British Airways brings back luxury travel
Airline passengers who are lucky enough to turn left when they board an aircraft will find the sort of luxury reminiscent of travel in the 1920s when they next fly British Airways from London to Chicago.
The self-styled 'World's favourite airline' has unveiled its new first-class cabin on the route from Heathrow, giving passengers what it claims is an experience similar to flying in a private jet.
In addition to large, comfy beds, passengers travelling in First will get leather-bound writing desks that convert into dining tables, individual wardrobes, 15-inch TV screens and electronic blinds.
Each first-class suite comes with a second seat so couples or colleagues can dine together.
British Airways' multi-million pound first-class upgrade, which is currently only available on Boeing 777 flights from London to Chicago, is considered by many airline analysts to be a brave but risky move.
There is uncertainty that BA will be able to fill all its First seats as demand for premium travel has been severely dented by the worldwide recession and more particularly the banking crisis.
Figures from the International Air Transport Association shows the number of passengers flying first and business-class is down 20 per cent year on year.
Australian carrier Qantas announced earlier this month that rather than continuing to chase the increasingly elusive premium class passengers it was stripping out two-thirds of its first-class seats to make way for more economy seats.
Passengers buying flights direct from all scheduled airlines should consider buying Scheduled Airline Failure Insurance, which is sold as an optional extra to standard travel insurance policies.