Travel Trends | Crystal Cabin Awards 2018

Air travel is in a constant change. The competition above the clouds has never been more intense than in this century. Check out the hottest of the latest innovations and visions for current and future inflight experiences showcased at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg in April. All of them wooing for the prestigious Crystal Cabin Award 2018.

Airspace by Airbus

Copyright Airbus

After being introduced with the launch of the beautiful Airbus A350, the more spacious and futuristic interior concept has been modified to fit the manufacturer´s other models, such as the A330-Family and the narrow body A320s. In my eyes a wonderful approach to provide a contemporary and stylish inflight experience even on domestic flights. I´d say two thumbs up!


Rockwell Collins´Cabin Lighting

RockwellCollins_Secant Luminous_Concept Visualization
Copyright Rockwell Collins

LED-lighting was the trend of the millennium for aircraft cabins. The next step is presented by Rockwell Collins who´s vision is to exceed the customer experience by offering more than just changing colors or color schemes: Why not covering the ceiling with pictures of distant solar systems or secluded white sandy beaches? The new “Secant Luminous Concept Visualization” takes passengers on a visual journey. The new lighting system could be deployed on any surface inside the cabin, creating multiple scenarios and possibly reducing the fear of flying. Great idea in my opinion.


Inflight VR – An unrestricted view on Inflight Entertainment

Copyright Inflight VR

Something that I personally have an issue with (but which surely will be the next future entertainment trend) are those Virtual Reality “glasses” that are actually being tested by my company and Air France. While it is already difficult to work on an aircraft where everyone is busy with his mobile device and wearing huge head sets, I cannot imagine poking 330 people to ask what they would like to drink or eat…. Questionable, but probably unstoppable.


Thales InFlyt 360

Thales InFlyt 360
Copyright Thales

Order your food and drinks online via your in-seat television or your handheld mobile device? Not a bad idea, I think, as it helps particularly those passengers stuck at the window or in a middle seat to stay refreshed and hydrated during the flight. It might also eliminate that (from time to time) a bit irritating sound of the service bell in the cabin. To provide everyone with the flight experience that she/he is looking for to have.


Aerofoam Armrests

Aerofoam Armrest
Copyright Aerofoam

We all know the fight about the space in Economy Class, don´t we. And there have been numerous attempts to solve this problem, yet most of them have always failed due to the lack of compromise between seat neighbors. Aerofoam´s vision of dual armrests may help to finally ban the quarrel about whose elbow is on whose part of the seat. And together with the integrated privacy shield/side headrest  a possible enhancement in the main cabin. Btw, those lengthened headrests are already available on selected Etihad Airways flights equipped with the new Economy Smart seat!


Haeco Noise Cancelling Headrest

HAECO Noise Cancelling Wave Headrest
Copyright Haeco

Not a bad idea, but in my eyes a questionable outlook is the seat supplier´s vision of a foldable headrest that can cancel off any disturbing surrounding noises from your environment, particularly when traveling in Economy Class. While it does offer extra comfort on long distance flights (especially during the night), most people travel with their own pair of headsets these days. So I am not sure wherever the investment may pay off for the airline in the end. What is your opinion?


Singapore Airlines Suites

Copyright Singapore Airlines

After Etihad Airways had raised the bar by introducing its ultra-luxurious suite accommodation called “The Residence” on the Airbus A380 and the “First Suite” on other airplanes such as the B787, it was just a matter of time until Singapore Airlines was poised to present their interpretation of premium air travel for the future: A flying hotel (double) room with all the exclusive amenities and services one could expect from a luxurious five-star premise. I would not mind to snooze in those linens, would you?


QSuite by Qatar Airways

Copyright Qatar Airways/PriestmanGoode

The national airline of Qatar emphasizes another ongoing trend with its brand new business class suite: The possible faint of a first class cabin in the future. Designed by London-based agency PriestmanGoode, the QSuite is a multipurpose seat product that can be changed from a single to a double or quadruple layout and therefore being an adequate environment for a group or a family. Everything in the privacy of an own compartment with sliding doors and retractable screens. Probably one of the most exclusive business classes in the air presently.


Jamco Lavatory Solution

Copyright Jamco
Copyright Jamco

Standing in line for the washroom on a long distance flight can be quite a tricky and nerving thing, both for crew and passengers. Particularly when some people seem to stay inside forever, just as if they had checked-in into their private little wellness retreat. Japanese manufacturer Jamco has found a fabulous solution to the problem: Separating the sink and baby changing table from the toilet and creating a multi-functional area that not only speeds up the entire process of going to the bathroom, it also opens the possibility of increasing general hygiene by making each section more accessible to the crew to tidy up on a regular base. In my eyes, the most innovative project with the customer profiting the most! Well done, Jamco!

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