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Economy Class Sleeper Pods on Long Haul Flights

Air New Zealand debuted its prototype for the “skynest” cabin designs this week, and they will be available to book from next year.

Air New Zealand's new economy sleeper pods.
Credit: Fraser Clements | Air New Zealand

The cabins will be introduced on the airline’s ultra-long haul flights, starting with the Auckland to New York and Auckland to Chicago routes, both of which are more than 15 hours in flight time.

The airline plans to charge NZ$400-$600 (US$250-$380) for four hours in a six-person bunk bed cabin, under its “world-first” design for an economy class sleeper pod. Whilst the beds will put those in need of some horizontal shut-eye in close proximity, passengers will at least be shielded from their co-sleepers by a privacy curtain.

Air New Zealand says each pod will include a pillow, sheets and blanket. The airline noted in a statement that bedding would be changed between each session, and a 30 minute transition time will be allowed for this. “The lights will gently come on at the end of each session, and crew will politely wake any passengers who sleep through this,” they said.

Passengers will only be able to book one four hour session per flight, but it will surely come as a merciful relief when passengers would otherwise be spending 15 hours non-stop in a somewhat cramped economy seat.


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