Air New Zealand has announced it is investigating the potential use of “Skynest” sleeping pods for economy-class travelers on some of its longest routes. The carrier has applied for a patent for what it is calling “Economy Skynest” which will contain six full-length sleep pods at 200cm long and 58cm wide each. There will be three levels of beds and two beds on each level. Each bed will include a pillow, sheets, blankets and possibly a USB charging point and reading light. Flights being considered suitable for the Skynest include the Auckland to New York service which will begin next year, a flight lasting 17 hours and 40 minutes.
The carrier has yet to give an indication of cost, but it will be in addition to the cost of an economy-class seat. Passengers will be able to book slots in the Skynest as opposed to booking one for the full flight, with cabin crew refreshing them with clean sheets, pillows, etc. on each changeover. As the Skynest is an optional extra for passengers, they will still retain their economy-class seat throughout the flight, even when using the Skynest. The airline would need to get it certified with regulators before passengers can expect to climb into the in-air beds. “But it was a prize worth chasing and one that we think has the potential to be a game-changer for economy class travelers on all airlines around the world,” said Kerry Reeves, Air New Zealand’s head of airline programs.
If the product proves popular, Air New Zealand has said it will consider licensing the Skynest to other airlines.Email Post to a Friend