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What Is the Value of a Suite Door in an Aircraft Cabin?

February 13, 2024
Osman Dadi
Suite doors can provide three unique experiences in Business Class on an aircraft: privacy, service deterrents, and for blocking light. I noticed examples from recent JetBlue and other flights.

My October 2023 flight on JetBlue’s A321LR Mint herringbone business class seat really made me wonder about the value of having a Suite Door at your seat in a Business Class cabin.

On that aircraft and cabin, the suite door is advertised as a hallmark of this Mint configuration type. However, by virtue of seats on this aircraft facing inwards, there was always a view towards anyone in the hallway, clear visibility and even light going over the top.

JetBlue also made huge strides in the passenger experience when it first launched Mint with the A321 throne suite seat, and that feels truly private as a remarkable contrast!

I thought I’d write some thoughts on what I find valuable in Suite Door design.

Suite doors can provide three unique experiences on an aircraft:

  • Privacy
  • Service Deterrents
  • Blocking Light

Suite Doors For Privacy

Many seats that offer suite doors, although advertised as private, really aren’t all that private only by virtue of a closed door.

For example, JetBlue’s reverse herringbone suites on the A321LR is an excellent example. The doors are several inches shorter than the side walls, and you can see everyone walking down the aisle…

… and they can see you, too!

Some suite doors are extraordinarily well designed for privacy. For example, Oman Air’s suites in First Class.

These doors feel truly private and screened off. They also act as a service deterrent, but you’ve got a service button on call if you’d need anything!

Suite Doors As A Service Deterrent

Though some of us love the experience of flying (raises hand), I’d say that’s a minority camp. I’d say most travelers don’t really savor the journey, and they often prefer to be left alone.

A suite door can also act as a service deterrent, for those wanting to stay undisturbed for their flight unless requested.

Some suites come with “Do Not Disturb” lights for this explicit purpose, which turn the suite door a different color entirely.

The Flight Attendants will avoid service at your seat unless requested.

Suite Doors For Blocking Light

In my humble opinion, this can be the most useful feature of a Suite Door,

When it’s designed correctly, the suite door can block cabin lighting coming in from windows, as well as for blocking light going to/from other passengers around you.

This also works for those who like to keep the windows open – this is the minority camp, and I am admittedly in it! My Delta One A330-900neo flight shows an example where keeping the door open let in far more light into the aisle.

I cannot stand keeping windows fully closed for the whole flight – especially when you’ve got these views!

Like, come on, people! This is passing over Hunts Mesa, Arizona on my JetBlue flight.

It’s also weird to me that most people like keeping themselves in pitch black conditions on flights, something they rarely will tolerate in any other time.

Final Thoughts

I generally don’t book Business Class exclusively for the purpose of suites with doors.

If available, I’ll definitely try to snag one that’s window facing every time!