Airline unveils game-changing economy 'bed' for long-haul flights

Penny Burfitt
Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
Air New Zealand has unveiled game-changing sleeping pods for economy class flights. Photo: Supplied

Air New Zealand is shaking up the flying game with a revolutionary new feature that will allow economy passengers to stretch out flat on long-haul flights.

Any frequent flyer will be intimately acquainted with the stiff necks and sore legs that comes with 18 hours cooped up in economy class, and it looks like the airline has heard and responded.

Announced this morning, the ‘Economy Skynest’ is a stand-alone feature that includes six full-length lie-flat sleep pods intended to be included in the airline’s economy cabins.

The airline has today filed patent and trademark applications, and if all goes to plan should roll out the sleep-friendly option by next year.

Air New Zealand filed copyright and patent proceedings for the Air Nest economy concept. Photo: Getty Images

“A clear pain point for economy travellers on long-haul flights is the inability to stretch out. The development of the Economy Skynest is a direct response to that challenge,” Air New Zealand Chief Marketing and Customer Officer Mike Tod said of the groundbreaking feature.

If introduced permanently, the sleep pods would operate as an optional extra on the flights that economy customers could book and use in addition to their traditional airline seats.

“We see a future flying experience where an economy-class customer on long-haul flights would be able to book the Economy Skynest in addition to their Economy seat, get some quality rest and arrive at their destination ready to go,” General Manager of Customer Experience Nikki Goodman says.

The pods will include six full-length beds for ecomony passengers. Photo: Supplied

“This is a game-changer on so many levels.”

The claustrophobic may need to think long and hard before diving under the sheets however, the pods are planned to maximise space and measure a maximum of 180 cm in length, and 58 cm in width, with each unit housing six beds.

Safe to say travellers will be thrilled to stretch their legs on their next long-haul.

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