The Future Of Post Pandemic Business Class: Your Own Room

Renowned UK design consultancy PriestmanGoode has come up with a raft of conceptual designs for the post pandemic aircraft cabin. Calling their concept ‘Pure Skies,’ the company has reworked both business and economy class, focusing on hygiene and personal space for that all-important passenger confidence that will be so important to get people flying again.

post pandemic business class
Pure Skies Rooms could be the business class of the future. Photo: PriestmanGoode

Pure Skies Rooms revealed

We’ve seen some pretty unusual seat designs tailored towards a post-pandemic flying future, but most have focused on economy class. The assumption, we assume, is that business class is already socially distanced enough, and therefore doesn’t require a reworking.

However, London-based design consultancy PriestmanGoode believes even the pointy end of the plane can be improved upon. Their concept designs for the post-COVID business class cabin embrace hygienic technologies and a touch-free journey combined with more personal space and privacy.

post pandemic business class
Pure Skies Rooms have been thoughtfully designed for a future-proofed concept. Photo: PriestmanGoode

Calling their innovation’ Pure Skies Rooms’, the concept is designed to give passengers and airlines more confidence now, as well as future-proofing the design to ensure airlines’ investments in new cabins are fit for tomorrow’s challenges too. Speaking about the design of Pure Skies Rooms, Director at PriestmanGoode Nigel Goode said,

“We also acknowledge that rules and perceptions are continually changing. We firmly believe that by building-in additional safeguards and designing-out areas that previously caused concern, our Pure Skies concept encompasses a range of innovative and relevant options that will appeal to airlines for different reasons depending on their customer profile, location and fleet.

“However, planning must start today for these solutions to be ready and in place for when volumes undoubtedly return in the industry.”

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What does business class of the future look like?

Pure Skies Rooms have been designed with three key issues in mind: Personal space, hygiene, and touch-free journeys. While modern business class concepts have begun to embrace things like privacy screens and doors, the PriestmanGoode concept takes things a step further, designing a space where passengers can retreat into a screened, protected area.

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Passengers can retreat into a private, screened-off area. Photo: PriestmanGoode

Within the Pure Skies Rooms, each seat is fully enclosed with a floor to ceiling curtain separating the passenger from the rest of the cabin. Every passenger gets personal overhead storage and a personal wardrobe, along with everything they need within their own haven in the skies.

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Plenty of personal stowage. Photo: PriestmanGoode

The IFE is synchronized with the passenger’s own device and can be gesture controlled to reduce touchpoints.

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IFE is gesture-controlled and synchronized with passengers’ personal devices. Photo: PriestmanGoode

Interestingly, the fabrics, construction and technology involved here have all been chosen to provide the ultimate hygienic experience. The seat itself has minimal split lines and welded fabric seams to minimize the places where dirt and viruses can hide. The fabric itself and other surfaces in the room are all antimicrobial, to make cleaning and disinfection easier and more effective.

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The seat will give a visual representation of how clean it is at the point of boarding. Photo: PriestmanGoode

Taking this concept one step further has introduced a visual indicator of how clean the cabin is, to reassure passengers on boarding that their area is hygienic and safe. Maria Kafel-Bentkowska, PriestmanGoode’s Head of CMF (color, materials and finish) explained,

“By using existing technologies such as photochromic and thermochromic inks that would react to the new cleaning methods, a message of reassurance can be seen on the fabric surface while boarding but then disappears once the passenger is settled. Turning the invisible visible and creating a graphic interface to communicate a message of reassurance supports the airlines’ brand messages around hygiene and safety.”

Also interesting to note is the dropping of the ‘class’ connotation. The design company suggests that the notion of ‘class’ is outdated, and instead renames the different products as either ‘rooms’ for J and ‘zones’ for economy.

What do you think of the post-pandemic business class concept? Let us know in the comments.