New First Spaces Seat Could Rival Etihad’s First Apartment

Designer Seymourpowell has come up with a new ‘First Spaces’ interior for the Airbus A380 that could rival the most revolutionary and luxurious first class seat in the skies.

It doesn’t quite offer as much space as Etihad’s ‘beyond product’ The Residence which even offers a private shower onboard.

Etihad’s The Residence Bedroom

The idea is akin to the First Apartment onboard Etihad’s Airbus A380s, but instead of a separate seat and bench that folds out into a bed — with some passengers complaining that the seat doesn’t really recline much — the seat here does turn into a bed so offers an in-between lounging mode.

Etihad First Apartment

And the concept is to offer both single rooms and double rooms.

Here’s the proposed First Spaces Airbus A380 upper deck layout:

And a rendering of the seat:

The idea goes beyond just the hardware to build technology into service.

Powell also says this alternative cabin arrangement will demand a new, more personalized air travel experience. He believes technology can provide solutions.

“There is a whole confluence of technologies emerging which allow a new level of service,” he says. “Because passengers travel frequently, we can build a picture of what they like: their favorite drink, their food preferences, etc.”

With a digital passenger profile prepared in advance, and crew equipped with digital devices, a trip services schedule can be adapted to suit each passenger’s preference. Flyers can easily modify their menu of services, digitally, from inside their private suites.

Here’s a video of the product:

Ever since Etihad introduced its First Apartment, Emirates has talked about updating it’s circa-2007 suite with a new concept that has yet to be released. A year ago it was supposedly ‘in final stages’ though we’ve heard very little in terms of specifics, mostly just platitudes that it would be like a private rail car with room service (something they already offer). This could be their ticket to an offering competitive with their Abu Dhabi-based rival.

(HT: Andreas R.)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

More articles by Gary Leff »


  1. Interesting. Too bad they can’t make it modular — to convert from 1 to 2 person compartments depending on the demand for each flight! They also need space somewhere for the shower . . .

  2. assuming the middle “cabin” is a double, how the heck does window person get out when the beds are lie-flat?

  3. @Rapid Travel Chai now that they’re going to lose so many passengers from the Alaska Airlines devaluation, they can afford to have fewer seats in the cabin!

  4. The Seymourpowell firm is famous for hoaxes involving fantastical but unrealistic designs to get media attention and publicity (e.g. the link below about the Seymourpowell Aircruise airship). Is there any reason to think any airline has any actual interest in this? Or is Seymourpowell just looking to attract attention to themselves again?

  5. Last thing I’m interested in is to shower on a plane. I haven’t bothered to shower in the business and first class lounges either.

  6. @Wco81:

    What great insight and such a valuable contribution to the the discourse. This blog is clearly meant for you, and I’m sure your input will be of great value to Gary.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *