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You no longer have to sleep sitting up: the airline installs full-fledged beds in the economy class of aircraft

Air New Zealand is adding economy sleepers to its Boeing 787 Dreamliners. How convenient it will be ET.

Photo: Shutterstock

The innovative Skynest project, first shown as a concept in early 2020, is now set to fly in 2024 on non-stop flights to New York and Chicago. The concept offers six rail-style berths for economy class passengers.

With three tiered bunks per side, each full-size sleeping pod will include a mattress topper, pillow, soft duvet and curtains for privacy.

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In many ways, the Skynest is a passenger adaptation of the "secret" berths already used by flight attendants.

Here's what we know about Skynest beds from Air New Zealand:

  • Each of the six Skynest sleepers is approximately 203 cm long and approximately 58,4 cm wide.
  • There will be a strict limit of one passenger per bed.
  • Every Skynest bed will be available for pre-booking for economy travelers, though
  • Air New Zealand says it has not yet determined the final cost.
  • Skynest beds cannot be occupied during takeoff or landing.
  • Each bed will be reserved in blocks of four hours, a period that sleep experts say is equivalent to two sleep cycles (usually around 90 minutes), with a half-hour cleaning period where flight attendants remove and refresh the mattress, pillows and blankets, and wipe down the interior. capsules.
  • Each pod has built-in storage space for personal items, as well as a USB charging port and a reading light.
    Economy Skynest will be exclusive to a fleet of Boeing 787 ultra-long haul aircraft destined for long haul US routes such as New York, Chicago and Houston.

Located at the front of the economy cabin, the Skynest module takes up space that would otherwise be reserved for the middle two rows of economy class.

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Air New Zealand CEO Greg Foran says Skynest epitomizes the airline's meticulous approach to a refreshed long-haul experience, which of course culminates in the all-new Business Premier Luxes.

"We think it's appropriate to review the entire aircraft for changes," he said.

“When we did the research, we knew what customers wanted at the front, but we also knew there was an opportunity to do something different at the back, which is why the Skynest product is so important. You can lie down and sleep well if you are on a long flight, and many flights from New Zealand are long!” - he said.

So what will be in this economy crib above the clouds?

At just over 2m long, most travelers have enough room to stretch out, but there is a certain amount of compression around the shoulders and elbows, with limited room for side sleepers.

It's also undeniable that the cramped quarters of any enclosed space such as this will be claustrophobic for some passengers, so wearing an eye mask and taking sleeping pills might be high on your list.

If you really need a spacious full rollaway bed for this 14-16 hour journey, head straight for the Air New Zealand Business Premier Pods at the end of the plane.

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