Radical 'passenger pod' concept: bunk beds for business class

By David Flynn, November 21 2014
Radical 'passenger pod' concept: bunk beds for business class

The 'Air Lair' certainly isn't the first 'upstairs/downstairs' concept for business class, but it's by far the coolest.

Created by UK firm Factorydesign, which worked on the upmarket cabins of Etihad's Airbus A380, the business class bunks are described as "a personal cocoon" which would allow airlines to carry up to 30% more passengers within the same floor space.

The trick, of course, is using overhead space to create a honeycomb-like cabin, as seen in these mock-ups based on an Airbus A380.

"Within this enclosed environment the passenger is able to control their own personal space without disturbing other passenger or, for that matter, being disturbed by other passengers" Factorydesign claims.

"Strategically placed lighting is used to set the mood, while an over-head projector provides the entertainment, and ergonomically designed lay-flat seat provides the comfort."

The pod layout would have strongest appeal to solo travellers desiring minimal interaction with others while in the air, Factorydesign director Adam White told Skift.com.

"You would only want to be in an Air Lair pod if you wanted to have no contact with other passengers. It's a seat for single people. It is a private space."

White suggests the seats would not be too challenging to climb into and out of, as long as passengers don;t face any 'mobility restrictions'.

"Drivers quickly adapt to getting in and out of a Ferrari, if they’re lucky enough, or a van, or large 4x4" White said.

"The seat heights of those more extreme vehicles are not dissimilar to the seat heights of the upper and lower positions of the Air Lair.”

Also read: Is this British Airways' next-gen Club World business class seat?

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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

11 Aug 2014

Total posts 51

I would love that 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

05 Jun 2014

Total posts 209

Im not sure about this being very good in an evacuation... But otherwise it looks cool but I wouldnt bet on it being around anytime soon.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

11 Nov 2014

Total posts 32

Obviously you haven't seen a Naval Vessels mess deck evacuation where they live in bunk beds three stacked high. 


12 Apr 2013

Total posts 1464

Bloody cool!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Jul 2011

Total posts 1381

While I like it (it is really a fancy skin on an old idea) - I also see a few problems.

1. Evacuation risk - passengers jumping on top of each other in a rush for the exit.

2. Weight - To support that upper layer (and say a 100kg pax and 20kg seat and 10kg TV etc etc, is going to require an awful lot of support)

3. Service - Not that easy for the FAs to serve someone up high

4. Baggage storage - Where is it??

Reminds me of the sleeping pods of the transport vessel in the film Fifth Element.


23 Jan 2013

Total posts 175




Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1252

Was going to post the same thing!

09 Sep 2014

Total posts 55

Can you eat lying down at that angle???

29 Mar 2014

Total posts 79

There's a reason it's still a concept...

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