to pay that price for that extra luxury."
Recently, travel blogger Derek Low wrote a post about cashing in points to score one of Singapore Airlines's luxurious suites on his trip from Singapore to New York. Singapore Airlines planes feature about a dozen exclusive pods that include a real bed. While an economy ticket from New York to Frankfurt on Singapore Airlines will cost around $800, their suites can run passengers around $15,000.
"First class is one of the areas where there is really opportunities to make your mark," said James Boyd, a spokesman for Singapore Airlines. "You have your space, you have a little bit more time with customers."
"Nightline" asked Singapore Airlines if they could experience the exclusive suites first-hand, and were given tickets to fly from New York City's JFK airport to Frankfort.
When passengers book their suite on Singapore Airlines, they are pampered from the moment they walk into the airport, and it was no different for "Nightline."
First, "Nightline" was whisked ahead of the line at check-in to the front, then straight to a luxurious lounge for cocktails. When it was time to board, an escort appeared to take them to their gate.
Once on the plane, they were served champagne, ate caviar and ordered dinner that came with multiple courses.
Flight attendants waited on them hand and foot, and then, when it was time for bed, they offered a "tuck in" service. Not bad for a seven-hour flight.