Business Travel USA Today 19 June 2012 looks at the growing trend amongst airlines (American airlines in particular) of pampering business fliers in its premium cabins as a way of parting them with more of their dollars. While this “trend” may well just be developing in the US, it has certainly been alive and well in the Middle East and Orient. I still find it amusing that a bank clerk taking an internal US flight on Virgin America raved about having seat back video screens, that is so 1990’s!
Fully flat beds and Wi-Fi connectivity seem to be the tools of choice to tempt premium passengers. Now that the focus of updating the flying experience has shifted from the hardware ie the new types of aircraft coming online, it remains to be seen if updating the customer experience will include an emphasis on helping fliers deal with jet lag in a healthy manner.
New aircraft launches tend to pay lip service to helping the passenger fly better as they concentrate on one facet of the problems, the cabin air. Since the introduction of liquid restrictions it has become apparent that travellers have an appetite for creature comforts that enable them to travel well. Any provider who can do this with style and an well branded product range will find a willing market. My question is will it come from the Occident or the Orient?