Swiss Installing Aerobeds in Business Class

Ok, so maybe it’s not actually an Aerobed, but it’s close enough. Anyone get a chance to see Swiss’s new business class product yet? It’s an interesting concept, but I have to wonder if it’s actually as comfortable as they say.

For those who didn’t see it, you can see the press release and a flash demonstration on the Swiss site. What’s unique about it? First of all, check out the layout.
Swiss Business Class
The seat goes flat, but to save valuable floor space, each person’s feet go underneath the seat in front of it. Instead of actually going under the seat, however, they go under the wide arm rest. I believe that’s similar to what United is doing and others as well, but this is different in that each row has a different number of seats. On the Airbus widebodies that Swiss flies, that means one row will have 1-2-2 configuration while the next will have 1-2-1. That provides plenty of opportunities for single travelers to be alone, but it also allows people traveling together to sit together. Nice.

What else is cool? Well, the Aerobed, of course. Yeah, it sounds weird, I know. These seats have no foam and instead just have a big air cushion (or two). It has a pneumatic air system that allows you to adjust how much air goes into the seat. That means you pick the firmness level, and it can change when you’re sitting versus when you’re sleeping. They say there are all kinds of additional benefits such as weight-savings and lack of flammable materials.

Apparently, this is already on Eurofly’s long haul aircraft, so I have to assume that Swiss did a lot of testing before opting for this one. That being said, I’ll have to reserve judgment until I have a chance to see for myself.

Installation begins next Spring and it will finish by 2011. It’s interesting to see Swiss trying to differentiate itself from Papa Lufthansa, which owns the airline. Maybe Lufthansa is using Swiss as a testing ground for its own future fleet plans.


11 Responses to Swiss Installing Aerobeds in Business Class

  1. Pingback: lufthansa airline

  2. ZZ says:

    Is it safe to just have air in the cushions? Would they perform the same way in a crash?

  3. CF says:

    ZZ – I guess that’s for the regulatory authorities to decide. They say in the video that it is compliant with both FAA and EASA regulations, but I’m not sure if they’ve actually been approved by them or not.

  4. required_name says:

    this looks like the un-delta business class. you know, because delta is angling their seats in a way that suggests they are trying as hard as possible to fit a few more seats in the section.

    hey, I have an idea… how about a cranky flier airline bankruptcy bingo? let’s all guess at what oil price which american legacy carriers will file for chapter 11 protection…

  5. Hmm.. Wonder if they filled them with helium if it would improve the fuel efficiency even further?

  6. Robert says:

    I’m glad to see that these beds actually go completely flat. Both American and Lufthansa have a similar product – a chair that turns into the bed underneath the person infront’s seat but both of them a very uncomfortable as they don’t go completely flat and you end up sliding down them for the whole of the flight. The solution of alternate seat/armrest/seat is interesting and hopefully will work.
    This is still a better solution than BA’s where half the cabin ends up facing rearwards.

  7. Aviatrix says:

    Is this like Radisson’s Sleep Number Bed? If so, I’d rather be elbow-to-elbow in coach. Just say no to air beds!

  8. Daniel says:

    will this new business class also be installed in the 343?

  9. CF says:

    Daniel – Yes. From the Swiss website: “From summer 2009 our A340 will also be refurbished with the new SWISS Business Class Seat. “

  10. NicoleE. says:

    I heard that the airline SWISS, also has a new commercial. The Director of the commercial is Marc Forster(Ex Bond Director). On http://www.swiss.com/web/DE/Pages/myflight.aspxis a trailer from the spot. It looks very special. On june 3rd is the release from the spot.

  11. John says:

    So here we sleep, in our Sleep Number Craftmatic style beds, him with the CPAP, me with the mouthguard. What next prunes?

Join the Conversation

*