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Best Economy-Class Innovations

Air New Zealand

Courtesy of Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand

Economy-Class Innovation: A bed at your fingertips.

Imagine if an economy row of three seats could convert to a bed with the touch of a button. Well, AirNZ’s Skycouch does exactly that: arms retract, the seat base extends, and the seatbelts lengthen to buckle up when reclining. Two passengers can snuggle horizontally, leaning against the wall or lying flat. And the price is a steal: pay a standard fare for each seat, and the third shared berth is half price—or a 25 percent per-person premium. By the end of 2012, every flight to America will offer this “cuddle class.” Until then, AirNZ has a last-minute trick to help economy passengers sleep soundly on all its long-haul flights. If available, an empty neighboring seat can be purchased for a bargain price at check-in (often less than $60 one way).

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