NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Singapore Airlines is introducing what it says is the first airline double bed to its business class cabin, but while it expects to attract couples with the feature, it hopes those couples will use the beds for sleeping and cuddling only.
|Singapore Airlines says its new business class seats can become the first airborne double bed.
"The seat's designed to provide a feeling of privacy, but you're in a cabin with 28 other passengers," said airline spokesman James Boyd. "To say it's designed for intimacy implies more than what we intend. I'm sure our passengers will be more than appropriate as they always are."
Dubbed by the airline "SpaceBed, " the seats allow passengers to fold them down and lay nearly flat, creating a sleeping area 78 inches long and 27 inches wide. Since the business class seats are paired up directly next to one another, couples can turn the adjoining seats into the equivalent of a double bed that is about 4-1/2 feet wide.
There is also a screen that can be raised between the two seats if a passenger wants privacy from his or her seatmate.
There are even larger fold-down seats available in First Class on Singapore Airlines and its competitors, but these seats are not close enough to one another to allow a double bed. Boyd said competitors' business class sleeper seats do not fold as flat as Singapore Airlines seats, which, he said, prevents them from being considered a double bed.
"Typically when you look at business class seating, the sleep position is a derivative of the sitting position -- it always keeps you in cradle position," said Boyd. "What we're trying to accommodate is a number of different sleeping patterns during a 14-hour flight -- on your side, on your back, on your stomach or moving around between positions."
Singapore Airlines began deploying the seats on its 777 jets this summer. They were introduced on the airline's key San Francisco/Seoul/Singapore route Tuesday. The seats are set to be included on all of Singapore Airlines' North American routes by the middle of next year.