Could Skycouch seating work on United Flights?

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by sobore, Oct 19, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    Air New Zealand has the Skycouch on some of its longer routes.
    Essentially it is a row of economy seats (3) that together create a flexible space.
    You can use the space as you wish. Like having your own couch on the plane.

    Could this be applied to some United routes?
    Is this a better / less pricey option to getting extra space without purchasing business class fares?

    I'm curious what UA fliers think of the concept.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    There are two major aspects of the SkyCouch concept. One is that the armrests are fully out of the way when up. The other is that the space where your knees would otherwise be is filled in with more "seat" so the space to lie down is wider.

    Could it work on UA planes? Sure. Just like on any other carrier with 3 adjacent seats.

    But it really isn't all that long a bed when you're laying like that (~60"), and buying 3 of them is going to start to approach the cost of a proper business class seat. I've been lucky enough to have lie-flat coach a couple times. It is nice enough. But it definitely is not the same as business class.
     
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  3. Weatherboy

    Weatherboy Gold Member

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    Would the FAA have seatbelt issues if the concept was actually sold here?
     
  4. 8MiHi

    8MiHi Silver Member

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    Viewing it from 36,000 feet it seems like a good idea for very long flights and I would like to try it. Actually using it may reveal details, both good and bad, that are not obvious to me. Seems to be worth some consideration - at least on a test basis.
     
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  5. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    NZ has it on flights to the USA. If there were seatbelt issues they'd be a problem there,too.
     
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  6. sithlord
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    sithlord Silver Member

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    Sometimes an empty row in coach is better than f or j.
     
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  7. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    If it's free and unexpected, it can be quite nice indeed. With current loads it is probably rather rare, though.
     
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  8. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    The seatbelts are still there and operable. It doesn't look like the models in picture are using them.

    I've seen people lie across three seats in coach on a regular domestic flight and not use their seatbelt and not be spoken to.
     
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  9. guberif

    guberif Silver Member

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    Think of all the sky boom-boom!
     
  10. iterfacio12

    iterfacio12 Silver Member

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    I haven't actually tried it, but I think WA has it right; it doesn't look particularly long enough for easy lie down, and if the prices are similar to Business, I imagine it's not worth the price (especially considering you get nicer treatment and food which you wouldn't in a couch Economy seat).
     
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  11. adambadam
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    adambadam Silver Member

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    My guess is the lawyers would have more of a problem, assuming there is not separate seatbelt for when you are flat, in fear that some unexpected turbulence give the plane a good jolt a sleeping flyer gets "airborne" and injured. They could easily enforce the current rule, as I would guess they have on NZ, that if the seatbelt sign is illuminated you have to sit up and buckle up.
     
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  12. Captain Oveur
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    Captain Oveur Gold Member

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    It's a good concept, with today's UA the primary concern would be how to monetize it.
     
  13. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    So has anyone here actually tried it on NZ?
     
  14. iterfacio12

    iterfacio12 Silver Member

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    You know, I have a Kiwi trip scheduled sometime early next year (Feb or March). If it's still available, I'll give it a go.
     
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  15. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    Have anyone ever purchased two / three seats for themselves? Is this a hassle with the airline / TSA?
    I assume airlines have a process for this due to people of size having this need. :confused:
     
  16. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    I have not done it but pretty much all airlines have the ability to sell them for either large passengers or someone traveling with a musical instrument or similar. I believe the second seat is sold as something like LASTNAME/EXTRA, which is only awkward if your parents named you "Extra." And that's awkward for all sorts of reasons.
     
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  17. TravelBear

    TravelBear Gold Member

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    Many years ago I was on a flight from NYC to FCO that was very not full. Most everyone had a center row to lie completely flat. I built a tent over my head. Getting horizontal makes such a huge difference on a longer flight. Regarding the cost of 3 coach....if it is a couple buying three coach versus a couple buying 2 business or higher I imagine the savings would be significant. For a single traveller, most likely buying a proper business class would be better.
     
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  18. wijomas
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    wijomas Gold Member

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    I haven't flown it, but I got invited to the preview when they first launched it.

    They provide you with an extended seatbelt, which goes around you allowing you to be strapped in while laying down.

    I have no idea how the two people in the photo are laying the way that they are, because I have tried these seats with two people in a real aircraft and it is virtually impossible to fit in that position - even more so if the seats in front of you are reclined. The only way you can really get two people on it is if one of you is on top. :p
     
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  19. Seacarl
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    Seacarl Gold Member

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    I've slept quite well in an empty row in coach on 747 aircraft - the center 4 seats. But it requires an empty aircraft. Those are as rare as unicorns these days.
     
  20. estnet
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    estnet Gold Member

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    I've had a whole row to myself a few times and I ALWAYS use the seat belt when not up and walking. It isn't that hard -you just use the middle one
     
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  21. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    It would be harder for the second person. ;)
     
  22. KenInEscazu

    KenInEscazu Gold Member

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    That picture clearly indicates a fantasy situation which would be impossible to safely pull off. Who among us hasn't hit turbulence without warning? I always wear my seatbelt, but then again, I've always been fond of my neck. :)
     
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  23. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    Jut hold her tight and request a seat belt extender.
     
  24. ssullivan
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    ssullivan Gold Member

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    The two models they used for the photo are also rather short in stature, which makes it easier to photograph the Skycouch and make it look really comfortable. Neither one needs much leg bending to prevent their feet from sticking out into the aisle.
     
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  25. Misplaced Texan
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    Misplaced Texan Gold Member

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    Just spot checking a few things here...

    The Misplaced Canuck and I are 5' 8'' and 5' 10'' respectively (plus or minus an inch each ;) )

    The NZ skycouches are 5' 1''. So that precludes back sleeping, but would allow side sleeping with a slight curl for folks our height.

    The NZ seats are 29" in depth. We fit into that when we nap on a couch, so no problem there.

    My verdict is that it would work for a number of people, and would be a nice feature for couples travelling together...definitely cheaper than two Z fares.

    Now whether UA would ever seriously consider offering such a thing....
     

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