Picture this: you pocket your business class ticket, waltz down the coveted aisle, sip the champers and settle into your ‘ergonomic’ pleasure pit. Then, tragedy strikes.
Despite blowing a month’s wages to escape the Economy crunch, you realise your neighbour is intent on making ‘polite chit chat’, and your ‘mate’ across the aisle is attempting to initiate a vigorous staring contest.
It is at this point you realise why airlines are competing to provide Business Class travellers with more of a ‘retreat’ experience. Enter: British Airways’ latest move, earlier this week unveiling a new “Club Suite” that comes with a door, meeting customer demand for privacy.
This Business Class suite boasts a lie-flat bed (a feature now standard after BA introduced it in the 1990s), a vanity unit and mirror, an 18 1/2-inch screen and 40 per cent more storage space than the previous model.
It’s also worth pointing out, for the Australian business traveller, depending on your exact route, nabbing one of these seats could net you a fair few transferable Qantas status credits.
That said, anyone looking to take these new seats for a sleep will have to wait at least a few months, as British Airways won’t install them until the arrival of its first Airbus SE A350 jets in July, the International Airlines Group unit said in a statement.
As reported by The Australian Financial Review, “Each plane will feature 56 of the berths, plus the same number of premium economy seats—which get a new pillow, quilt and amenity kit – and 219 in economy.”
“BA plans to install the berths across the bulk of its long-haul fleet.”
The AFR went on to point out that British Airways are using this upgrade, “To fend off Virgin Atlantic Airways and other rivals in markets including London-to-New York, the world’s most lucrative route for corporate travel.”
“The contest for the most appealing business cabin, always a big focus for premium carriers, is set to become even more intense as Virgin Atlantic prepares to unveil a revamp of its Upper Class berths next month on its A350 jets set to enter service over the summer,” (AFR).
In other words: buckle up, Branson.