Air New Zealand are going to be the first airline in the world to introduce beds for economy class passengers. Yes, you read it right! I’m not talking about their Skycouch, but actual lie-flat beds in a new product they call Skynest.

Considering the stage lengths the Auckland based airline flies, it makes sense they would be trying to increase comfort as much as possible. While they are also introducing a new business class, let’s have a look at the more innovative product.

Economy Class Skynest

There will be six bunk beds available, which look a lot like the beds airline crew sleep in. They will be 203cm long and 58.5cm wide, so even the tallest person will have no trouble fitting in.

Passengers will be able to reserve the bed for a maximum period of four hours on each flight. Crews then clean them, swap out the bedding and they are ready for the next person to have a sleep.

Having flown the route between Europe and Australia in economy class, it is tough going sitting upright for the guts of 24 hours straight. While people do stand up and have a stretch in one of the doorways, sleeping often proves elusive.

I can tell you right now that I would happily pay for four hours lying down. That would be a decent nap and I’d wake up feeling quite fresh afterwards, especially on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner that will see these seats first.

The pricing for the Skynest is going to be interesting. Currently, economy class on Auckland to Los Angeles out on 3 November and back on 16 November comes in at NZ$1,763 (US$1,096, €1,050, AU$1,595). These flights take 12 to 13 hours.

I’d probably pay about NZ$100 an hour for the bed at most, which would add NZ$800 to my overall flight price. Quite frankly, it would be worth it on long sectors, as any chance to lie down is a godsend.

A Little Video

The Kiwi airline has put together a short video showing the new products, which are expected to enter service in 2024. Here you can see the new business class as well.

Facing the aisle in business class is a big no in my book, as I love a window seat and a window you can see through easily. That means I won’t be flying Air New Zealand business class anytime soon (read: ever).

Overall Thoughts

According to the Air New Zealand press release, the Skynest is due to arrive in 2024 when new Boeing 787-9s are delivered. The Star Alliance airline’s existing fleet will then be retrofitted.

While it is still a couple of years away, it’s an exciting development for economy class passengers. For a change, it won’t just be those forking out for business class who can get a good few hours sleep.

What do you think of the new economy class beds? How much would you pay for four hours sleep? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

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