Air travel isn’t always all fun and games, but when you fly on certain airlines there are some perks that can make the journey almost as enjoyable as reaching your final destination. From candlelight dinners to free lounge access, here are six unique perks that different international airlines offer.

Free Hotel Stay – Air China

Long layovers can be exhausting, but not when you’re resting in a hotel for a few hours before catching your next flight. That’s right, Air China allows travelers to leave the airport during a long layover by providing a complimentary hotel stay, free shuttle bus transportation between the airport and hotel, and a free breakfast. This rejuvenating perk is available to travelers who have a layover under 24 hours in Beijing, Chengdu, Dalian, Hangzhou, or Shanghai.

Lounge Access – Porter

You don’t need to be a first class traveler to access Porter’s lounge. Anyone with a ticket can enjoy complimentary snacks, coffee, tea, sodas, juices, newspapers, magazines, and WIFI. Porter’s lounges in the Toronto, Ottawa, and Newark airports have comfortable seating areas and work spaces with outlets to charge your devices. Curling up with a hot cup of tea sounds way better than trying to get comfortable in the terminal seats, doesn’t it? You may not want to get on the plane!

Aromatherapy – ANA

If you think aromatherapy is reserved for spas, think again. ANA (short for All Nippon Airways) offers their passengers calming (or rejuvenating, depending on your mood) aromatherapy cards to inhale at different points during your flight. Opt for the lavender scented “relax” card when you’re ready to take a snooze and ask for the “refresh” to shake out the mental cobwebs before you disembark.

Turkish Delights and Candlelight Dinners – Turkish Airways

All travelers on Turkish Airways’ intercontinental flights get to indulge in complimentary Turkish coffee and Turkish delights. Those in business class get an extra perk with “candlelit” meals. Electric candles in tiny holders illuminate traditional Turkish dishes prepared by the airline’s “flying chefs.”

A Yearlong Companion Pass – Southwest Airlines

Frequent travelers, take note. If you take 100 qualifying flights or rack up 1110,000 qualifying rewards in a calendar year, you can earn a companion pass. The Southwest companion pass allows you to bring another person on any Southwest flight you take for a year. During that time, you can designate a new companion three times (in case you get sick of traveling with the same person!).

Inflight Bars – Virgin Atlantic

Wouldn’t it be fun to hang out with your friends at a bar and enjoy a beer en route to your destination? On Virgin Atlantic, you can do just that! Overseas flights boast a bar area (separate from the cabin) where up to eight passengers at a time can enjoy a range of alcoholic beverages (including some upscale options like Lanson Black Label Champagne and Aberfeldy 12-year-old single-malt whiskey). Cheers!

Have you experienced a particularly impressive perk on an airline recently? Which one? Let us in on the secret in the comments section!

Have you experienced a particularly impressive perk on an airline recently? Which one? Let us in on the secret in the comments section!

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About The Author

Jen Bouchard

An insatiable foodie, art collector, and international literature aficionado, I have traveled throughout Europe, Asia, the U.S. and Canada. For the past fifteen years, I have written about my adventures for various travel and literary publications. I am the owner of Lucidité Writing (www.luciditewriting.com) and Bouchard Design Co.