Air New Zealand is blurring the line between economy and first class, giving coach passengers a taste of the lap of luxury. The airline just filed patent and trademark applications for a six-sleeper pod called the Economy Skynest, which would make lie-flat sleepers available in economy. The Skynest would have two rows of three bunks spanning over 6.5 feet, and each bunk would come with bedding and privacy curtains to make it easier to sleep.
Mike Tod, chief marketing officer for Air New Zealand, said, “A clear pain point for economy travelers on long-haul flights is the inability to stretch out. The development of the Economy Skynest is a direct response to that challenge.”
The Economy Skynest would be installed in some of the airline’s longest flight, including the Auckland to Newark service starting next year.
According to Nikki Goodman, general manager of the airline’s customer experience, “We see a future flying experience where an economy-class customer on long-haul flights would be able to book the Economy Skynest in addition to their economy seat, get some quality rest and arrive at their destination ready to go.”
Passengers would be able to book a time slot in the pod, and beddings would be changed for each new passenger scheduled to have a lie-down.
Before you get too excited, keep in mind that the Economy Skynest isn’t a foregone conclusion just yet. Air New Zealand will make its final decision on the Skynest in 2021.