UK-based leisure carrier, Thomas Cook Airlines is introducing the Sleeper Seat, a flat bed option for economy class. These seats, launching on selected long-haul flights from May 13, 2019 are available at the rear of the economy cabin on the airlins’s Airbus A330 fleet, where the last five center rows go from quads to triples due to the taper of the fuselage. If any of these five triples are available, a passenger can pay an extra £200 (US$265) to have the crew transform the row into a flat bed.
Once the Sleeper Seat is booked, after takeoff (and the meal, if requested) the cabin crew will add special cushions and a mattress to the seats – the Acro Series 3 Ultra model – to create a flat surface for sleeping or lounging, with an extension belt to ensure safety when lying down. Comfort is enhanced with the addition of a thick blanket, a pillow, a fitted sheet, a headrest and an amenity kit.
There are restrictions to the offer, namely that only one person can use the Sleeper Seat (although passengers in a group can swap during flight) and the user must be over 12 years old. Tests of the seat by the airline’s crew also found that users shorter than 5ft 11in (180cm) will be the most comfortable on the bed.
Henry Sunley, commercial director at Thomas Cook Airlines stated, “We always look for ways to innovate for our customers and Sleeper Seat is a UK first that we are really proud of. It is a fantastic way to transform your flying experience and enjoy some extra comfort when flying in economy. It’s flexible too, as while only one person can use Sleeper Seat at a time, you can swap with other people in your group during the flight… but it’s entirely up to you if you want to share!”
Flat beds in economy are a growing trend, with products such as Air New Zealand’s SkyCouch, Cosy Joon and South African Airways’ beds (both based on Geven’s Piuma Sofà seat), and Air Astana’s Economy Sleeper.