From replacing the change tray table with touchscreens and panoramic windows to hiding the economy tray, business class-style seating is set to dramatically change in the next 15 years, according to the latest predictions from Airbus.
“The passenger is no longer an inert object,” says Airbus, the world’s largest airplane manufacturer. “They are a connected and empowered person who wants to spend more time with their loved ones and on relaxing in their preferred seat.”
The seats — known collectively as cabins — will also offer what Airbus calls “fresh economy.”
That refers to individual bunks, which passengers are expected to turn on and off from home. As opposed to a moveable tray table that unfolds when passengers sit down, the shift-over bunks will make for more space in the middle row. Larger LED lights will make the light show on each of the smaller, lighter seats.
This idea is being tested in Airbus’s Star Alliance, its partnership with SkyTeam.
“Today, passengers are habituated to a separate economy cabin, now it is time to let go of this ‘glass ceiling’ by democratizing premium cabins. Today, we know that value in air travel is becoming more obvious than ever, and at the same time some brands and airlines are asking whether the old ways of business model are obsolete,” says Airbus.
“Today, we are certain that change will happen.”