Breeze Airways unveiled its first Airbus A220-300 in Mobile, Alabama, today. While the aircraft is still a few months away from flying officially, Simple Flying got an opportunity to check out the cabin. In short, the aircraft is quite stunning, and there are plenty of customer-friendly amenities that lend some further credibility to the notion that Breeze is looking to offer a different kind of customer experience at a low cost.
Stepping onboard the aircraft, the first cabin passenger will encounter is the “Nicest” cabin, featuring a whopping 36 premium class seats. All of these seats are outfitted in a 2-2 configuration with a relatively standard domestic first class hard product. Breeze has selected the Safran Seats Z600 hard product.
The cabin takes up nine rows, running from the front of the aircraft to the emergency exit row. With 20.5 inches of width at each seat and a pitch of 39 inches, there are few bad seats in the cabin, if any. Passengers who are worried about noise from economy or some foot traffic may want to try and get a seat closer to the front of the cabin.
There is no seatback entertainment onboard the aircraft. WiFi is expected to come onboard the A220s, but it may take some time and is unlikely to be available at the time of launch. However, for customers who come with pre-downloaded entertainment and when entertainment does launch, Breeze offers a few places to put your device.
These planes will be used for longer-haul routes, including some transcontinental flying as heavily teased by the airline. On those kinds of routes, sleep is going to be key. The seats themselves are designed to recline a fair amount and include a leg rest. Ultimately, it should be comfortable enough to get a few hours of shut-eye.
All seats in this cabin feature access to power. This includes USB ports, including a USB C port, and a traditional AC power port. This can be found in the center armrest underneath, where you would store something like a water bottle. There is a second water bottle storage location.
Breeze confirmed to Simple Flying that it is not planning on offering a dedicated flight attendant for this cabin. Instead, flight attendants will be working the whole plane. This may be a drawback for some passengers looking for more personalized service, but, overall, Breeze is still targeting a more price-conscious leisure traveler, and that may be a small price to pay for a better seat on a long flight.
“Nice” and “Nicer”
The two other fare options are branded as “Nice” and “Nicer” options. The former is a traditional economy class, while the latter is an extra-legroom economy product. There are only 10 “Nicer” seats but 80 “Nice” seats on the A220-300s. The extra-legroom seats are located just behind the premium cabin. The best row to get in is the exit row, which features far more legroom than the extra-legroom row behind it.
Note that there is a slight change in the aisle in this row as it moves from a 2-2 to a 2-3 layout. The overhead bins stay in the same configuration, unlike some jets with a change in layout, and all bins are designed to retain a larger number of bags, allowing every customer who can bring a carry-on with them to have space for that item.
Just like the “Nicest” class, these two cabins also feature no seatback entertainment but have room for customers to use their own devices. There is a built-in holder for a small device within the seatback. Power is available. However, in these cabin classes, expect only USB outlets (including a USB-C) outlet for each customer.
There is a noticeable difference in pitch between the “Nicest” class and “Nice” cabin, as is expected. However, there is also a noticeable difference in recline. Economy seats, including the extra-legroom rows, have a more limited recline than the premium seats and do not include the leg rest.
Note that this is different than the “pre-reclined” offering some low-cost carriers are putting onboard their aircraft. There is a button for passengers to push to recline their seats. Even when the seat in front is reclined, there is still a decent amount of room for passengers. It may get a little tight during a meal, for example.
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Breeze has certainly shown where it sees a lot of potential, and that is in the premium cabin. A total of 46 out of 126 seats are non-standard economy products. Expect Breeze to offer some pretty competitive fares and upcharges on the routes the Airbus A220 flies when it enters service.
On a shorter flight, there is not really a cabin to avoid. On a longer flight, there are a few different factors to consider. While Breeze is a step above what other low-cost carriers are putting on their planes, some passengers may find the upsell to “Nicest” to be a worthwhile purchase in order to get a more comfortable experience. While Breeze has seriously teased lie-flats, the airline has not confirmed the lie-flat product nor released a breakdown of the number of A220s that will receive a lie-flat.
Another interesting thing to note is that Breeze’s A220s are outfitted with ovens in the galleys. This means the airline could potentially sell some hot meals or snack options. The airline has not revealed its plans for this service, but keep an eye out for changes in this market.
Ultimately, when Breeze gets WiFi sorted on the Airbus A220 – something it is getting very close to doing, there is little that the airline will offer that is not in line with or better than the competition. This could bring out not just the economy flyers looking to do point-to-point travel but also the premium leisure travelers (and some business travelers) who want that convenience at a low cost. Everything that Breeze has indicated thus far shows that the airline expects to be quite reasonable on pricing and maintaining a competitive cost structure. The Airbus A220 is certainly well-equipped to continue that mission.