All business class suites should have sliding doors, and I won’t hear otherwise. This is because they give privacy, are not an inconvenience (as some people say), and don’t even translate to that much greater cost for passengers.
We’ve had some controversial opinions here at DMARGE. We’ve said kids shouldn’t be allowed in business class. We’ve said road cyclists don’t look cool (going out on a limb there, I know). We’ve even said that floating breakfasts are not all they’re cracked up to be.
But today we have had what is, in our opinion, a fairly mild opinion. One that is quite hard to – from a passenger point of view – protest against. That opinion? All business class seats should have sliding doors.
Qatar Airways already has them (see: The QSuite), Delta has them (see: the Delta One Suites) and British Airways and Etihad are rolling it out. Air France also just unveiled a new business class with sliding doors, too.
But the rest of the pack have not yet followed, perhaps due to cost, and perhaps due to the fact that some business class passengers don’t appear to care whether or not their suite has a sliding door.
Some passengers have even complained (on online forums) that sliding doors are claustrophobic and not worth the extra cost (which the airline pays in installing them and which is then presumably passed on to the customer).
But when we look at business class suites like that on Singapore Airlines’ A380s, or Cathay Pacific, or Emirates, some of which can be turned into ‘love nests’ (internally, with the seat next to them), it seems absurd that there is no option for an outside divider.
Even if many business class passengers spend most of the flight with their sliding doors pushed back, they are a gold mine for making you feel safe and secure, and to give you privacy while you sleep. Above all: they are an option (not something foisted upon you, which you have to use).
They’re also not even that much more expensive. One way business class Sydney to London flights on Qatar Airways, for instance, on the 1st of August, are currently being sold for $11,052. There are also multiple other business class fares (from Sydney to London) that day for $7,300 on Qatar Airways (and on the days next to it) for $6,400.
A Singapore Airlines business class fare (which does not have sliding doors), one way, from Sydney to London, on the 1st of August, however, at the time of writing, costs $10,488 (there are also a couple for $8,063). Singapore Airlines also has a first/suites option for $11,000 or so. But from a passenger point of view, we would like to humbly suggest that they just add sliding doors to all their business class seats too…