Friday, August 10, 2007

Air New Zealand may begin offering 'sleeping pods' for pax

Nathan AgnewThis is starting to sound like a trend: Last month I did a piece on Lufthansa's 'Sleepers Class' idea for economy passengers on long-haul flights. Now it looks as though Air New Zealand is considering something similar.

An article on the New Zealand news website Stuff reports that Air New Zealand is considering replacing cramped economy seats with 'sleeping pods' on its long-range aircraft. The article quotes Air New Zealand's strategic development general manager, Nathan Agnew, who said that the airline wants to introduce an entirely new type of economy cabin when it takes delivery of its fleet of Boeing 787-9 and 777-300ER long-range jets from 2010.

Referring to Cathay Pacific's planned introduction of economy seats that recline within a fixed shell, similar to business class seats, Mr. Agnew said, "We think that if you are going to do that concept why not push it to the next level, why stop there? We haven't even constrained ourselves to saying that it necessarily will be a seat. The other option is to give people a sleeping pod."

"We like it (the pod) as a concept. We are yet to evaluate whether practically it could be fitted out to an aircraft interior," Agnew said.

Cabin crew already sleep in pods during long distance flights, usually hidden away at the rear plane or in the ceiling space above the passenger cabin.

"Given that a lot of our long-haul flying is overnight, it might actually be preferable for our customers simply to have something like that rather than have a seat," Agnew said.

Because eating in a pod might be difficult, passengers may be served a meal at the airport before the flight, allowing them to immediately go to sleep once on the plane.

"We have some quite creative ways, at least conceptually, how this could work."
Mr. Agnew stressed that this idea is still a theoretical concept, not a done deed.

For more on what may be forthcoming for Air New Zealand, have a look at this Interview with Nathan Agnew in the New Zealand Herald.

[Photo Source]


HearThereEveryWhere said...

I'd love to sleep properly on flights overseas, but my frugal nature will not allow me to spend that kind of money! Guess I'll just have to wait til they have a BIG sale on them. :-D

B. N. Sullivan said...

I know what you mean.

My big thing is having a foot rest. I can sleep perfectly well in a reclining seat, as long as my feet don't have to dangle.

Can't count how many times I've crossed an ocean with my feet on top of my computer backpack because the seat had no foot rest.