Monday 20 May 2019

Lie-flat beds, HD screens and touch-button massages... welcome to the new Aer Lingus Business Class

Pól Ó Conghaile

Pól Ó Conghaile

Lie-flat seats, 16-inch HD screens and "on-demand" dining are all on the way for customers of Aer Lingus's new Business Class.

Is Aer Lingus's hot new cabin a business "class", "service" or "experience"?

All of the above, if demo seats and details unveiled amidst much fanfare (think dry ice, champagne and revolving stage displays) at the Royal Hospital at Kilmainham today are anything to go by.

The new business class experience "will provide an unrivalled customer journey" and "the best shot of sleep" on direct flights to San Francisco, New York, Boston, Chicago and Orlando, the airline said.

Due to roll out on its A330 aircraft from January next year, the new Business Class boasts snazzy new features that should see it combine with US Customs and Border pre-clearance at Dublin Airport to steal a march on transatlantic competitors.

They include:

  • New Vantage seats that recline into a fully-flat 6’6’’ bed
  • 16-inch HD entertainment screens with multi-touch capabilities
  • A new "massage" function in the seats
  • Built in power points, universal sockets and USB power outlets
  • Increased stowage space
  • New business lounge at JFK Airport
  • New arrivals lounge at Dublin Airport
  • New pre-dine service available at JFK and Boston airports

Fares will start at €899 per sector, the airline says.

“Our long haul business has grown at record pace over the past two years," according to Aer Lingus Chief Executive Christoph Mueller.

"We have increased the number of destinations to which we fly. We have introduced high speed Wi-Fi on our services to the U.S. We clear U.S. customs in Ireland.

"Now we are delighted to upgrade our entire business class experience offering our customers an excellent environment to work, relax, dine and sleep."

Here's a virtual tour of the cabin:

The new Business Class seats are among the longest in the industry, the airline says, with a width of 22’’. 90pc have direct-aisle access.

Fabrics for the seat covers, carpets and curtains were provided by Botany Weaving, based in Dublin's Cork Street. The fibres are designed to reflect Ireland's weaving heritage.

Hungry? The Business Class menu has been created in consultation with Aer Lingus Executive Chef, James Keaveney and Irish food consultant, Hugo Arnold.

It features signature dishes from top Irish restaurants across the four provinces, and will be changed four times yearly using seasonal, Irish ingredients to reflect a fusion of the best of modern Irish food, Aer Lingus says.

Christoph Mueller, Claire Sutton & Melanie Kialka 1.jpg
Aer Lingus CEO Christoph Mueller with cabin crew members Claire Sutton and Melanie Kialka. The new business class experience will be available on transatlantic flights from March 2015.

Entertainment content will include "50% more new release movies, and 100% more TV content", according to a release provided by the airline.

The offering will include new release movies, classic movies and over 60 hours of TV, documentaries, comedies, music and box sets like Game of Thrones and True Detective. The system is available gate to gate, so customers can start watching as soon as they board.

Dedicated check-in desks and fast-track security will be available at all airports.

On arrival in Dublin, business class guests can avail of an exclusive Arrivals Lounge with a dedicated area to shower and steam clothes.

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