This airline is offering bunk beds, couches to economy passengers


Written by:


For those of us looking to save money on travel expenses, buying seats in economy class for a flight can make a vacation a good deal more affordable. However, if you’ve ever been on a long-haul flight, you know that even sitting in an upgraded plane seat can take a toll on the body.


Now, imagine sitting for hours in a tiny economy seat for 17 hours. In no way does that seem enjoyable.

One airline thinks it has a solution to this problem: bunk beds! It may sound like something dreamed up by a 10-year-old boy on a whim but Air New Zealand is making it a reality.


Air New Zealand’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner fleet, set to take off for the first time in 2024, will feature Skynest. This feature is being billed as “the world’s first sleep pods in the sky for economy travelers” according to the airline’s announcement on June 29.


Beds on airplanes are far from a new concept, but this amenity is typically reserved for passengers on luxury airlines or those willing to pay for a seat in business class. The addition of beds for economy class passengers comes as a result of research done by Air New Zealand regarding the importance of sleep, particularly for those who travel.



“Research shows us the first night away from home is the hardest to get a good night’s sleep so everything we do onboard is to help create a sense of calm — from the lighting and sleep ritual including sleepy teas and balms, to the healthier food choices and breathable fabrics,” said Leanne Geraghty, the airline’s chief customer and sales officer. “Meditative onscreen content, Zentertainment, will also help customers unwind and get ready for rest.”


Each Skynest will have six beds available for use throughout the flights. The program allows economy class ticket holders to rent a bed for a limited time during a long flight to allow them to get some rest and enjoy some space away from their seat. Crew members will change the bed linens between each passenger to guarantee cleanliness and health safety standards, the airline added.


“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,” an airline representative told CNN. “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.”


CNN also reported that each Skynest pod will include bedding, ear plugs, a full-size pillow, a reading light, a USB charging port and a ventilation outlet.



In addition to the new Skynest area, the carrier also announced it would be changing its economy seating to accommodate a new feature called the Skycouch, which essentially converts rows of three seats into one more comfortable seat with no dividers. This optional feature will allow for more flexible seating, especially for families flying together in one row, to spread out or curl up once the seatbelt signs are off.


Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Greg Foran said the airline invested in these projects because of the importance of the traveler experience on flights to and from the island nation.


“New Zealand’s location puts us in a unique position to lead on the ultra-long-haul travel experience,” Foran shared in the press release. “We have zeroed in on sleep, comfort and wellness because we know how important it is for our customers to arrive well-rested. Whether they are heading straight into a meeting, or to their first holiday hotspot — they want to hit the ground running.”


This article originally appeared on and was syndicated by


More from MediaFeed:

26 of the most beautiful airports on the planet



If the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has you yearning for not just the world’s most beautiful places (and underground spaces), but the ports in between, well, we understand. Many modern airports aren’t merely transportation hubs; they’re also design feats, full of fine dining, designer shops, cultural nods, exciting attractions, iconic ceilings and standalone works of art. From the peaks of Denver to a gem at a southern tip of the world, curb your urge to travel by “visiting” 26 of the world’s most beautiful airports.

SPONSORED: Find a Qualified Financial Advisor

1. Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to 3 fiduciary financial advisors in your area in 5 minutes.

2. Each advisor has been vetted by SmartAsset and is held to a fiduciary standard to act in your best interests. If you’re ready to be matched with local advisors that can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.


coward_lion / istockphoto


The world’s best airport — according to air transport rating organization Skytrax’s rankings — is, unsurprisingly, one of the most beautiful. The 135,700-square-meter Jewel Changi Airport in Singapore features lush gardens, canopy bridges (pictured), mazes, sculptural slides, hotel rooms, swanky shops and several Michelin star restaurants.



kuremo / istockphoto


One of the spectacular airport’s most popular attractions (yes, attractions) are the Manulife Sky Nets. One web is for walkers, but the other 250-meter net is designed to let adventurous visitors bounce among the trees.



bennymarty / istockphoto


Jewel Changi’s crown jewel, however, is the HSBC Rain Vortex, the world’s tallest indoor waterfall. Take a red-eye and you can catch a stunning light-and-sound show.


Chun Chang Wu / istockphoto


Qatar’s stunning Hamad International Airport opened in April 2014 and currently accommodates over 35 million passengers per year.


Leonid Andronov / istockphoto


Its grand foyer houses “Lamp Bear,” a 23-foot yellow teddy sculpted from bronze by Swiss artist Urs Fischer. The big bear (and his desk lamp umbrella) was designed to “remind travelers of childhood or precious objects from home,” according to the airport website.


uskarp / istockphoto


Incheon International, South Korea’s largest airport, doubles as an arts and culture performance venue, hosting mini-concerts, art exhibits, dance recitals and Korean history lessons.


jon chica parada / istockphoto


Incheon Airport’s Terminal 2 opened in January 2018, a few weeks before the Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games. It’s currently undergoing an expansion, expected to be completed by 2025.


The airport, located in Mumbai, India, has won several awards since undergoing modernization beginning in 2006, including the 2008 “Airport of the Year” award by Frost & Sullivan Aeronautical Excellence.


Shivendu Jauhari / istockphoto


The airport’s Terminal 2 — or T2, as it’s affectionately known — is characterized by its 17-acre roof, designed to evoke the stone pavilions of ancient Hindu temples and the eye of a peacock feather, according to Architect Magazine. (Peacocks are the country’s national bird.)


boggy22 / istockphoto


The second-largest (and only international) airport in the UAE boasts designer shops, children’s play areas, two airport hotels, numerous lounges and a 924-square-meter VIP terminal.


Shams / istockphoto


Its X-shaped central terminal was conceived as a gateway to Abu Dhabi and is characterized by ornate, colorful ceilings.


Boarding1Now / istockphoto


The second largest airport in Europe, located in northeast Madrid, has four passenger terminals, one satellite building and two docks.


algarabi / istockphoto


Its flagship feature, however, is the curved bamboo ceiling of Terminal 4. Designed by famous architect Richard Rogers, the sustainable bamboo canopies are supported by yellow steel “tree trunks” and span 25 soccer fields.


carlobassetti / istockphoto


Malaysia’s main international airport prides itself on its service and amenities — which include a 24-hour wellness spa and a premium lounge open to all passengers — so much so, it has its own brochure.


coward_lion / istockphoto


Designed by Japanese architect Kisho Kurokawa, the airport’s Islamic-style shading roof is also meant to evoke a Malaysian rainforest.


coward_lion / istockphoto


One of the busiest airports in the U.S. O’Hare’s most notable feature is, perhaps, its underground rainbow tunnel, connecting Concourse A to Concourse B in Terminal 1. That might change, however, as the airport is slated for a major expansion, projected to be completed by 2028.


aoldman / istockphoto


China’s fourth largest airport is unmistakable, thanks to Terminal 3’s curving, steel-and-glass canopy roof.


ZZ3701 / istockphoto


Designed by Italian architects Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas, the airport’s exterior evokes a manta ray, while thousands of hexagonal skylights on the interior are meant to mimic a honeycomb.


ben-bryant / istockphoto


The flagship terminal is full of other flourishes, including polished tile floors, giant, sculptural air conditioning vents and some brightly colored windows (pictured).


c8501089 / istockphoto


Colorado’s Denver International Airport is among the world’s busiest — and most beautiful — airports, hosting 69 million passengers in 2019.


arinahabich / istockphoto


DIA is most known for its Jeppesen Terminal, which features a peaked roof meant to evoke — and highlight — the visible Rocky Mountains. But if the terminal’s unique design doesn’t strike your fancy, maybe the many conspiracy theories surrounding the airport will.


tvirbickis / istockphoto


Turkey’s Istanbul Airport opened in October 2018 and was recently certified as a five-star airport by Skytrax.


Gökçen TUNÇ / istockphoto


The airport’s massive single terminal can host up to 200 million passengers, who can visit local and designer shops, 150 eateries, several salons and a spa specializing in massage packages.


Elen11 / istockphoto


Its iconic control tower, designed by firms AECOM and Pininfarina, was inspired by tulips, “which have been associated with Istanbul for centuries and represented a significant cultural reference in Turkish history,” according to the airport’s website.


Czgur / istockphoto


Another of Skytrax’s five-star airports, Tokyo Haneda International Airport is a trip itself, housing Edo Koji, a shopping center modeled after a typical street in 17th-century Japan.


kuremo / istockphoto


The Edo Market includes a giant replica of the original wooden Nihonbashi Bridge, surrounded by decorative folding screens from the National Museum of Japanese History that depict life during its era.


kuremo / istockphoto


The splashy, five-star Munich Airport is home to two terminals, 56 eateries, 137 stores, free relaxation areas and coffee stations and its very own brewery.


Boarding1Now / istockphoto


In non-pandemic times, it doubles as an event space, thanks to the spectacular roof designed by architect Helmut Jahn that connects the two terminals. In 2019, the airport hosted the Southern German Skateboarding Championships and a winter festival that included an ice rink.


hitsujikumo33 / istockphoto


Elevated 4,411 meters above sea level, Daocheng Yading Airport is currently the world’s highest civilian airport.


Mumemories / istockphoto


The modern airport, opened in 2008, is designed to showcase the ancient city “where classical traditions of the arts, crafts, music, and food are as vibrant today as they were centuries ago,” according to its website.



Leila Melhado / istockphoto


Here, again, the ornate, glass ceilings are a real highlight, flooding the airport with plenty of natural light to accentuate the modern and cultural flourishes.


Peacefoo / istockphoto


Nicknamed “the starfish” for its unique external shape, the new Beijing Daxing International Airport (it opened in Sept. 2019) is now the biggest airport in the world, spanning the equivalent of 98 soccer fields.


suiwuya / istockphoto


The interior combines futuristic elements, like swirling black-and-white ceilings and polished floors, with cultural touches, like the traditional Chinese gardens that adorn its corridors.


Boarding1Now / istockphoto


Beijing Capital International Airport — the “starfish’s” next-door neighbor —has plenty of shine on its own, featuring arching skylights, red-white-and-gold ceilings and dragon statues.


KreangchaiRungfamai / istockphoto


Another one of the world’s busiest airports, Dubai International Airport served 86.4 million customers in 2019.



typhoonski / istockphoto


The bustling and partially underground Terminal 3, which cost $4.5 billion to build, houses two food courts, numerous duty-free shops, and five- and four-star hotel rooms.

SPONSORED: Find a Qualified Financial Advisor

1. Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to 3 fiduciary financial advisors in your area in 5 minutes.

2. Each advisor has been vetted by SmartAsset and is held to a fiduciary standard to act in your best interests. If you’re ready to be matched with local advisors that can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.


aksphoto / istockphoto


Located on the island of Tierra del Fuego at the southern tip of Argentina, the small airport comes with big panoramic views.


vale_t / istockphoto


Another Helmut Jahn creation, Bangkok’s sprawling Suvarnabhumi Airport was designed to “express its pivotal importance to Thailand,” according to the Architectural Record.


tomgigabite / istockphoto


It also reflects its name: Suvarnabhumi means “The Golden Land,” a traditional name for the Thailand-Cambodia-Laos-Burma region.


MJ_Prototype / istockphoto


The world’s busiest airport doubles as an art gallery, featuring over 1,000 works of art throughout its corridors and terminals.


SeanPavonePhoto / iStock


The airport’s impressive concrete-and-steel railway station, designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, is meant to evoke a bird at the point of flight.


Thierry Perre / istockphoto


Baku’s Heydar Aliyev International Airport was named a five-star regional airport, by Skytrax in May 2018.


ShevchenkoAndrey / istockphoto


Its defining feature is its stunning wooden “cocoons,” which house eateries, shops, luggage storage centers, a spa and a children’s play area.


saiko3p / istockphoto


Also referred to as Chek Lap Kok International Airport, this sprawling airport handled 71.5  million passengers in 2019. It’s received over 80 “World’s Best Airport” awards and is certified with Skytrax’s five-star airport rating “for facilities, comfort and cleanliness, shopping, food and beverages and staff service.”


LewisTsePuiLung / istockphoto


The airport’s distinctive scalloped roof canopies are designed for expansion — and, in fact, have already been extended three times since the airport opened in July 1998.


Michael Wels / istockphoto


Designed by architect Cesar Pelli, Washington D.C.’s National airport is characterized by “54 ‘Jeffersonian’ domes that establish a connection with the architecture of the region,” according to its website.


SOMATUSCANI / istockphoto


The interior features work from 30 artists, including mosaic, murals and sculpture, woven between the distinctive corridors and balustrades.


martince2 / iStock


Amsterdam’s Airport Schiphol features relaxation areas designed to mimic a forest, complete with pre-recorded birds singing in the background. There are also nearby exercise bikes that will charge your phone as you pedal.


alessia penny / istockphoto


50 photos of beautiful bodies of water all around the world.

This article was produced and syndicated by


csterken / istockphoto


Featured Image Credit: Air New Zealand.