Travel in the lap of luxury! As millions of Americans gird themselves for the long airport lines and packed planes forecast for Thanksgiving travel, the buzz in the airline business is about sweeping improvements for the privileged few who can afford premium fares. : At least four airlines have announced investments of hundreds of millions of dollars — not to relieve the cramped conditions in coach and improve the sometimes surly service, but to make first and business class on international routes even more luxurious. Rival aircraft manufacturers Boeing and Airbus say they’ve got it right as they’re planning to build jets that don’t give the airlines a choice on many of the amenities, such as bigger windows, that passengers say they want most. The improvements will appear first on Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner, the first of which is scheduled to be delivered to customers in 2008. The Dreamliner will bring the outside space into the aircraft!
From 2008, the newest planes will feature fresher air, soothing lights, and bigger windows. They’re even talking about such amenities as showers and bunk beds while admitting those are less likely to wind up in typical airliners. Not for the faint of heart, or faint of the pocketbook, these aircraft will have the ability to perform just as well as a full-scale mobile office or as a luxurious airborne retreat for a privileged few.