The hardest part of traveling with kids (solved!)

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This spring we took our family of four on a whirlwind trip from America to Japan to New Zealand. Our kids have flown to Europe a few times, but these 14+ hour flights were a test for them. So when we saw the option to upgrade our economy seats to a Skycouch, we were intrigued.

What is the SkyCouch?

Skycouch is an invention by Air New Zealand where a row of seemingly standard airline seats turns into a “couch”. Though I think bed is a better descriptor!

The seats lean back as usual, but there’s also a button that kicks up footrests that lock into place. The effect is about the size of a short twin-sized bed. Bedding with padding, blankets, and extra pillows are included. You’re given lap belt extenders to remain buckled while you sleep.

Is Skycouch any good?

Staring down the barrel of 14 hours from Auckland to Houston with two kids, we decided to spend the extra $1,000(ish) to upgrade our 4 economy seats to 2 Skycouches. It was only $200 to upgrade from 4 seats to 1 seat + 1 Skycouch, but we didn’t think we could fit an adult and two kids on the couch.

We had two whole rows for our family of four and could spread out between the two Skycouches.

You can watch more of the experience here: 

Is Skycouch better than Premium Economy?

YES. You’re still in the economy area and receive the same meals and amenities as economy. This may be a con for someone who wants to fly premium or business and get those upgrades like better meals or lounge access.

For us, all we wanted was sleep! Skycouch delivered this and gave me the most sleep I’ve ever gotten on an airplane. Plus the kids got a solid night of sleep which made adjusting to jetlag that much easier.

Can two adults sleep on a Skycouch?

I have to say no to this one. Heath is 5’9″ and couldn’t really fit on the Skycouch next to our four-year-old. He ended up sitting up to sleep. I’m only 5’2″ and I couldn’t fully stretch out across the seats, though I almost could. I think if you’re taller and want a lay flat seat, you might prefer upgrading to business or first class.

Is Skycouch worth it?

If you’re traveling with kids, Skycouch is a MUST. Flying with kids is hard enough and the space to stretch out was so appreciated. Usually I am the most jetlagged after long-haul flights because I’ve got a child in my lap while I’m trying to catch snippets of sleep. Stepping off the plane after our Skycouch experience was the best I’ve ever felt after a transoceanic flight.

If you’re flying without kids, you can check the variable cost for upgrading to Skycouch when you book your tickets. It is usually only a few hundred dollars to upgrade per ticket. It can be significantly cheaper than upgrading to a higher class with the same benefit of more comfort.

Check out our video above to see more of what our experience was like.

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