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BMW turns first class seating into "luxury islands"

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July 9, 2013

The next-generation First Class seats puts a premium on comfort and privacy

The next-generation First Class seats puts a premium on comfort and privacy

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Flying coach may make one understand what life is like for a battery hen, but not everyone who travels by air has it so bad. If you have the ticket fare, from this September you’ll be able to enjoy Singapore Airlines' next-generation first class seats. These “luxury islands” with living-room ambiance were designed by the BMW Group DesignworksUSA and are being installed on the new Boeing 777-300ER for selected flights between Singapore and London.

The new seats are more like mini-lounges, measuring 35 in (88.9-cm) wide and folding forward to form a dedicated sleeping pad that has been extended from 80 to 82 in (203.2 to 208.2 cm) in length. This is covered with a special fabric that increases the tension of the material so that it looks fresh and pristine even after hours of use, while the extension of the outer walls of the seating area sees the passenger shielded both visually and acoustically.

The seat's sleep pad is covered by a special fabric to keep it looking fresh

According to BMW, the new seat uses aspects of automotive design to improve comfort and functionality and to provide an “aura of tranquillity.” Even the colors and materials used show an application of color psychology, with a selection of warm shades of brown with leather-lined seats and atmospheric lighting that are intended to create the atmosphere of a living room. This is contrasted with the grey and metallic colors outside the cubicle so as to divide the public and private spaces.

None of this would be of much use if the cubicle was filled with clutter, so there are lots of stowage areas for luggage and personal belongings. Additionally, the cubicle’s table extends rather than folds out and there is a vanity corner for freshening up. The infotainment system adds a high-tech touch with a 23-inch LCD screen with a resolution of 1280 x 768 pixels, which BMW claims it the highest offered by an airline. This is topped off with surround sound and noise-cancelling headphones.

Naturally, all this comfort doesn't come cheap. A first class ticket from London to Singapore is in the area of £6,200 (US$9,100).

The video below explains the philosophy behind the new first class seats.

Source: BMW, Singapore Airlines

About the Author
David Szondy David Szondy is a freelance writer based in Monroe, Washington. An award-winning playwright, he has contributed to Charged and iQ magazine and is the author of the website Tales of Future Past.   All articles by David Szondy
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6 Comments

It looks nice but I would rather take the trip in cattle car class on a suborbital rocket glider that makes the trip in 45 minutes.

Slowburn
9th July, 2013 @ 10:42 pm PDT

It looks nice, but I would rather take a 2 week trip in super large air ship with the luxuries of a cruise liner. :b

Sounds a bit sour grape, bu in all honesty, I never understood why anyone would sink 20 x the cost of a night in a 5 star hotel for a ten hour trip in first class. Seems to me a banal waste of funds, even if you have money to burn.

Besides, it doesn't exclude you from the possibility of being placed next to the rich woman with the screaming baby.

Nairda
10th July, 2013 @ 03:53 am PDT

Well, considering that neither of those options mentioned above EXIST- I will take your money AND mine and skip the trip altogether and put it into my own research and projects.

I STILL don't like airlines or airliners.

Anything that charges that much to shield you from the standard experience is of no interested to me.

I'm not going to Singapore or London anytime soon,anyway. If I was, I'd fly standard and just get it over with like I always do.

Griffin
10th July, 2013 @ 11:07 pm PDT

Having been upgraded to First on both Emirates and Etihad, this doesn't look like much of an improvement. Besides let's face it, when you get to a certain level of comfort, the fabric and colour scheme can be overlooked with the aid of a nice meal and a very fine red... :-)

Marcus Carr
11th July, 2013 @ 07:59 pm PDT

I suppose that if they offered me a _soundproofed_cabin_ to myself I might pay those prices...but not for a glorified daybed next to that screaming woman with the rich kid.

dalroth5
12th July, 2013 @ 12:24 am PDT

Ah, you're all full of it - it's gloriously indulgent and any one of you would take it in a heartbeat if you got the chance. Screaming woman? Rich kid? Not that I noticed...

Marcus Carr
12th July, 2013 @ 03:39 am PDT
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