DESIGN: AirLounge™ from Collins Aerospace, Finnair, PriestmanGoode, Tangerine – finalist in Crystal Cabin Awards
Series: Crystal Cabin Awards
- DESIGN: AirSleeper Premium Economy concept – entrant in Crystal Cabin Awards
- DESIGN: AirLounge™ from Collins Aerospace, Finnair, PriestmanGoode, Tangerine – finalist in Crystal Cabin Awards
- DESIGN: Air 4 All Systems – Wheelchair seating solution – finalist in Crystal Cabin Awards
Over the next few weeks, I will feature some of the more interesting innovations proposed – as judged by me – in the shortlisted entries for the annual Crystal Cabin Awards. This creative playfield is where designers, engineers and visionaries plan the future of the aircraft passenger experience. Returning as an in-person event on 14 June 2022, the Awards will see an international expert jury at Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg decide who will win the aviation industry’s trophies this year.
This is their elevator pitch: ‘AirLounge™ is a breakthrough business class seat, designed to bring the comfort of home to the skies through a fundamental evolution of the traditional design, form and function of current business class seating options.’
AirLounge™ is a breakthrough business class seating product that deviates from traditional seat design and utilizes a fixed ergonomically shaped surrounding shell and provides a large bed surface without employing recline mechanisms. The supportive soft inner shape provides comfort, noise reduction, privacy, and a personal cocoon-like home environment. The seat brings the comforts of home and the ability to relax in a variety of flexible positions not found on traditional aircraft seats. AirLounge provides thoughtful in-seat stowage solutions that are easily accessible for the passenger. Without compromising passenger space and comfort, the reduction of mechanisms yields economic benefits through lower maintenance costs and increased reliability.AirLounge is a fundamental evolution of traditional business class, a seat concept originally conceived by PriestmanGoode and further developed by Collins Aerospacewith final design execution by both Tangerine and Finnair.Entry Documentation from Collins Aerospace, Finnair, PriestmanGoode, Tangerine
Well, I did predict this would happen soon, and it looks like they left it until the beginning of 2023 to make the announcements.
This design has now been implemented on a Finnair Airbus A350-900 and favourably reviewed by Ben Smithson on Points Guy UK. Another review from Callum Elsden is also pretty positive, although he expresses some scepticism about its performance on long haul.
It looks awkward to me especially for a long-haul flight, but OK for something less than that. I think it looks fabulous, and is definitely innovative, but the inability to recline the ‘shell’ of the seat worries me. Maybe it would make a great upgrade for a Premium Economy cabin, but I think it might fall short when compared to competing products for Business Class.