If you’re the type of traveller who can’t sleep on flights because, well, you’re stuck in cattle class, you’ll want to sit up for this one.
Sweet dreams are made of these
Air New Zealand has unveiled a game-changing prototype of lie-flat sleep pods for Economy Class passengers. Dubbed the Economy Skynest, these sleep pods allow passengers flying in coach to stretch out and get some shut-eye.
Each Economy Skynest accommodates up to six full-length bunk beds. Each sleep pod measures 200cm in length and 58cm in width at the shoulder area, and will include a full-sized pillow, sheets and blanket, ear plugs, and will come with privacy curtains. Air New Zealand says it’s exploring other features such as USB outlets, ventilation outlets and a separate reading light.
Sounds like a dream come true?
Here’s where we gently prod you awake from those sweet dreams and back to reality. The Economy Skynest will not be in operation on flights anytime soon. In fact, the airline will make its final decision on whether to operate the Economy Skynest in 2021, as well as which routes the Skynest will be made available on, only after it has assessed the performance of its inaugural year of Auckland-New York flight operations.
Details on how the sleep pods will be sold remain up in the air. But Air New Zealand tells 8Days.sg that "the Economy Skynest is sold separately from an Economy Class seat. Passengers travelling on long haul international routes will be able to book the Skynest in addition to their Economy seat – it is designed as a pod passengers go to during the flight and they will still have their Economy seats separately for the other portion of the flight. However, there is still work to be done on design development and reviewing the commercial feasibility of having the product onboard."
This isn’t Air New Zealand’s first rodeo when it comes to innovative concepts
Currently, the airline offers Skycouch seats in Economy Class (above), which lets one or two passengers book an entire row of three seats that can be converted into a couch. The seats are the same as Economy Class seats, but come with a footrest on each seat that can be lifted halfway as a footrest, or all the way up to create a large couch space.
Skycouches are available at an additional fee on top of an Economy ticket, and prices depend on demand as well as the number of people using the Skycouch. One person occupying the entire Skycouch pays more than if it were to be occupied by two people. A quick check shows that Skycouch seats are sold for an additional $999 (one-way) for one person on a flight between Singapore and Auckland.