Air New Zealand Considering Economy Class Bunk Beds
Sleeping in a bed while flying is usually something that you only expect in First Class. But some airlines have been testing out new options for Economy Class. Thomas Cook introduced a version of a bed in Economy last year. Now Air New Zealand has an even better idea. On February 26, the airline filed patent and trademark applications for the “Economy Skynest”, the result of three years of research, development and testing based on input from more than 200 customers at a hanger in Auckland.
According to Air New Zealand’s announcement, the Skynest will consist of six full-length lie-flat sleep pods in the Economy cabin. The exact location within the aircraft is yet to be confirmed. These things look more like bunk beds. Each pod will be about 6.5 feet long and 22 inches wide, and come with a pillow, sheets, blanket, ear plugs and privacy curtains. The airline is reportedly also exploring additional features such as reading lights and USB outlets. 22 inches is pretty narrow, over a foot less than the average twin mattress.
“A clear pain point for economy travelers on long-haul flights is the inability to stretch out,” says Air New Zealand chief marketing and customer officer Mike Tod in a statement from the airline. “The development of the Economy Skynest is a direct response to that challenge.”
Air New Zealand has yet to determine the price for this new offering and it is still not clear if it will make its way into production at all. The airline will not finalize their decision to use them until 2021. But considering that each aircraft will only have six of these pods available, you should expect a huge premium.