A couple weeks ago, after I got home from Aircraft Interiors Expo 2014 in Hamburg, I wrote a post about seats I hoped would never fly. They just don’t look all that comfortable to me. And, at the time, I also promised to write a post about the seats I did like. Better late than never, right?? And so, without further ado, the seats I’m most looking forward to in the coming year by cabin.
It isn’t that I particularly love the idea of the Recaro 3710 seat in general. It is basically just another coach seat in many ways and it is not particularly new; it was introduced a year ago. But it comes with some interesting options which I can see making a trip much more comfortable. First is the six-way adjustable headrest.
It is not entirely clear from this company-supplied photo (and the one I took came out even worse) but the headrest has extra adjustment options typically not seen on seats. They include a neck support option which flips up from the middle at the bottom of the piece (at that green line in the middle laterally a couple inches up from the bottom edge). When I tried it out on the demo seat at the show I found it quite comfy. The whole piece also has a greater range up and down which should make it more comfortable for passengers who are taller or shorter than average.
While the fancy new headrest is available today the other cool thing I liked about the seat is not yet actually on the market. There is a concept design for an integrated IFE kit that the company has been working on for the 3710 and it is a pretty darn cool system.
The FLIFO details are always available in the bottom-right corner, there are plenty of USB ports for charging or pushing media on to the screen and there is that huge, gorgeous screen for watching movies, TV shows or whatever else you want. I don’t often get excited about embedded IFE systems on planes but this one has piqued my interest.
The seat (minus the new IFE option) is on the market today and Airbus is even selling it as an option for the A350 XWB. Recaro says it will be in service later this year but would not disclose the customer during the show. Alas, the features I like about it are up-sell options, not standard equipment on the seat. Hopefully they get a few takers.
Oh, and it is being certified for 29-36″ pitch. Hopefully the 29″ option is not really being considered by a long haul operator, but Recaro is going through the motions, just in case.
Lufthansa’s premium economy seat doesn’t have me especially excited, but given the relatively cramped offering they have for regular economy anything is a step up there. And having now seen the seat in person I’ll concede that it is a decent Premium Economy offer. I think that the leg rest will be rather useless for passengers taller than 5′ 8″ but that’s OK since it is only in the bulkhead row anyways, right?
I’ve been rather enamored with the JetBlue Mint Business Class seat since breaking the story about the “sliding door suite” aspect of it last June. I’ve had the opportunity to sit in demo versions of the product a couple times but not the final version. On display at the show was a seat which was described by an executive as “nearly final” and it shows a number of refinements over prior versions. Some of it was little things, like the stitching in the seats showing off the JetBlue blue accent coloring and some of it was more functional, like the seat control panel being fully operational and branded. And I got to sit in the seat for more than just 30 seconds. It was pretty darn nice.
I’ve already booked my flights to be on board the first week the seat flies; that will be a lot of fun.
- Some airplane seats which I hope never fly
- Some thoughts on Lufthansa’s Premium Economy announcement
- Some interesting slides from Lufthansa regarding fleet planning
- JetBlue Mint introduced to the premium transcon market
- What might JetBlue’s new “Suites” seat map look like?
- JetBlue’s Suite Seats, and how they compete in the transcon premium market
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That Recaro has a touch sensitive display on the back of a lightweight seat which means lots of pushing is transferred to the person in front of you. I wish they would rather put the controller in the armrest.
The premium econ seat looks like a classic J seat from about 25 years back. I think we are about to go full circle. Eliminate F, push up J, eventually some airline will come up with the bright idea to go full lie-flat in Y+ and the cycle will start anew. 😉
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