This Airline is Adding Bunk Beds to Planes

published Mar 2, 2020
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Credit: jagcz

Anyone who has traveled long distance in an economy airplane seat will tell you that it’s a particularly comfortable experience. The seats don’t recline nearly enough to fully relax your back, and the barely-there leg room is a hotbed for hamstring cramps. Air New Zealand is trying to take the discomfort out of flying economy with their new Skynest sleeping pod patent, and wow. The future is now, people.

Air New Zealand began developing the Skynest sleeping pod design about three years ago, after the airline announced it would launch its longest flight in October 2020, which is a nearly 18-hour trip from Auckland to New York City. Wanting to provide passengers with a way to fully relax on such a long haul, Air New Zealand developed the Skynest, which is a pod of six slim bunk beds that look similar to those found on tour buses.

According to Dezeen, the Skynest pods would be installed in the areas where barcarts and bathrooms are currently located on traditional aircrafts. Each bunk would come with a pillow, blanket, earplugs, and privacy curtain. Designers are currently playing with the idea of including USB and personal ventilation systems in each bunk, as well.

If the patent for Skynest sleeping pods is approved, travelers won’t likely see them installed on planes for several years. Air New Zealand plans to test the pods’ popularity during the Auckland-to-New York route. Of course, passengers would only be able to book a pod for a portion of their flight in order to let fellow passengers have a chance to indulge in the luxury of lying down while flying.

And what a luxury these pods would be. Each bunk was designed to be “a comfortable cocoon away from your seat,” as stated in an Instagram promo video from Air New Zealand.

Air New Zealand previously debuted Skycouch, which is a row of three seats that functions like a sofa so you can lounge in comfort. And it’s not the only airline to bring horizontal flying to market; Business and first class passengers have had flat-lay seats, pods, and even suites that look like luxury hotel rooms.

Air New Zealand is officially filing a patent on its in-air bunks. And we can only imagine New Zealand-based travelers are more than pleased.