Delays. Overbooked flights. No leg room. Even a recent ban on electronic devises on U.S.-bound flights from the Middle East (including Dubai, a common layover stop). There is always something to complain about when it comes to air travel. But we like to look on the bright side—especially since chances are good you'll be taking to the skies for a honeymoon (or bachelorette party, or destination wedding) in the near future. Here are a few reasons to still love flying.
Because a stopover in Portugal has never been easier—and you can eat top-notch food on your way there.
Dreaming of a honeymoon in Paris, Rome, or another classically romantic European capital? Then consider adding Portugal to your itinerary through TAP. (The flight to Lisbon is just a bit longer than from New York to Los Angeles!) The airline's stopover program is incredibly simple to use: When searching for flights, it gives you the option to click "stopover," select where you'd like to go (Lisbon or Porto—or both via a TAP shuttle flight at no additional cost), whether you want to visit after your outbound or inbound leg, and the number of nights (from one to three). You'll even get access to free experiences like a guided walking tour, complimentary wine at certain restaurants, and discounted hotel rates—all available to book through the simple, dedicated stopover app, which also features maps and other helpful information.
And while top chefs have been partnering with airlines for years, we're especially excited about TAP's new "Taste the Stars" culinary program, which launches this September. The carrier is collaborating with five Portuguese chefs from Michelin-starred restaurants who will each create a regionally inspired dish, available for all passengers. There's Henrique Sá Pessoa, Miguel Laffan, Rui Paula, Rui Silvestre, Vítor Sobral, and José Avillez—whose Belcanto restaurant was the first in Lisbon to earn two Michelin stars. (Stopping over? Each of the chef's award-winning restaurants are now part of the program, offering complimentary bottles of wine.)
Because there's an affordable all-business class airline flying to Paris—and it's turned its airplane windows into an art gallery.
When La Compagnie launched in 2014, it was the first all-business class airline offering affordable flights between Paris and New York. Sure, the seats don't go all the way back—but who cares when you've got all the other perks (extra legroom, Caudalie amenity kits, personal tablets for inflight entertainment, airport lounge access) for a fraction of what it would cost on a premier carrier. You can find round-trip fares for as low as $1,500 (or, if you act fast, $1,300 during a current summer promotion). And to make the trip even more fun, the airline has partnered with street artist Kevin Lyons, whose quirky character doodles currently adorn 80 airplane windows (through May 19).
Because a low-cost, long-haul European airline is expanding to smaller regional U.S. airports.
Norwegian Airlines recently received approval from the D.O.T. to increase its offerings in the U.S.—and that includes 10 transatlantic routes between key cities in Ireland, Northern Ireland, and Scotland and three regional airports in the Northeast: Providence, Rhode Island; Newburgh, New York; and Hartford, Connecticut. (So no more having to get yourself to Boston Logan International, John F. Kennedy International Airport, La Guardia, or other major airport.) The airline, which has a new fleet of more fuel-efficient Boeing 737s, made headlines earlier this year when it began advertising its $65 one-way fares to Europe—though note, like other discount airlines, you're on the hook for everything from seat assignments to snacks.
Because free meals in coach on cross-country flights are coming back.
At least on Delta and American Airlines. As of March 1, Delta began offering complimentary main cabin meals on flights between John F. Kennedy International Airport and Los Angeles International Airport or San Francisco International Airport. And on April 24, 10 other domestic markets were added to the list, including transcontinental flights from Seattle, Boston, and Washington, D.C. American Airlines, meanwhile, will offer free meals to all passengers on select flights between JFK and LAX and SFO beginning May 1.
Because you can watch some really good in-flight movies right now.
As in, Oscar-nominated films. On Virgin Atlantic, all of this year's nominees are available to stream through May 31. Take your pick between feel-good La La Land, a sci-fi hit such as Arrival, or a tear-jerker like Manchester by the Sea—or, if your flight is long enough, go ahead and binge-watch one (or two) of each.