Can the cramped, dismal interior of a legacy aircraft ever pass for a well-appointed hotel suite? American thinks so.
The airline is retrofitting its fleet of 47 Boeing 777-200ER jets this year, removing first class and rolling out a two-class cabin experience. There will be an economy section (with some roomier Main Cabin Extra seats) and a business class—a deluxe business class where duvet-swaddled passengers are referred to as "guests" and seats are called "beds."
Like a hotel suite. A very costly and tiny hotel suite that flies in the sky and probably smells if it's anywhere near the bathroom.
According to Marisa Garcia of Skift, who talked to representatives from American at Aircraft Interiors Expo this week, "As they describe the design details of their cabins, we notice the subtle choice of vocabulary. They're not business-class seats but business-class 'suites' with Suite ID panels instead of seat numbers on the side where 'guests' can request privacy by lighting up their 'Do Not Disturb' signs."
Here's the best part of the patented bed-seat. The 6-foot by 4.5-inch thing converts into a fully lie-flat bed. Check it out.
Each seat is an aisle seat and a window seat. It's the best of both worlds. The seats are either forward or rear facing. A representative from the airline told Skift that the seat backs are akin to a "headboard at a fine hotel." Again with the hotel analogy.
There are lots of gadgets and gizmos, including USB ports, power outlets, a 17-inch touchscreen monitor, amenity kits, and Bose noise-canceling headphones for use in flight.
Below is the "lobby" walk-up bar. Passengers are welcome to stroll up to the bar and help themselves to some refreshments. No, not you sir. Business-class passengers only!
What do you think? Is this how a sky hotel should be? Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments.
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This article was originally published by SmarterTravel under the title Here Are American's Fancy New 'Hotel Suite' Plane Seats.