We haven’t covered much on Aer Lingus before, the carrier has pretty much kept a low-key approach to operations, offering angle-flat business class and fairly standard economy products. Not to say that’s bad, far from it, just not nescessarily ground breaking. It seems that’s all about to change, and the Irish carrier is now a real contender when flying across the Atlantic. The new and beautifully conceived design concept is brought by Thompson Aero’s long standing partner Factorydesign, a UK based leading product design and aviation specialist company.
Starting in January 2015, the carrier will refit the business class cabin, as part of a two stage program to renovate the entire airline experience (a new economy product is in work and will be announced at a later state.) The carrier will complete renovating its long haul business class cabin by the end of March 2015, the quick turn around helped by the smaller and more nimble long haul fleet that Aer Lingus flies.
The main power-pair that the airline’s business class now provides combines fully flat beds with Pre-US customs in Ireland, meaning that the lengthy queues we are all used to are a thing of the past, and passengers can breeze through their US airports much faster than their competitors.
The seats may look familiar, and they are, they are the same that you will find on JetBlue, and a version of the same type of seat found on airlines such as Brussels Airlines and Austrian – the ‘ThompsonAero Vantage Suite’. The seat turns into a 2m long bed, and whilst that sounds like plenty of space, the ‘foot coffin’ means that you’ll need the extra length, as the longest of passengers would have to squeeze their feet under the passenger in front of them (but for most of us mere mortals, there is no problem with comfort). But this seat configuration offers excellent privacy, space and storage, and is a quantum leap from their current product.
For those looking to sleep, there is a turndown service, a quiet zone on night flights, and 90% of the seats onboard will offer direct aisle access, and for those wanting to sleep as long as possible, the airline now offers a dine-before-you-fly service in their lounges, at JFK and Boston.
For those looking to relax and be entertained, there is naturally WiFi and power at every seat, but also a 16″ HD screen, featuring over new release movies, 90 hours worth of TV and over 1,000 albums.
The Vital Statistics
- Completely flat 2-meter bed – guaranteeing the best possible sleep pattern
- 90% of seats with aisle access
- New cabin layout
- On demand food and beverage service
- Personal storage space for all your essentials
- State-of-the-art in-flight entertainment with increased content
- Night time quiet cabin
- Pre boarding night time dine services in JFK and Boston
- New JFK Lounge
- Wi-Fi in the sky – it is fast, it’s free and it keeps you connected.
- Mobile network – send and receive text those important messages.
- Noise-cancelling headphones – let nothing come between you and your favourite movie star or podcast.
- A goody bag with a double life – specially designed amenity kits filled with neat treats and refreshers, including gorgeous samples from Voya. When the goodies are gone, the case becomes a stylish new home for your iPad or tablet.
- No shoe shooing – Aer Lingus have made a special home for your shoes so you can store them at any stage of your journey.
- A safe place for your laptop – they have introduced a custom-made storage space so your faithful friend is close to hand.
- They won’t take your coat (if you don’t want them to) – so if you don’t want it out of sight, use their pull-out latches to keep it close.
It’s great to see Aer Lingus investing into their fleet, and sadly, we’ll only be seeing these new fully flat seats on their a330 services, but this is the start of a big change at the airline, and we can’t wait to see what they have in mind for economy passengers, and how their new New York Lounge will shape up!