The introduction of Skynest in 2024 is sure to be a game-changer for the economy travel experience.
For the first time ever, economy class passengers will have the option of stretching out to sleep on actual beds during their flights.
Beginning in 2024, travellers on Air New Zealand will be able to experience the “world’s first sleep pods” in economy class, known as Skynest, along with a new Business Premier Luxe seat.
The Skynest lie-flat concept, which was first announced in 2020, will consist of six sleeping pods which can be booked for four hour sessions.
According to Air New Zealand, while the booking cost for a four-hour session in one of the beds has not yet been determined, it will only be open to regular and premium economy passengers.
Passengers will only be able to book one session in a pod per flight, as demand from the more than 200 seats across the economy cabin is expected to be strong.
Each pod in the sleep zone will be located between the Premium Economy and Economy cabins and include a full-size pillow, bedding, ear plugs, a reading light, USB port and a ventilation outlet. The pods are stacked like bunk beds, with two rows each containing three beds. The bedding will be changed between each session.
The products will be available on the eight new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, due to arrive in 2024, and retrofitted current 787-9 fleet. Five economy seats will be removed to make space to install the Skynest pods.
The carrier has not yet set a price for the Skynest and says that it will “continue to do customer testing” to establish “the most suitable price point”.
Air New Zealand’s Business Premier will also see the addition a new ‘Luxe’ product; eight seats will feature a fully closing door and space for two to dine.
The new premium economy seat will offer more privacy and space where passengers “can recline at leisure without interrupting the person behind them”.
The regular economy seat will also see an upgrade, with more storage, space and a 50 per cent bigger IFE screen. Passengers will be able to connect to Bluetooth audio and pair their device to act as a remote control or second screen.
Passengers will also have the choice of the economy stretch seat, which offers extra legroom, and the Skycouch, a row of economy seats.
Considering Air New Zealand operates some of the longest flights on the planet, the Skynest pods and additional offerings will provide a welcome respite for travellers unable to sleep sitting up, or those looking for more space or privacy.
For Andrew, travel is so much more than just learning history or taking photos. Rather, the value of travel is witnessing a lifestyle, bonding with locals, and gaining rich cultural experiences. That’s why he founded the Luxury Wanderer; a place to share itineraries, offer advice, swap stories, and foster a like-minded community of curious travellers.