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NBTA: Check Out the Swiss Aerobed Seat

Things got a little busy last week with the A380 flight, so I didn’t have a chance to post the last of my NBTA posts. Here it is . . . .

Back in May, I talked about how Swiss had decided to replace its current business class offering with a new seat that used air for cushion instead of foam. Well, at NBTA, they trotted out a very early version of the seat to show it off.

I didn’t get to sit in the seat, because they said it wasn’t fully developed yet, but they did have a cushion there that you could hold. Why would you want to hold it? Well, they wanted to show you how Swiss Business Class Air Cushionlight it was compared to a regular cushion. As you’d probably imagine, it really was a good deal lighter. (If it weren’t why would they bother trotting it out?) But that’s only half the story . . . will it be comfortable?

They’ve certainly put a ton of effort into this. You can see at left that there are several layers on top of the air cushion. I believe the white layer is a kevlar coating that helps with fire resistance and distribution of weight. The light blue layer is almost entirely for moisture-wicking. Then the seat cover is on top. Not bad at all, I have to say. But let’s see how it holds up under the stress of flying in revenue service.

Swiss Business Class BedBy the way, you can see the entire flat seat at right. It looks very similar to Continental, no? You can see how the legs go underneath the seat in front of you. But Swiss is doing something different from Continental in that some rows will have a 1-2-2 configuration while others will have 1-2-1.

I imagine I’d like the seat by itself on the “1” side, but it depends on if I’m traveling with someone or not. The interesting thing about this configuration is that only a few seats require stepping over someone to get to the aisle. (Just the window seat on one side of the 1-2-2 configuration.) But compared to Continental, they have a lot fewer seats in a row here. That could come back to haunt them – it’s going to be tougher to make money with this less dense configuration.

I know, I know. Enough about seats already, right? This should be it for awhile. Not back to our regularly scheduled programming.

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