ANZ flat beds in economy

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This topic contains 52 replies, has 25 voices, and was last updated by  continentalclub 5 Oct 2011
at 11:39

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  • Anonymous

    Some interesting news out of Auckland on the launch of a “lie-flat bed” in ANZ’s economy cabin:

    What do readers think of the concept?


    What next? They will follow this by giving them decent food in economy as well. I’m more in favour of the Ryanair approach, making them stand for the flight.
    Seriously, as someone who mixes economy and business travel, this could be interesting, depending on the pricing structure adopted.


    As an NZ Gold frequent flyer, who usually flies in business premier or premium economy, it is an interesting proposition. If travelling as a couple I’d seriously consider this over premium economy. Given most NZ long haul flights are overnight, I would have thought it would be a serious option for couples.

    The premium economy product is getting up with the best too, with a 2-2-2 configuration on a 77W, this is looking a lot closer to business class of not too long ago. It will be particularly interesting to see the reaction on the highly competitive LAX-LHR route as NZ will be light years ahead of BA and VS, let alone UA, AA and DL.


    What happens during turbulence if you are sleeping across the seats in economy? Is there a new design of seatbelt to enable the user to strap themselves in – otherwise they will have to be woken each time the seatbelt sign comes on…


    I am sure that there will be a market for this, I can’t say that it would be what I’m personally looking for. From the pictures it does not look that comfortable and as excessbaggae says what happens if there is turbulence.

    I have only flown three times with ANZ and all in economy and was impressed by the service and food. The IFE is far better than any other I have used. As I say I am sure there will be a market for this particularly given the length of some of ANZ flights

    I’ve just added a few larger images to the piece which give a better impression of the new offerings in economy and premium economy:

    I’ve also contacted our reporter Andrew Gough who is still out in New Zealand, to see if he can clarify the query about seatbelts in economy.


    Thanks Business Traveller – the premium economy seat looks great – almost like a business class offering!


    A nice innovation for vertically-challenged couples who like spooning – I wonder how many people will get tripped up over feet sticking out into the aisles?!

    And did you notice hidden in some of the publicity photos, the configuration for the rest of the poor sods in economy? 3-4-3 just like EK and KL. Maybe ANZ isn’t being so wonderfully generous after all…


    Good point cityprofessional – it would be interesting to know what the length of the three seats put together is? I think the seat width of an economy class seat is around 18 inches, which would equate to 54 inches or 4.5 feet – not really enough for a proper bed!

    This probably doesn’t include the armrests though, so i may be doing them a slight disservice…


    Hats off to NZ for doing something to both Economy and Premium Economy. So many of their flights are ultra-long-haul (for me, ten plus hours in the air is ultra long haul), this would be an ideal solution, esp. for a couple or a family with a small child.

    Apart from seatbelts, what about being seated on your own when loads are light – will the seats be operating as normal seats, or could you make a bed out of it?

    The new Premium Economy looks super. Air NZ already serve a business class style meal (take note other carriers) which makes this product very attractive. And the new Business Premier obviously works – to the point where Air NZ have a new patent on the seat.

    Anyone note the new crew uniform? That pink sure is…um…different.

    Well done, Air NZ! Top carrier for innovation 2010, I think!


    Product innovation is excellent to see in an industry so blighted by stories of product and service downgrades. It’s probably particulary essential for small carriers like Air New Zealand, since all their long haul routes operate in competition with other carriers – and announcements like this maintain their share-of-voice.

    The Premium Economy seat will be the one to watch, I think, especially with its offset 2-2-2 configuration and super cabin ambience. Business class catering for PE passengers is also a serious differentiator and helps justify the not-inconsiderable incremental cost of PE over Y.

    Of course, the principal driver behind the inclusion of J catering in PE was the mixed-class upper deck on the 744s that these new 777s are slated to replace. With that practical, operational necessity removed, Air New Zealand will hopefully maintain their conviction that it’s a worthy component of the soft product. The omens are good; the slightly less-fanfared announcements about general catering improvements (especially in terms of galley equipment) are very welcome indeed, though they will depend hugely on getting the Auckland crews (who are every bit as fractious as Finnair’s and BA’s!) behind the new service standards.

    Only time will tell whether the CX Y-style seat adjustment in PE will prove as comfortable as the more traditional fixed squab and tilting backrest arrangement.

    The Skycouch is, naturally of course, today’s headline-grabber, though I think the practical implications of the seat, in use, are hugely compromised. As excessbaggage says, a quick bit of maths (the average 777 Y seat width is actually 17.5ins) produces a combined seat width which cannot, including armrests and frames, be even 5 feet long. You’ll note from the press photos that the models actually have their heads up the sidewall of the aircraft. You’ll also note that the seats fore of the recumbent models are upright, whilst those they occupy are reclined. As Air New Zealand are not adopting shell-style seats in Y, encroachment into the Skycouch space will take place.

    The suggestion of a 1100USD per flight fee between the two passengers occupying the Skycouch is not inconsiderable in the acutely price-sensitive Y-cabin, and there are bound to be issues when passengers who’ve paid the fee board a lightly-loaded service and believe (rightly-or-wrongly) that they could have avoided the fee if they’d known that seats would have been unoccupied anyway. Remember, specifically, that these seats can only be of interest to leisure travellers, not business ones (unless they’re very close!) and leisure travellers are more likely to buy on price than schedule, loyalty, or regular experience.

    If the seats do indeed prove successful commercially, and they generate licensing revenue for Air New Zealand, then it will be excellent news for the company and indeed the country, as it will help secure their long term self-determination in terms of aviation.

    Also excellent are those new uniforms; a huge improvement on the old!

    Speaking honestly though, and putting my neck on the line, I think the seats will end up being given away free to status-holders travelling in pairs, if not consigned to the same place as airline ash trays fairly shortly.

    Overall though, it’s great to see airline good news that’s not just about First Class.


    These new products look and sound great.

    Have we now come full circle? ANZ are offering three classes – standard economy, value and confort-conscious premium and very expensive luxury. Leaving aside the brand names, 10 years ago they would have been described as economy, business and first.


    Hi everyone !! ANZ it is your stage and spotlight !

    We have waited for such bold innovations in Economy Class and it is surprising and great that ANZ really upholds its good name and products in both Prem. Economy and Economy. As I am a fan of full flat bed–it is a big “yes” for the Skycouch ! Whether it could be smaller for some–it is still a great way to lounge or sleep in those seats/space –regarding other Y pax being disturbed because of your lounging or sleeping position–believe me a lot of them would refer on booking a skycouch in their flights inorder to have the freedom of space and mobility in such long haul flights, the odd look about occupying three seats for one person or two will only be in the beginning as it will be a common sight in the future. It is also good to hear that improvements on catering has been done as well !

    Just a huge ” kudos” to those in ANZ !! This really shows other competitors in the market that you have taken the issues of pax regarding improvements in Prem. Eco and Economy Class seriously and by responding to it with a huge idea and really innovative approach — I am a fan of ANZ Prem Eco before–now I have the new Prem Eco and the Skycouch to choose from and this makes me more a huge fan!–definitely a huge success as here the customers/pax are the winners !

    Thanks ANZ !! Sincerly I wished I had expected such things from BA–well you can’t have everything–right !

    A couple of points to add about the new offering. The premium economy seat will feature a recline of nine inches, and the layout of the 777-300ER aircraft will be as follows:

    246 in economy (including 66 seats creating 22 Skycouch combinations), 50 in premium economy and 44 in Business Premier.

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