What’s the latest trend in air travel? Flying cubicles! The office cubicle may epitomize a lack of space and no privacy – but when you put a cubicle on an airplane, all of a sudden it’s a luxury. What I’m talking about are chest high partitions surrounding your seat so you can actually have a modicum of privacy on long flights. We read about this in Newsweek magazine. United Airlines is installing them in their first class section with features that would make the office-drone Dilbert green with envy. United is calling their glorified cubicles “First Suites” and they include on-demand digital video, movies, music and games. a 15 inch flat screen TV. an iPod plug. a power plug for laptops. and a seat that folds down to a 78-inch bed. Hey, even I could lie down!
American Airlines is calling their cubicles “pods” – and they’re hard-shelled privacy screens that surround the first class and business class seats – and they’re hyping their cotton duvets that come with their fully reclined, lie-flat beds. And a lot of these new flying cubicles also come with amenities like extensive wine-lists and noise canceling headphones. The airlines are trying to appeal to business people who travel often and will pay more for an upgraded seat and experience. The funny thing is – these are the same folks who wouldn’t be caught dead in a cubicle on the ground.