Any parent will know that travelling with small children doesn't always make for an easy journey, especially when you're flying long-haul and need to keep them entertained.
But when you're travelling with babies and toddlers, long-haul can be tricky whether they're in pain because their ears are popping, or simply getting so tired it becomes increasingly difficult to soothe them.
However, Air New Zealand has a plan to try and make things a little easier for parents travelling with little tots.
The airline already offers its popular Economy Skycouch, a row of three economy seats that convert into a flat, flexible surface for babies to rest on and play.
But they want to take things even further.
In fact, the company has revealed a whole host of enhancements they're looking to make to the existing Skycouch - and it could make long-haul travel even easier for families.
Topping the list will be a new infant harness so that little ones can stay lying down even when the seatbelt sign is on - up until now they had to be seated on their guardian's lap - so if they do manage to sleep, no need to wake them up.
As for parents travelling with two kids, there's more good news. The airline is set to update its 'Skycouch Cuddle Belt' which previously only allowed two adults, or an adult and a child, to travel together lying side by side on the couch.
However the new flexible rule would mean that two children could be side by side - so little ones can get some much needed rest (and parents too!)
Also on the list is a brand new infant pod to provide a touch extra comfort and protection for the smaller customers.
At the moment the new changes are pending certification and regulatory approvals, but if these are granted then Air New Zealand hopes to roll out the changes within the next few months onboard its Boeing 777 and 787-9 Dreamliner.
Of course, the Skycouch concept itself isn't new. It's been part of the airline's offering since 2011, so passengers can already enjoy these.
However, Air New Zealand General Manager Customer Experience Anita Hawthorne expects the changes to be even more popular with families.
She said: "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."
The new products wouldn't be available solely on Air New Zealand flights ever, as the airline has already licensed the Skycouch to a host of offshore airlines who will also be able to enhance these.
See original article here.
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