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For high-end travelers, airlines offer chauffeurs and scented pillows

For high-end travelers, airlines offer chauffeurs and scented pillows
Etihad Airways has launched a program to improve the sleep of long-haul fliers. It includes scented pillows and hot chocolate. (Etihad Airways)

More and more air travelers are buying expensive first-class and business-class seats, and airlines are coming up with some creative amenities to keep those big spenders happy.

That includes scented pillows and chauffeur-driven SUVs.

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The number of passengers buying expensive premium seats jumped 4% in 2013 and continued to grow thanks to improved business conditions around the world, according to the International Air Transport Assn., the trade group for the world's airlines.

To serve the well-heeled travelers, United Airlines recently announced it is expanding a service that takes elite fliers straight from one plane to a connecting flight in a chauffeured Mercedes Benz SUV.

The service that has been offered at airports in Chicago, Houston and New Jersey will be expanded this spring to San Francisco International Airport.

Meanwhile, Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has launched a program to improve sleep for long-haul fliers.

It offers mood lighting, hot chocolate and herbal teas, noise cancellation headphones and pillows spritzed with lavender and camomile.

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