In the wake of Dubai-based airline Emirates’ relaunching its acclaimed Onboard Lounge, we check out whichairlines offer the best cocktail bar experiences in the skies.
Emirates, one of the first airlines to introduce a cocktail bar concept on its A380 aircraft, recently relaunched its Onboard Lounge, with the additions of new colours, new seating, new drinks and new technology. Taking inspiration from the cabins of private yachts, the re-envisioned Onboard Lounge caters to 26 passengers – including eight seated – and features a resident bartender, 55-inch flatscreen for live sporting events, and a list of signature cocktails. www.emirates.com
Virgin Atlantic introduced a cocktail bar between its Upper Class – the airline’s business class – and economy class, back in 2004 and revamped it when it introduced a new Upper Class product in 2012. Now passengers on Virgin Atlantic flights can sit at the world’s longest onboard bar, at almost nine feet, which is adorned with 1,000 Swarovski crystals and club-like LED lighting. Just ensure you’re not seated too close as it can get rowdy. www.virginatlantic.com
Korean Air offers its Business and First Class passengers access to its A380’s upper deck Celestial Lounge, an Absolut vodka-sponsored cocktail corner at the rear of the aircraft where a selection of vodka concoctions is served. If the bar’s full there’s another smaller lounge at the front of the upper deck. www.koreanair.com
Another carrier to recently relaunch its business class offer to well-heeled travellers, Qatar Airways’ A380s also offer an elegant lounge and cocktail bar, with room for 10 passengers in a space dressed in soft lighting and a restrained colour palate of caramel, burgundy and wood. They even serve Krug champagne to both business and first passengers. www.qatarairways.com
If you’re flying in First or Business Class on Etihad’s A380s, you can visit The Lobby, a chic space catering to just six passengers, located on the upper deck. There isn’t a bar or bartender per se but attentive crew will have you well looked after. www.etihad.com