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Continental Airlines Lie Flat Seats

Fans of Continental Airlines, get ready to celebrate. The airline has announced details of a spanking new 180 degree lie-flat seat for you high rollers in the Business First cabin riding in the airline’s Boeing 757, 777 and 787 birds. I’m not sure why they’re skipping the 767 planes. Unfortunately, it will take a minute for the new seats to be configured and installed. You can look for the new lie-flat seats on Continental’s 777 aircraft, which are generally used to cross an ocean to a big city, in the fall of 2009. The 757’s will be retrofitted with the new seats beginning in 2010, offered on international flights to smaller destination cities. The new seats will be available on the new 787 aircraft as the aircraft are delivered.

“Continental continues to invest in its product to make flying more comfortable for our global customers,” said Larry Kellner, chairman and chief executive officer of Continental Airlines. “We created a brand-new seat designed to lie completely flat, without compromising functionality or effective use of cabin space.”

What’s it Like?

The new seats allow customers to lie completely flat, reclining a full 180 degrees and providing 6.5′ (2 meters) of sleeping space in the fully extended position. That’s cool, I just need 5.4′. You’ll get up to 25″ of width when the armrest is flush with the seat cushion as well. I love that there are pre-set controls on the seat. There are one-touch buttons for sitting upright, the cradle position and to lie flat. For a custom seating experience, you can tweak the seat back, lumbar support, leg and foot rests to your favorite position. Just like in your car.

Above your shoulder, you’ll find the laptop power, headset and USB plugs. That frees up some extra space for you to properly stow your gear for takeoff and landing. Each seat will provide iPod connectivity, so you can watch your own videos and jam to your own music, all while the iPod is charging. The 787 and 777 aircraft will offer a 15.4″ video monitor featuring on-demand movies, music and games. Seats on the 757 aircraft will have 10.6″ monitors.

The new Business First seats also have a six-way adjustable head rest, which seems a little much, an individual overhead reading light, an adjustable seat light and a privacy shell that allows for seclusion from other travelers. I’m a big fan of seclusion.

Continental currently operates the Boeing 777 on routes between Newark and Beijing, Delhi, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, London/Heathrow, Mumbai, Paris, Rome, Tel Aviv and Tokyo, and between Houston and London/Heathrow, Paris and Tokyo.

BusinessFirst on the Boeing 757 is currently offered on routes between Newark and Amsterdam, Barcelona, Belfast, Berlin, Birmingham, Bristol, Copenhagen, Dublin, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Hamburg, Lisbon, London/Gatwick, Madrid, Manchester, Oslo, Paris, Shannon and Stockholm.