It's difficult to argue that the state of modern flying is anything but abysmal—planes are little more than buses in the sky, if you're flying in economy, anyway. For some flyers, however—namely, those who are able and willing to pay first- and business-class fares—flying has never been more luxurious.
Here are 10 things you probably didn't know you could do on an airplane.
1. Join the mile-high club—for real
Conventional wisdom would tell you that the only way to get it on at 35,000 feet is to sneak into the bathroom with your lover, hopefully unnoticed. A number of airlines have now introduced actual, queen sized beds on flights, namely Singapore Airlines' First-Class Suite and Etihad's "The Residence" apartment, which means that you can have sex in the sky without worrying about getting caught.
(Which, to be fair, might be the main draw for some of you!)
2. Take a shower
Flying solo in your private suite? Not to worry. While enjoying a hot shower in the sky isn't as pleasures as enjoying, well, other things, you can do it on several airlines, namely Emirates, who started the trend more than seven years ago.
3. Sip a cocktail at an actual bar
A ticket in Emirates' premium cabin (on the A380, anyway) also affords you access to its swanky lounge, which features an actual bar and a bartender to make premium cocktails for you.
4. Make calls on your own phone
Inflight Internet is old news, and seatback telephones are even older, but soon, you'll be able to make calls from your own cellphone, thanks to inflight cell receptors that use avionics technology. This is already possible in some countries, namely Brazil.
5. Enjoy a Japanese-style toilet
Although Asian airlines aren't usually as opulent as their Middle Eastern counterparts, they provide great service where it counts. The next you fly on ANA or Japan Airlines, for example, make sure and use the bidet function of the toilet, which is identical to the toilet seats you find throughout Japan.
6. Eat lobster and caviar
Many airlines offer first- and business-class passengers opulent cuisine options, including whole lobster and fine caviar. You'll never use the term "airplane food" again!
7. Slip into something more comfortable
Another perk of flying in premium class is pajamas. While some airlines only offer these to first-class passengers, some (such as Air China) offer them to business-class passengers as well.
8. Binge-watch House of Cards
Virgin America recently announced a partnership with Netflix, which means that you can keep up with Frank Underwood's machiavellian scheming from 35,000 feet. Even if "House of Cards" isn't your jam, many airlines now offer full series of popular TV shows in their entertainment libraries.
9. Rub elbows with Hello Kitty
Does Hello Kitty even have elbows? This ceases to matter the moment you step on a plane operated by Taiwan's EVA Airways, whose official mascot is the beloved cartoon character.
10. Enjoy yourself
If there's one thing this list should prove to you more than anything else, it's that flying doesn't have to be a miserable experience, although you often have to pay in order for this to be true.