WATCH: Sleep like a baby in economy with Air New Zealand bunk bed prototype
Getting shut-eye in an economy seat can be an exhausting effort. There’s little space, you do not want to recline your seat too much in fear of annoying the guest behind you, and if you are in the aisle seat, there’s always the case of being woken up by fellow passengers when they want to use the loo. Bad sleeping habits could be a thing of the past if Air New Zealand has anything to do with it.
Air New Zealand unveiled a ground-breaking new lie-flat prototype sleep product for economy class travellers.
Enter the Economy Skynest, which are six full-length lie-flat sleep pods set to change how travellers experience economy. The airline underwent three years of research and development. The airline received the input of more than 200 customers at its Hangar 22 innovation centre in Auckland.
After much hard work, the airline filed patent and trademark applications for the Economy Skynest, which, if all goes well, will debut next year.
And if they are successful, other airlines may follow suit.
Air New Zealand Chief Marketing and Customer Officer Mike Tod said the airline was committed to putting the magic back into flying.
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“We have a tremendous amount of development work underway looking at product innovations we can bring across all cabins of the aircraft. A clear pain point for economy travellers on long-haul flights is the inability to stretch out. The development of the Economy Skynest is a direct response to that challenge,” he said.
General Manager of Customer Experience, Nikki Goodman called the project a “game changer on so many levels.”
She said the airline believed in 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.”
She added: “We're so excited to be sharing this product development with our customers. This is one of the highlights of three years' intensive work centred on customer wellbeing. We're sure this innovation is going to be a game-changer for the industry and bring significant improvements to long-haul flying. We expect other airlines will want to explore licensing the Economy Skynest from us just as they have with the Economy Skycouch."
The airline said that it will make a final decision about the innovation after it had assessed the performance of its inaugural year of Auckland-New York operations next year.