Air New Zealand to offer bunk beds in economy class on long-haul flights
Economy flyers on Air New Zealand will soon be able to sleep better thanks to the new bunk beds that are being offered on long-haul flights. The beds will be available within a specially-designed cabin known as Skynest on Boeing 787 aircraft of the New Zealand national carrier.
The economy class sleeper pod, which the carrier describes as a “world-first cabin feature,” will have six bunk beds.
Designs of the cabin were revealed on 10 May and a real-life Skynest experience was showcased at New Zealand’s largest international tourism business event known as TRENZ.
Everything to know about Skynest sleep pods on Air New Zealand
To be available on Boeing 787 aircraft
Air New Zealand said in a statement that the main Skynest cabin will be constructed in the country and fitted on the carrier’s Boeing 787 aircraft in Boeing facilities outside New Zealand.
The eight Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners arriving from 2024 and retrofitted current 787-9 fleet will have either eight or four Business Premier Luxe seats, 42 or 22 Business Premier, 52 or 33 Premium Economy, 125 or 213 Economy seats, and specifically on the ultra-longhaul aircraft, six Skynest sleep pods.
As per Leanne Geraghty, Air New Zealand chief customer and sales officer, the design of Skynest spanned five years and 170,000 hours.
Geraghty said that it “will revolutionise the in-flight experience for Economy passengers.”
Features of Skynest
Located between Premium Economy and Economy sections of Air New Zealand’s long-haul flights, each of the six pods in Skynest will come with sheets, blanket, full-size pillow, and ear plugs. The pods are fitted with separate reading light and lighting designed for rest.
They also have a personal USB outlet and ventilation outlet. A seatbelt in each pod will keep flyers secure to their bunk beds.
Only one session per passenger
The carrier said in its statement that Skynest facility will be available for each passenger for one session depending on availability. Each member of a family travelling on the same ticket will also get a single session.
There will be a 30-minute transition time between each session, during which the bedding will be changed.
Skynest pod availability and payment details
Air New Zealand will start offering the Skynest facility on its Auckland-New York and Auckland-Chicago routes. Both are ultra-long-haul routes and take over 15 hours in flight time.
“North America is the perfect market for Skynest, as it has a premium segment that values comfort and sleep during long-haul travel,” Geraghty said.
According to the statement, flyers may have to pay between NZ$400 to NZ$600 ( approx. USD 255 to USD 381; SGD 337 to SGD 506) for four hours.
Bookings for the Economy class bunk beds will be available from September 2024 via the website.
Hero and Featured images: Julian Light/Air New Zealand
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