Airline News Roundup: Awesome New Business Class Seat, ANA Offering Self-Service Baggage Drop & More

LOT Polish Airlines Reveals New Seats:

Hot on the heals of their announcement of multiple new routes, LOT has given Business Traveller a peek at the news seats to be installed on their 787 Dreamliners before the end of the year.

Here’s a taster of the Business Class offering:

LOT New Business Class Seats

With the new routes all being flown using 787s, and all starting in 2016, you can expect these to be the seats you will be booking if you plan to fly from Warsaw to Tokyo, Bangkok or Seoul next year.

Qantas Sydney First Class Lounge Getting A Larger Dining Room

The Qantas first class lounge in Sydney is, without doubt, one of the best airport lounges in the world – it’s definitely a favourite of mine – and now it’s getting a little bit better.

According to Australian Business Traveller, “an additional ‘bay’ of the first class lounge has been converted from general seating to dining tables, adding around 30% more capacity

Anyone who’s enjoyed the great food at the lounge (and seen just how busy it can get a peak times) will be very happy with this development. There’s something satisfying about walking into the Qantas lounge and having an à la carte menu with no prices presented to you – but it takes some getting used to, I kept half-expecting to get a bill the first few times I visited!

Qantas First Class Lounge Sydney

View from the Qantas first class lounge in Sydney with the city in the distance

ANA Offering Japan’s First Self-Service Baggage Drop Service

ANA have announced the introduction of Japan’s first self-service baggage drop (initially for domestic departures) at Tokyo’s Haneda airport. Starting 1 July 2015 passengers will find the baggage drop facilities alongside the self-service cheek-in terminals at the airport.

ANA Baggage DropImage courtesy of ANA

According to the press release “ANA plans to install a total of 39 self-service baggage drop machines by the end of 2015, which will mark the greatest number of baggage drop systems in one airport in the world.

As an added bonus, the new baggage drop system will be able to cope with more than Japanese. English, traditional Chinese, simplified Chinese and Korean are the other languages that can be used.

I’d like to see more airlines introduce this kind of technology. I’ve often wondered at the inefficiency of a system whereby passengers can check themselves in but still need to get in line to see an airline employee to check in a bag.

The New Business Class Seat That Let’s You Lie Flat For Take Off And Landing

This heads the list of things I wish airlines would hurry up and install.

Australian Business Traveller is reporting on a new business class seat, designed by B/E Aerospace (the company behind Qatar Airlines’ new business class seat), which would allow you to lay down flat for take-off and landing.

Screen Shot 2015-07-01 at 14.46.18

More pictures available at Australian Business Traveller here.

The seat was spotted in a US patent application this week and is described as being “designed to permit the passenger to take a lie flat position before takeoff [and] would permit the passenger, if desired, to go to sleep even before takeoff.” – that’s genius!

Forget about things like showers in planes, this is what airlines should be installing (assuming it works!).

The technology behind the idea sounds pretty simple and is clearly based on protections systems that are currently found in cars – air bags. The seat is surrounded by air bags which, BE claim, would provide a properly restrained passenger in a lie flat position “greater protection against injury”.

Importantly, the airbags can adjust to whatever position the bed/seat is in:

In accordance with a fuether embodiment of the invention the air bags are selectivly inflatable and deflatable as the seat moves between the lie flat position and the upright seating position.

I’d love to try this seat out. As a business class passenger you’re almost always one of the first passengers to board and, often, you can be in your seat for 40 minutes to an hour before the plane takes off. Being able to get on an overnight trans-Pacific or trans-Atlantic flight and then to be able to get to sleep (or at least lying down) immediately would be great.