Are Doors On Business Class Seats A Big Deal?

Are Doors On Business Class Seats A Big Deal?

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We’re increasingly seeing airlines introduce business class seats with doors, which is something that most travelers are happy about. Of course we all have different preferences when it comes to seating arrangements, and there’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. Some people even prefer older generation business class seats.

In this post I wanted to discuss the general trend of airlines adding doors to business class seats. I wanted to talk about the criticism I see of airlines that have seats with doors, and share why I appreciate them.

The odd arguments against business class doors

I can totally appreciate if someone were to say “I don’t really care about doors at business class seats, and I don’t use them when they’re offered, so I’d rather airlines invest in their premium products in other ways.”

However, almost every time that I write about an airline introducing a new business class product with doors, there’s a comment along these lines (this one is from a post yesterday about Air France’s new business class seat):

I don’t understand this obsession with doors. I mean, if you need privacy on a plane that badly, what on earth are you doing in your seat?? And if you need privacy so much, then why do you fly commercial? Clearly, your only solution is to rent a private jet. Then you can have all the privacy you want.

Somehow the narrative gets flipped to the point that it’s suggested that people are “obsessed” with doors, and that if they have such a need for privacy they should fly private jets. That’s quite an escalation, no?

Apparently one can’t just be appreciative of an incremental product improvement that makes the passenger experience a bit better. To be clear, I’m not trying to call out one specific comment here. Rather I just find the anti-door crowd frequently tries to create a narrative around peoples’ obsession with doors, when I don’t think that exists.

In the above quote you could just as easily replace doors with direct aisle access, flat beds, etc.

Oh my gosh, such a beautiful door, I’m obsessed! <3

Why I like doors at business class seats

Personally I appreciate business class seats with doors. Am I obsessed with doors? No, I’d like to think I’m not. Do I choose an airline exclusively because a business class seat has a door? No.

Then again, typically if an airline does have doors on business class seats, it also means that it’s a cutting edge product otherwise. Last I checked, all business class seats with doors have direct aisle access and are fully flat.

Why do I generally appreciate business class seats with doors? If you ask me, the two biggest luxuries in business class are personal space and privacy. There are limits to how much “real estate” will be allocated to each seat, and therefore airlines are focused on more efficient configurations that create the feeling of having more space.

And that leaves us with privacy. Privacy doesn’t mean that you can’t have anyone see you because you’re trying to join the mile high club or because you’re a drug runner. Rather to me, privacy means the ability to minimize the extent to which you’re disturbed by others. This can come in a variety of forms:

  • We all have different sleeping patterns and quirks, and personally I rest much better if I’m in a cozy space where I feel like I have a cocoon, and am not having to look at a stranger (or feel like a stranger may be looking at me)
  • You’re less impacted by other people turning on their lights or using a bright entertainment screen when you have a door
  • We’ve all had some pretty annoying seatmates (whether they talk to you nonstop, look at your computer screen, etc.), and that’s less of a problem if you have a seat with a door
  • If you’ve ever been in a staggered configuration, surely you’ll appreciate that if you’re in the seats closest to the aisle you may otherwise frequently get bumped by other passengers, and that’s not an issue when there’s a door
  • With many of us being more conscious of avoiding getting sick when traveling, having a door does add an extra layer of protection, even as air travel mask mandates are lifted
  • The beauty of a seat with a door is that you can just keep the door open; there is a little more built in privacy just due to the shield to the side of the seat, but that shouldn’t make the seat claustrophobic

While some people may not like these doors, the reality is that a vast majority of passengers do. How do we know? Well, if you’ve taken a flight that has a business class cabin with doors, you’ve probably noticed that a majority of passengers use these doors. Presumably they wouldn’t use them if they didn’t like them. At least that’s my experience, though maybe others have different observations.

British Airways now has business class seats with doors

Bottom line

I totally understand that not everyone cares about doors on business class seats. I get it. Heck, even when I take my dad in international first class, he doesn’t like to recline his seat, but rather likes to sleep upright, as that’s just his preference.

I do have a preference for seats with doors over seats without doors. That simply comes down to me finding it cozy to be able to close a door and relax. It seems that most people feel similarly, based on passengers overwhelmingly using their privacy doors when they’re available.

Where do you stand on business class seats with doors — are you “obsessed,” do you like them, are you indifferent, or do you dislike them?

Conversations (79)
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  1. Avery Guest

    It's a luxury and a privilege to have and they provides more privacy. If available, then I'll use it. Obsessed? No.

  2. Gina B Guest

    I had a friend who was sexually assaulted in business class while sleeping. The doors would make it far more difficult for a predator to fondle a sleeping passenger.

  3. Peter Guest

    It'd be great to have Business Class doors in all airlines! Hope all airlines will have those doors soon.

  4. Sunny P Guest

    Never thought about doors until I flew Qatar business class and now I think I need doors! Haha

  5. al Guest

    @lucky, interesting article here. Just a quick point: How does a door add another layer of protection in not getting sick? If you have a standard 1-2-1 configuration, it would seem to me that you probably have the same chance of catching something from your neighbor.

    The only exception to that might be Emirates new first class and Air France first class. Otherwise, I would imagine you're risk of catching something from a fellow traveler...

    @lucky, interesting article here. Just a quick point: How does a door add another layer of protection in not getting sick? If you have a standard 1-2-1 configuration, it would seem to me that you probably have the same chance of catching something from your neighbor.

    The only exception to that might be Emirates new first class and Air France first class. Otherwise, I would imagine you're risk of catching something from a fellow traveler is largely a product of the configuration (i.e. 1-2-1 vs 2-2-2) having nothing to do with doors

  6. Jethead Guest

    I’d rather have the extra two inches of personal space (stowage, seat width, etc.) that the doors use up.

  7. Cecil Guest

    I prefer business class with doors. I’ve already experience it and i just love the extra privacy it gives. I was disappointed with my last flight back home because there’s no doors

  8. Jon M Guest

    When I travel with my wife I hate the First Class cocoons we like to sit together close, which means we have to fly economy and buy a whole row.

  9. Morris Guest

    I am... pro door. Thank you.

  10. Bells Craig Guest

    As a neurodivergent person I see this pattern quite frequently... People who are neurotypical and who do not have direct access to interacting with neurodivergent people tend to have a belief that their point of view is the correct one and that everybody else is wrong... Neurotypical people who have direct contact with neurodivergent people don't to seem to see the world in such stark black and white points of view where their view is...

    As a neurodivergent person I see this pattern quite frequently... People who are neurotypical and who do not have direct access to interacting with neurodivergent people tend to have a belief that their point of view is the correct one and that everybody else is wrong... Neurotypical people who have direct contact with neurodivergent people don't to seem to see the world in such stark black and white points of view where their view is correct and everybody else is wrong.

    As a neurodivergent person who's grown up in a world where neurotypical people have told me time and time again how I "should" be doing things... It's really obvious to me when somebody is asserting that their way is the correct way and then if anybody else needs to do it a different way that there's something wrong with them.

    I think your article very clearly brings up a parallel to this issue.

    Why is it that somebody is so heavy-handed that they believed that if they don't need a door nobody should need a door and then if somebody does need a door it means that they're so high maintenance that they should just save up their money and get a private jet... This is exactly the kind of egocentric thinking that limits so much of the progress we could be making as a species.

    As a neurodivergent person I absolutely relish the idea of a door on an airplane to be able to isolate myself from other people. I am very friendly and gregarious and people often mistake me as an extrovert, however I'm actually very extremely introverted. I'm only interested in interacting with people on my own terms because otherwise I've become very overstimulated. Being in an airplane is incredibly grueling because most of the time there are strangers nearby that are being disruptive or highly interactive when my stress levels are already so high that what I really need is to just hunker down.

    The wonderful thing about doors is that you have the option of using them or not using them... But if there is no door you do not have the option of using one.

    It baffles me to no end when people make sentiments that parallel this: I am on a diet and therefore I cannot eat cookies and therefore nobody else should be able to eat cookies either. ‍♀️

    So somebody doesn't want to have a door for whatever reason and so they're going to try to shame anybody else who would want to use a door? That's somebody with some serious "power dynamic" issues...

    A lot of people who are in a power dynamic are completely apoplectic about other people exerting their free will especially in a way that doesn't actually affect The people experiencing the power dynamic frustration.

    "I don't believe in XYZ so nobody else should have access to it"... Is the opposite of free will.

    Thank you for reading this far

  11. James Jackman Guest

    I recently had the chance to try out Qatar Airways Q-Suite in march of this year when I flew from Manchester to Doha and it was an amazing experience.

    I really appreciated the sliding door and the do not disturb mode although I am not usually one for privacy as I usually fly in Ecconomy class on average during my trips abroad 99.9% have been in either Ecconomy class or premium Ecconomy.

    I grabed a...

    I recently had the chance to try out Qatar Airways Q-Suite in march of this year when I flew from Manchester to Doha and it was an amazing experience.

    I really appreciated the sliding door and the do not disturb mode although I am not usually one for privacy as I usually fly in Ecconomy class on average during my trips abroad 99.9% have been in either Ecconomy class or premium Ecconomy.

    I grabed a great deal when I flew with my parents last time as it was only £600 in one way which meant there wasn't much difference to ecconomy as it was almost as expensive to go with my usual.

    I really love flying and I hadn't flown on qatar since 2003/2004 so it was great to see how much they have progressed over the years.

    As for do care about doors separating the suite the honourest truth is yes and no I dong mind if its a standard seat as long as its reasonably conformable for the lengh of time I am flying.

    If I where to come into some serious amounts of money then I would happily buy a luxury business jet, however since Iam not made of money than the Q-suite is the next best alternative.

    I hope this helps awnser some of your questions.

  12. Alex Guest

    I would appreciate a door in business, but my demand is relatively more simple. I dont want my neighbour look at my drooling face when I sleep. So just a small privacy separator is fine.

  13. Sir Digby Chicken Caesar Guest

    When staying in a hotel, I strongly prefer to have a room with a door. And a comfortable, flat bed. And air conditioning, or at least a fan which is for my use only. Ideally, there is also ample storage, a tv to watch, and decent food on the room service menu. It’s the same with a flight, particularly an overnight one…

  14. Zoom Guest

    I've been making my own 'door' on Etihad flights for years. I carry an extra sarong with hair elastics tied to the corners. One end loops over the light, the other over the coat hook. It gives me a little more privacy and means other people's lights don't disturb me.

    1. Sel, D. Guest

      Way to turn biz class into a shanty town

  15. Dumb dumb article Guest

    Kind of a silly argument.

    If you want privacy that badly, rent a private jet?

    Do you know how much it is to fly in a private jet? Most people flying in business or first got their ticket paid by the company they work for.

    Having a little privacy is fine. Why write such a time wasting article complaining about it?

    Ask yourself. Would you want to have curtains or no curtains in...

    Kind of a silly argument.

    If you want privacy that badly, rent a private jet?

    Do you know how much it is to fly in a private jet? Most people flying in business or first got their ticket paid by the company they work for.

    Having a little privacy is fine. Why write such a time wasting article complaining about it?

    Ask yourself. Would you want to have curtains or no curtains in your bedroom? If you crave privacy so much, why not live on the mountains where nobody can bother you

    1. TM Member

      Did you read the article? Judging by your comment, it looks like you read as far down as the user comment that Lucky quoted and then skipped to the end to leave a dumb dumb comment.

  16. Alexf1 Member

    I'm waiting for the PhD @eskimo

    I see your point. I guess another way to put it is that people will use gimmicks if they're offered, but it doesn't stop it being a gimmick which could be replaced by something less gimmicky that would have greater value to the gimmick.

    Are doors gimmicks? Perhaps not but then I'd rather a seat I can sleep on with sufficient legroom without a door than tiny...

    I'm waiting for the PhD @eskimo

    I see your point. I guess another way to put it is that people will use gimmicks if they're offered, but it doesn't stop it being a gimmick which could be replaced by something less gimmicky that would have greater value to the gimmick.

    Are doors gimmicks? Perhaps not but then I'd rather a seat I can sleep on with sufficient legroom without a door than tiny foot well with door.

    I wonder how much airlines see a door as a way to cover-up other important features that are missing...

  17. Irene Guest

    Mostly what I want on a plane is some moving air. I have been on many flights recently where there are no individual air vents and even one flight still during covid when the air vent barely blew any air and the airlines were proclaiming how good the air circulation was. Most of the flights I have been on in the last year have been hot and stuffy.

  18. Andy Diamond

    I think the doors are mainly an advantage in a staggard layout, e.g. on QR. The staggard layout without doors has seats which are very exposed to the aisle and many people bump into you while you are sleeping, e.g. on IB - which has virtually the same seat like QR but without doors.

    In the (reversed) herringbone layout I don't see an advantage.

  19. Patricia Guest

    I like the door because it blocks out light, but it does get a little too warm when the door is closed. Overhead vents are hard to reach, unless you are in a window seat.

  20. Watson Member

    Doors are a marketing gimmick. Airlines need to invest in a J product where I don't have to squeeze my feet into a tiny little cubby and bang my shin every time I roll over.

    One additional observation no one else has made is that on seats without individual air nozzles, closing the door can make the air quite warm and stuffy, as it reduces airflow.

  21. Chris Guest

    I really do not get the doors. Like Lucky I am really disturbed by light in my sleep, but the few times I've used seats with doors they really do not help with that very much, as the doors are so low that most light still comes in from above. Simple curtains like used for the business class seats used as pilot rests would be a lot more useful to me.

  22. Billiken Guest

    Great post, Lucky. Team Door here. Doors are great. I love the additional privacy. All the door haters can just leave your doors open or go fly Emirates business.

  23. Carrie Member

    I am conflicted as I do feel a false sense of security when leaving my possessions in an enclosed suite to visit the loo, bar, another seat .... and I do enjoy not being knocked when asleep but I equally appreciate a sense of space (which is a paradox when flying in a relatively small metal tube) and how else am I able to see what my fellow passengers are feasting upon .... which is possibly the reason for other passengers loving doors!

  24. Eskimo Guest

    This is the one time I think @Lucky is really missing the point.
    The argument IS “I’d rather airlines invest in their premium products in other ways.”
    BECAUSE “I don’t really care about doors at business class seats”
    BUT “I 'DO' use them when they’re offered”

    -"if you’ve taken a flight that has a business class cabin with doors, you’ve probably noticed that a majority of passengers use these doors.
    Your...

    This is the one time I think @Lucky is really missing the point.
    The argument IS “I’d rather airlines invest in their premium products in other ways.”
    BECAUSE “I don’t really care about doors at business class seats”
    BUT “I 'DO' use them when they’re offered”

    -"if you’ve taken a flight that has a business class cabin with doors, you’ve probably noticed that a majority of passengers use these doors.
    Your statement would be reasonable if you've taken flights without doors and see passengers makeshift a door, or cabins without doors are empty on the same route that offers a door i.e. JFK-CDG DL suites are full, AF are empty.

    Do these doors give privacy, probably a little. Mostly a false sense of privacy.
    However, if most people never really question why the bathroom stalls in America have huge gaps. I guess for Americans, if there's a door it's considered private enough regardless of how huge the gap is.

    1. Alexf1 Member

      I'm waiting for the PhD @eskimo

      I see your point. I guess another way to put it is that people will use gimmicks if they're offered, but it doesn't stop it being a gimmick which could be replaced by something less gimmicky that would have greater value to the gimmick.

      Are doors gimmicks? Perhaps not but then I'd rather a seat I can sleep on with sufficient legroom without a door than tiny...

      I'm waiting for the PhD @eskimo

      I see your point. I guess another way to put it is that people will use gimmicks if they're offered, but it doesn't stop it being a gimmick which could be replaced by something less gimmicky that would have greater value to the gimmick.

      Are doors gimmicks? Perhaps not but then I'd rather a seat I can sleep on with sufficient legroom without a door than tiny foot well with door.

      I wonder how much airlines see a door as a way to cover-up other important features that are missing...

    2. Eskimo Guest

      @Alexf1

      That's part of what I'm saying. A few example of a more useful gimmick are the USB ports, Personal screen, and air nozzle.
      The other important part is people mistakenly associate having a door as privacy. You missed this, so no PhD for you.

  25. Steve Guest

    I like the idea of a door if it works well and doesn’t take up more of my space. But priorities in evaluating business class is having a large enough footwell to comfortably sleep, and to be able to turn over/get out of the seat easily when in the bed position (I’m tall and have big feet!). Everything else is just an extra.

  26. BailsfromOz Guest

    I don't about other seats, but I flew Qsuites last week on a 14hr flight, and it was amazing. The doors gave a sense of enclosure and meant that even if you had a seat close to the aisle you felt cocooned from the through traffic. I will be seeking out Qsuites or similar for all future long distance flights.

  27. Chris N. Guest

    Recently flew on British Airways in the new Club Suite with doors. What a disaster! My door came off its track immediately after takeoff and got stuck with just a small amount of space that I could use to wedge myself out. Five crew members were involved at various times throughout the flight, all trying to fix the door to no avail. I'm sure service suffered for the rest of the business class passengers as...

    Recently flew on British Airways in the new Club Suite with doors. What a disaster! My door came off its track immediately after takeoff and got stuck with just a small amount of space that I could use to wedge myself out. Five crew members were involved at various times throughout the flight, all trying to fix the door to no avail. I'm sure service suffered for the rest of the business class passengers as a result.

    Before landing, I had to leave my seat for safety reasons to move to another. We flew Iberia home without doors and it was altogether a superior experience (in part because we had seats in business near the windows which offer more privacy).

    I think doors are a gimmick but acknowledge they are becoming a "must-have" in the war for business class passengers.

  28. Endre Guest

    I, too, believe doors in business class are unnecessary.

  29. Jesper Guest

    Doors are fine, no doors are also fine.

    When flying in the Q Suites, it is more often the crew closing the door than me.

    The privacy "issue" for me is mostly when in the middle section of a 1-2-1 configuration, or on a 2-2-2 configuration, can you create some separation between those seats.

    But to be honest, I have had very interesting discussions over dinner and drinks in the old and less private J...

    Doors are fine, no doors are also fine.

    When flying in the Q Suites, it is more often the crew closing the door than me.

    The privacy "issue" for me is mostly when in the middle section of a 1-2-1 configuration, or on a 2-2-2 configuration, can you create some separation between those seats.

    But to be honest, I have had very interesting discussions over dinner and drinks in the old and less private J configurations with people I never met before, and sometimes I can miss that.

  30. hp12c Member

    Doors are necessary to separate everyone's farts

  31. Hobbs Guest

    I don't need a door. Give me personalized service with a smile. I've experienced QR Qsuites and BA Club World suites. If QR replaced my door with a see-through shower curtain, I'd still choose that over BA's offering.

  32. Antarius Guest

    The issue with the doors is that the majority of the seats have this tiny foot compartment and getting in and out requires needless contortionist positions.

    I'd rather have space, like the JAL Apex Suites or the Cathay Zodiac Cirrus seats.

  33. Angela Guest

    As a woman who often travels alone overseas, the doors are an extra layer of protection in addition to privacy. I also don’t have to worry about someone reaching for my purse or carry-on with my passport, etc. I love the doors also because I am a light sleeper and it is far easier with a door to keep other passengers talking, clicking on pads or macs, or snoring from interrupting my quiet. I vote yes for the doors!

  34. Stephen Guest

    I flew First on Swiss, lied down, closed the doors and noted that every single person walking by could look right down at me. Dividers are not high enough for doors to make that much difference. High dividers and well arranged seats make more of a difference for privacy.

  35. Ray Gold

    Basically you are determining the price of a Business Class seat with a door is cheaper than a few visits to a psychiatrist to deal with your feelings people want to watch you sleep. I do wonder what episode in your lives created that in you.

  36. Darren C Member

    #1 Reason for me: so I do not get hit by someone else's backpack, luggage, sweater, etc. while fully reclined.

    #2: Increase the odds the flight attendants respect our desire to be left alone. Turning our backs and leaving the "do not disturb" lights on do not always work.

  37. Raymond Guest

    I am glad that I am not the only one that doesn’t understand what the big fuzz is all about those flimsy doors. I appreciate a flat bed on an overnight flight but I don’t need a door to box me in. Upgrade the food instead. That is what makes the difference for me on any flight.

  38. Crosscourt Guest

    I'm finding these seats to be claustrophobic. So awkward to move when legs go into the "tunnel" below the TV. Giving me anxiety thinking about it.

  39. Creditcrunch Gold

    Doors are very much for me something I value, my guess J seats will get full length privacy screens in the next evolution, along with the eradication of F in favour of the Jet Blue model of having a few larger J options at the front of the cabin for a price.

  40. CXP New Member

    I love the added privacy the doors provide, especially for sleeping. Def a plus. What's even better? Door all the way to the ceiling ;-)

  41. Lukas Guest

    What I dislike about doors is that they tend to make the cabin darker and block out natural light if you fly in the middle section (which I often do). Even with the door open, I feel a tad more claustrophobic. Also, if they reduce seat width, I would just prefer a wider seat.

  42. Marc Guest

    I have had the pleasure of numerous long-haul Qatar flights with the door and I must confess it really does add an extra layer of comfort. While I would not pay a premium for the feature I certainly would prefer a flight that included a door. What’s my comfort level, the fact that I am not distracted by other passengers and crew walking by, thereby giving me a much improved quiet zone.

  43. Lin Guest

    I love the door if you are referring to Q-Suites. That is why Emirates is a hit behind for business class. First class is different level and awesome with the private door and space. Only exception is Cathay business...they have good service and food that still ahead of qatar

  44. Donna Diamond

    I’ve only flown DL with doors twice but I loved them each time. I like the idea that I can take a nap without having to police up my phone or other valuables and put them away for fear that they can get taken while I’m asleep. And yes, even people in J have had their stuff disappear in flight, myself included.

  45. Skyward Geek Member

    One thing the privacy on board argument misses is it's absolutely possible to have a private suite-like seat without a door, provided the seat selected is aligned and placed in such a way you never stare into someone else's face.

  46. jcil Guest

    I don't get the obsession with doors either, but they seem to be on their way to becoming a standard feature with most airlines.

    However, what is more interesting to me is what will be the next feature to follow doors? We have gone down a fairly long list of items that were at one time novel, but are not any more--angled flat, lie-flat, direct aisle access, individual and larger and larger lcd screens, worthless...

    I don't get the obsession with doors either, but they seem to be on their way to becoming a standard feature with most airlines.

    However, what is more interesting to me is what will be the next feature to follow doors? We have gone down a fairly long list of items that were at one time novel, but are not any more--angled flat, lie-flat, direct aisle access, individual and larger and larger lcd screens, worthless amenity kits, wifi, and PJ's (and probably others I can't think of off the top of my head.

    It's probably not the next, or even after the next, thing, but I think we are headed towards private charter and business jets. In the F100 company I worked for, all the VP's and above refused to fly commercial in any class unless it was a TPAC flight that the fleet of corporate jets didn't have the range for. For a TPAC flight they would even take the corporate jet to a gateway city, so only the longest flight legs were commercial.

    This feature cannot be driven by the airlines though (they are by nature commercial), but rather by the vanity of all the lucky souls flying on OPM that want to be able to one-up their office peers and satisfy their personal egos.

  47. brianna hoffner Member

    Also, in the rare-but-still-happens event that they board the whole plane thru the front door, at-seat doors could offer you a modicum of privacy during that time... But like JetBlue won't even let you close the doors until you're above 10,000 ft.

  48. Rich Guest

    I was a no-door person until I took my first business class flight with a door (Q suite). I left it open for the first 5 minutes and then it stayed closed the whole time (DOH-JFK) . I'm a convert.

  49. Airfarer Gold

    I have yet to understand the point of them. Perhaps trying to turn business into first and then PE into business. This has happened a couple of times in my traveling decades. If I'm awake I don't care and if I'm asleep I care even less.

  50. Julian Guest

    I don’t understand this obsession with doors. I mean, if you need privacy on a plane that badly, what on earth are you doing in your seat?? And if you need privacy so much, then why do you fly commercial? Clearly, your only solution is to rent a private jet. Then you can have all the privacy you want.

  51. Steve Diamond

    I am not an environmentalist nor am i deeply concerned with climate change but even i think doors are a waste of weight and fuel. Plus it just seems like its one more thing that can cause a maintenance delay. I do enjoys the doors in J but i would not miss them at all if they took them out or stopped adding them to cabins.

  52. reddargon Gold

    It's more that I don't really understand what all the fuss is about. Do I think they're worse than no doors? No. Do I think they deserve the attention that they get? Also no.

    And the comparison to aisle access and lie flat is a little bit disingenuous, wouldn't you say? Those features are both huge upgrades in terms of comfort on a flight. A door is, at best, a very incremental upgrade. The way...

    It's more that I don't really understand what all the fuss is about. Do I think they're worse than no doors? No. Do I think they deserve the attention that they get? Also no.

    And the comparison to aisle access and lie flat is a little bit disingenuous, wouldn't you say? Those features are both huge upgrades in terms of comfort on a flight. A door is, at best, a very incremental upgrade. The way some people talk about doors, you'd think they were on the same level, but it's just not the case.

    I also don't understand the "added privacy" part. Prior to flying a product with a door, I thought it would be cool and a bigger deal. Then I flew Delta One and the door broke halfway through and stopped closing and... I didn't notice a difference. And this is *especially* the case when sleeping, because in almost every business class seat your head is already in the "shell" part of the seat so you're blocked from seeing out, with or without a door, unless you really crane your neck. In which case you're probably not asleep anyway. And there's still no roof so light is not prevented from coming in the top of the seat--you still would want to wear an eye mask either way.

    1. reddargon Gold

      I should also add that, with respect to the new Air France seats, adding the door requires that the seat become more closed off from the aisle. In the current seats, when sitting upright, you can clearly turn and see across the aisle. In the new seats, it looks like you'll have to lean forwards to do see across.

      I may be in the minority here, but I prefer to sit across the aisle from...

      I should also add that, with respect to the new Air France seats, adding the door requires that the seat become more closed off from the aisle. In the current seats, when sitting upright, you can clearly turn and see across the aisle. In the new seats, it looks like you'll have to lean forwards to do see across.

      I may be in the minority here, but I prefer to sit across the aisle from a travel partner in reverse herringbone than next to them in the middle. I find it easier to converse, plus someone gets a window, and the last few flights we've taken our infant so it's easier on that front too so we don't have to go around to the other aisle (I admit this last part is more of a niche reason). Anyway, I still don't think doors are worse but the point is that there are reasonable arguments that they could be in some instances or for some people.

    2. Dick Bupkiss Guest

      You nailed it, I agree 100%.

      Nobody said doors are bad (that's a straw man argument). But this blog is clearly, weirdly, obsessed with doors, for some reason that has never been convincingly articulated. It's like there's some weird fetish.

      Doors, schmoors. I could not care less about doors, and most people I know feel the same. Why not focus on things that actually matter? For example, in the post on the new Air France...

      You nailed it, I agree 100%.

      Nobody said doors are bad (that's a straw man argument). But this blog is clearly, weirdly, obsessed with doors, for some reason that has never been convincingly articulated. It's like there's some weird fetish.

      Doors, schmoors. I could not care less about doors, and most people I know feel the same. Why not focus on things that actually matter? For example, in the post on the new Air France seats, there is no mention whatsoever about the foot-cubby space (looks painfully small to me from the photos), no mention of how WIDE that lay-flat seat is at the shoulders, torso, and hips -- all of which will absolutely make or break seat comfort, and the ability to really sleep. That stuff matters. A lot. A door? No. That's just silly -- and weird.

  53. Andrew Gold

    To those arguing against doors on business class: try an aisle seat in business on the EK 777, or an aisle seat in many of the other 'space efficient' 2-3-2 business class configurations. My last flight to DXB some guy needed to stand in front of my monitor to stretch his legs. That crap should be impossible, but as tight as they put the seats to the aisle, it's a realistic scenario. I also *hate*...

    To those arguing against doors on business class: try an aisle seat in business on the EK 777, or an aisle seat in many of the other 'space efficient' 2-3-2 business class configurations. My last flight to DXB some guy needed to stand in front of my monitor to stretch his legs. That crap should be impossible, but as tight as they put the seats to the aisle, it's a realistic scenario. I also *hate* people who walk down the aisle bumping into me. A door seems like an adequate safeguard to make sure that won't happen.

    And sure "fly first or private, then" works for people who can take a random Tuesday off for an award flight, but for those of us that pay for these seats to make it fit our work schedule need to make it work within a $3-7k budget, not some $30k allocation for a flight.

    1. NFSF Member

      Are there any crummy 2-3-2 products *with* doors?

  54. AGrumpyOldMan_GA Gold

    I have not flown on a business class product with doors yet, but I love the idea. Why? Like you, I am introverted and so if I can close the door, it gives me that sense of isolation, even if it is true isolation, that I prefer. I am booked in a roomette on Amtrak this summer and I am looking forward to having my own little space where I can separate myself off from...

    I have not flown on a business class product with doors yet, but I love the idea. Why? Like you, I am introverted and so if I can close the door, it gives me that sense of isolation, even if it is true isolation, that I prefer. I am booked in a roomette on Amtrak this summer and I am looking forward to having my own little space where I can separate myself off from everyone else (it is just me, my wife has zero desire to spend the night on a train, and will fly in for our vacation). Plane....train....pod-type seat in a lounge. I like that separation from others. As for people not liking them? Fine. You are right...they can leave door open if they want. Why do so many people expend so much energy worrying what other people do?

  55. Clem Diamond

    I also don't care for doors at all, or at least not in their current state which overall barely qualifies as a door. I love the curtain in Air France La Première, which is true privacy, but that's the only seat that offers that along with the new Emirates first.
    If there is a door, I'll close it just because but I certainly won't miss it if it's not there.

  56. Cedric Guest

    I'm not against doors as long as everything else is great. Doors don't make up for crappy service, crappy food, etc. I think airlines find it cost next to nothing to add doors to a design while getting a big marketing boost as an extra feature. I also want the middle seats to have some sort of partition that you can lower to see your significant other. AF's new C class looks like it ticks all the boxes on that front. UA/AA/DL

  57. Cdsfrog Guest

    I don’t sleep on any plan no matter how good the business class. Honestly I don’t care about privacy or doors. For those who don’t sleep well regardless it’s a useless thing to overpay for. For those that can sleep sure I could see it being worthwhile. Still a good seat, with door and crappy service/food is worse imo than average seat/ no door with excellent food and service.

    People hate Icelandair business class. My...

    I don’t sleep on any plan no matter how good the business class. Honestly I don’t care about privacy or doors. For those who don’t sleep well regardless it’s a useless thing to overpay for. For those that can sleep sure I could see it being worthwhile. Still a good seat, with door and crappy service/food is worse imo than average seat/ no door with excellent food and service.

    People hate Icelandair business class. My service was good, food was good and the price was unbelievably cheap (2700 for 3 SEA to KEF).

  58. Chris Guest

    Ideal business class IMHO:
    1. Lie flat seat with room for feet while sleeping
    2. Seating surface that isn’t a barely dolled up hard metal seat pan
    3. Catering that isn’t like going to a party the host can barely afford
    4. PJ’s
    5. Clean
    No doors needed. If peeps look at my screen, they will be bored.

    1. Bao New Member

      I'm indifference to the door. Qsuites have them and I almost never close them. But when I'm in BA biz class 2-3-2 config and have an isle seat, I always wish for a door. LOL

    2. Bao New Member

      Sorry, I didn't mean to reply to your comment. Oops

  59. Stefan Guest

    I have flewn Qatar’s 787-9 two weeks ago and that’s the first time I’ve ever been on a plane where business class has doors. I have to honestly say: I loved it! Why? Because of the (privacy thats added) sleeping situation - I never cared about doors before but after that flight I think it adds so much more confidence for sleeping. Especially you really feel like in a cocoon and you dont get distracted...

    I have flewn Qatar’s 787-9 two weeks ago and that’s the first time I’ve ever been on a plane where business class has doors. I have to honestly say: I loved it! Why? Because of the (privacy thats added) sleeping situation - I never cared about doors before but after that flight I think it adds so much more confidence for sleeping. Especially you really feel like in a cocoon and you dont get distracted and disturbed at all by anything/anyone in the aisle. Especially during a day flight when a lot of people “moving” around (I was on DOH-BER) and can be a bit annoying - with that door I didn’t recognize anything that happened in the aisle

  60. Mike O. Guest

    At the end of the day, we're all in a tube together and someone can easily look over you if they wish. Now for my preference, I like CX's Business and First class seats along with Air France's First. With CX, no door, but just the right amount of privacy and openness. And for Air France, I prefer a curtain to a door similar to what you get in one of the dayrooms in CX's The Pier F lounge.

  61. Chris Guest

    I don't really care (though I leave them open). But I can't understand why people celebrate an airline removing overhead bins "to prevent the cabin from feeling claustrophobic" - thus ushering in all sorts of other problems - yet then they love a flimsy plastic panel on their little space in order to...make it feel a bit more claustrophobic?

  62. DenB Diamond

    Doors won't prevent all stupid internet comments, so they're completely useless.

    1. DenB Diamond

      ...and anyone who prefers them is a moron

    2. betterbub Member

      Only you can prevent your stupid internet comments!

    3. DenB Diamond

      It's kinda depressing when the people one actually likes and respects don't get one's jokes and even "report" them as "inappropriate". Ben's article was mostly about doors and partly about exaggerated assertions in comments. I attempted a fun take on that. No humour, ever, just to be safe?

    4. Eskimo Guest

      @DenB

      Americans lost it when trying to be critical about being politically correct.
      You can ask comedian Chris Rock or Dave Chappelle about how Americans handle jokes these days.

  63. mdande7 Gold

    Like you said I like them when sleeping. I don't feel like someone is staring at me. When awake I usually keep it open

  64. Jonathan Guest

    Honestly, I am indifferent. Unless its floor to ceiling like some first class suites, I really don't feel it offers much more in the way of privacy. I can still see people walking by and people can still look in as they walk by, so it doesn't feel like I have more privacy. I don't mind the doors, but if they were uninstalled tomorrow I wouldn't complain.

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Chris N. Guest

Recently flew on British Airways in the new Club Suite with doors. What a disaster! My door came off its track immediately after takeoff and got stuck with just a small amount of space that I could use to wedge myself out. Five crew members were involved at various times throughout the flight, all trying to fix the door to no avail. I'm sure service suffered for the rest of the business class passengers as a result. Before landing, I had to leave my seat for safety reasons to move to another. We flew Iberia home without doors and it was altogether a superior experience (in part because we had seats in business near the windows which offer more privacy). I think doors are a gimmick but acknowledge they are becoming a "must-have" in the war for business class passengers.

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Jesper Guest

Doors are fine, no doors are also fine. When flying in the Q Suites, it is more often the crew closing the door than me. The privacy "issue" for me is mostly when in the middle section of a 1-2-1 configuration, or on a 2-2-2 configuration, can you create some separation between those seats. But to be honest, I have had very interesting discussions over dinner and drinks in the old and less private J configurations with people I never met before, and sometimes I can miss that.

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Raymond Guest

I am glad that I am not the only one that doesn’t understand what the big fuzz is all about those flimsy doors. I appreciate a flat bed on an overnight flight but I don’t need a door to box me in. Upgrade the food instead. That is what makes the difference for me on any flight.

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