More 'z's on BA's new Club World
To give you more snoozing time, British Airways spared no small effort in ergonomics research when designing their new business class seat
The 'z' bed position? Another gimmicky term coined to make you think you are getting good rest on your flight?
Not for British Airways (BA) - the highlight of their new Club World sleeper seat is a culmination of serious scientific research and ergonomics consultancy.
The redesigned seat, which employs the latest technology and materials, is part of BA's £100 million (S$280m) investment to refresh and upgrade its business class services, in an effort to offer premium travellers greater comfort, privacy and flexibility.
It is adjustable to a 'z' bed position, which supports the knees and back whilst reclined. This provides for a seating shape similar to what the human body naturally adopts in zero gravity which is, according to BA, "excellent for relaxing or snoozing".
The good ol' fully flat bed position is now 64cm wide, 13cm more than its predecessor - a marked increase offered by new seat arms which drop to be flush with the rest of the bed.
Ergonomics advice on the elements of passenger comfort, from seat posture to the viewing of in-flight entertainment, was provided by Davis Associates. A variety of research techniques, including pressure mapping and sleep trials, was employed.
Beyond the seat, the new electronically-operated diving screen uses an innovative material, Lumisty, which is a first in commercial aviation.
It allows cabin crew standing in the aisle to see through it, but for those actually sitting in the seat, the screen appears opaque. The new material allows privacy, but gives cabin crew full visibility to identify and meet customers' needs.
The overall seat redesign is spearheaded by international consultants Tangerine, who created the original flat bed back in 2000.
Physical comfort and privacy aside, Club World will boast an audio and video on demand (AVOD) system, with 200 entertainment choices, including 100 films and TV programmes, 70 CDs and 20 games.
Contrary to common logic, BA will actually be able to house more business class seats in the newly configured Club World. Current aircraft have a 38-seat capacity but with the redesigned seats and facilities, this will be increased to 52.
When the entire BA fleet is upgraded, a total of 434 Club World seats will be in-service, a growth of eight per cent.
The new Club World is currently available here on flights BA11 and BA12, on the Singapore-London route.
The carrier, which also flies to Sydney from Singapore, hopes to have all local flights fitted with the new system by the end of 2008.
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