According to a report by Tom Boon in Simple Flying, Lufthansa, which sadly does not fly to Australia is being ingenious with the empty seats on its flights currently by trialling offering beds in the economy cabin of its Boeing 747-8 aircraft.
Depending on customers’ feedback during the trial, the airline may roll the product out across its long-haul fleet, with the test initially lasting for around a month, with Lufthansa offering it on just one route, its Boeing 747-8 flights between Frankfurt and Sao Paulo.
Economy class beds are not a new concept, with a number of airlines have been offering the product to those passengers willing to spend a little more on flights in the economy cabin, allowing passengers to travel in a bit more comfort, while the airline can also make some profit from selling off of empty seats.
Air New Zealand offers the “Economy Skycouch” on long-haul flights and this can be anything from one row of three seats, one row with an additional regular seat, or two rows, depending on the number of people it’s for.
ANA’s couch seat offering, known as COUCHii, is only available in the economy cabin of its Airbus A380
At a fee, Lufthansa passengers will be able to reserve a row of three or four seats in the economy cabin and these seats are then the passenger’s for the duration of the flight, with Lufthansa providing passengers with a soft mattress, a cushion, and a blanket, said to all be of business class quality.
The upgrade to ‘economy bed class’ comes with one other perk, with passengers allowed to pre-board before the main economy cabin, giving them time to be the first in the cabin and get comfortable in their bed for the flight, with as both flights are night flights, the benefit is offered in both directions.
The seats cannot currently be prebooked with passengers having to enquire at the check-in desk or gate, with any available space being sold on a first-come, first-served basis, with reports saying prices would be around an additional $US260.
An edited report from Simple Flying by John Alwyn-Jones