Travel

Inside the incredible in-flight bars where you can enjoy a pint at 37,000ft


FORGET about the in-flight drinks trolley – the ultimate pint is found in the front of the plane, in the on board bar.

There, passengers can escape the confines of their seat and mingle with fellow travellers.

 More airlines are adding luxury in-flight bars to their aircraft

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More airlines are adding luxury in-flight bars to their aircraftCredit: Getty – Contributor

The only downside, of course, is that they are only available for first class and business class travellers, and they’re not on every flight or every airline.

If you do make it into the mile high bar club, you will find extensive drinks lists.

On some planes, there are seasonal cocktail menus, and on others, passengers can order everything from a martini to a chilled bottle of Champagne.

Many of the bars are on the Airbus A380, although the Boeing 777 is used by Virgin Atlantic for their drinking den on board.

With afternoon tea, TVs and private seating – here are some of the best bars to drink in while 37,000ft in the air.

Virgin Atlantic

 Virgin Atlantic have seasonal drinks on their A380 bar

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Virgin Atlantic have seasonal drinks on their A380 bar

Virgin Atlantic’s Boeing 777 has an on-board bar for Upper Class passengers.

The UV-lit futuristic-looking island and the cocktail menu changes seasonally.

The seating area is less spacious than on the other airlines though, with just a handful of bar stools and otherwise standing room for drinkers.

Earlier this year, Virgin’s Airbus A350 aircraft added a bar called The Loft, with communal seating, afternoon tea and drinks.

Virgin Australia

 Virgin Australia's bars have stools and comfy seating areas

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Virgin Australia’s bars have stools and comfy seating areas

Virgin Australia added a bar to their Boeing 777 aircraft in 2016.

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The drinks on offer beat many of its rivals, spirits and whiskeys on offer.

Instead of just bar stools, there are also secondary seats around the edge to relax in.

As well as bar snacks, passengers are able to take their breakfast there too.

Emirates

 Emirates passengers can order champagne at the bar

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Emirates passengers can order champagne at the barCredit: Getty – Contributor

The in-flight bar on Emirates A380 flights were introduced in 2017.

The lounges can accommodate up to 26 passengers at a time, who can watch the 55 inch LCD TV while enjoying canapes and bespoke cocktails.

First Class passengers can even order their own bottle of Champagne on ice.

The airline recently announced plans to upgrade it again, although little has been revealed about it yet.

Etihad Airways

 Etihad Airways lets travellers grab their own drinks

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Etihad Airways lets travellers grab their own drinks

Etihad has more of a relaxed lounge called The Lobby for its business and first class passengers.

Inside are circular seats, which can fit up to six people, along with a large TV.

Guests can help themselves to drinks from the well-stocked trolley, with high end spirits and bottles of Champagne all available.

Guests can also order bar snacks from cabin crew if they get peckish.

Korean Air

 Try an aviation vodka cocktail at the Korean Air bar

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Try an aviation vodka cocktail at the Korean Air bar

Korean Air’s A380 planes have their on-board lounge called the Celestial Bar.

With lots of seating for business class passengers, you can order aviation themed cocktails which are sponsored by Absolut Vodka.

If you don’t like vodka then you will have to request other drinks, which they make elsewhere – but you can kill time with bar snacks like nuts and beef jerky, and browse a magazine or watch TV.

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It is also a great place to mingle with other passengers thanks to the open seating.

Qantas

 Qantas unveiled their "speakeasy" bar on board earlier this year

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Qantas unveiled their “speakeasy” bar on board earlier this yearCredit: Quantas

Qantas’ new bar on the A380 plane was once a private area for cabin crew, located on the second level behind the cockpit.

First class and business class passengers can make the most of the new and improved first class and business lounge area, which feels like a seat inside a New York bar.

Dark and moody, the multi-million-dollar refurbishment has transformed the space with group-seating booths for around ten passengers, sleek wooden finishes and co-working spaces.

Along with booth seating and a large flat screen TV comes the all important self-serve mini bar.

Qatar Airways

 Qatar has one of the best plane bars in the world

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Qatar has one of the best plane bars in the worldCredit: Getty – Contributor

Qatar is a Muslim country with strict drinking laws, but the country’s national airline still has one of the best plane bars in the world.

Business and first class ticket holders are both allowed access to the bar, which is surrounded by long sofas that can hold up to ten drinkers at a time.

Guests can order a range of top shelf spirits, as well as glasses of Krug Champagne.

You can also nibble on bar snacks and get dishes from the business class menu delivered to the sofas.

Qantas has revamped its A380 plane and now it comes with a sleek bar in the sky

Plane cabins of the future could even have dining booths and sports bars on board, according to experts.

We revealed what it is like to sit in the best plane seat in the world, which would set you back £5k each way.

We’ve also compared business meals on flights to economy meals – and which airline is better.





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