Lufthansa: Welcome to the Airbus A350-900

Courtesy: Deutsche Lufthansa.

Courtesy: Deutsche Lufthansa.

On 19 December 2016, the Lufthansa Group will receive its first A350-900, which is the most modern long haul aircraft worldwide and which will be based at Lufthansa’s Munich Hub. The first regular commercial flight will be from Munich to Delhi on 10 February 2017. Tickets are available now. “We are looking forward to welcoming our first A350-900 shortly before Christmas. And already in February, our passengers will be able to enjoy a higher level of comfort on their flights to Delhi as we have now made further improvements to key components of the A350-900’s cabin interior. This includes, among other things, a newly designed self-service area in Business Class, new seats with ergonomically designed cushions in Economy Class, larger screens in all classes and improved broadband internet services”, says Thomas Winkelmann, CEO of the Munich Hub.

Once Lufthansa has taken ownership of the aircraft on 19 December, the A350-900 will be transferred to Munich during the week leading up to Christmas. Lufthansa Technik in Munich will then install the cabin interior including the new Premium Economy Class as well as other features so that the new flagship aircraft will be ready to be presented to the public at the beginning of February.

From February 2017 onwards, Lufthansa will station the first ten Airbus A350-900 aircrafts in Munich. The first flight destinations are Delhi and Boston. The aircraft will have space for 293 passengers – 48 in Business Class, 21 in Premium Economy and 224 in the regular Economy Class section. The A350-900 is the most modern and environmentally friendly long haul aircraft worldwide and uses 25 percent less kerosene and produces 25 percent fewer emissions. The A350-900’s noise “footprint” is up to 50 percent lower than that of comparable aircraft types.

Source: Deutsche Lufthansa.

Ten years of Lufthansa crews in national costume

Courtesy: Deutsche Lufthansa.

Courtesy: Deutsche Lufthansa.

Ten years ago we heard it for the first time: Take-off for the Lufthansa crew in national costume. Since then, a total of 20 destinations have been flown to on four continents, with national costumes from three different fashion houses introduced to the passengers during this famous time of year for Bavaria. Two days before the beginning of the Munich Oktoberfest, Lufthansa passengers will once again get to experience Bavarian tradition up in the clouds. On the occasion of the tenth anniversary, two crews will take-off in Angermaier costumes. Eleven flight stewardesses and two flight stewards will look after guests today on flights from Munich to Toronto and from Munich to Washington. Further destinations will include Shanghai and Hong Kong on 20 September, Denver on 2 October and Boston on 3 October.

Courtesy: Deutsche Lufthansa.

Courtesy: Deutsche Lufthansa.

Over the past ten years, both the design of the costumes as well as the names of the designers have changed on a regular basis. However, the Lufthansa colours of yellow, blue and white have always stayed the same.

This year’s anniversary costume was designed and tailored by the Munich national costume specialists Angermaier, which is outfitting the crews to match the largest public festival in the world for the third time in a row. The Oktoberfest dirndl for the flight stewardesses is dark blue with a silver-grey pinafore. The men wear knee-length lederhosen with a dark blue waistcoat in the same fabric as the dirndls.

Courtesy: Deutsche Lufthansa.

Courtesy: Deutsche Lufthansa.

As in previous years, national costumes will be worn on flights to selected European destinations from Munich. At the beginning and the end of the Munich Oktoberfest, a crew from Lufthansa CityLine will swap their uniform for the dirndl. Destinations this year are Belgrade, Birmingham, Cluj, Nice, Olbia and Sylt.

For Lufthansa employees at passenger services at Munich airport, it has long been tradition to welcome passengers in national costume during Oktoberfest. In addition to the Lufthansa uniform, the women wear the Lufthansa dirndl in yellow and blue and the men wear blue suits in the style of the traditional costume. The Service employees in the Lufthansa First Class Lounges wear costumes in black and gold.

Source: Deutsche Lufthansa.

British Airways offers free upgrades to First

Courtesy: British Airways.

Courtesy: British Airways.

British Airways’ ever popular free upgrade to First promotion is back.

Customers who book a Club World (business class) seat for travel between September 7 and December 11, 2016 will have the opportunity to upgrade to First one-way for free.

Customers who would like to take up the offer can do so by contacting their travel agent, or calling the British Airways contact centre on 0344 493 0787.

Sara Dunham, British Airways’ head of marketing, retail and direct, said: “We always get a great reaction from customers to our upgrade to First promotions. For no additional cost, travellers receive all the extra benefits of First, from the bespoke lounges to the comfortable suites on-board and personalised service. It’s a really nice way for us to recognise our customers and give them something back as a thank-you for their booking and their loyalty.”

Customers booking can expect to be whisked through fast-track before making their way to the First lounge or Concorde Room (outbound from Heathrow Terminal 5). Once on-board the sophisticated cabin they can settle in to their suite with its 6ft 6inch bed, personal blinds and wardrobe and  experience a personalised service, complete with an a la carte menu, fine wines and champagne.

Customers flying on one of British Airways’ new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners will experience the airline’s very latest First class, introduced in late 2015. The cabin is a very private eight-suite space, with four additional storage areas around each seat, including an ottoman, a personal suiter, a locker for small personal effects and a device stowage space complete with device powering capability. In-flight entertainment is shown on a 23-inch fixed screen and a smart ‘jog-dial’, manages the seat’s recline, headrest and lumbar inflate and a ‘global’ lighting control to set both ambient and reading lighting.

For more details on the upgrade promotion, customers can visit www.ba.com/upgrade.

For more details on First class, visit: http://www.ba.com/first.

Today the airline has also launched two of its biggest ever Avios and On Business promotions, enabling travellers to earn triple points, visit ba.com/onbusiness or ba.com/tripleavios for details.

Editor’s Note:

  • The offer is only available on published fares.
  • All routes with a First cabin are included, with the exception of Bermuda.
  • Terms and conditions apply. See ba.com/upgrade for full details.
  • Bookings must be made and flown between September 6 and December 11, 2016.

Source: British Airways.

World’s first all-suite business class introduced in Delta One

Courtesy: Delta Air Lines.

Courtesy: Delta Air Lines.

Lay back, relax and enjoy the flight in the comfort, privacy and exclusivity of your own suite. Delta Air Lines is redefining international business class travel with the introduction of the Delta One suite, the first business class cabin to feature a sliding door at each suite.

Designed with an emphasis on exceptional customer comfort and privacy, the Delta One suite offers each customer a private space accessed by a sliding door with thoughtfully designed personal stowage areas, an advanced in-flight entertainment system and premium trim and finishes to create an unparalleled business class experience with a comfortable, residential feel.

The Delta One suite will debut on Delta’s first Airbus A350, due to enter service in fall 2017. Each aircraft will feature 32 suites.

In addition to full flat-bed seats with direct aisle access, which the airline introduced eight years ago, the Delta One suite features:

  • A full-height door at every suite
  • Sliding privacy dividers between center suites
  • In-suite, customizable ambient lighting
  • Dedicated stowage compartments for shoes, headphones and laptops
  • Contemporary design featuring premium trim and finishes
  • Memory foam-enhanced comfort cushion
  • An 18-inch, high resolution in-flight entertainment monitor, the largest among U.S. carriers
  • A universal power outlet and high-powered USB port at every seat

“Delta constantly listens to customers and responds with products that deliver what they want. After setting the standard with the introduction of full flat-bed seats with direct aisle access in 2008, Delta is again elevating the international business class experience,” said Tim Mapes, Delta’s Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. “Added comfort and privacy are important to business travelers, and that drove the design of the all-new Delta One suite.”

Delta completed installation of full flat-bed seats with direct aisle access on all of its widebody aircraft operating long-haul international flights in 2014. Delta One service includes the features Delta customers have grown to expect, such as chef-curated meals, wine pairings by Delta’s Master Sommelier Andrea Robinson, Westin Heavenly In-Flight Bedding, noise-canceling headsets, TUMI amenity kits featuring Kiehl’s Since 1851 premium skincare, and in-flight loungewear on select flights.

Following the A350 debut, the Delta One suite will progressively roll out on Delta’s Boeing 777 fleet. Delta will be the first U.S. airline to take delivery of the A350, which will primarily serve routes between the U.S. and Asia.

Delta has made significant investments in its on-board product and the customer experience with orders for hundreds of new aircraft and a cabin modernization program that includes new seats, seatback entertainment systems, high capacity overhead bins, new lavatories, ambient lighting, access to Wi-Fi on nearly all flights and other enhancements.

Source: Delta Air Lines.

British Airways completes Boeing 747 cabin refresh

Courtesy: British Airways.

Courtesy: British Airways.

British Airways has completed the major makeover of 18 of the airline’s iconic Boeing 747s to give them the look and feel of their newest aircraft.

Each jumbo jet now features a refreshed interior and state-of-the-art in-flight entertainment system – as well as extra seats for customers flying in Club World.

The first aircraft to be refreshed departed for New York, on the airline’s flagship transatlantic route, while the last one also goes back into commercial service tomorrow (August 4) as the BA117, flying customers from Heathrow to JFK airport.

Troy Warfield, British Airways’ director of customer experience, said: “We have recently taken delivery of our 12th A380 super jumbo and have now have 13 Dreamliners in our fleet, however the iconic Boeing 747s remain an important part of our fleet, that many of our customers love.

“We know customers who fly the revamped 747s really appreciate the improved interiors, with their mood lighting, better seating and new state-of-the-art in-flight entertainment system, making their flight just fly by.

“Our engineers have made these amazing aircraft look and feel like new, with enhanced comfort, cutting edge technology and cool, clean design.”

Across all 18 aircraft the 11 month refit has involved:

  • 61 miles of wiring for the new Panasonic eX3 in-flight entertainment system
  • Enough new carpets to cover 34 tennis courts
  • Nearly six miles of new LED lights
  • 4,500 light fittings
  • Fabric changes to 4,950 seats
Courtesy: British Airways.

Courtesy: British Airways.

The refit means the aircraft cabin interiors are similar in look and feel to the airline’s newest aircraft, with 16 additional Club World lie-flat seats.

New carpets, seat covers and mood lighting have been fitted throughout each aircraft to match the new colour pallet of the airline’s new A380 and 787s, including new seat foams and new style seat covers in World Traveller and World Traveller Plus to increase customer comfort.

All eighteen refreshed aircraft have also been fitted with Panasonic’s next generation eX3 entertainment system, which gives customers a choice of over 1,300 hours of entertainment including more than 130 movies and 400 TV programmes on larger, hi-resolution screens, capable of touch and swipe gestures, giving the system the familiar feel of using a tablet.

Lightweight in design, the system from Panasonic Avionics Corporation helps to reduce the amount of fuel used by the four-engined Boeing 747s.

As part of the upgrade, customers in World Traveller Plus now have access to a universal power socket at every seat, capable of accepting plugs from the UK, US and Europe. World Traveller customers also have their own personal USB socket to power phones and tablets.

The revamped jumbos now operate on selected flights to New York JFK, Chicago, Johannesburg, Dubai, Boston, Riyadh, Kuwait, San Francisco, Seattle, Toronto and Washington DC.

British Airways has a fleet of 142 long-haul and 143 short-haul aircraft operating flights to almost 200 destinations around world.

Source: British Airways.

KLM modernises World Business Class in all its Airbus A330 aircraft

Courtesy: KLM.

Courtesy: KLM.

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is modernising the World Business Class cabin interiors of all its Airbus A330s. The new World Business Class in this aircraft will be available for passengers to enjoy from early in 2018. It marks another step in KLM’s ongoing investment in customer comfort.

The Airbus A330 is the last aircraft type in the KLM ICA fleet to be fitted with new World Business Class cabin interiors. By the end of 2018, World Business Class throughout KLM’s entire ICA fleet will be fitted with new cabin interiors. The World Business Class cabins of KLM’s Boeing 777-200 and Boeing 747-400 fleets have already been refitted. Work on the Boeing 777-300 fleet has just begun and is expected to be completed in June 2017. KLM’s latest aircraft, the Boeing 787, already has the new World Business Class cabins.

The new World Business Class has full-flat seats for maximum passenger comfort, a twelve-language Inflight Entertainment System and a 3D flight-tracking system. KLM’s new World Business Class cabin interior has been designed by the Dutch designer Hella Jongerius.

What is more, for years now, KLM World Business Class has offered meals developed by trendsetting Dutch chefs. This year, we have engaged chef Jacob Jan Boerma to work in KLM’s kitchens. The tableware that KLM uses with its meals was created by Dutch designer Marcel Wanders.

Source: KLM.

United Airlines unveils a new way of travel with Polaris Business Class

United Airlines today unveiled its latest product, the Polaris Business Class, the most significant product transformation of the airline in more than a decade, featuring a re-imagined Business Class experience, with total comfort from the pre-flight to the end of the flight.

An exclusive product comes with a really transformative experience; the airline has chosen to outfit its wide body fleet with a custom designed – exclusive to United seat – instead of than selected options already in the market. This class was designed by Acumen Design Associates and PriestmanGoode and manufactured by Zodiac Seats United Kingdom. All seats in United Polaris will have access to the aisle, full flat bed with almost two meter-long (1.98 meters).

The class has an idea, which is crafted as individual, the suite is like pods where the customer personal suite will feature a “Do Not Disturb” sign, mood lighting, one-touch lumbar support, several storage areas, multiple surfaces for simultaneous working and dining, a 16-inch high-definition entertainment screen and, for seats in the center of the cabin, electronic privacy dividers. Complementing the new seats, United and PriestmanGoode have also conceived an all-new look for the United Polaris cabins.

Everything designed in Polaris cabin has the idea to rethinking the Business Class experience, the airline has performed more than twelve thousand hours of research and the sleep was one of the key priorities for international Business Class travelers. Polaris’ design and sleep-enhancing focus was inspired and informed by insights from hundreds of clients and employees, in-flight product simulations and more than one hundred product evaluations.

In order to provide a more pleasant and relaxing sleep, several other amenities were designed with United’s customers sleep in mind.

The company has worked with luxury specialty store Saks Fifth Avenue for custom designed bedding. Everything has been thought to provide the best sleep in the sky; bedding collection will feature plush duvets, lightweight day blankets and a large and small pillow for each United Polaris customer. Mattress cushions will be available upon request.

On flights longer than 12 hours, United Polaris pajamas will be available by requesting, however, slippers will be available on all flights. A gel-cooled pillow will also be available upon request. New amenity kits will feature ergonomically designed eye shades, calming lavender pillow mist and additional products from Soho House & Co.’s Cowshed Spa.

With the introduction of United Polaris, the airline intends to donate tens of thousands of pillows, blankets and other in-flight service items to Fisher House Foundation, which United and its employees have long supported.

A high elevated dining experience will be available on the flight. Upon boarding, the passenger will be welcomed with a pre-flight beverage of his/her choice and gourmet chocolate. In the air, customers will enjoy regionally influenced in-flights menus updated seasonally, which will be developed with The Trotter Project and its critically recognized chefs.

Be prepared for an upgraded wine experience, with the highest quality options curated exclusively by United’s Master Sommelier. On board service will also include made-to-order signature ice-cream sundaes, a dessert cart with a variety of petit dessert options, chocolate truffles and wine flights. On daytime flights longer than eight hours and on all flights longer than 12 hours, hot mid-flights snacks such as lobster macaroni and cheese will be available.

Lounges for United Polaris customers will also be opened in nine locations around the world – the only lounge of its kind offered by a United States airline to Business Class clients – that will feature custom designed chairs, private daybeds, spa-like showers and chef-inspired hot meals served in a boutique restaurant setting so passengers can refresh and dine before boarding their aircraft. Premium sparkling wines and spirits, refreshing snacks and bottled water will also be available.

Chicago O’Hare International Airport will be the place of the first United Polaris lounge, which will be opened on December 1st, 2016. Eight other airports will airports will receive these new luxury lounges in 2017, they are: Los Angeles (LAX), San Francisco (SFO), Houston (IAH), New York (EWR), Washington Dulles (IAD), Tokyo (NRT), Hong Kong (HKG) and London Heathrow (LHR).

United Polaris will be available on all long-haul intercontinental flights on December 1, 2016, with the new in-flight food and beverage experience, new custom bedding from Saks Fifth Avenue, new amenity kits and the new United Polaris lounge in Chicago. United Polaris will first take flight in December on the Boeing 777-300ER (walk-up bar unit on board) and subsequently on Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner and Airbus A350-1000. The Boeing 767-300 and 777-200 will be retrofitted.

Named after the North Star, United Polaris is the shining new star of business class travel that flyers can turn to for a tranquil and restful journey.

Images: Courtesy of United Airlines.

Video: Courtesy of United Airlines.