• New Zealand airline to offer "cuddle class"


    For those planning Australia and New Zealand travel, one of the deterrents may be the long trip across the Pacific. That's why one New Zealand-based airline is offering a comfort upgrade for one of its longest routes.

    Dubbed "cuddle class" by many in the press, Air New Zealand has announced that its redesigned trans-Pacific cabin, unveiled earlier this year, is on its way and will be available to fliers in early 2011.

    According to the New Zealand Herald, the upgrade takes its nickname from its unique seat, which is futon-like in its design. Dubbed the "SkyCouch," the seat folds down into a double bed, allowing travelers to catch some sleep or simply relax during the flight.

    Beds have debuted in first-class for many airlines, but Air New Zealand made waves by announcing that the seats would be available in economy class.

    In addition to the plush seating arrangement, business class travelers will also be able to use a touchscreen system to order up a variety of food off of a menu, rather than wait for a packaged meal to be served.

    The new perks were enough to earn the airline some international attention, with industry publication Air Transport World giving the carrier the distinction of "Airline of the Year."

    For families traveling with children, the new couch seats could be a great way to help rowdy youngsters settle down a bit on a long-haul flight.

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