Thomson Airways Plans to Add Family and Couples Seating Options to Flights

All together now … family booths are one of the ways Thomson Airways is hoping to make the in-flight experience better
All together now … family booths are one of the ways Thomson Airways is hoping to make the in-flight experience better

Robert Hull, The Guardian, October 9, 2014

The days of getting a dirty look from fellow passengers when your child kicks the seat in front for the 14th time could soon be over – at least on Thomson Airways flights. “Family booths,” allowing four to six people to sit facing each other around a table, are among the innovations planned for short-, mid- and long-haul flights. While families can stick together, couples will be able to opt for pod-style seating with “mood lighting” – and if arguments ensue, the pods come with in-flight charging, so a powered-up dip into tablet viewing is a possible escape route. Both are planned for the airline’s new 737 MAX aircraft, due for delivery in 2018. In the meantime, fliers who’d like to sit as far away as possible from young passengers will be able to book into a child-free section on certain routes from next year.

Other plans include an on-board “kids’ club”, where crew will endeavour to keep kids entertained with arts, crafts and quizzes on flights to First Choice Holiday Villages or Thomson Family Resorts; and in-flight channels will feature a bedtime story for young children and entertainment aimed at teenagers.

DuoSeat with table, Thomson Airways
DuoSeat with table

The new plans centre around Thomson Airways’ expanding fleet. The company, which is the UK’s largest leisure airline (charter not scheduled flights), expects to take delivery of 47 new Boeing 737 Max planes by 2020, for its short and mid-haul flights. It plans to add two more Boeing 787 Dreamliners to increase long-haul options and will offer the only direct flight from Europe to Costa Rica when it introduces the services in November 2015.

“Our overall goal is to make travel experiences special and, as the flight marks both the start and end of the holiday, we see it as an integral part of the whole holiday experience,” said David Burling, managing director of parent company TUI UK & Ireland.

In-flight destination information, via tablet. Thomson Airways
In-flight destination information, via tablet

That ambition extends to giving holidaymakers more information on where they are going, including tips on how to make the most of their destination and cabin crew members with iPads –trialled this year and due to be rolled in 2015 – who will be able to pass on special requests and information to customer service teams at resorts. In the future, the company also hopes to offer room upgrade and advance check-in facilities.

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This article was written by Robert Hull from The Guardian and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.