Cuddle class? Airline's intimate economy class 'beds'

Cuddle class? Airline's intimate economy class 'beds'

'Skycouches' -- Air New Zealand's latest promotional device offer perhaps a little too much PDA

Some passengers on Air New Zealand flights will get to cozy up to their partners on selected seats shaped like couches in the airline’s economy class starting next year.

The seats, dubbed ‘Skycouch’ by the airline, have been designed so that three separate seats in a row can be converted into a futon-like surface.

Once the armrests are retracted, and foot rests pulled up to fill the gap from the edge of the seat to the seat in front, the Skycouch allows fliers to sleep side by side like they’re in bed at home.

Skycouches will be available on Boeing 777 flights from New Zealand to Los Angeles and London starting April 2, 2011. The company plans to extend the design to all its long haul flights by 2012.

Great news for couples — nothing says separation pain more than armrests and seats with peculiar curvatures. But it begs the question: just how enthusiastically will travelers make themselves at home?

The online community is already buzzing about the risk of too much PDA (public display of affection) and the naughty implications of the new design.

“Calling all mile high club members,” said Youtube user rkerr1974.

Air New Zealand CEO Rob Fyfe said that they “putting the magic and romance back into flying” but cheekily reminded passengers to “keep their clothes on.”

The airline is also marketing the Skycouch to parents with small children and single travelers who are willing to splash a bit more cash for extra comfort.

The couch design can be executed with two seats, but Air NZ is encouraging duo travelers to snap up the third by offering it at half price. There will be 22 sets of Skycouches will be available on each flight.

The Skycouch design was unveiled in January this year and the airline will take delivery of its first revamped 777 jets in November, according to Stuff.co.nz. Those who have already booked flights between Los Angeles and Auckland from April 2 2011 onwards can upgrade to Skycouches now.

Former CNNGo staff writer Tiffany Lam produced and scripted current affairs documentaries and was a reporter for a local English newspaper before making the brave, brave decision to write about things she’s actually interested in.

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