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Future: First Class Travel

Airlines across the world are always looking to make their first-class cabins portraits of over-the-top indulgence. Etihad Airways offers ultra-private and spacious “apartments.” Emirates even has a personal shower and spa. Then there’s SkyStue: a new concept that shows one vision of what first-class airline cabins could look like someday.

While not on any specific airline — it is just a concept, after all — the layout imagined by a Norwegian design firm offers a more personalized experience. It plays off of current technology trends that monitor and “remember” consumer actions and preferences, in an effort to make your trip as comfortable as possible — so comfortable that the experience is meant to simulate relaxing in your own living room.

For information on traveling to this locale and or additional information on our strategic approach to travel management and corporate travel management (CTM), leisure travel and or any other article please contact us here.

The designer says that the goal with the concept was to tailor comfort to the individual, just as they were in their own home. (“Stue” means “living room” in Norwegian.)

“Luxury is more than legroom and champagne,” says Einar Hareide, the designer behind the concept. “For us, it was about creating a feeling of being taken care of in a personal way.”

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For example, there are illuminating window frames that gradually and automatically change brightness to simulate a circadian rhythm, hopefully mitigating any jarring and disorienting effects of jetlag. There’s also noise-cancelling technology built into the headrest, no over-the-ear headphones required (this technology already exists). Plus, your seat is a massage chair. And if you want to sleep? The seat lowers into a 220cm x 70cm bed. If you’re in the centre cabin, with two seats situated side-by-side, you can lower the privacy partition in the middle to share the space with a traveling partner. And it’s all presented in a restrained, modest, Norwegian aesthetic — no gaudy gold or boundless leather here.

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But what separates this idea apart from existing sky-high spas and cabins so vast, that you could likely run laps in them? Technology that commits your every like and dislike to memory.

Hareide points to tech trends like the Internet of Things possibly fueling not just his own plane cabin design, but other types of locations and accommodations, like hotel rooms, offices, cars, and homes. Smart, internet-connected appliances and electronics memorize your preferences for temperature, lighting levels, favorite songs, and more. This technology already exists with things like Nest, the smart thermostat that automatically adjusts your home’s temperature based on how you’ve set the device in the past.

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With SkyStue, the vision is to arrive at the airport, and pre-set all of your first-class cabin preferences with a smartphone app so they can all be waiting for you as soon as you sit down, or readjust them in the seat itself using a touchpad. Like all gadgets that creepily osmose your behavior and personal data, this “system will quietly learn more about you and your preferences, and this way be able to tailor the service just for you.”

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Right now, SkyStue is only a concept — in other words, it just shows cool designs that could one day exist in reality, should engineers and airlines show interest.

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Whatever your opinion on the Internet of Things and constant connectivity to the web — whether they’re creepy or convenient — designers and airlines are looking to ultra-high levels of personalization to redefine what it means to fly in style.
“Feeling being taken care of, being special, is maybe the ultimate luxury,” Hareide says.

For information on traveling to this locale and or additional information on our strategic approach to travel management and corporate travel management (CTM), leisure travel and or any other article please contact us here.

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