New Flat Bed Seat Coming to Economy Class

God Save the Points provides coverage of a new economy seat that turns into a bed.

It’s possibly an improvement over Air New Zealand’s ‘Sky Couch’.

Arm rests fold in, you flip up part of the seat and all the sudden you’ve created a spacious flat bed, wide enough for two. You detach the headrests, magically turning them into pillows and before you know it, economy is not so bad after all. And no, you don’t even need to buy the whole row to make it happen.

I especially like the demonstration of the ‘Piuma Sofa’ with mattress pads and bedding.

Here’s how the seat manufacturer describes the product to airlines. It’s not about passenger comfort (which wouldn’t sell too many airlines). It’s an ancillary revenue opportunity, so we may actually see it installed!

The simple mechanism, lightweight, easy to install and use, “Piuma Sofà”, is a brand new way to create ancillary revenue for the airlines by allowing them to offer the innovation and luxury of full lie-down sleeping accommodation in the Economy Class section of the cabin!

Absolutely undetectable to the eye when in seat mode, the “Piuma Sofà”, takes under 30 seconds to convert to “sleeper sofa” mode, whilst the sofa device in its stored position in no way reduces leg, under seat stowage, or foot room.

The sofa creates no extra thickness to seat pans, does not alter seat comfort, does not add to or pose any obstruction to routine cleaning and adds no great amount of extra weight. In fact, Geven is confident that the patented Piuma Sofà design is optimised with respect to weight giving the product a strong and lasting intrinsic advantage over the competition.

With premium cabin awards often sparse, and increasingly costly, hopefully a premium economy experience can actually take shape that’s… premium. Although it isn’t just a matter of installing these seats, it also requires inventory management IT work as well — though the manufacturer suggests that flight attendants could even upsell the product onboard.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I don’t get it. Wouldn’t this require ONE passenger to buy THREE economy seats? How likely is that to happen?

  2. @Burt

    From the image, it looks like it would require 2 passengers to buy 4 economy seats. The bed sleeps 2.

  3. Air New Zealand already offers something like this. Not a new idea…but would be great if more airlines offered this option.

  4. I’d hate to be the single person in the aisle seat when a couple decides to encamp in the “bed” they assemble from their two seats – if there is a way to encroach on another’s already cramped space, it will surely happen.

    I wish the seat designers would work on a design that would allow a real seat recline in coach to include the legs and feet.

  5. Pricing is pretty interesting in the video. Not talking about buying the whole row but reserve those rows for upsell during flights. Make people buy the whole row if the plane is full, but if the load is light then have a $200 etc upsell. I would take it on long hauls.

  6. To clarify: much like Air NZ, it seems you wouldn’t need to buy every seat in the row. If loads are right, you’d be able to pay a premium (not as high as buying every seat) to essentially prevent someone from booking the row, guaranteeing the bed. It’s interesting as Gary mentions as an ancillary revenue tool, when you hop on an empty flight and have a row to yourself, they’ll offer to up sell you the mattress and the whole experience for around $200.

  7. I would do it for $100, but not $200. Because if the whole row is empty except for myself, I’ll just lie down across the seats for free. Done it before, works fine.

  8. This already exists. For free. It’s called, 2x5x2, hope the plane isn’t full, and try to claim your very own “ghetto first class” in a mad dash at the start of the flight. It works on loads of empty flights to places like S. America, when the carrier is decent and has arm rests that fold up. It doesn’t work well on some airlines like FinnAir, which prevent arm rests from going > 40% vertical. Yeah, airlines should monetize it, because in some cases it’s better than first which may not even be fully-flat. I suspect there are some issues regarding safety regs.

  9. I wonder about seatbelt usage/safety when in ‘bed’ mode. No indication in the graphics how that would work.

  10. Your math is poor, or at least your explaining of your math. Three seats, convert to bed which holds two passengers, and you “don’t have to buy the whole row”. Bribe the third guy to go away? Stow him under the bed? Please explain yourself.

  11. When I lay down across 3 seats, I’ll strap the seatbelt of the middle seat around me loosely (to satisfy the stewardess), and call it good. When I’m that exhausted, safety isn’t at the forefront of my mind so I’m willing to play the odds. But you’re right: from the airlines perspective, they’re liable if they don’t provide safety restraints.

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