My Ideal......Airline

Another in a series, this is based on in particular long-haul flights but many of these services will be ideal on short-haul too.


From the minute I reach the website until I get out of the airport on the return journey, what I need is real customer service; where I can call on a normal number rather than having to have to listen to two minutes on a premium rate just to hear all the options. Or better still, an actual email address that reaches a person rather than an automated ‘we’ll get back to you when we can be bothered’ message. This is on top of the expected standards of politeness and courtesy of course.


One example is a delightful indulgence to eat while watching the movie, having eaten a decent meal earlier. I love the way Virgin always give old fashioned ice cream.


Lots of food – keep the options coming so I can choose when and what I want to eat.

On board drinks

Serve refreshments immediately we’re up in the air, or if there’s more than 20 minutes of waiting before we’re airborne.

Loyal points 

Or air miles, even if I book through a third party and for on-board purchases

Customer focused staff

Groomed, friendly and ready to help and greet customers like guests of the airline.

Discounts and additional services

For booking in advance, booking multiples flights and for airline loyalty

Ideally discounted or VIP treatment for insurance, hotels, theatre tickets etc


Choose our own seats for free and have somewhere under the seat to neatly place footwear. Have a warning light on the seat so person behind knows it’s about to move, like a reverse light. When it does go back, make it so the difference can be felt and it’s easier to fall asleep. To this end, we need a flap that comes out of the head-rest (rest?!) so the head can lean against it.


A clean roomy bathroom with somewhere to place toiletries is a must and a mini hairdryer would be handy for 60 second touch ups.

A shower room (pay extra and possibly book in advance) including towels and toiletries will be a nice addition.

Socks, toothbrush/toothpaste and headphones are good as a basic requirement with each seat purchase as are decent blankets, pillows and reading material. A bottle of water will be very handy.


A variety of choice of music and films and an in-flight radio station

This is not a description of the perfect airline as then I’d want 30 minutes from check in to plane (need 20 minutes to mooch around shops), unlimited luggage that a porter will carry, no delays, drink & snack immediately upon boarding, fine food restaurant for main meal, a large armchair in a suite on my own with a cinema screen that I don’t need wear uncomfortable headphones for. Come to think of that some off that is available on business class – but a complete waste of money, I’d rather travel 3-4 times a year than pay that once a year.

Christmas in Italy 2011 - Day 1 Verona at night

Icelandic birthday