Just because you’re not forking out for first class, doesn’t mean you can’t bask in a little in-flight luxury. These handy carry-on treats are just the ticket for an instant upgrade.
1. Cancel the noise
Noise-cancelling headphones are not always worth the extra cost – because they don’t really cut out random noises, such as people talking. But they do come into their own on flights. The technology excels at cancelling out constant droning noises, such as jet engines, and helps wearers focus on what they really want to hear. The QuietComfort 35 IIs by Bose are effective, comfortable to wear and eke out decent battery life (20 hours) from a charge of their battery – long enough for even the furthest long-haul flight. Despite being wireless, they also have an optional phone jack to plug into inflight entertainment systems.
2. Use your space wisely
Alas, we can’t conjure up more leg room from your economy seat, but we can reduce the amount of time you spend hunched over in a confined space, rummaging around for your in-flight essentials. The cleverly designed Seat Pak by Flight 001 is a lightweight but durable pouch with a side loop for hooking on to the tray-table latch in front of you. Featuring several zipped compartments for your documents, tablet, charging cables, toiletries, eye mask and more, it means everything you need is in easy reach – and the bright colour means you’re never likely to lose it.
3. Treat your skin
Flying can famously wreak havoc on your complexion – all that recycled air in a pressurised cabin is a reliable recipe for dehydration, puffiness and skin irritation. While Emirates may offer first-class passengers a range of exotic VOYA spa products as well as “moisturising loungewear” you don’t have to go that far to stay hydrated. If you’re wearing any make-up, remove it before you board, drink plenty of water and choose your in-air grooming products wisely. “I love Jurlique’s Rosewater Balancing Mist, especially on flights,” says freelance beauty editor Jessica Punter. “It’s refreshing and hydrating to combat dry cabin air.” The 50ml version is perfect for travellers.
4. Take a proper pillow
Let’s face facts: there is nothing opulent about a bean-filled neck cushion. While you won’t get a Qatar Airways Qsuite double bed for an economy price tag, you can at least take a decent pillow along for the ride. Tielle Love Luxury travel pillows have a silky case, measure just 40cm by 50cm (big enough to comfortably rest your head) and are filled with super-soft duck down and duck feathers, so they can be easily squashed down into hand luggage. They even come with a cotton storage bag. Take that, giant bedroom suite in the sky.
5. Keep cosy
First-class passengers on ANA (All Nippon Airways) get to snooze under a cashmere blanket but who says you can’t have the VIP treatment back in Economy class, too? British brand The Travelwrap Company uses 100% sustainably sourced cashmere for its elegant collection of travel wraps for both men and women. They’re incredibly versatile, serving as a cosy blanket for sleeping under inflight, as a stylish wrap, and even as a scarf for chilly evenings at your destination. The new spring/summer collection is out now.
6. Mix your own cocktail
Bearing in mind all the usual caveats about not drinking to wild excess on a plane, there is something rather refined about drinking a cocktail at 35,000 feet – and you don’t need access to the Virgin Atlantic Upper Class bar to do it. The stylish Carry-On Cocktail Kit has been produced by Brooklyn design house W&P and cocktail publication Punch and designed especially for flying (the same size as a playing-card tin, it meets all the international airport security requirements). The Bloody Mary version contains a dash of small-batch Bloody Mary mix, mini pickles, a tiny bar spoon, rimming salt, a linen coaster and a recipe card. Just add vodka.
7. Feed your body
Did you know that for every 15-degree time zone you cross when flying, your body can need a full day to recover? High-flying former investment banker Papillon Luck certainly did, leading her to spend two years developing the new “premium travel fatigue food supplement” 15th Degree, launching in May 2018. Like the supercharged big brother to Phizz, which is currently handed out to all First Class flyers on Emirates, 15th Degree’s smart wallet contains five blends of vitamins, minerals, botanicals and bacterial cultures designed to be taken before, during and after your flight. It sounds complicated, but if it takes the sting out of long-haul travel, this may be the most luxurious investment of all.