Sleeping in the hold

By | Category: Travel news

This is how Airbus and Zodiac think the layout willbe

A suggestion by Airbus that planes could be reconfigured so that economy passengers might sleep in the baggage hold is said to be receiving serious consideration from some airlines.

Airbus in conjunction with Zodiac Aerospace is suggesting that they could install beds into the cargo deck of its A330 wide-bodied jets, some of which are already being used for that purpose albeit by the crew for their rest periods.

Airbus said the sleeping compartments would be easily interchangeable with regular cargo containers and whilst that is practically feasible it will take a little timeto reconfigure the aircraft from one format to another.  Airbus says there should be sufficient time in a normal turnaround but it will depend on each airline to judge whether there is sufficient time between one flight and another to switch.

The other thing that must be borne in mind is that if an airline is to sell an economy ticket with an upgrade to a bed in the hold that ticket might have to be on sale maybe nine months in advance of the flight. At that stage they won’t know what the cargo sales might be so planning might be challenging!

The image released by Airbus suggests they have adopted a bunk approach akin to old sleeper trains that used to cross America in the 1920’s and 1930’s. There seem to be no blinds to pull across to provide privacy though but what the heck! This solution is a great deal better than the offer to economy class passengers at the moment. What the press release doesn’t say is how many compartments there will be but obviously there won’t be one for every economy passenger. Equally they cannot make it as “luxurious” as business or first class or the airline will lose sales.

I for one, would be greatly in favour providing the price was reasonable. As a fairly regular flyer to Australia (once a year) the thought of being able to sleep part of the way is very appealing as sleeping in airline seats leads to neck ache (even with a pillow) and a numbness in  the backside that lasts whichever way you try and turn! And as for catching a red-eye from North America and snatching four or five hours sleep across the pond and waking up just before landing over here would be ideal.

Whichever airline signs up for the Airbus/Zodiac configuration has already gone a good chunk of the way into turning me into a customer.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.
Tags: , ,