Recently you’ve heard often from airlines that they are cutting first class products and services from their aircraft, but that still leaves many with a competitive business class cabin. When people say that “business class is the new first class,” the statement is becoming more truthful each day. Lie-flat seats, designer amenity kits, and multi-course meals are now as common in business class as they are (or were) in first. But one small item is slowly making an emergence in business class, one that has always been thought of solely as a first class staple: airline pajamas.
Airline pajamas have, up until now, been given out to those flying first class on international airlines like Singapore, Lufthansa, Thai, or Emirates. They’re provided to the passenger so that they can relax while onboard without having to wrinkle their own clothes, or to allow them to get that full night’s sleep more comfortably.
But times are changing; as airlines roll back those first class cabins, passengers who fly in business class expect the same level of service and amenities. So airlines like Qatar Airways, Qantas, Virgin Atlantic, and All Nippon Airways (ANA) are now providing pajamas to passengers in the business class cabin. But are these pajamas as good as the first class offerings out there?
Qatar Airways gives all their passengers in business class a set of pajamas on long-haul flights. With a high amount of two-class aircraft (all their 777 & 787 aircraft are two-class only) it makes sense to provide an “almost first class” product in business.
The pajamas are a light grey material and extremely spacious. When you add in the comfortable socks (which have gripping pads on the bottom so you don’t slip around the cabin floor) and a nicely-padded eye mask, your time in the land of nod should be pretty well-settled.
Qantas offers business class pajamas on all of their long-haul overnight flights, of which they offer quite a few. The Qantas business class pajamas are designed by Peter Morrissey, a famous Australian fashion designer, who has had a long relationship with Qantas – even designing their previous uniforms. After having spent two weeks in New Zealand with these PJs I have to say I like them more than their first class offerings. The color is a more subtle grey and the material is light and quite easy to move around in, perfect for onboard use (or after).
I was able to try some ANA pajamas first-hand earlier this year, but unfortunately you have to return them at the end of the flight. This was too bad, since I wanted to keep them, heck I would have even paid to keep them if it was an option – they were that comfortable.
The light fabric, in ANA’s iconic Inspiration of Japan blue, was truly comfortable and more akin to the kind that I would wear at home.
While testing out a pair of ANA’s first class pajamas (for a future review) I did prefer the business class offering, but that just puts more weight to the statement right? ANA does not offer first class on all flights, so being able to still get that tiny bit of first class while in business is pretty nice if you ask me.
As airlines blur the lines between first and business class, the expectations of passengers increase as well. Are the airlines who provide their passengers business class pajamas just trying to differentiate themselves from other carriers, or is this the beginning of a trend?
Do you know of any other airlines who offer pajamas to their business class passengers? Do you like what they provide? Tell us your thoughts.
| Malcolm Muir – Managing Correspondent
Mal is an Australian AvGeek now living and working in Seattle. With a passion for aircraft photography, traveling and the fun that combining the two can bring. Insights into the aviation world with a bit of a perspective thanks to working in the travel industry.
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