Sliding Doors is no longer just the name of a really bad Gwenyth Paltrow movie, it’s now one of the biggest trends among modern airlines looking to spruce up their business class offerings. Over the past few years, the idea of having a sliding door for every seat has been uprooted from exclusively first-class suites and made its way down the aisle to the business side of things. Delta Airlines popularized the business class gate trend with its Delta One suites in 2016, then Qatar Airways followed with the Qsuite in 2017, while Etihad and British Airways are among the newest airlines to get involved. Now, it looks like Air France has followed the growing – and increasingly controversial – trend by revealing that the airline’s new business class product will come with the “three Fs – Full Access, Full Apartment and Full Privacy. “. The latter, of course, is made possible as each of the 48 business class suites will have its own sliding door.
Due to roll out on the carrier’s long-haul B777-300 aircraft later from September this year, Air France’s new business class will represent a substantial step up from the airline’s current business cabins. with fully flat seats that convert into a bed measuring almost 1.98 meters in length. Designed in a 1-2-1 configuration, all business class seats should have direct aisle access and the aforementioned sliding doors which should add more than just a touch of privacy for anyone wishing to block any activity from driveway or properly signal that they are closed for business (or sleep).
Each of the business class seats features soft padding comprised of wool, brushed aluminum and full-grain French leather for an incredibly luxurious feel. In-flight entertainment will also see an increase with new 17.3-inch 4K HD panels and sleek noise-cancelling headphones that fit neatly in their own cabinet. All displays will also receive Bluetooth so passengers can use a wireless connection with their own headphones and earphones if they wish.
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Just like other modern business class suites, passengers traveling in the center rows of the cabin can lower a divider between the two seats if they wish to create a larger cacoon for two. Consider that with both doors closed and it’s no wonder more and more people are choosing to fly for business instead of scraping together enough money (or saving up enough points) for a first-class suite.
A total of 13 Boeing 777-300s will be equipped with Air France’s new business class, the first of which should connect France to JFK in New York. After the journey of this jet nicknamed “Fontainebleau”, Air France’s business class seats will begin to roll out to the rest of the fleet.
Each plane that gets Air France’s new business class will also see some changes in the other cabins. 273 economy seats and 48 premium economy seats will complete the updated aircraft, and passengers opting for the latter can expect the same reclining seat pattern, with a 124-degree recline, that is currently used on board the Airbus. Air France A350. fleet. Anyone in premium economy will also get these more premium noise-canceling headphones, increasing value and privacy over regular old economy.
Obviously, these sliding doors are the main feature of Air France’s new business class, which makes perfect sense. It’s still a bit of a novelty for anyone not normally found touring the world in these ultra-private first-class suites. As mentioned above, the feature has been steadily rolled out for some carriers over the past few years and while some passengers want an extra layer of privacy, it seems most miss the novelty factor and end up leaving them open. anyway.
Still, it’s nice to have options, though seats with doors would be more useful in economy class, where the aisle action is relentless.