Cuddle Class

Transforming cattle class to cuddle class with Air New Zealand's revolutionary Skycouch new premium economy seats that bring a new era of relaxation, privacy and sociability to air travel.

Air New Zealand, with the help of Designworks and global innovation consultancy IDEO, has developed a revolutionary solution to the problem of uncomfortable long haul travel in economy class: The Skycouch. A row of three seats that converts to a lie-flat platform, allowing two adults to lie together like they would on a couch at home. The ticket price for buying all three seats is the equal to approximately 2.5 normal fares. 

The design process included brainstorming, customer behavioural research, workshops, full-scale cabin mock-ups and running mock ‘flights’ to test the various concepts.

The result was one design aesthetic to form the entire experience. This customer centric design included all aspects of the in-flight experience right down to crockery designs that limit bumping your neighbour while you’re eating.

“The days of sitting in economy and yearning to lie down and sleep are gone. The dream is now a reality, one that you can even share with a travelling companion - just keep your clothes on,” says Rob Fyfe, chief executive.

The Skycouch has received huge international attention, and played a significant part in Air New Zealand  picking up Air Transport World magazine’s Airline of the Year award for 2010.

Air New Zealand
The Future of Air Travel