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Appreciating the small luxuries of flying

There are a number of reasons that the price of flying has gone up dramatically in the past decade or so. But, considering that passengers haven't seen many improvements in the service or amenities they received as prices rise, there's been understandably widespread frustration toward airline carriers. Hopefully, as we roll into the busiest travel season of the year, flyers will find that there are some carriers that have tried to make flying at least a little bit more enjoyable.

Not that planes have particularly good food, but on long trips, one can build up quite an appetite. Since it can be very difficult to flag down a flight attendant to purchase a snack, Virgin America developed a way to simplify the process. Each seat is equipped with an entertainment system that passengers can use to order and pay for drinks or snacks that get delivered right to their seat shortly thereafter.

Nothing is more annoying than being woken up abruptly with sudden commotion and bright lights when taking red-eye. Virgin Atlantic understands how that can be a horrible start to a day, so in addition to providing passengers with eye masks, pillows and blankets, they use a soft lighting mechanism to wake sleeping guests just before the plane lands without too much alarm.

On Emirates Airlines, Etihad Airways and Egypt Air, the nighttime lighting fixtures even resemble constellations, providing passengers with a dim and familiar atmosphere to rest in.

Whether the flight goes well or not, it's always nice to know that airport limo service is waiting for you when you land. Not all car services are as reliable as one would hope, however. That's why travelers in major cities like New York City, Madrid and Cape Town are turning to Hermes Worldwide for dependable transportation and concierge services.