If you’re a millennial and older, remember how The Jetsons used to live a life of fabulous, futuristic luxury that was beyond reach? Thanks to advancing technology in aviation, we may be taking one step closer to that reality. In 2024, Air New Zealand plans to debut its Boeing 787 Dreamliners, fitted with bunk-bed areas called “skynests.”
Best of all, you don’t have to be a Business or First Class passenger to have access. Economy travelers can use the skynests for an extra fee. For those unable to sleep soundly while sitting upright, this will be a welcome change. Studies show that sleeping while lying down is better for your spine and healthiest overall.
If all goes according to the airline’s plan, this could change the face of long-haul plane travel. For those unable to experience First or Business class, they know what it’s like to deal with an uncomfortable flight. But they bear it and remind themselves that they’ll get to their destination eventually.
So how will these skynests work? A media representative for Air New Zealand said the following to CNN Travel.
“At this stage, each passenger will be limited to a four-hour session in one pod, at an additional cost to their regular Economy class seats. The airline did a fair bit of research around sleep cycles. A typical sleep cycle is around 90 minutes, so a four-hour session gives the opportunity for customers to wind down, fall asleep and wake up.”
Linens and pillows will be changed after each passenger is finished. The process of booking the pods and their cost has yet to be determined.
CNN Travel reported that “there will be six full-length sleeping pods. Each pod will be located between the Premium Economy and Economy cabins.” Passengers will have use of a USB port, ventilation outlet, bedding, pillow and ear plugs. The beds are stacked in a bunk formation, “with two rows each containing three beds.”
Air New Zealand proposed the skynest idea in 2020, but the approval process has been long and challenging. Testing and research often take years.
The carrier is also poised to offer “the world’s longest regularly scheduled passenger flights.” This September, they will have non-stop flights from Auckland to New York, which is 17 hours.
If you haven’t been to Auckland, you might want to consider it. It’s the most populated city in New Zealand, filled with culture, music, art and scenic, rugged beaches.