Saturday, July 5, 2008
A Suite Way to Fly
At the Oriental Mall at Wangfujing, there was an elaborate display by Singapore Airlines.
The A380 will be making its first flight to Beijing on August 8, the day the Summer Games begin.
And for a sneak preview, the airline presented samples of what the interior of the plane will feel like.
Economy seats are a bit roomier because arm rests aren't as wide, giving passengers a bit more seat room. The mini TV screens are larger for better viewing.
In business class, passengers can recline in an automated chair, and they're much wider and have large TV screens that tilt. There are also buttons for "Do not disturb" and even vanity mirrors on the side.
First class has seats that become like lounge chairs so people can completely rest their feet, almost horizontally. It's like a mini cocoon.
But only on Singapore Airlines so far, there's one step above first -- it's Suite Class.
And these are actually individual mini rooms where passengers have a leather seat that can be converted into a sleeper and you can lie flat, with special lighting, a TV screen, and even shades to keep prying eyes out of your private cabin.
There are 12 of these "suites" on the A380 and a flight attendant at the presentation told us they are on the whole mostly full. She added the flights from Singapore to London are all full.
And the cost? Return from Beijing to Singapore it's 32,000RMB ($4,666). That's a 6-hour flight.
And if these suites are mostly full, that shows you there's a market for something beyond first class.
What will they think of next.