World First: Lie-Flat Sleeping Pods in Economy Class
The farther you have to travel, the more important comfort is on the way there. So it’s no surprise that the national airline of one of the most remote destinations in the world is championing in-flight sleep.
Air New Zealand has unveiled plans for its new Dreamliner aircraft, scheduled for service beginning in 2024, with what it’s calling “the best sleep in the sky” – for everyone.
'New Zealand's location puts us in a unique position to lead on the ultra-long haul travel experience,” says the airline’s CEO, Greg Foran. “We have zeroed in on sleep, comfort, and wellness because we know how important it is for our customers to arrive well-rested. Whether they are heading straight into a meeting, or to their first holiday hotspot - they want to hit the ground running.”
We’re used to seeing the extravagant comfort available to business and first class air passengers for many airlines, and Air New Zealand’s premium passengers will be spoiled, indeed. The Kiwi-designed Dreamliner cabin has seven different types of seats: two business class, a premium economy section, and a whopping four types of economy class seats.
As Air New Zealand’s Foran says, the new cabin design will provide passengers “options to get some shut eye wherever they're sitting.'
Business class passengers get a “private nest” for a blissful night’s sleep, with one seating option using the middle row to allow passengers travelling together to open their “nest” into a combined space. Meanwhile, the top tier of business class seats provide the ultimate in space and luxury, with a fully closing door and space for two to dine.
Premium Economy seats provide more space and unimpeded reclining space so you don’t disturb the person behind you.
But it’s Economy class that really shakes up options for getting much-needed shuteye during long-haul flights.
Even the basic Economy class seat boasts “more storage, comfort and space and a 50% bigger screen for entertainment. Connect to Bluetooth audio and pair your device to act as a remote control or second screen,” according to Air New Zealand. Economy Stretch, like the name suggests, gives passengers more leg room.
Economy Skycouch encompasses multiple seats united in a single surface for sitting, spreading out, or lying down. While it looks ideal for families with young children, imagine booking it all for yourself!
Then there’s Economy Skynest (pictured top), “the world’s first sleep pods in the sky.” Air New Zealand’s Dreamliners have six, stacked sleep pods that for the first time, let economy-class passengers lie flat in their own space on a long journey. That’s a game changer.
And it’s not just seats. The entire flight experience has been designed to help every passenger feel their best.
'Research shows us the first night away from home is the hardest to get a good night's sleep,” says the airline. “So everything we do onboard is to help create a sense of calm – from the lighting and sleep ritual including sleepy teas and balms, to healthier food choices and breathable fabrics.”
The new aircraft will have a new Sky Pantry for Premium Economy and Economy class passengers, allowing them to stretch their legs (not just milling around the toilets!), grab a bite to eat, and hydrate at their leisure throughout their journey.
Meditative onscreen content, “Zentertainment, “ will also help you unwind and get ready for rest.
Those innovations will help you feel better while flying.
Other innovations on the new Air New Zealand Dreamliners will help you feel better about flying.
The airline has also focused on sustainability in its design process. Using modern, lightweight fabrics, rather than leather in the premium cabins, and switching to ligher serviceware, for example, help to reduce carbon emissions. In economy class, new serviceware will eliminate 28 million plastic dishes used inflight every year.
So whether you’re planning a trip to New Zealand for its outstanding wineries, natural wonders, land- and seacapes, outdoor adventures, Maori indigenous culture, or cuisine – or all of the above! Now you can also enjoy an outstanding night’s sleep on the way there.
Start your New Zealand Trip!
Images courtesy Air New Zealand
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