Dubai, United Arab Emirates (CNN) — Normally, flat-plane seats are a luxury service that is available exclusively to first and business class passengers.
But this reality will change on some flights of Air New Zealand, New Zealand’s national airline, When it launched the Skynest concept in September 2024, represented by moving beds on board for economy class passengers.
The company first announced the Skynest concept last year, with six beds arranged in tiers for select aircraft.
This week, I provided more information on how to book, prices and other details.
A press release from the airline said the six beds will be located between the rows of Economy Class and Premium Economy Class on some long-haul flights, including a 17-hour direct flight between New York and Auckland, which is among the longest in the world.
Passengers will be able to book a wheelchair for between 400 and 600 New Zealand dollars, or 254 to 380 US dollars, for a period of 4 hours, in addition to the cost of the regular ticket.
The upholstery in each bed will be changed after each use by the cabin crew.
“The airline has done a lot of research on sleep cycles,” a representative for Air New Zealand told CNN in 2022.
“A typical sleep cycle is about 90 minutes, so the four-hour service is an opportunity for customers to relax, fall asleep and wake up,” he said.
Skynest amenities include USB charging ports, a reading light, earplugs, a full-size bed sheet, blanket and pillow, as well as a seatbelt to ensure security protocols are adhered to onboard.
Only one person at a time will be able to use the capsule, even if people want to share it with their partner or children.--
To allow more passengers to experience the concept, each person is restricted to one four-hour session per flight, based on availability.
“We’ve focused on sleep, rest and health because we know how important it is to our customers to a well-rested state,” Air New Zealand CEO Greg Foran said in a statement last year.
“Whether they’re heading straight to a meeting, or to their first vacation destination, they want to arrive in the perfect state of preparation.”
Behind the scenes, the creation of Skynest took many years
“Our comprehensive research and design process, spanning five years and 170,000 man-hours, has resulted in a product that we are confident will revolutionize the in-flight experience for Economy Class passengers,” said Lynne Geraghty, Head of Customer and Sales, Air New Zealand.
And she continued, “By launching ‘Skynest’, we are fulfilling our commitment to providing choice, along with the best possible experience for our passengers, and advancing innovation and leadership in the aviation industry.”
Several of the company’s Boeing 787s have been refurbished to make room for the new sleeper cabin, and while the cabin upgrade will take place at Boeing’s facilities, Skyset will be produced entirely in New Zealand, according to a statement from the New Zealand company.
Although only in the prototype stage, Skynest is among the finalists for this year’s Crystal Cabin Awards, an annual event that highlights innovations in the world of aircraft interior design. The winners will be announced in the month of June.
Meanwhile, Air New Zealand was ranked the second best airline in the world for 2022.
The company, originally named Tasman Empire Airways Limited, was formed in 1939 to connect New Zealand with its neighboring Pacific island nations, and became Air New Zealand in 1965.