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Airlines Compete For Premium Customers With Crazy Perks

From in-flight showers, to airport spas and hair salons, airlines' premium classes are exploding with perks. Meanwhile in economy, space is getting even tighter.

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By Elaine Glusac

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Distancing the travel lords from the less-fortunate vassals by the fares they pay, airlines have stratified the flying experience in a class war--now raging greater than ever--over premium customers.

Basic economy services like bag checks and meals were unbundled during the recession to generate revenue. Now, with the economy's uptick, premium classes are exploding with perks such as first-class showers and stand-up bars, business-class lie-flat seats and extra legroom in premium economy. "With consolidation, there are fewer airlines, and they have to differentiate themselves to compete," says Airfarewatchdog.com founder George Hobica.

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