Whether you couldn’t afford Business Class in the first place or you thought you’d save money by flying Economy (and subsequently thought better of it), we all wish there was a way to get a more comfortable cattle-class experience.
No, we’re not talking about Premium Economy. We’re talking about a bona fide lie-flat bed, where you get a whole row of seats (and a specially fitted mattress) to yourself.
Fortunately for transatlantic flyers, these ‘sleeper seats’ will soon be up for purchase on flights between the UK and the US. But only on one particular pond hopper: Thomas Cook, a Gatwick-based airline, which serves over 19 million customers a year.
With this play, available from May 13th on select flights to long-haul destinations like San Francisco and New York, they aim to make the most of the empty rows passengers normally fight over on off-peak flights (which is why the service will only be available on an ad hoc basis).
As reported by News.com, “It’s available for adults and children 12 years and older, though the airline suggests you would comfortably fit on the bed if you’re under 180cm.”
“While you can swap seats with someone else after you book, only one person at a time can use the sleeper seats.”
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But the real question remains: how do you score yourself one of these bad boys? You take an extra $A375 onboard, and keep your fingers crossed. As The Sun reported, “You have to book your flights as normal and then pay the additional fee each way—as you might for additional luggage—to bag the entire row of seats to yourself.”
“During the flight, the cabin crew will build your ‘bed,” The Sun continued, “Which features a special mattress with fitted sheets, head rest, pillow, blanket and amenity kit.”
The only downside is, if you’ve booked a meal, you’ll have to wait until you’ve finished eating before your bed is made. So either get yourself on the CIA anti jetlag diet (read: fasting schedule) or have some patience.
But we’d argue it’s worth it because—meals aside—you can sleep throughout your whole flight, for much the same price as a Premium Economy seat which—according to our research—comes in at around $1486, compared to the combined price of an Economy ticket (A$1115) with a (A$375) ‘sleeper seat’ add on, which comes to A$1490, for a return flight to New York.
Oh and Premium Economy doesn’t let you lie fully flat.
As you might expect, these ‘sleepers’ will only be available towards the back of the flight, on Thomas Cook’s A330 planes. But—with any luck—the move will instigate competition, and other airlines will either copy or one-up the British carrier.