Today Flight Global report that Airbus are working with Zodiac to design lower deck passenger facilities. These would be the same size as cargo containers and would feature a sleeping berth perhaps.
These would be available on the Airbus A330 and Airbus A350. Other uses for the extra space would be using it for office desks, meeting rooms or lounges.
Berth is not a word that is used much nowadays. It means a fixed bunk for sleeping that is located on transportation such as a ship or aircraft. On the Boeing 377 Stratocruiser, you could book a berth for long overnight flights.
These look to be quite comfortable in the promotional pictures, but perhaps not too quiet considering the piston engines of that era. Still, it has a romantic look about it, sleeping in a bunk on an aeroplane.
Would You Pay To Sleep On The Lower Deck?
Let’s say the Airbus and Zodiac plan goes ahead and berths are located downstairs beneath the passenger cabin. Would you, as a premium economy or economy class passenger pay more to sleep in these on a long haul flight?
Since they are located in the space where cargo is usually stored, it means they could be removed easily enough. Perhaps the berths would be in place for long overnight flights, but not be carried when the aircraft was flying during the day or on shorter flights.
This would allow airlines to sell sleeping berths to passengers when it made sense to do so yet not carry the weight otherwise. From that point of view it seems quite attractive.
However, since buying a berth even on a train has become uncommon, would this appeal to a person in the 21st century? I would argue yes, as many flights are overnight, flights are getting longer and people are getting wealthier and could probably afford it.
As someone who regularly enough travels on long overnight flights between Europe and Oceania, if I had the choice, I’d certainly book a berth over just having a seat. Sleeping on an aircraft works if you can do it properly and not be sitting upright.
What about you? Would you pay extra for a sleeping berth on a long flight? What kind of price would it have to be to pique your interest? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.