Transparent planes, morphing seats and in-flight acupuncture may not be a reality yet, but the most ambitious airlines are spending billions to implement out-of-the-box thinking.
Airlinetrends.com, an independent research agency focusing on global aviation, published a report ranking the world's 10 most innovative airlines.
Korean Air topped the list for sourcing its own organic farm on Jeju Island for in-flight meals, and for its "attentive service amenities," including a female-only lounge at Incheon Airport, female-only bathrooms on aircraft and the world's first onboard duty-free showcase. (They should have also included those face air-mist things they stock in the bathrooms ... we're so addicted.)
Korean Air's "Celestial Bar" is located on the upper deck of the airline's A380s.
The feature that sounds the most fun? Three onboard bars and cocktails designed by Absolut Vodka, complete with a full-time bartender.
The rankings should come as a welcome silver lining for the airline, which faced a net loss in 2011 due to "high oil prices, a weak Korean won and the slow recovery of cargo traffic," according to the airlinetrends.com report.
British Airways' use of iPads for its crew, celebrity-chef-curated in-flight meals and the "golden ticket" scheme rewarding outstanding crew members for customer service placed the airline at No. 2.Ireland
Delta took third place. The features that got it there include a premium service partnership with Porsche, a mobile bag tracking smartphone app and Wi-Fi services for all aircraft.
The world's top 10 innovative airlines
1. Korean Air
2. British Airways
3. Delta Air Lines
5. TAM (Brazil)
6. Qatar Airways
7. Virgin America
10. ANA (Japan)
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