Would You Pay Extra to Lie Flat in Economy?
It’s the long-distance traveler’s dream: you have a row of four seats to yourself and you can stretch out across them for the entire 14-hour journey. “Why do people bother paying the extra for business class?” you think. “This is wonderful!”
Ah, but not so fast: when was the last time you saw one empty seat on the plane, let alone a whole row? Recent capacity cuts have meant frequently crowded planes, and if you want to stretch out and lie flat in coach these days, you’re pretty much out of luck.
Enter Air New Zealand, and its pioneering Skycouch. A row of three seats in economy that folds back into an almost-flat bed, it sounds almost too good to be true, right?
Well, kind of. First of all, you need to be traveling with someone you know well enough to snuggle with (cozying up to the stranger in 34A? No thanks.) Second of all, each Skycouch seat costs about $70 more than a regular seat, and you’ve got to buy three seats for two people, although Air New Zealand is apparently entertaining a pricing structure that would cut the cost of the third seat in half when you buy the two together.
Worth it? I’m not sure. It’s tempting, but would it really be worth the extra dough? What do you think?