ECONOMY flights are about to get much better, as one airline is launching lie-flat beds.

Air New Zealand is the first airline in the world to launch the beds, called Skynest pods, in both economy and premium economy.


The bunk beds will be open to passengers for four-hour sleep sessions for an extra cost.

While this is limited to just one session per traveller, each pod comes with a privacy curtain, as well as a pillow and sheet which will be changed between each snoozer.

There will also be USB chargers and "ventilation outlets".

The beds will only be available on long-haul flights and will be on the airline's Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners from 2024.

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It isn't clear how much they will cost yet, with the booking system yet to be implemented.

Air New Zealand chief executive Greg Foran called them a "game changer" for economy travellers.

He added: "New Zealand's location puts us in a unique position to lead on the ultra-long haul travel experience. 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."

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Air New Zealand first announced plans for the economy beds in 2020.

And the airline already has their Skycouch option which lets families pay for special foot rests if they have booked an entire row, to turn them into beds.

Other airlines have similar systems – Lufthansa launched their own makeshift beds in economy, with passengers able to purchase a whole row to themselves to create them.

The 'Sleeper's Row' starts from just €159 (£135) each way where the airline provides a mattress, pillows and blanket so travellers can turn the seats into their own bed if they book a whole row of three or four seats.

An expert explained that by using a seat website which reveals how many are left free, you can then nab three seats in a row.

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Designers have also revealed examples of how bunk beds or normal beds could work on flights.

Revealed at the annual Crystal Cabin Awards, the Chaise Longue Economy Seat project would have two heights – with one on the floor of the cabin and one raised slightly higher.

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