When going on holiday, most people look forward to the destination but not the traveling experience. Well, one airline is trying to change that fact with an opportunity to snooze comfortably on a long-haul flight. Starting in 2024, Air New Zealand will debut their new Dreamliner planes, which offer bunk bed cabins for economy passengers.
This innovative cabin is called Skynest, and features six sleep pods that are stacked on top of one another to maximize space. Passengers will be able to book one four-hour session in a pod per flight, which includes a privacy curtain, ventilation, and USB charging for electronic devices. “New Zealand's location puts us in a unique position to lead on the ultra-longhaul travel experience. 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,” says Air New Zealand CEO Greg Foran.
Traveling to and from Oceania is one of the longest flying experiences, but these planes are designed to make the experience as pleasant as possible, even at the economy level. The design for Skynest comes from Aotearoa, the Maori name for New Zealand: taking inspiration from trees and the Tui bird. “Whether we are welcoming visitors or flying New Zealanders home, we want our customers to experience Aotearoa from the moment they step onboard—and get the best night's rest,” explains chief customer and sales officer Leanne Geraghty. Economy passengers will also have access to Sky Pantry during the flight, so they can eat and stay hydrated.
In addition to Skynest, Air New Zealand's Dreamliner economy class will have more spacious and comfortable seating, larger entertainment screens, and Bluetooth audio capability to connect to devices. Plus, those that want additional space to extend their legs have the option of choosing Economy stretch seats. “Research shows us the first night away from home is the hardest to get a good night's sleep 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 the healthier food choices and breathable fabrics. Meditative onscreen content, Zentertainment, will also help customers unwind and get ready for rest,” Geraghty adds.
Air New Zealand's Dreamliner planes and the Skynest will be available for passengers starting in 2024.