Fly into the future of airplane cabins: concept, comfort, class

Who needs a travel neck pillow anyway? Source: Shutterstock.

THERE’S nothing worse than being cooped up in a metal tube for long hours.

Dealing with uncomfortable or nearly flat seat cushions, chairs that don’t recline or are hard to configure, in-flight boredom, on top of foot swelling and insufficient sleep is going to make you a very unexcited traveler while stepping out of the airport at your destination.

Most of an airplane’s most comfortable features, like flatbeds, are reserved for business and first class travelers. And it comes with a huge price tag. Thankfully, with the continual advancements in aerospace technology, all passengers (yes, even eco-no-money passengers) may actually start enjoying long-haul flights more.

Some of these innovations have already taken flight, while others are still at the conceptual stage.

Get excited about the future of airplane cabins.

Qatar Airways

They call it “First in Business” and it’s easy to see why.

Last year, Middle Eastern airline Qatar Airways unveiled its QSuite, a revolutionary take on its business class that allows the passenger to lower a partition to create a double bed. Passengers can also configure the seats to create a larger private space to eat, to work, or to socialize – perfect for groups of friends or colleagues, or families.

Singapore Airlines

In 2017, Singapore Airlines introduced its long-awaited, first major cabin revamp in a decade – the new first-class suite for its Airbus A380-800.

Each private suite (there are six in total) has a 32-inch HD monitor bed, a separate lounge chair that reclines and swivels, adjustable mood lighting, window blinds, and a sliding door for privacy. Passengers traveling together can also book adjoining suites and lower the center to turn their beds into a double bed. Super cozy.

Micro Suites

Italian airline seats manufacturer Avionteriors‘ business class concept is going to be the envy of all airlines’ business classes. And first classes too.

Called the “Micro Suites”, the design features “daytime” seats that are similar to the international premium economy or domestic business class.

The “catch”, though, is there will be capsule hotel-style sleeping cabins in the middle of the plane, with two bunks facing each side of the cabin. So passengers can adjourn to the “capsules” to sleep on full overnight flights.


Source: Aviointeriors.

Eco Zlounge

Talk about a fantastic way to make the most out of empty seats.

Often, economy passengers would keep an eye out for empty rows to quickly scoot over to the moment the plane is in the air and the seatbelt signs are off. But when Zodiac Aerospace‘s new Eco Zlounge is realized, travelers can forget about playing the “finders keepers” game and making the mad rush for the seats. The concept has a mechanism that allows the seat cushion in front of you to fold down, so you have more room to recline.

Source: Zodiac Aerospace.

Smart Cabin Reconfiguration

This is going to make things so easy breezy for both passengers and cabin crews.

Designed in collaboration with automobile bucket seat manufacturer Recaro, Airbus’ “Smart Cabin Reconfiguration” concept features flex seats that allow the spacing between rows to be adjustable by mounting seats on rails. Cabin crews will be able to add or remove seats with ease, resulting in significantly more space for passengers.

Source: Recaro.

Modon Labe

Well, here’s one way to make passengers fight tooth and nail for the otherwise dreaded middle seat.

Colorado aviation design firm Modon Labe has just kicked the middle seat’s middle child reputation with its “stagger seat” concept. The middle seat sits slightly below and behind its neighbors, so it can be three inches wider than the window and aisle seats. And, more importantly, it has its own armrests.

Source: Modon Labe.