So the air travel industry has been coming up with some super cool innovations for long haul flights… if you happen to be loaded. Thats right, if you’re rich enough to be able to afford Business or First Class, you can stretch out in your own technology laden private pod with temperature-regulating blankets and pillows, designer sponsored amenity kits that pamper you with fancy cosmetics, as you eat your “famous chef” prepared meals. Heck, Korean Air now has luxurious, Absolut sponsored cocktail lounges for you to while away the miles in style. Cool stuff indeed.

I hate to get all 99% up in here, but what about the “everyman”? Surely these carriers can throw coach travelers a bone?

Well, as much as it pains my Aussie heritage to give kudos to Kiwis, I’ve got to hand it to Air New Zealand who has launched a way for economy passengers to lie flat. Yay!

As someone who is well acquainted with the arduous LA to Australia 17+hr flight, I can tell you: this is a big deal.

“Beginning next year, money-conscious long-haul travelers can take “cuddle class” and book a row of seats that convert into a couch or bed. Planned by Air New Zealand for trans-Pacific flights, the “Skycouch” is a row of three regular seats redesigned to create a space for children to play or a flat surface for adults to relax and sleep. The upgraded seating configuration, to be fitted in the carrier’s new fleet of Boeing 777-300 aircraft, will cost the price of two standard economy seats plus half-price for the third seat in the row. They will be big enough to accommodate a couple or a family with a small child.”

The First-Class innovations are certainly at home in the Private Pampering™ wave, but the “Skycouch” is definitely an example of Pacifiers™. The Pacifiers™ wave is about things that soothe and comfort. I can’t tell you how many positions I have tried to get comfortable in on those long flights, to no avail. The Human Truth™ of this wave is: “Make the world go away.”™

When it comes to flying coach with crying babies, couching old people and unruly kids… yes, that Human Truth™ almost becomes a mantra.

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