Double beds on on business class flights are growing in popularity, especially as airlines continue to change in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to CNN Travel, airlines hope that these days, more business travelers will bring along their partners to take a blended business-leisure — or “bleisure” — trip.
Because of this, a new generation of design has joined the game. More and more, business travelers can add double beds to their business class flights to better suit them and their partners.
Keeping Up With Changing Desires
Daniel Baron, a cabin designer and managing director of airline design house LIFT Aero Design in Tokyo, said COVID hit the reset on travel. The priorities in travelers shifted. People care more now about memories as opposed to material after the world all but came to an end.
“They want a slightly slower pace, with creature comforts along the way,” he said. While noting career remains important, time with loved ones mattered more than it used to, too. “The trend to mix business with pleasure lends itself to an increase in demand in the premium leisure category.”
Enter Double Beds on Business Class Flights
Higher end first class international flights have seen double beds since the mid-2000s. Traditionally, however, business class has wider and more fixed armrests for both passengers, as well as multiple stowage spaces.
The beds in first class convert from a fully walled suite that revolves around two centers. The first is the center section between the two aisles of the aircraft, and the second center divider is between the two premium seats in that center section. From there, flight attendants add mattresses and fliers are all set.
Business class, however, gets a little trickier on logistics because they don’t have as much room. Very few airlines charge for the snuggle class double beds over regular business class seats. However, business class fare these days runs nearly four to six times the regular price of economy.
How the Airlines Fit the New Beds
CNN reports further that Singapore Airlines offers a double bed option for its fully refitted Airbus A380 fleet. The front row seats are the best as far as room.
Qatar Airways also offers double beds on their QSuite products, which include some Boeing 777 and Airbus A350 planes. The center sections with these seats stagger, and the current business class regulars refer to it as the “honeymoon/divorce layout.”
Their seats on the Boeing 787 have center sections angled toward the aisle, where passengers sit shoulder-to-shoulder. When the center divider retracts, there’s a heart-shaped section for a goodnight kiss.
Baron also says there’s more to come, stating, “The next chapter is honeymoon suites on long-haul narrow-body aircraft.”