Australian borders remain firmly closed and international travel is still off the table, but there will come a time when hopping on a plane and travelling to a new country is a normal and exciting experience once more.
And when that day comes, it’s possible the airplane experience could look a little different — airlines and travel authorities have been using this time to reassess their protocols and practices to come up with safer and more comfortable fixtures aboard aircrafts.
An airline in Japan recently began trialling hands-free bathroom doors, while manufacturers of aircraft interiors have also created designs for double-decker seating and perspex dividers. Now, one airline is trialling a new form of seating configuration, and we have a feeling it’s going to be very popular indeed.
On a long-haul flight, there’s truly nothing better than getting a row to yourself so you can lie down and sleep somewhat comfortable. Only, scoring a row almost always comes down to luck — until now.
European airline Lufthansa is allowing economy passengers to book an entire row of three or four seats in a trial offer it calls the ‘Sleeper’s Row’. Currently available only between Germany and Brazil, the offer simultaneously allows for a more comfortable sleep on the 12-hour flight, while also helping passengers to social distance for safety.
The Sleeper’s Row comes with a seat topper, blanket and pillow and costs €220 (AU $354) for three seats, or €260 (AU $418) for four seats. It’s available only at the check-in gate, and the cost is tacked onto the price of the fare.
The concept is not entirely dissimilar to the Economy Skynest beds from Air New Zealand, which appears as three slim beds stacked on top of one another at the rear of the economy cabin in a triangle, presenting six travellers the opportunity to sleep lying down for a portion of future flights.