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  1. #1
    Thailand Expat
    dirtydog's Avatar
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    Air New Zealand offers couples beds in economy class

    Air New Zealand offers couples beds in economy class



    Air New Zealand has taken a novel approach to increased competition

    Air New Zealand has unveiled what it calls the first major improvement in economy class travel comfort in 20 years - beds.

    The beds are formed by foot-rests rising to the level of three adjacent seats. A blanket and loose normal-sized pillows complete the arrangement.

    Passengers would need to buy the three seats together.

    The passengers would also need to be ready to sleep together in small families or couples.

    The airline's "Skycouch" follows a wildly successful safety campaign by the company in May 2009, which featured well-formed cabin staff wearing nothing but body paint.

    Sleeping together

    "For those who choose, the days of sitting in economy and yearning to lie down and sleep are gone," chief executive Rob Fyfe told reporters.
    "The dream is now a reality, one that you can even share with a travelling companion - just keep your clothes on, thanks."

    It's a very good initiative for an airline specialising in long-haul flights
    Simon Calder
    Travel journalist

    Developed in-house by Air New Zealand (ANZ) designers and engineers, about a quarter of all long-haul economy seats will convert to Skycouches.

    They will take up the first 11 rows in the economy cabin of the airline's new Boeing 777-300 planes.

    Passengers will pay the standard economy fare for two seats and receive the middle seat for about half price.

    Presuming it is a couple that buys the seat, the total amounts to about NZ$7,600 ($5,400, 3,335) for a return flight to London.

    Single passengers in business class lie-flat seats pay nearly $7,140 for the London flight, and a single premium economy seat that does not recline to a bed costs nearly $4,300.

    'Clever design'

    Analysts expect the new seats to be popular.

    Passengers will be tempted because of the extra comfort offered at a price that is still much less than beds in business or first class, said travel journalist Simon Calder.

    "It's a very good initiative for an airline specialising in long-haul flights," he told the BBC.

    Aviation analyst David Learmount said the ANZ beds would probably appeal to those who pay extra for premium economy, which offers bigger seats but no bed option.

    "The clever bit is that, by just redesigning a seat, ANZ can offer whatever people want to buy. They will have to absorb the penalty of slightly heavier, more expensive seats, but the extra revenue should deal with that."

    ANZ could even look at making some money by licensing their design, Mr Calder said.

    Air New Zealand was facing bankruptcy in 2001 but was rescued by a deal in which the government bought back 75% of the company - one of the country's re-nationalisations of formerly privatised enterprises.

    The seats go on sale in April and will gradually be introduced on the 340-seat 777-300s from the end of this year flying between Auckland and London via Los Angeles.


  2. #2
    Noone here gets out alive
    Mr R Sole's Avatar
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  3. #3
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    I've been flying Air NZ a fair bit of late and am very happy with all aspects of the service, including food, grog, overall manner/appearance of female attendants. Other airlines Thai, Singapore, Qantas don't come near and for Asia-Pacific these guys are ducks guts.

  4. #4
    Pronce. PH said so AGAIN!
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtydog
    The passengers would also need to be ready to sleep together in small families or couples.
    Will they be offering a bowl of hay as a vegetarian meal option?

  5. #5
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    ^ 555, with the large and wealthy hindi populations in NZ and other island countries they have what must be some of the best vege stuff around inflight

    Looking forward to trying this sleeper class

  6. #6
    Member tuktukdriver's Avatar
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    This is the very business I work in. Here's another link with a better picture. Great idea for the long hauls. For couples, three economy tickets are a lot cheaper than 2 business class, probably one business class also.

    Snuggle on "Skycouch," but keep your clothes on

  7. #7
    Thailand Expat jandajoy's Avatar
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    Why have they never introduced couchettes (spelling) on planes?

    Safety issue ?

  8. #8
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  9. #9
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    Smug Farang Bore's Avatar
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    that will save their airline..!

  10. #10
    Mid
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    Air New Zealand economy 'Skycouch'
    (Air New Zealand photo)

    Snuggle on "Skycouch," but keep your clothes on

  11. #11
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    more mile in the sky members

  12. #12
    Thailand Expat
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    Quote Originally Posted by jandajoy
    Why have they never introduced couchettes (spelling) on planes? Safety issue ?
    They had them in the old days. I have ridden on DC 6's and Constellations that had them. They were built by pullman on the DC 6.

    The only problem is the price on those seats they are full fare economy +1/2 more. Thats not a discount ticket by any means. Still a hell of an innovative idea.

  13. #13
    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
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    I read in some article or other a while back that someone had come up with the idea of bunks. Basically sleepers much like in a train that would pivot down to a standing/buckled-in position for landings and take-off.

  14. #14
    Thailand Expat jandajoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AntRobertson
    Basically sleepers much like in a train that would pivot down to a standing/buckled-in position for landings and take-off.
    That's the idea.

  15. #15
    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
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    Oh sorry, that's what you meant by "couchettes"?

    Wish I could find the article as it had some concept drawings of it. No idea if it is going beyond that stage though.

  16. #16
    Scene, not herd.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Kerr
    Other airlines Thai, Singapore, Qantas don't come near and for Asia-Pacific these guys are ducks guts.
    Better than SQ?

    That's a bold statement.

  17. #17
    Thailand Expat
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    check out the old Pan Am round the world flight. Look at its route. Stopping in Dhahran back before it had 1,000 people living in it.

    Had to get home somehow. But then Aramco bought its own planes and put the sleepers in them.

    everythingPanAm

  18. #18
    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beadle View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Kerr
    Other airlines Thai, Singapore, Qantas don't come near and for Asia-Pacific these guys are ducks guts.
    Better than SQ?

    That's a bold statement.
    I'll never fly SQ again after the debarcle we had with them last time flying to NZ. Utter, utter, utter shite!

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by AntRobertson
    I'll never fly SQ again after the debarcle we had with them last time flying to NZ. Utter, utter, utter shite!

    What happened?

  20. #20
    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beadle View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by AntRobertson
    I'll never fly SQ again after the debarcle we had with them last time flying to NZ. Utter, utter, utter shite!

    What happened?
    Sorry, hope you'll forgive the laziness and self-quoting but I posted about it at the time so in a nutshell cut 'n paste from that...

    It was a balls-up of epic proportions!

    We had called them to confirm both the booking and the seats (as you know the bassinets can only go on the bulkheads) several days prior. When we went to the gate at Changi airport I knew from one look something was up as it was packed.

    My suspicions were correct, turns out they'd over-booked the flight, and when I enquired they said there were no bassinet seats left. Obviously I wasn't too happy but they said that we'd have spare seats for the boys so I thought that was better than nothing. It wasn't.

    We boarded the plane and it was one of those ones configured with the 3-seats in the middle (don't know what type, I never pay attention to this stuff). The wife and I had a seat each and there was the spare one in the middle. I was pissed off but figured we'd manage... Until some lady came along and asked for her seat. That's when I had a slight bout of air rage (although we were still on the ground).

    Now remembering that we'd paid 1/2 fares for the boys, effectively 3 full fares, I thought the least we were entitled to was 3 seats. No way was I going to spend the entire trip sandwiched in a seat with a 12kg infant on my lap for 12hrs. And what really pissed me off was it became apparent after I'd blown my top and called attention to the situation that they'd boarded the flight without considering individual needs. There were single people sitting in the bulkhead seats where the bassinets go.

    Long story short, but some helpful passengers gave up their seats and we ended up with one bassinet seat and the one directly behind it. I basically spent the entire trip switching one boy from my lap into the bassinet and, literally, didn't get a minutes sleep (we'd left at 1am Thai time). Arrived in NZ and I was completely zonked; felt like I was drunk.
    [Edit]It's not clear from that but we were flying with our twins (boys) aged 18mths at the time.

  21. #21
    Scene, not herd.
    Beadle's Avatar
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    ^ aha. I had a similar experience on Thai to Brisbane where they sat me in the bulkhead; a single male travelling alone, beside all the noisy kids and mothers.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beadle View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Kerr
    Other airlines Thai, Singapore, Qantas don't come near and for Asia-Pacific these guys are ducks guts.
    Better than SQ?

    That's a bold statement.
    Having spent the last 9-10 years travelling at least twice a month in Asia-Pacific, SG is the worst, just after Thai, in this day and age in this region. NZ is like any of the airlines were 15-20 years, a decent hard working business that seems to give a shit about its customers. A bit like nearly all new zealanders I know, no nonsense doers that would cringe at the service of SG these days.

  23. #23
    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beadle View Post
    ^ aha. I had a similar experience on Thai to Brisbane where they sat me in the bulkhead; a single male travelling alone, beside all the noisy kids and mothers.
    I can appreciate that. The passenger I mentioned that gave up his seat was a single guy and there was already 1 family with an infant there so I'm sure he was actually quite relieved to be able to move.

    But that's what really pissed me off the most; full flight sure, but why plan it so badly as to have single people in the bassinet seats (particularly after we'd phoned to both book and confirm them)!?

    There's an epiloge to all that as well... I wrote a long, nasty and stinging letter of complaint via the SG website, hit 'submit', got a opo-up bascially saying: 'Thanks for your input. If you requested feedback we'll get back to you'. Of course I hadn't requested focking feedback as I'd naively expected that they'd take my complaint/rant seriously! And of course by then I'd run out of rant steam and couldn't be arsed re-typing it all.

  24. #24
    Scene, not herd.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Kerr
    Having spent the last 9-10 years travelling at least twice a month in Asia-Pacific, SG is the worst, just after Thai, in this day and age in this region.
    I fly SQ regularly in Business Class and it is better than any other airline I have flown in the last 5/6 years. Never had a problem and the service is impeccable.

    Likewise with Thai, the service on the 777's to Brissy and Melbourne is excellent and the aircraft are brand new, so no complaints there either. Their business class can't hold a candle to SQ though.

  25. #25
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    Have you tried Air NZ?

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