For more than a century, passengers have enjoyed air travel in making way to their destination quickly and comfortably. In recent years, airline amenities have reached new heights with business and first class features rising above past expectations to take on a truly luxury air travel experience. With new technologies and modes of relaxation continuously being incorporated into premium travel, first and business class international flights are more lavish than ever and are expected to continue to evolve in coming years. Get to know some of the air travel industry’s most extravagant features that deliver passengers to their destination in style.
Known for its luxury flights, Emirates recently introduced the world’s first enclosed cabin suite featured on an aircraft. The Boeing 777-300ER allows passengers to enjoy 40 feet of their own private space with a sleek look inspired by Mercedes Benz. The aircraft, offering flights out of Dubai, has a series of features to pamper passengers for the ultimate travel experience. They’ll take in entertainment on the biggest widescreen touch TV on any airplane in the world, lounging on “zero gravity” seats perfectly measured to reach the peak of comfort. Mood lighting and temperature control personalize the experience, and virtual windows with a live video feed of the terrain below make sure every passenger has a window seat.
While not technically fully-enclosed, a Residence cabin on the Etihad A380 gives Emirates a run for its money by offering the world’s only three-room air travel apartment in the sky. Complete with a living room, bedroom and ensuite bathroom with a shower, luxury is an understatement for guests flying out of Abu Dhabi to NYC, London, Paris or Sydney. A personal butler serves Residence passengers custom, gourmet meals in their spacious living room before they retire to the bedroom, fit with a double bed and additional entertainment system. The bathroom with a full-height shower provides a way to refresh on the long flights, complete with a vanity and luxury robes.
Air France La Premiere 777-300ER
While none reach the level of extravagance these top-tier cabins provide, other airlines around the world are aiming to upgrade their first and business class services in a variety of ways. The Air France La Premiere 777-300ER provides a notable raised side partition and floor-to-ceiling closed-curtains allowing for an elevated level of privacy. Seats that are made into full beds offer a quality night’s rest with premium bedding. The exceptional experience is topped off with some of the best airline dining in the world. Seven-course meals of caviar, lobster and steak designed by a Michelin-star chef place Air France above all in air dining excellence.
With growing expectations of enhanced comfort and tech in flying experiences, the near future of air travel is projected to include an array of heightened luxuries that continue to take passengers into the next era of first and business class flight. Airbus is partnering with Zodiac Aerospace to develop interchangeable sleeping modules on the lower deck of the Airbus A330. The modular design, expected to be an aircraft catalog option in 2020, will also allow for other uses such as a kids’ zone, medical center, lounge or conference room.
Panasonic Avionics is also well on their way to making improvements in premium air travel. Their innovative Nanoe air filtration system, a service planned to launch in 2021, suppresses bacteria, viruses, allergens and other pollutants that improve air quality for first and business class passengers. Panasonic is also developing Active Noise Control technology to reduce aircraft noise and replace it with the passenger’s choice of ambient sound or music.
An ambitious project by Boom Supersonic aims to deliver passengers from Tokyo to San Francisco in under six hours on a supersonic jet travelling more than double the speed of sound. With testing beginning in 2019, these ultra-fast flights have an expected release date of 2025 with prices comparable to today’s business class seats.
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