Airline unveils Skynest bunk beds for economy class passengers

Editor’s note. The Monthly Pass is CNN’s travel series that highlights some of the most interesting topics in the travel world. In June, we will take to the skies to see the latest developments in aircraft interiors, including the people who are working to change the way we fly.

(CNN) – For the first time, economy class passengers will be able to get some sleep in real beds during the flight.

Air New Zealand has announced its Skynest concept, which includes six full-size sleeping compartments, to be included in its new Boeing 787 Dreamliners due to enter service in 2024.

Each sleep pod will be located between the Premium Economy and Economy cabins and will include a full-size pillow, linens, ear plugs, a reading light, a USB port and an air vent. The capsules are stacked like bunk beds, in two rows of three beds each.

An Air New Zealand media spokesperson told CNN Travel via email that the airline is still working out the exact details of how the pods will be booked, but offered a few ideas of what that might look like.

“At this stage, each passenger will be limited to a four-hour session in one capsule at an additional cost compared to their regular seats in economy class,” the spokesperson says. “The airline has done a lot of research on sleep cycles. A typical sleep cycle is about 90 minutes, so a four-hour session gives clients the opportunity to calm down, fall asleep, and wake up.”

Bed linen will be changed between each session.

With Air New Zealand operating some of the longest flights on the planet, the beds provide a welcome respite for travelers who can’t sleep sitting up.

In September 2022, Air New Zealand will launch direct flights between Auckland and John F. Kennedy Airport in New York. Flight time? 17 hours, making them the longest scheduled passenger flights in the world.

“New Zealand’s location provides us with a unique opportunity for ultra-long haul travel,” said Air New Zealand CEO Greg Foran.

“We focused on sleep, comfort and wellness because we know how important it is for our customers to arrive well rested. Whether they’re heading straight to a meeting or heading to their first holiday destination, they want to get down to business without delay. .”

New offerings include the Business Premier Suite.

The new Air New Zealand cabins will also feature Business Premier Luxes for added privacy.

Air New Zealand

Creating innovative new seating concepts is the easy part. Lifting them into the sky is a long and complicated process, including a lot of tests and government approvals.

CNN Travel first reported on the Skynest concept back in early 2020, when the airline filed for patents and trademarks after three years of research, development and testing based on feedback from over 200 customers at the Oakland store.

As noted above, it will be another two years before Skynest is…


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