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Luxury meets economy class: Air New Zealand floats lie-flat seats


Luxury meets economy class: Air New Zealand floats lie-flat seats

The Kiwi airline will be introducing lie-flat pods for its long-haul flights

Nikki Ekstein

The world’s first lie-flat “pods” are coming to an economy class aeroplane section near you.

Air New Zealand has had its SkyNest concept in development for the past five years and announced on June 28 it’s ready for prime time — in 2024. The seats are fully flat, made up with real mattresses plus cooling pillows and bedding, and located in the back of the plane, right behind the premium economy cabin. But like everything to do with flying today, there’s loads of fine print.

First, the seats won’t be included in the price of an economy ticket. SkyNests are a separate product, bunk beds stacked three high, and bookable only in four-hour increments — the amount of time the airline has determined it takes to allow guests two sleep cycles (which are typically about 90 minutes), with additional time to wind down and wake up. Each aircraft being fitted with them will have six of these “pods”, to be turned about between “sessions” by cabin attendants who sanitise and replace the linens in 30-minute cleaning windows. ..

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