With great fanfare (and my heaping praise), Air New Zealand unveiled their Skycouch product, a row of three economy seats that transform into a lie-flat bad large enough for two people. Billed as the cheaper alternative to flying in business class, the sleeper seat is slated to enter service this spring onboard NZ’s new 777-300ER flying from Auckland-Los Angeles-London and back.
But the price list is out now too, and it isn’t pretty–at least for the budget conscious traveler. A return ticket from London to Auckland during the high season prices out at £4,882. That’s over £500 more than a business class ticket (£4,369)! A premium economy ticket is only £2,134. Even in the low season the price of the economy sleeper seat, per person, is just a couple hundred pounds less than a business class ticket.
I know the Skycouch is a lot bigger than the reclined business class seat, but I cannot stomach paying more for a seat in the back. Even with the equivalent of a double bed in economy with a great blanket and pillow (which NZ will provide), I sleep just fine on NZ’s herringbone-style lie-flat business class seats. And I would earn more miles for flying in business class.
Am I missing something?