Lufthansa is focusing on making improvements to its Business Class in 2014.
Spring is here and summer is around the corner—prime time for travel to Europe. Given the long duration of flights to Europe, even from the East Coast, you might want to suggest to your clients that they consider upgrading from economy to get their vacation off to a more comfortable, relaxing start. Here are some recent developments on that front.
At Lufthansa, key improvements in 2014 will focus on Business Class in particular. The current in-flight service on long-haul routes will get more perks that will be tested this summer and, if successful, will be implemented on the entire long-haul network beginning in 2015.
For its new Premium Economy Class, Lufthansa is launching a new seat that will give passengers up to 50 percent more room. Nice touches: Passengers will get real porcelain tableware with their meal service, and can take a second item of luggage with them at no extra charge. This will come a little late for summer travel—tickets for Premium Economy will be available for sale in May, and the first flight is planned for October—but it’s something to keep on your radar. The first aircraft to feature the new travel class will be the Boeing 747-8. The installation of Premium Economy should be complete by the end of 2015, at which point there will be a total of 3,600 seats in the long-haul fleet cabins.
Not to be outdone, airberlin has introduced its new Business Class—suitable for leisure travelers too, of course—on flights to Germany and beyond. Flight attendants are on hand to help passengers to take off their coats or jackets and stow any hand baggage before offering a glass of champagne. Each seat is multifunctional and offers a high level of comfort. Besides the upright position and a semi-reclining position for relaxing, the seat can be adjusted to a fully flat position for sleeping at the touch of a button. There is also an adjustable massage function.
Be sure to book well ahead because, to maintain an atmosphere of privacy, airberlin Business Class sections have only 19 seats each.
Air France has unveiled its new Business Class seat, and we say it looks like a sweet way to get across the pond. So what makes these seats special? They fold flat (important for overnight flights), they all have full access to the aisle (no more climbing over sleeping neighbors when you want to get up and stretch) and their shape affords privacy from other seats.
The seats will offer some cool tech touches as well: Business Class customers will get a personal 16-inch HDTV for entertainment or information. Each seat will also have both a traditional plug and a USB port for charging electronic devices, and guests can use noise-canceling headphones.
Clients traveling to the Middle East will be able to do so in greater comfort as well. Qatar Airways has announced the launch of a new daily all-premium Business Class service from its hub in Doha to London Heathrow. The new service, set to launch on May 15, will be the first of its kind in the Middle East, with an Airbus A319 aircraft fitted with an all-new Business Class, single-aisle, 2–2 seating configuration offering 40 seats that recline into fully flat beds. Nice touch: Passengers will be able to use SMS mobile texting GSM and GPRS services in-flight.