Everyone will agree that flying is exhausting, especially if you’re stuck in economy class on a long-haul flight. Many airlines are struggling with this issue and trying to make longer flights more comfortable for their customers. And some, like Air New Zealand, are pushing the envelope by creating economy bunk beds.
Getting Comfortable in the Skynest
How would you like to get some good sleep on a 17-hour long flight? It sounds impossible, when you’re twisting and turning in a seat. Fortunately, that could all change. Air New Zealand has filed a patent application for their Skynest solution. A sleeping pod that will allow economy passengers to rest and stretch out during long flights.
They’ve been working on this design for over three years, and the results look pretty amazing. One pod has six beds on three different levels. And no, the beds aren’t tiny. In fact, they’re 200cm long and 58cm wide. You’ll also get a pillow, blanket, some sheets, and even earplugs. You might also expect a privacy curtain and USB ports.
Auckland to Newark Inaugural Flight
It’s no coincidence that the airline is presenting this particular innovation right now. The Skynest is meant to make passengers more comfortable on one of the longest flights in history, Auckland, New Zealand to Newark, New Jersey, USA.
That’s right, the first 17h 40m long flight will take place on October 29, 2020. This is an anticipated alliance between Air New Zealand and United Airlines. And it’s an attempt to mimic the success of their current non-stop flight from Auckland to Chicago.
How Would Air New Zealand Sell Skynest?
Skynest sleeping pods sound like a great idea, but does this mean you have to stay in them for the entire flight? Truth is, the airline has yet to address all the logistics involving their revolutionary concept. But you’d likely be booking them for just a certain number of hours.
Also, there are still no indications of how much booking the pod will cost. It might not be very cheap, but since it’s created for economy class, there are reasonable expectations that it won’t be too expensive.
And if you’re wondering where the sleeping pods are going to be situated on the plane, you might have to wonder a bit longer. Air New Zealand has not disclosed the presumed location of the Skynest, but it’s probably going to be between the economy cabins, where the toilets and bar carts usually are.
Skycouch Is Here, Why Not Skynest?
Air New Zealand already uses the Skycouch, another economy class upgrade that turns a row of economy seats into – a couch. This is a very popular feature for couples and families traveling together. But you can have it all to yourself as well.
The downside is that the Skycouch isn’t as long or as wide as the Skynest beds are going to be. However, it’s still too early to tell if they’ll become a reality. Pending on the performance of the Auckland-Newark flight, the final decision about Skynest will soon be made. And who knows, if it works out for Air New Zealand, other airlines will copy the concept.