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Award-Winning Airplane Crib Makes Flying With Babies Easier

Flying with a baby can be a challenge for you and often for others. Babies tend to grow restless, especially on planes since they’re unable to clear their ears as cabin pressure changes with altitude. Luckily, Air New Zealand has designed a new seat insert built just for infants. The project, which has won a prestigious Crystal Cabin Award for airline innovation, promises to give babies, parents and other passengers some relief.

The Skycouch project began in 2017 when Air New Zealand unveiled the design, which was originally a row of three standard economy class seats fitted with an extra footrest that can be folded up to form a full, flat couch surface when needed. The armrest near the window, generally secured in a downward position in most cabins, flips up to provide a few extra inches for passengers’ heads.

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#AirNewZealand Adds #KidFriendly Amenities To Its Economy Class And We Wish Other #Airlines Could Do The Same!- Swipe➡️👆 ... #Flying with #children, especially in the long-haul #flights, can be #traumatic. Kids hate confined spaces and have trouble falling asleep. If you are #travelling with an #infant, it is natural to get wary of holding them in your arms through the entire flight. And, not everyone can afford #businessclass tickets! At the most, you can request aisle or front row seats and bassinets in the economy class but they still do not offer enough leg room or the #cosiness of a bed. Well, we believe you may not have similar complaints while travelling by Air #NewZealand. The airline offers couples and #families an option to buy #Skycouch, a row of three economy seats which can be converted into a cuddly small bed or a couch. While the Skycouch flying class has been available on selected flights since 2010, the airline has added some new features recently to enhance the onboard comfort and #safety features for their little passengers and give peace of mind to #parents. It has introduced an infant harness and belt that allows parents to keep their infants in lying position throughout the flight journey even when the seatbelt sign is on. The belt can be looped through the harness and secured by a clip in the window seat for extra #protection and #comfort. The infant pod, a collapsible #sleep space akin to a bassinet is another facility for Skycouch passengers. Skycouch features are available on Air New Zealand. Air New Zealand has redefined #flyingwithkidsgoals and made family #travel appear futuristic. We so hope that other airlines follow suit! ... 📷 via @airnz ... 📌Read more - https://www.momspresso.com/parenting/article/air-new-zealand-adds-kidfriendly-amenities-to-its-economy-class-and-we-wish-other-airlines-could-do-the-same ... #WhatMumsAreTalkingAbout #Instanews #News #Instalike #💕 #Air #Fly #Flyhigh

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The airline's former group general manager, Ed Sims, who completed the Skycouch project before leaving the airline, said the concept took four years to develop. "CEO Rob Fyfe said he wanted us to be the first airline to allow economy passengers to sleep," Sims said, "but he wanted to do it without giving an extra inch of legroom."

The Skycouch measures five feet long and two-and-a-half feet wide, which is adequate for two adults to lay down. Meanwhile, the airline provides bedding and pillows for added comfort. At the end of last year, Air New Zealand expanded the Skycouch program for babies as well. They introduced an infant pod insert that includes safety harnesses, allowing an infant — up to 40 pounds — to lay down during the flight, regardless of whether the fasten seatbelt light is on or not.

The crib takes up approximately two seats, so you can sit next to your baby during the flight. Unfortunately, the Skycouch program is not cheap. Passengers must purchase three economy seats and pay a surcharge, which includes the bedding and crib inserts. As with most airline initiatives, the Skycouch provides benefits but also revenue for the airline since under normal circumstances children under the age of two can travel for free on a passenger’s lap.

RELATED: 10 Tips for Traveling with a Newborn

Air New Zealand said it has been contacted by several airlines interested in licensing the design for their own planes. The Skycouch Infant Harness, Belt & Pod is currently available on all Air New Zealand Boeing 777 and 787-9 operated long-haul services

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