Beyond business class: upgrading the seat to a 'suite'

By David Flynn , April 7 2016
Beyond business class: upgrading the seat to a 'suite'

Today's best business class seats are pretty astounding, so how do you beat the competition and make business class even better?

Enter the business class suite, which amps up the privacy factor and shrinks the gap to first class.

Shown above is the latest design from London-based Priestman Goode, a firm with plenty of form when it comes to shaping the pointy end of the plane – including premium cabins for the Swiss Boeing 777-300ER, Qatar Airways' Airbus A380, Air France  La Premiere first classTAM's short-lived Boeing 777 first class and the Embraer E2.

PriestmanGoode is also behind a British Airways patent for this radical 'sofa seat' concept, shown below, which has emerged as one of several possible next-gen seat designs for BA.

The company's latest and un-named design surrounds each passenger's space with a high-walled shell which will admittedly make some travellers feel more like they're stuck in an office cubicle than luxing it up in a private cabin.

This 'super business class' approach is a natural extension of other recent designs we've seen, such as the Waterfront...

... the Breakout...

... and this business class concept created for Singapore Airlines, with its suite-like sliding doors. 

Singapore Airlines business class concept. DCA Design International, 2014
Singapore Airlines business class concept
DCA Design International, 2014

Read: Concept designs for new Singapore Airlines first, business class

PriestmanGoode's approach allows the business suites to be 'nested' in what the industry terms a high-density configuration, maximising the number of passengers per square metre.

At the same time, each passenger has direct access to the aisle.

PriestmanGoode is quick to point out that this design was not cooked up for any specific airline – it's just yet another business class brainwave which might one day appear in part or whole.

"As a design studio that works on developing aircraft interiors we are constantly coming up with new ideas and we sometimes register those designs" a spokeswoman for PriestmanGoode tells Australian Business Traveller, adding that the designs "have not been developed for any particular client."

More design stories from Australia Business Traveller

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David

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Jun 2015

Total posts 25

I can personally see this becoming Qatar's new "super" business class.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

07 Feb 2015

Total posts 147

It's almost like a reverse-staggered Zodiac Cirrus seat (CX). Not bad for maximising space and give space to each passanger at the same time.

31 Mar 2016

Total posts 644

IMHO, the latest concepts shown here do not really add space per pax.  They simply added more privacy with taller partitions/doors built on the design of the current gen such as Cirrus.

The result is a 7/8 scale or size of a typical current gen longhaul F suite.  I strongly believe more privacy/partition is the main theme/trend for longhaul J product going forward.....after all, U can't go more flat than an already horizontal flat bed and can't improve seat access beyond the current direct aisle access for every seat.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

19 Mar 2014

Total posts 574

I agree with that. Privacy is desirable, as is storage and a well appointed suite that doens't mean to have to get up to change IFE program or lean on a funny angle to type if working.

QFF

16 Oct 2015

Total posts 13

Isn't this the J seats on the AA 787s and 777-200s?

QFF

16 Oct 2015

Total posts 13

https://www.seatguru.com/airlines/American_Airlines/American_Airlines_Boeing_787-8.php

10 Sep 2012

Total posts 151

"Closing the gap with first" still doesn't make it first.  There will still be 40-80 seats in the biz cabin with 4 FAs, as opposed to 4 -12 in F with 2 FAs serving with the lead FA. In terms of space biz may catch up, but in terms of privacy, peace, quiet and service, it will always be second to first.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

15 Dec 2014

Total posts 286

But will be cheaper!

31 Mar 2016

Total posts 644

Not to mention J will still remain as the highest possible class of travel acceptable in almost all corp travel policies.  F will always be an extremely distant second to J in terms of acceptance by corp travel depts worldwide. 

not to mention the pax to lav ratio. The waits in J in the last 45 minutes of a flight are 5 to 10 minutes in my experience across several carriers. 

31 Mar 2016

Total posts 644

For a brand new perspective on pax to lav ratio or queue time for lav during any phase of a flight when the seat belt signs are off, try Y/PY nex time on the same/similar flights.

10 Sep 2012

Total posts 151

Cathay F on the 77W - two lavs for six pax.  Heaven.


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