Flying on an airplane is certainly one of the greatest modern inventions – but why is it such a hassle? You have to stop what you're doing to check into your flight 24 hours before departure. If you don't check in right away, you're in the last boarding group, which means your carry on might be bumped. You need to get to the airport at least two hours before your flight time, so you can either sit around and do nothing or get trapped in an awful security line. Checked baggage fees continue to skyrocket in cost. And forget about airplane seats… if you're in economy, you're in for some butt pain and limited legroom. For something so advanced, flying sure isn't pleasant for most of us.
Now, imagine all of that, plus having a little one with you. Some children love flying on airplanes and see it as an adventure. Other children might be terrified by the concept. But just like adults, children also suffer from discomfort when flying. Different from adults who know what to expect, children, especially infants, have no idea why there is a sudden and intense pain in their ears and/or nasal passages. Not only do parents have to worry about any discomfort their child might feel, but they also have to keep them entertained throughout the flight.
Well, it looks like one airline is looking to make travel easier for those with children. Thanks to Insider, we now know that Air New Zealand has new seats that will allow parents to lie down with their babies. So, for those who have never been able to get their little one to sleep on a plane, you're in luck.
The airline company first introduced their Skycouch in 2011 as a way to let parents and their children rest and relax together during a flight. Skycouch is a row of three economy seats that turn into a couch (clever name). It has always been safe for adults to lay down on, but previously, Skycouch was not best for infants to sleep on in the event of turbulence. Now, with their upgrades, parents can rest comfortably knowing their baby can lay down safely during their flight.
Air New Zealand Skycouch seats take advantage of the harness and belt. This is a safe way for infants to take a nap throughout the duration of the flight. Prior to this upgrade, infants had to be in their parents' lap whenever the seatbelt light was on. The harnesses come in three sizes – small, medium, and large. Infants under a certain size will also be given a Skycouch Pod for extra safety.
Additionally, Air New Zealand upgraded the Skycouch Cuddle Belt to allow two children to lay side-by-side with one of their parents.
In their press release, Air New Zealand explained their upgrade choices:
"The Skycouch has proven to be a real game changer in the Economy cabin. While we initially marketed it to couples, we quickly found the product suited parents with young families especially well. Parents can relax while their children are able to have their own space and flat area to play without interrupting other passengers.
"Through this process, we've spoken to many customers who have travelled on the Skycouch and their feedback has helped to inform the updates and refinements we're introducing this year."
Now, don't let the name of this airline fool you. It doesn't just travel to and from New Zealand. You can book flights from Chicago to Sydney, Los Angeles to London, Los Angeles to the Cook Islands, and of course, trips to New Zealand. Hopefully, some more mainstream airlines take after Air New Zealand's Skycouch ASAP!