Air New Zealand adds “couches” in coach…. interesting!

I’ve always loved Air New Zealand for being an all around great airlines, but now we’ve gotta give them credit for being really, really innovative. Check out this Gadling article which talks about their new “Skycouch” product. Basically the first few rows of seats in the economy cabin on their new 777-300ERs will be designed in such a way that you can turn a set of three seats into a bed of sorts (plenty of pictures in the link above).

phpzygd6cpm

Impressive, right? Well yeah, it is. Kind of. The first thing worth noting is the price. For two passengers sharing a “Skycouch,” the cost is simply the price of two tickets and then half of a third ticket. That raises a question — what am I missing? So they’re losing money on this product compared to just selling all three coach seats? Hmmm. If it’s true it’s one hell of a bargain.

And while this is terribly innovative, there’s one important thing to keep in mind which you can’t really tell based on the above picture. The “couch” isn’t more than five feet long. That’s not to say you won’t be able to get any reasonable sleep, but I’ve tried sleeping many times in an empty row of three seats and haven’t really had any luck. I guess if you fold your knees it’s fine, but then again I hope the two people sharing the bed aren’t too big or there might be space issues in both directions.

Anyway, very innovative on their part, and I look forward to reading some firsthand reviews from passengers that actually fly this product on a 12+ hour flight.

Speaking of Air New Zealand, I really do want to fly with them again, and of course visit one of my favorite countries in the world (and in particular my favorite small city, Queenstown!).

Comments

  1. I’ve only skimmed the articles on this but a few of my thoughts:

    — Mile High Club members would increase. :-/
    — How are they buckled in?
    — How does the recline of the seat(s) in front of you affect your space & comfort?
    — Why not charge for three full seats?
    — Suppose the window seat’s armrest raises? Otherwise, ouch.

  2. Hardly innovative, I guess many airlines has thought about that too but they gave up the idea because its just not gonna work, they are only doing it for publicity. The picture above is very misleading, you can’t possibly straighten your legs like that without blocking the aisle.

  3. I’d share one of those with one of my kids in a heart beat. A family of 4 would get 2 “beds” for the price of 5 tickets – not a bad deal at all.

    (I agree though that this picture is very misleading. The ones in the article show the legs bent but they show room for two people to lie shoulder to shoulder and I don’t think there’s that much room. But I haven’t flown Air New Zealand economy …)

  4. I’m corious on how the neck will be after 5-6 hours in a “bed” like this.

    It’s definatly a good gimmick, but will it hold up in flight?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *