Author Topic: Thomson Airways launches booth seats, couples' pods, snack bars, child-free zone  (Read 2536 times)

Offline admin

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Oct 08, 2014 21:30 By Nigel Thompson
Thomson, which takes five million Brits abroad each year, also plans to improve entertainment and bring in food and drink based around the destination

Family booths with facing seats and cosy pods for couples will soon be flight options for holidaymakers.

Thomson Airways also announced child-free zones, kids’ clubs and more legroom today as it unveiled a five-year plan to brand itself the “holiday airline”.

David Burling, boss of parent firm TUI UK & Ireland, said “Our overall goal is to make travel experiences special and, as the flight marks the start and end of the holiday, we see it as an integral part of the whole holiday experience.

"That is why we want to define and lead a new category of flying – the holiday airline.”

And Thomson Airways’ customer service chief Carl Gissing added: “We’ve also asked our customers what they want from a holiday airline to ensure we’re really adding value to their overall experience.

“Their insight and feedback has helped us develop many of the innovative new concepts.

“We want to integrate the holiday and connect the journey...making the most of your time at 42,000ft.”

Thomson, which takes five million Brits abroad each year, also plans to improve entertainment and bring in food and drink based around the destination.

Most of the changes will be ­introduced as the airline’s fleet of 47 new Boeing 737 MAX jets is delivered from 2018.

But family and child-free zones will be brought in from next summer, as will couples’ pods with wine coolers.

The airline also unveiled a new direct Dreamliner route from Gatwick to Costa Rica for 2015, and is planing to add flights to Vietnam, Malaysia and Caribbean islands including Antigua, St Lucia and Curacao at a later date.

The changes
* Zoning - in addition to seats with extra legroom on short to mid-haul trips, passengers will be able to book a child-free area on board, or a dedicated family zone. This service is due to start next summer.

* Booths - aimed at families and groups travelling together also on short to mid-haul routes, they will seat four to six people facing round a fixed table at the back of the plane, with space for kids to spread out and play games or draw.

* Duo-seating - pods for couples with more privacy and a central table for a wine coller will be available on short to mid-haul trips. An early version of this will be available from next summer.

* Kids’ club - a fully trained crew member will help parents entertain younger passengers with arts, crafts and quizzes that relate to the destination.

* Sleep - long-haul overnight flights inbound to the UK will get a Sweet Dreams service to boost rest, with a duvet and pillow service, comfort kit, hot chocolate and cookie before the lights go down - and as few announcements as possible.

* Technology - cabin crew HolidayMakers will have iPads to help customers plan their holiday on the flight there and pass on the requests - such as ordering bubbly for the room or restaurant reservations - with the resort team, or simply offer destination advice and recommendations.

* Entertainment - new content and channels will include a bedtime story channel for little ones, bespoke teenage shows, and the ability to view room upgrades, advance check-in, and select resort excursions through the state-of-the-art system.

*Food and drink - the airline has already announced free drinks in economy from this winter and it will now theme on board meals by destination - so on long haul expect Mexican tacos, Mauritian curries or Jamaican jerk chicken. Drinks will also be in keeping, with passengers being offered the likes of rum punch on Jamaica flights and a margarita for those heading to Mexico. And the airline is looking at a Beach Snack Bar for premium economy travellers on long haul flights to grab a bite and drink and mingle with other holidaymakers.

Offline charlatanefc

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No doubt these seats will be heart attack inducing prices

Offline Roar of the Rovers

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Well dont book them then

Simples really

Offline bedouin

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Some good ideas there, but the stark reality of airline operating costs means that "more room" equals "higher fares", and perhaps for everyone, not just the ones booking "family booths" or "cosy pods".  Child-free zones would be welcome, but if you're in the last row of the child-free zone I guess you wouldn't detect much difference.

Offline SheilaW

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Seriously bad idea to introduce free alcohol nowadays, I'd have thought, especially on planes.

Offline Roar of the Rovers

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I think they should introduce a moaning free old fogie section and just let us get inebriated