Lonely Planet Writer

One airline now offers beds in economy class on long-haul flights

A downside to flying economy is not having enough wriggle room to ease yourself into a comfortable sleeping position. There’s just never enough room. But passengers flying with Thomas Cook Airlines now have the option to buy a row of three economy seats that can be converted into a bed.

Thomas Cook Airlines is introducing ‘sleeper seats’ to economy class. Image by Thomas Cook

‘Sleeper seats’ consist of a mattress which slots across a row of seats to convert them into a lie-down bed with the armrests flipping all the way back so they don’t get in the way. A fitted sheet, a head rest, pillow, blanket and amenity kit are also included. The sleeper seats will be available in economy class from 13 May on the airline’s long-haul routes, which cover destinations such as Orlando, San Francisco, New York and Cancun in Mexico.

Sleeper seats come with a mattress, sheet, pillow and extras. Image by Thomas Cook

When boarding, passengers will be be seated in a row of three seats. Once the seatbelt sign is switched off, they can ask cabin crew to make up their bed before they nestle down to sleep. For passengers who want to stay buckled up in the air, the seatbelt comes with a special extension so they can lay flat while wearing it – although they’ll have to sit up to eat.

Henry Sunley, commercial director at Thomas Cook Airlines said: “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.”

The seats come at a supplementary cost with prices starting from £200 one-way. Image by Thomas Cook

The sleeper seats can be booked online now with Thomas Cook for selected long-haul flights from 13 May and must be booked ahead of travel. While they’re available in economy class, they come at an extra cost with prices starting from £200 one-way.

The seats must be booked ahead of flying. Image by Thomas Cook

Thomas Cook isn’t the only airline to introduce beds into economy class. Back in 2011, Air New Zealand introduced Economy Skycouch, a row of three seats that convert into a couch after takeoff.