• Mom and Baby Get to Sleep Side by Side in Economy Seats of This Airline!

    Doesn't this sound like a dream? And we repeat: economy seats.
    by SmartParenting Staff .
  • Roominess can be an issue when you're flying economy with a baby. Sometimes it can be an acrobatic act even when you have all three seats. The upright position on your lap is the default especially when you have a sleeping baby or toddler. And that's why we're practically swooning when we saw this airline's onboard feature.

    You see, Air New Zealand has what it calls the "Skycouch," a row of three economy seats that convert into a flat, flexible surface (yes, FLAT). It was first introduced in 2011 for "rest, relaxation and play" (hard to imagine when you've got restless toddlers but just go with it).

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    Here's how the Skycouch is described on Air New Zealand's website: "The seats are the same as an Economy seat, except you have an additional footrest that folds to form a couch. Each person can choose if they want their footrest up or down. These adjust to 60 and 90 degrees.

    "The armrest on the window side goes all the way up to create a comfortable lounge space. All the armrests in the middle seats also disappear in the back of the seat."

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    The airline, which won Best Premium Economy Class in the World for the second consecutive year in the 2018 TripAdvisor Travellers' Choice Awards, further developed the Skycouch by introducing a dedicated infant harness and belt, allowing your baby to remain lying down throughout the entire flight (previously your baby was required to be seated on your lap when the seatbelt sign was on). It also has a new infant pod that provides additional comfort and protection.

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    The Skycouch "Cuddle Belt" (we love these names), which used to allow two adults or an adult and child traveling together to lie down side by side, has also been updated to allow two children to use it. With this feature, kids may not want to get off their seats because they now have more room to play (the operative word is "may").

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    Of course, this fab feature where you could avoid having your kids bother other passengers (we can always dream, right?) comes with a price. The upgrade cost depends on your destination as well. If you're a family of four, you are likely to pay for two or more economy seats plus a smaller add-on for the Skycouch reservation, according to this review. From most accounts, it is still cheaper than business class.

    The Skycouch is also dependent on aircraft type. Pending certification and regulatory approvals, the airline plans to make the modified Skycouch product available progressively onboard its Boeing 777 and 787-9 Dreamliner fleets.

    If your flight changes aircraft, it is possible that it won't have Skycouch, as comments revealed in this Facebook post. Many people on the airline's social media platforms have expressed concerns about safety.

    It's hard to deny though the attractive prospect of this plane's feature. It's as family-friendly as you can get especially when you're riding economy. Just look at it. Sigh. 

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