The World's First Sleeping Pods for Economy Passengers Are Just as Amazing as They Sound

Air New Zealand’s brand-new direct flight service between NYC and Auckland will feature bunk bed-style Skynests starting in 2024.

Air New Zealand Economy Skynest
Photo: Courtesy of Air New Zealand

The worst part of long-haul flights is trying to find the right sleeping position. Lucky for you, and me, Air New Zealand wants to make it easier for passengers to get some rest: the airline will introduce Skynests, the world's first sleep pods for economy class passengers, in 2024.

And it's now become even easier for Americans to make the roughly 16 hour journey to New Zealand. On September 17, the New Zealand-based airline began service between Auckland Airport (AKL) and New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK). The new route will be offered three times a week on its Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft.

A direct flight between New Zealand and New York is pretty significant, as this is the first offering of such a trip that is available for public booking. New Yorkers have always had at least one layover (usually in Los Angeles or San Francisco) on their way to the country, resulting in a well-over 20-hour journey.

Air New Zealand Economy Skynest
Courtesy of Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand recently popped up in New York City's Hudson Yards to showcase New Zealand's culture through Visit Tomorrow, an immersive experience designed to virtually transport visitors to some of the most beautiful locations in the country.

The event featured a sneak peek at Air New Zealand's new Skynests — the world's first sleep pods in the sky for economy travelers, which took the internet by storm earlier this summer. While they will be officially launching with Air New Zealand's new 787's in 2024, I was able to examine a model of the sleep pods at the exhibition. Stacked like bunk beds, each pod includes full-sized pillows, bedding, earplugs, and even reading lights!

Tall readers, no need to worry after hearing "bunk beds" and "pods." These Skynests can host people up to 6 feet 5 inches tall.

Air New Zealand Economy Skynest
Courtesy of Air New Zealand

A pre-order program on the flights also features authentic New Zealand dishes, allowing them to experience the best of Aotearoa on a plate, including local ingredients such as Lamb Prosciutto from Southland, Hawke's Bay extra-virgin olive oil, and Waikato smoked chicken.

If Skynests — or as I like to think of them: adult bunk bed forts — didn't sound futuristic enough, guests will be welcomed aboard to these new flights by SAM, Air New Zealand's "metahuman" virtual flight attendant. By having SAM available to provide introductory information and answer basic questions, there is much more time for passengers to actually speak with the airline's friendly cabin crew, allowing them to experience first-hand Kiwi hospitality.

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