Air New Zealand is rolling out a much anticipated new feature, which is set to (for the moments you are in it) make flying economy basically as good as flying business, in 2024. As a cattle class connoisseur myself, I’d say it’s time to rejoice (and pray other airlines take Air New Zealand’s lead). Introducing: The Skynest.
Air New Zealand is rolling out bunk bed sleep stations in economy. Though those of you who always fly business might scoff at the idea (why not just pay a bit more and have a fully flat bed the whole time, you might argue), for those of us who usually fly economy, these ‘peasant pods’ (as we’re lovingly calling them) look like an awesome new feature (you can’t always afford to shell out on an upgrade to business).
These, the airline has announced, will be on its incoming Dreamliners (which are set to take flight in 2024). Each Dreamliner will be fitted with six beds. Passengers will be able to book these beds for a four-hour time slot on long haul flights. The process for booking is yet to be explained in full.
This bunk bed feature is being called Skynest. It is being introduced because customer feedback has been “overwhelmingly” positive, Air New Zealand says. Customers have indicated to the airline they value above all else sleep, comfort and space. The Skynest provides all these things in abundance.
Passengers on these new Dreamliners will also have access to food and drinks from a ‘sky pantry’ whenever they want, according to Sunrise.
General Manager of Customer Experience, Nikki Goodman said in 2020 of the Skynest (it’s been in the works for some time): “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. This is a game-changer on so many levels.”
“We expect other airlines will want to explore licensing the Economy Skynest from us just as they have with the Economy Skycouch.”
As for us, we’re just curious to hear how much it’s going to cost. But when you hit ‘the wall’ during a long haul flight in economy, we’d imagine quite a few people will be willing to cough up for a kip…
There will also be upgrades at the pointy end of the new Dreamliners, with the new jets featuring a new business class product (broken down into two sections: Business Premier, which will have individual quasi-private pods and Business Premier Luxe, which will have a sliding door for better privacy and space for two to eat).