Sleeping on planes is notoriously difficult, especially if you’re in the economy, but Air New Zealand believes its plans for sleeping pods in bunk beds will ensure customers get a good night’s sleep on its ultra-long-haul flights.
The airline says its Skynest pods are a “world first” for economy and premium economy travelers.
Passengers will still have a seat, but can book a four-hour sleep session in one of the pods for an additional cost.
They can only book one session per flight and each sleeping pod is limited to one person at a time.
Each pod comes with its own privacy curtain and pillow and sheet, which will be replaced for each new occupant.
The plan is for Air New Zealand‘s eight Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners arriving from 2024, and the current 787-9 fleet, to be equipped with six Skynest pods.
The first non-stop flight between Auckland and New York, lasting more than 17 hours, will start in September. The airline’s direct flight to Chicago, which resumes in October, is also an ultra-long-haul flight.
But passengers using these services will have to wait a few more years before they can sample the Skynest, with no further booking or pricing information available.
Air New Zealand chief executive Greg Foran said: “New Zealand’s location puts us in a unique position to be at the forefront of ultra-long travel experiences. We’ve focused on sleep, comfort and well-being because we know how important it is arrive well-rested for our customers.
“Whether they go straight to a meeting or to their first vacation hotspot – they want to get started right away.”
Mr Foran said he believes the pods will be “a real game changer for the economic travel experience”.