Airbus Unveils New Biz Class Couch, but Experts Say It’s Far From Takeoff

Apr 10, 2019

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

At the recent Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, Airbus showed off its new Corner Settee, a couch-like seat for long-haul, narrow-body aircraft. The new seat is an upgrade of the sky couch product that many airlines like Air New Zealand, Thomas Cook and others offer.

Photo by @AusBT/Twitter
Photo by @AusBT/Twitter

This new seat concept is designed for business-class cabins on long-haul flights. Instead of the seat reclining into a sleeping position, it is laid out like a couch, allowing a passenger to lie across the seat rather than reclining. In fact, these seats don’t recline at all. This means that airlines can more densely pack the seats into the business-class cabin with shorter seat pitch.

Photo by @AusBT/Twitter
Photo by @AusBT/Twitter

“It appears to offer the comfort and privacy that premium travelers value on the longer journeys that the A321LR is intended to operate,” Henry Harteveldt, a travel industry analyst and president of Atmosphere Research group, told TPG via email. “As shown, the seat appears to provide a comparable, and perhaps even more generous, amount of sleeping space when compared to current lie-flat business class seats. The seat’s no-recline, fixed position also means travelers won’t intrude on one another’s space when they wish to relax or sleep.”

Harteveldt’s main concern was the stated seat pitch of 32 inches. He noted it “may be uncomfortably tight for travelers who want or prefer to sit up to eat, work or watch a film or TV show. Of course, the airline controls seat pitch, and can adjust this.”

Photo by @AusBT/Twitter
Photo by @AusBT/Twitter

“While I wouldn’t expect to see any airline commit to this soon, the manufacturer that comes up with a good way to improve density on narrowbodies while still having a flat product will do well,” Brett Snyder, president of Cranky Concierge and writer of the Cranky Flier blog, told TPG via email. “With a narrower cabin, seat designers are trying to rethink ways to achieve better density.  This idea lets them put rows close together since the traveler will lie sideways, so that can help get more seats per square foot of real estate while still offering a flat(ish) product.”

It remains to be seen if this product or a closely related concept will be getting airborne any time soon.

For the latest travel news, deals and points and miles tips please subscribe to The Points Guy daily email newsletter.

Featured photo by @AusBT/Twitter.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
  • Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.
Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.