New ideas from Teague, Zodiac Aerospace, Airbus, Virgin and more are leaving traditional cabin configurations in the dust. In “Class Concepts,” a multi-part feature originally published in the March/April issue of APEX Experience magazine, APEX Media examines this new wave of concepts that promises a total overhaul of aircraft interiors. Read the full feature here.
Here’s a riddle. What type of passenger does a boarding call for the Click Class bring to the gate? Answer: businesspeople – all of whom carry the same slim suitcase and belong to an exclusive class in Teague’s dream airline, Poppi. The suitcase, a symbol of membership, is designed to click into the bay of an aisle seat. It rejects the notion that amenity kits, mileage points, lavish meals and lie-flat seats are the only way to reward frequent flyers. “Loyalty in the airline industry is mostly a myth,” says Devin Liddell, principal brand strategist at Teague. “There’s a desire from passengers for airlines to behave as lifestyle brands.”
Click Class acknowledges the needs of a more economical business traveler who isn’t looking for traditional business-class luxuries; they value the seat-side storage and aisle seat that can keep up with their on-the-go lifestyle. Poppi even beats disruptive startups like Dufl and AirPortr to the race by delivering passengers’ bags to their hotels or alternative accommodations, offering travel without the burden of having your luggage in tow.
Sure, subscribing to Click Class could mean being stuck with a suitcase you may not like or packing less than you’re used to, but Liddell sees the benefits of a membership model. He offers the example of being a Starbucks Rewards member and not feeling intrigued to stray toward other coffee chains. “I ignore them all because I have bought into Starbucks and, more importantly, I have opted out of the competition.” Membership “is a perfect way for us to cement our relationship with passengers and for us to make the brand ownable for those people.”