Air New Zealand has something different in mind when it comes to offering premium seats: On April 2 it will introduce economy Skycouch service, a product some are referring to as cuddle class.
This new ancillary services offering takes three economy seats and transforms them into a flexible space, suitable for a couple or a pairing of kids, for instance.
"With a touch of a button, a footrest will come out from under each of the three seats which you can pull up to create a flat, flexible space for you to use however you like," the airline says. "By booking this three-wide seat space, you really can get the most from your long-haul flying experience."
The three pairs of armrests "disappear into the back of the seat," the airline adds.
Here's an Air New Zealand video about the service.
The economy Skycouch upgrade is bookable online and available beginning April 2 only on Boeing 777-300 aircraft on NZ1 /NZ2 Los Angeles-Auckland service.
You must be booked on Air New Zealand's new economy long-haul international service to request the upgrade online and you must do so in the currency that you used to buy the ticket.
The airline does not guarantee the availability of cuddle class, which merges three 33-inch-wide seats.
If there were any worries -- or excitement -- about the prospect of sharing your economy Skycouch seat with a stranger, the airline says the three seats will be exclusively available to your booking party.
So how much does this new ancillary services offering cost?
Apparently Air New Zealand's revenue managers are taking a flexible approach regarding pricing.
"The upgrade charge for economy Skycouch is based on the number of people who occupy an economy Skycouch and is calculated for each flight similarly to how the prices are calculated for flights on different days," the airline says.
For now, you can't use your AirPoints to pay for the upgrade, but the airline says that capability will be coming soon.
All of this fraternizing in coach comes as no surprise to an airline that champions "spooning," as chronicled in this clip.