With the possibility of first- and business-class passengers boarding the double-deck Airbus A380 direct from their own lounge via airbridge to the upper deck, premium passengers can pay for the privilege of not having to mix with their economy-class fellow travellers at all.
This concept is being taken one step further by Airbus. Journalists visiting the mock-up of the A380 interior at its Toulouse facility were shown around a first-class cabin decked out with individual suites containing bed, reclining chair, table and in-flight entertainment.
When the door is closed a “Do not disturb” sign is illuminated and the occupant can spend the entire flight in isolation, interrupted only by deliveries of food and wine if desired.
Should they feel the need to socialise, however, there is a communal lounge area with a selection of armchairs and sofas and enough floorspace for a spot of ballroom dancing before dinner.
No airline customer for the A380 has yet revealed details of configuration or cabin layout, despite much speculation about gyms, beauty salons and cafeterias. In view of the latest delay to the programme, they have got a while yet to study the interiors catalogues.