tip off

Air NZ sleeper teaser seat image

An Air New Zealand ‘sleeper seat’ in economy is apparently ready for a public showing this week, maybe even today or tomorrow.

This image, which is NOT linked to a You Tube video, because we couldn’t find it straight up, has been doing the rounds and has appeared on Pprune.

Pinched from Pprune

Pinched from Pprune

What does it show? Looks like a well designed economy class seat with lots of extra legroom which with the use of a sliding base would provide space in which dozing off would be a lot easier and more comfortable than a typical tight fit cheap seat.

The hints from Air NZ all make good sense too. There is a broad range of fares sold for the same economy seating, which when the bargains are being unloaded, can vary between $900-$3900 return between Australia and London. So naturally, those who pay more for the same seat would welcome a cabin in which not all economy seats are the same in physical dimensions.

There are questions of course. What happens to Air NZ’s premium economy seats? Is this really a relaunch of premium economy? How will it manage flights where the best economy seats are all full, and those sold very cheaply have spare seats beside them which will allow the bargain hunters to stretch out more?

Questions, questions. Whatever the answers its good to see an airline coming up with fresh concepts. The new product will start appearing in Air NZ’s 777 fleet toward the end of this year.


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  • 1
    Posted January 26, 2010 at 5:27 am | Permalink

    I can still remember travelling on TAA ‘Business Class’ in 1984, which was really an economy seat with about 10 cm of extrqa legroom, and about 15-20% extra fare over standard economy. Over the last 20+ years the airlines evolved Business Class to become a much better product than the old First Class, especially over long-haul routes. What was TAA Business Class in 1984 is very similar to the new ‘Premium Economy’ being offered today.

    What NZ/TE and other carriers are really doing is re-introducung the original business class, albeit with a different name (“Premium Economy”), and without the stratospheric and crazy fare multiples (like 10-20x base economy fare).

    What they are really doing is filling the very long unfulfiled gap between the ‘Pharoah Classes’ and ‘Sardine Class’. And it’s a gap that’s been needed to be filled for a long time.

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