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Lie-Flat Beds Come to Coach

Air New Zealand revealed a new lie-flat option in coach class, reportedly the first of its kind. Dubbed “Skycouch,” the seating features adjacent, flat seats and fully retractable armrests, meaning passengers can put the armrests up and stretch out. (For pictures and a video tour of the new seats, check out this post at the Cranky Flier.)

22 Skycouch sets (of three seats) will be available on the carrier’s new 777s, which are scheduled to arrive in November.

Sounds great! But how much will it cost? Air New Zealand isn’t saying just yet, but did indicate that people travling together will be able to purchase two Skycouch seats at full price and get the third for half off, thus completing the set. Details on actual airfares will be released in April. Brett Snyder (of Cranky Flier) writes that individual seats will likely cost about $150 more than regular economy when purchased individually, which is nowhere near the cost of premium economy or business class.

Now, you may be saying, “Hey, this is great—but what if you’re not flying to New Zealand or Australia?” Well, yeah, most of us won’t get to enjoy Seatcouches anytime soon. But if an airline had to start somewhere, why not the incredibly long flight to the South Pacific?

To me, Air New Zealand’s new coach seating looks like a great value. I have a difficult time sleeping on planes, and would gladly pay a little extra for a lie-flat option on such a long flight. But what about you? Do the seats look comfortable? Think we’ll ever see Seatcouches on long-haul domestic flights? Leave a comment below 

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