It seems perfect that our beloved #modhopMonday lands on the final day of 2012. It gives us an excuse to blab about the best stuff we stumbled upon or saw happening from afar when it comes to upgrading your travel experience. One or two things are new and a few are things we’re just getting around to.
5. Delta’s Economy Comfort – Our first experience with Economy Comfort was aboard a KLM 747 and we weren’t all that impressed. It was the introduction into the Delta fleet and it’s domestic product that inched-up our opinion of this slight upgrade. Without smashing open your kids piggy-bank, you’ll get at least a couple of inches more legroom, complimentary drinks on overseas routes and adjustable headrests on a few of Delta’s regional planes. Issues arise on international routes, particularly aboard international 757 aircraft where issues with recline and natural drawbacks of a smaller plane rear their ugly head. While not addressing our never-ending call for wider seats, legroom, free booze on international routes and added recline provide a bit of added comfort for a not-so-painful fee.
4. Hyatt Regency Tsim Sha Tsui Club Level- The room wasn’t exactly what did it for us, but the service was top-notch. From the escort up to the private high-floor check-in to the well prepared evening hors d’oeuvres, the Hyatt points we unloaded for our stay were well spent.
3. Virgin America First Class- While there are arguably better seats aboard other transcontinental carriers, you’re best served on Virgin if cool is a factor. Mood lighting, white leather and the Virgin aesthetic will make you feel more like a rock star than a high-volume insurance salesperson. The service on our virgin Virgin flight was spectacular too. Coffee was half-poured before we could finish asking for it. Smiles everywhere.
2. Skyview Lounge | Singapore Changi Airport (Terminal 1)- It was still dark out on our trip up to the Skyview Lounge. This cool indie lounge has an open, main area with big views of the tarmac and a more secluded area better for separating from the noise of the terminal. Food options, good service, well-sectioned seating and showers make this a good lounge choice at Changi (SIN).
1. Cathay Pacific Premium Economy- To be fair, we didn’t do a proper review of the service here but we like the seats and the idea of a dedicated cabin that provides a notable improvement from economy. It’s a bigger stress to your wallet, but on the 14 hour flight to Hong Kong, You’ll likely thank yourself for making such a sound investment. While we like the improvements US carriers have been making (notably #5 on this list), Cathay and others keep raising the bar.
US Airways A319 | Seat 10A- I reiterate the full disclosure that this seat was provided to me at no cost so that I could attend US Airways 2012 Media Day. That said, I use this seat as an example of what a good economy modhop should be. Tons of extra legroom and not terrible width (18″ according to SeatExpert, minus whatever the tray-table eats up). Along with existing food options and next-generation GoGo wi-fi & entertainment being installed throughout the airline’s A320 family aircraft this one is a contender the official top 5 list in 2013.