Air New Zealand innovates in comfort for the standard economy class

Air New Zealand innovates in comfort for the standard economy class

Charles Richer

All passengers traveling in economy class, on long-haul flights, in a dream: to be able to get a good night’s sleep during the trip! Eh! well, that’s what Air New Zealand looked at. We present here two ways to travel full comfort in standard economy class: Skycouch and Skynest.


In place for a long time but still little known, this completely innovative concept allows you to book, in economy class, a Skycouch, that is to say a row of seats which transforms into a sofa after takeoff. The principle is simple: the seats are the same, but they have installed special footrests which rise either halfway up to make a footrest, or completely to transform into a comfortable sofa. Clever isn’t it?

Whether you are a solo traveler, a young family, a couple or friends, the Skycouch is available for everyone. In addition, you are guaranteed to have the row just for you, because whether you book for yourself or for two or more, you always get the entire row, which gives some privacy. A special seat belt extender that allows you to be fastened when lying down. It is also quite easy to switch from the seat to the sofa and vice versa without the help of flight attendants, so you can lie down on your own schedule.

There are three Skycouch configurations available for booking:

  1. A regular Skycouch
  2. A Skycouch + additional seat
  3. Two Skycouches


If you see a regular Skycouch, you will have a private row just for you. Raise your feet and relax, or lie down to take a nap. If you are traveling with one or two children, you will have enough space for you to play or take a nap. If you are traveling with a baby under the age of two, you can request a baby “pod”. It will be safer, attached to your Skycouch, and you are not sure of the alarm clock to be buckled on your knees during the alert to fasten the belts will light.

Skycouch + a seat

If you are two adults with one child, this option is the best. This gives you plenty of room to lie down, relax and rest. One passenger can sit and watch movies in their own seat while the rest can rest. Then interchange the seat during the volume as many times as you want. If the child is a baby of less than two years, reserve a “pod” for safety without having to take to be buckled on your lap.

Two Skycouches

If there are several of you traveling at the same time, you can book two Skycouches, this will provide more space and comfort for everyone. Again, if a baby under two is accompanying you, rent a “pod” for the reasons listed above.

The best thing about this concept is that you don’t pay the full price for three seats and you get a sofa in the sky! The system is based on the number of people who reserve a Skycouch, for example, if only one person occupies the space, they will pay a higher fee than if there were two people. The price for a Skycouch is based on demand and availability, and it changes often. Depending on your travel itinerary, the Skycouch can cost between $ 300 and $ 800 more. However, two or more people switching to Skycouch will cost you less than buying a third seat.


It’s a very futuristic prototype of “sleep pods” that they called Economy Skynest. With the help of more than 200 clients, over a period of more than three years, they designed this first model consisting of 6 elongated berths, which each include a curtain for privacy, a full-size pillow, sheets and a blanket as well as earplugs. And the company is working to additionally integrate USB sockets, reading lamps and a ventilation socket. The Skynest will be located in the economy cabin of the aircraft, but the exact configuration has not yet been determined.

This news will certainly delight passengers who have booked an Auckland / New York economy class flight, which would request flight in October this year, because it is on this route that the Skynest will be tested for a year, until 2021, before Air New Zealand decides whether to operate this system. As the flight stretches for more than 17 hours 40 minutes in one direction, the passengers will certainly be very happy that they could sleep a good night’s sleep, well stretched out in a comfortable bed, before landing on the other side of the planet! In fact, the company’s wish is that travelers of economy class, on long-haul flights, can book the Skynest, in addition to their seats, so that they can enjoy a restful sleep and get off the plane rested and happy. This will be a game-changer for many travelers, both on a corporate level and for a leisure trip. So far, feedback from Air New Zealand customers and cabin crew during the final development phase has been exceptional.

This is great news from Air New Zealand for standard economy class passengers who are all too often overlooked. And of course, you get the benefits of standard economy class – food and entertainment.