So far in 2015, we’ve seen a lot of advancements in the world of air travel: Virgin Atlantic getting blinged-out with smartwear, Delta upgrading its Wi-Fi capabilities, and JetBlue accepting Apple Pay in the sky, to name a few. While all these tech innovations make air travel more tolerable, one airplane facet fliers are often complaining about is cabin class and seat comfort (remember British Airways big First Class faux pas in January?).
Luckily, a number of airlines are delivering new cabin classes this year to get excited about.
Korean Air Prestige Suites
As someone with an over-active bladder, being trapped in a window seat on a long flight gives me anxiety. Which is why I find Korean Air’s new Prestige Suites really exciting — you have enough space to walk around your seatmates without waking them up to use the toilet. And there are other features, too: 22.5-inch-wide seats (the average is 17.2), an ottoman foot rest and a 75-to-87-inch seat pitch (compared to the average 31-inch airline pitch). Since last month, Korean Air’s Prestige Suites are being used on flights to Singapore, and are being installed on all new aircraft.
Air Astana’s Economy Sleeper Class
If you thought actually getting sleep in economy was a far fetched dream, Air Astana’s new Economy Sleeper Class turns your fantasies into reality. Launched this month, the sleeper class allows you to enjoy a mattress, pillow and duvet, plus amenities like eye masks, socks, mouthwash and earplugs. By the end of the month, this class will be available on flights from Kazakhstan to London, Frankfurt, Paris and Hong Kong.
3. Singapore Airline’s Premium Economy Class
While tickets for Singapore Airline’s new Premium Economy Class went on sale this February, the first passengers to experience it will be flying from Singapore to Sydney this August. With over $80 million spent on the project, top features include fully leather seats reaching 19.5 inches wide, 8-inch recline, calf rest, foot bar, power stations, and extra compartments for holding water bottles, laptops and cell phone. Inflight entertainment also gets an upgrade, with the installation of larger 13.3-inch HD monitors and active noise-cancellation headphones. For the first time, premium economy passengers will be able to select from a menu with three meal choices from the popular Singapore Airlines service, Book the Cook. Beyond the range of food options, passengers will also be invited to sip champagne or a selection of curated wines. With all the new amenities, Singapore Airlines is situated to become the leader in affordable luxury travel.
SAS “Erik Viking”
SAS debuted its sleek and smart new long-haul cabins — dubbed “Erik Viking” — February 17 on a flight from Copenhagen to Newark (this new class will mostly be available on flights to the U.S.). Three different cabins have been revamped, each with its own special features, like direct aisle access, full flat beds, massage seats, and luxury bedding. All have personal power stations, on-demand entertain systems with 9-15 inch screens and Wi-Fi capabilities.
Bonus: Cathay Pacific’s new business class seat
Cathay Pacific’s new business class seat actually won’t launch until February 2016, but you should still get excited. While photos aren’t yet available and very few details are known, the airline will be making use of their Airbus 350 fleet to offer upgraded flatbed seats, nicknamed “FB2+,” made by Zodiac Aerospace with design help from the Porsche Design Group. Stay tuned for more details are they unfold.