Air New Zealand announced this week that passengers in premium and regular economy classes will soon be able to purchase bunk beds for use during flights. These new Air New Zealand bunk beds, called “Skynest” sleeping pods, will be available on select flights for an additional fee.
Here’s how the Air New Zealand Skynest bunk beds work.
- When booking your economy ticket with Air New Zealand, four hour blocks in a Skynest bed will be available for an additional fee. Although this is an up-charge, it’s still much cheaper than booking a first class ticket on Air New Zealand flights.
- Economy passengers board the plane and take their regular seat.
- When it’s your scheduled time in the Skynest sleeping pod, approach the sleeping area and an airline attendant will help get you situated.
- After your scheduled time in the sleeping pod ends, an attendant changes the sheets and sanitizes the area for the next scheduled napper.
How Big Are The Air New Zealand Skynest Beds?
The Air New Zealand bunk beds are fairly spacious. Each Skynest bed is 80″ inches long by 23″ inches wide. For comparison, 23″ inches wide is about the width or a large lounge chair and 80″ inches long is about 6′ 9″. That means anyone under 6′ 5″ tall should be pretty comfortable in a Skynest bunk bed.
How Private Are The Air New Zealand Bunk Beds?
Although the Skynest beds are an affordable option for air travelers, they don’t offer the same level of privacy as their first class counterparts.
Skynest sleeping areas have two stacks of three beds right next to each other. That means you will be napping in a bed cluster of six beds almost within arms reach of each other.
Why Is Air New Zealand Being So Nice To Economy Passengers?
In an industry that usually takes perks and privileges away from passengers and then makes them pay more to get them back, this is a rare “gift” for air travelers. Air New Zealand’s economy class bunk beds just might be one of the best innovations in air travel history.
So why is Air New Zealand going out of its way to be nice and accommodate economy passengers? One of the biggest barriers for the country’s tourism industry is how far away it is from… everything.
Unless you’re flying from Australia to New Zealand, most flights to the country top the 10 hour mark. And the non-stop flight from New York City to Auckland is a grueling 17 hours. I can think of 17 million better things to do than sit in an economy airline seat for 17 hours.
Potential Issues With The Air New Zealand Skynest Program
Personally, I love the Skynest concept that Air New Zealand has created here. I’ve made several international long-haul flights before from Los Angeles to Sydney, and Paris to Tahiti. Spending 12+ hours in an economy airline seat is a nightmare, and being able to break up the flight with a horizontal nap is a major perk.
But I can see several issues with clustering strangers in a sleeping area:
- Refusal To Leave A Pod: What happens when an unruly Karen decides that they don’t want to leave their Skynest sleep pod? It’s hard enough getting entitled people to leave a parking space when you’re waiting for it.
- Farting: Some people can barley survive an elevator ride without farting (like my dad). What do we think is going to happen with 6 strangers in an enclosed area for 4 hours?
- Snoring: Nobody wants to pay extra money to listen to people snore. If you’re surrounded by snorers and can’t sleep, do you get your money back?
- Masturbation: As much as I want to have faith in humanity and hope that this won’t happen, unfortunately, I know it will. Someone is going to have a creepy attraction to their sleeping pod neighbor and start masturbating during the flight. Gross.
When Will Air New Zealand Bunk Beds Be Available For Booking?
If you’re ready to take a nap now, unfortunately you’ll have to wait a little while longer. Air New Zealand‘s Skynest economy bunk beds don’t debut until 2024.