Air NZ reveals price of innovative Skynest sleeping pods

The opportunity to lie down flat on a plane has long been reserved for first and business class passengers, but Air New Zealand is set to change all that. In a world-first move, the airline will introduce bunk beds for economy passengers, allowing them to book a session for some much-needed sleep.

This groundbreaking feature is scheduled to launch on select aircraft in September 2024. Revealed in June last year, Air NZ has now divulged more details about the Skynest sleeping pods, including the price.

The six sleeping pods will be arranged in a bunk bed configuration, situated between the economy and premium economy cabins. They will be primarily available on ultra-long-haul flights, such as the 17-hour direct route from New York City to Auckland, which ranks among the world’s longest flights.

Air New Zealand’s chief customer and sales officer, Leanne Geraghty, explained that the Skynest concept originated from customer feedback over the past five years, highlighting the importance of a good night’s sleep, increased comfort and privacy.

“Skynest was an idea born out of looking at how we could offer a lie-flat option for economy and premium economy travellers, and it’s going to be a real game-changer, adding more flexibility to the economy travel experience,” Ms Geraghty said.

Skynest sleeping pods. (Air New Zealand)

How much will it cost?

So, how much will this luxury cost? Passengers will have the option to book a four-hour session in the Skynest sleeping pods for an additional price ranging from NZ$400 to NZ$600 (about A$375 to A$565).

Ms Geraghty clarified that the price was still being finalised, but that Air NZ anticipated that it would fall within this range. Customers will be able to add the Skynest option to their ticket at the time of purchase, with plans also in progress to allow for later additions or onboard bookings if sessions are available. Air NZ will release more details once everything is confirmed.

Just before each session is finished, lights will come on to signal the end of the four hours. The cabin crew will politely wake up any passengers who sleep through this.

To facilitate a smooth transition between sessions, there will be a 30-minute gap between bookings during which the cabin crew will change the bedding. Each pod will have a separate seatbelt to ensure passengers remain secure inside during turbulence. Additionally, the Skynest sleeping pods will be equipped with a full-size pillow, sheets and blanket, earplugs, a separate reading light, a personal device USB outlet, a ventilation outlet and customisable lighting.

(Air New Zealand)

SkyNest has already received recognition and accolades, including being named a finalist in the Crystal Cabin Awards. Ms Geraghty expressed delight at the positive response from customers, saying, “We’re delighted that customers are as excited about this new innovation as we are. Our extensive research and design process, spanning five years and 170,000 hours, has resulted in a product that we’re confident will revolutionise the in-flight experience for economy passengers.”

What do you think of these sleeping pods? Would you pay an extra $500 to be able to lie flat for four hours during a flight? Let us know in the comments section below.

Also read: Get your best rest with our guide to sleeping on a plane

Ellie Baxter
Ellie Baxter
Writer and editor with interests in travel, health, wellbeing and food. Has knowledge of marketing psychology, social media management and is a keen observer and commentator on issues facing older Australians.
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