Showers at 35,000 feet

Emirates Airlines plans to install showers on its Airbus A380 aircraft.

Don't forget your loofah sponge.
G Patkar

I've already raved about the prospect of relaxing in a posh first class on the new Airbus A380, but now Dubai-based Emirates Airlines seems to have raised the bar for in-flight amenities. As the Times of London reported Sunday, Emirates is promising first-class passengers the use of a shower. Details on the first-class cabin and the shower are sketchy, but with its "seven star" Burj Al Arab Hotel, Dubai knows true (and somewhat ridiculous) luxury.

It's certainly a novel idea, and it would give a new meaning to the idea of the mile-high club, but environmentalists are already attacking the scheme as irresponsible. According to the Times, a shower-equipped A380 would need to carry an extra ton of water for each flight, which is equal to 12 passengers. That would mean a carbon cost of 48,455 pounds for every round-trip flight. That's certainly a legitimate worry, but frankly, I'd be more concerned about showering during turbulence.

The shower service will be available on New York to Dubai flights starting in October, and Emirates says it will expand the treatment to its entire A380 fleet. But before you get too excited, you may want to check the fare. A first-class ticket could cost about $18,000.