Europe's airlines and airports are adding some new perks for first- and business-class passengers, including new high-end seats and cabins and swank lounges.
Air France has unveiled its new La Première suite, which is set to roll out on 19 Air France Boeing 777-300 planes from September. The new La Première cabin will have four exclusive individual suites on Air France’s long-haul Boeing 777-300s. On board, each suite lets passengers be totally or partially alone. Bonus: Each guest gets a personal 24-inch HD touch screen, one of the largest on any airline. Passengers also get a private wardrobe for their luggage. The seats stretch out into a flat bed that is more than six feet long. When the passenger is ready to go to sleep, crew members will install a mattress on the seat along with a pillow and a Sofitel My Bed duvet.
Finnair, meanwhile, is set to open a new Premium Lounge next to its Finnair Lounge in the non-Schengen area of Helsinki Airport. The Premium Lounge will complement the original Finnair Lounge and will be ready for Platinum and Gold Finnair Plus members and other oneworld top-tier customers by July 1. As part of the overall upgrade in lounge services, customers of both the Premium Lounge and the original Lounge will be able to access new private shower suites and Finnish sauna. Cool touch: Complimentary meals and drinks, including wines and spirits, are plated on Marimekko tableware or served in Iittala Ultima Thule glasses – first designed for Finnair in 1968 by Tapio Wirkkala. The 4,380-square-foot space can seat up to 122 guests and has separate areas for work and relaxation.
Another major lounge is set to open at London Heathrow's new Terminal 2: The Queen’s Terminal. United Airlines has opened the United Global First Lounge and the United Club at the new terminal. This is a major development since United will be the first airline to operate from Terminal 2 when it opens on June 4, bringing its 17 daily Heathrow flights – currently split between Terminals 1 and 4 – under one roof. Later this year, the operations of United’s 22 Star Alliance partners serving Heathrow will also move to Terminal 2, making connections between codeshare flights easier.
Heathrow Airport has also announced plans to become the first airport in the world to offer a personal shopping service, along with details on the wide range of high-end shops, restaurants and cafes to be housed in the £11 billion terminal.
Shops in the terminal will have a British focus and include more than 140 brands including Harrods, Paul Smith, Burberry, Bvlgari, Bottega Veneta, Hugo Boss, Cath Kidston and John Lewis, the department store's first outlet in an airport. Complimentary beauty treatments will be available in the duty free area.