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Which Airlines Will Be Getting Which Upgrades in 2012

January 24, 2012 at 1:30 PM | by | ()

It seems that a good number of airlines have decided to use this brand-spanking new year to freshen up their cabins and revamp service offerings. With a few recent announcements from various global carriers such as Cathay Pacific, Brussels Airlines and Virgin Australia, 2012 will be the year to make air travel look snappy and smell fresh...again. Here's who's doing what:

· AirBerlin:
As the second largest German air carrier and a member of Oneworld, Air Berlin will be upgrading the entire long-haul fleet of Airbus 330s. New business class seats that recline to just about flat and thinner, more user friendly economy seats will be aboard their planes. The new interiors will be ready for the summer travel season.

· British Airways:
With all our hoopla from recent BA flights, it seems that the airline is not only upgrading service. Starting at the front of the plane a few years ago, overhauls have finally made it to World Traveler Plus and World Traveler. That's premium economy and economy for the uninitiated.

World Traveler Plus gets seats colored an inviting warm blue. To sit back and enjoy the flight, passenger have a personal TV screen that is about 60% larger, boasting heaps more offerings for on demand entertainment. The seats recline a bit more so it might make long-haul a bit more bearable.

Sporting clean lines and calming ambiance, the WT cabin has been brightened up with white and cool colors. All seats will have USB ports for personal device connectivity which includes a charging station. New touchscreens with increased movie and music selections are also on hand.

· BMI:
Following their new owners suit, BMI is refitting cabins all over their fleet. A wide and comfy new seat in the front of the plane and a sleek new brown leather seat in the back are part of the offerings for both long and short-haul. New photos were dropped with a little help of their Instagram account.

· Southwest:
A little closer to home, the Dallas-based carrier has freshened up their cabins with a bit more professionalism. Southwest is continuing to offer an all leather seat, the colors have been updated, but still sport the blue and beige. One great feature is a bulk-head logo that has a bit of shine to it. More details on all this right here.

· Thai Airways:
We have always been impressed with the sparkly livery of Thai Airways, and now we have more to look forward to in the cabin. Additional premium and economy seats, personal entertainment screens and power outlets are all due in this year. Not only is the airline upgrading the long-haul seats, but they are planning on introducing new catering tools such as induction heating units and espresso machines. The move is part of the "every seat in every class of service" upgrade.

· Virgin Atlantic:
With some bright new in-flight service, Virgin Atlantic is modernizing their cabins as well. The cheeky airline will be getting new planes and new seats on old planes. Not only is the in-flight look being changed, but they have decided to refurbish clubhouses across the network, starting with NYC. Details have not been announced, but we are sure there will be lots of fanfare when it happens.

· United:
Finally, United has gotten into the game. Stressed with acquiring Continental's entire fleet, UA has decided to spruce up the cabins and in-flight experience. All planes will add economy plus seating and will be consistently branded.

Their signature p.s aircraft will offer lie-flat beds flying from NYC to San Fransisco and Los Angeles. The older 767s will get WiFi-enabled entertainment and overhauled premium cabins to align the 2 fleets.

All of these new announcements gives us even more reason to hop on a plane and with all of these changes, there is a good change you can park yourself in a brand spanking new seat.

[Photo: British Airways]

Archived Comments:


Rumor on the street is that Delta is finally updating the interior of the 747.


Rumors are only good when they involve updated jumbo jets. 2012 seems to be the year of the dragon and the fresh new aircraft cabins.