With social distancing at forefront of everyone’s minds, having your own space on an airplane has never been so important.
But would you pay extra to spread out over a row of economy seats?
Lufthansa hopes so. The German airline is trialing its new Sleeper’s Row concept on its Frankfurt, Germany to São Paulo, Brazil flights from November 18 to mid-December.
The idea is passengers traveling in economy can nab a row of three to four seats, and then stretch out across them, replicating the experience of a lie-flat business class bed. Travelers will be given a blanket, pillow and seat topper to maximize the comfort, and also offered priority boarding.
Those interested must purchase the upgrade at the airport, either during check-in or at the gate, for $260 on top of the price of their original ticket.
Innovative economy seat designs
This concept isn’t new – Air New Zealand has offered its Economy Skycoach, which is a similar premise, since 2011. Air New Zealand markets the Skycoach as perfect for family travelers, and prices vary depending on the flight.
In 2019, Airbus premiered its Settee Corner concept, which takes the economy three-seat-configuration as the inspiration for a lie-flat, sofa-style luxury seat that would take up less space – and weigh less – than the average Business Class seat.
And earlier this year, Air New Zealand elevated economy lie flat beds to the next level, filing patent and trademark applications for a new concept, “Economy Skynest” – envisaging six full-length lie-flat sleep pods that could be installed in the economy cabin.
Meanwhile, designer Jeffrey O’Neill recently showcased his futuristic economy seat concept: Zephyr Seat, a double-decker-style seating configuration.
O’Neill told CNN Travel in June that he reckoned the increased privacy the seat offered would be appealing to travelers in the wake of coronavirus, even though Zephyr Seat is just in its design stages at the moment.