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Cool: Lie-Flat Seats for Economy Fliers – But There’s a Catch

January 27, 2010 | Posted in: Airline News,Passengers


The catch is, it helps to be “in love” – like the couple below – to really enjoy these new economy class seats from Air New Zealand. Face it, this is not exactly built for people who are “just friends” but – I like it.

And we will start seeing these “Kiwi-designed” seats – called Skycouch – later this year on Air New Zealand’s international service.

There is another catch to these seats: you and your traveling companion have to buy three seats (an entire row) to make this work. You see, the seats come with a sort of leg resting area (kind of like the bottom part of a La-Z-Boy) that pulls up flush with the seat bottoms, creating a flat space for you and a companion to lie down on (presumably with your heads toward the windows).

That third seat would cost about half-price, though I’m not sure what happens if the plane is full. Meanwhile, as Air New Zealand’s enthusiastic CEO Rob Fyfe says, “The dream is now a reality, one that you can even share with a travelling companion – just keep your clothes on thanks!”

Oh, those Kiwis…

8 Responses to “Cool: Lie-Flat Seats for Economy Fliers – But There’s a Catch”

  1. Angela says:

    Well, I have flown between LAX and Sydney on Air New Zealand in Business class, and it is superb. This is, at least, a step in the right direction.

  2. Rick Seaney says:


    I’m with you, I think the new Sleepcouch could prove very popular.


  3. Keep your clothes on? What a disappointment. :)

    Am flying them next month and am very glad I am in Premium Economy. Works just fine for me.

  4. Rick Seaney says:


    Yes, I’ve heard their Premium Economy is excellent — have a great trip!


  5. greendragon says:

    I’m not so sure – I would imagine the reinforcement for those pullouts would need to be quite strong. I KNOW me and my husband wouldn’t fit in those – he’s a 500 pound gorilla, and I’m not exactly petite. I wouldn’t want to hit some turbulence and have the thing fail under me, dumping me on the floor!

  6. Rick Seaney says:


    Well, the “500-pound gorilla” aspect is something to ponder; I doubt those two kids in the photo come anywhere near that.

    Thanks for my laugh of the day.

  7. JoeH says:

    An what about those of us who are 6-foot-4, and would have that scene in “Misery” re-enacted by the beverage trolley!

  8. Rick Seaney says:

    Oh, Joe – now how am I supposed to get that image out of my mind?


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