Air New Zealand Skynest: Now, economy passengers can nap on pod-beds in flight

AFP Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand (Aotearoa) Feb 26, 2020, 02.26 PM(IST)

Air New Zealand planes prepare to takeoff under the rain at Sydney domestic airport on January 17, 2020. Photograph:( AFP )

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The pods contain six beds, each measuring 200 by 58 centimetres (80 by 23 inches) with a pillow, sheets, blankets, earplugs and a privacy curtain.

Air New Zealand on Wednesday announced a proposal to put beds in economy-class, which it claimed could prove a "game-changer" for passengers desperate to stretch out on long-haul flights.

The airline, which operates some of the world's most lengthy flights from its remote South Pacific base, said the "Economy Skynest" aimed to bring pod-bed technology to the skies.

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"A clear pain point for economy travellers on long-haul flights is the inability to stretch out," the airline's chief marketing officer Mike Tod said. 

"The development of the Economy Skynest is a direct response to that challenge."

The pods contain six beds, each measuring 200 by 58 centimetres (80 by 23 inches) with a pillow, sheets, blankets, earplugs and a privacy curtain.

The idea is that the pods sit in the economy class cabin and passengers pre-book sessions in them to break up long-haul flights, rather than occupying them for the entire journey.

The beds will not be introduced for a least a year, as the airline works through getting the concept approved by regulators.

"This is a game-changer on so many levels," said a spokeswoman for the firm, which said it was willing to license the Skynest to other airlines.