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EOS Airlines: Clearing the Decks for Space and Comfort



With a goal of grabbing the coveted high end of the European travel market, New York-based EOS Airlines has made a commitment to luxury and comfort on a grand scale.

The airline has removed most of the seats from their fleet of 757s to allow passengers to recline, or to reconfigure their seats for meetings and conferences, and they have added a host of amenities and services not offered by other airlines.

The goal of EOS Airlines has been to create the ultimate in luxury airliners, flying between Kennedy and Newark airports and London's Stanstead.

Their spacious 757s have been converted from carrying the usual two hundred and twenty down to just forty-eight passengers. The idea is to provide the individual (or group) traveler with "uncrowded, uncompromised" comfort.

Big luxury, big price

Comfort, however, does not come cheap. A round trip to London costs about $3400. When you compare this to the cost of a business-class ticket, (which is much more on many routes) it's quite a bargain, because business class does not eliminate the lines and general airport hassle, as Eos can do.

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While flying into London travelers will be able to take advantage of the free premium car service included on some flights, which will take them just about anywhere including the SAS Radisson Hotel where they can enjoy the privacy of a free day room to rest up and shower compliments of EOS.

"Ït's not what you add, it's what you take away," said Jack Williams last year to an industry conference audience of travel professionals. Williams spend two decades running American Airlines, and in this new role of CEO of a vastly different kind of airline, he takes a much different approach.

"The things like long waits for security, hassles and lines at the gate, and trying to cram baggage into overhead luggage bins...these are things people hate, and Eos aims to avoid these things, these discomforts of modern travel."

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Positive Surveys

Williams added that his focus at Eos has been on what they can do, not what the competitors are doing, and that he is a big believer in surveys, asking nearly every Eos traveler what they thought about the experience.

"We have gotten as high as 86 percent 'net promoters' which means that they become evangelists for our service. They tell friends, relatives and associates, and they rave about us. Harley Davidson motorcycles, for example, rates just below Eos in this 'net promoter' scale, and that means we've got a lot of people out there raving about Eos!"

"From the moment you arrive at the airport, until you reach your final destination, our representatives will be there to make sure that your journey is effortless. Our porters will help you with your bags and our representatives will guide you through security to our lounge, and gate," they say on their website.

"After landing, we'll ensure that you clear Immigration and Customs with ease and escort you to your ground transportation."

There are also lounges placed within the airport to provide passengers with all refreshment while waiting for their flight. Each lounge features free buffets with hot and cold food or snacks as well as complimentary cocktails, and internet access.

You get your own bed

Upon entering the plane you will be shown to your own "suite" which consists of twenty-one feet of personal space, an entertainment system, a fold-out table, electric outlets and many other amenities.

Each suite has its own seat that easily converts to a fold-down bed, equipped with down comforters, a Tempur-pedic pillow, and Bose noise-canceling headphones.

When it comes time to bed down the company takes pride in "the details."

"It's the details that count," they say. "of course we provide the basics like eye masks, slippers and a toothbrush, but we go that extra step and provide you with a full sleepwear suit so that you can arrive at your destination rested and wrinkle-free." .
And a superb meal!

Good food is important to most travelers. On EOS passengers are given a full menu featuring "four-course gourmet meals, served in an elegant presentation." They also have a range of wines, beers, and cocktails.

Breakfast is also served in the morning or, if you choose to sleep in, they will provide a continental breakfast. Passengers can eat alone in the privacy of their own "suite," or they can invite over a neighbor or fellow traveler to dine with them.

With the multiple fold-down tables it is easy to enjoy dinner with a friend or even conduct business meetings while in flight. There is a frequent flyer program called "Club 48" Which allows passengers to accumulate miles for free tickets for future flights.

A flight to remember

For passengers whose top priority is comfort and luxury, E05 is the logical choice. For those more concerned with economy, it probably isn't.

E05 has a 97 percent customer satisfaction rating, which indicates that they take the time to think about the small things that really matter to many travelers. At present, the schedule is limited to transit between NYC, Newark, NJ and London. But the airlines hopes to add more destination in the years to come.

So if you are looking to sit back and enjoy a twenty-one-foot spacious "suite" on your next trip to London, E05 might be exactly what you are looking for.

Megan Cross is a hospitality major at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.

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