You might soon be able to sneak down to the cargo hold for a nap the next time you take an ultra-long trans-oceanic flight, USA Today reports.
That’s the idea being floated by plane manufacturer Airbus and seatmaker Zodiac Aerospace. The companies say they’re working to develop “sleeping berths” that could be installed in the cargo holds of certain long-range Airbus aircraft.
The companies say they hope to offer the option to airlines for orders beginning in 2020. Initially, the sleeper modules would be offered on Airbus’ A330 widebodies, either on new deliveries or with an option to retrofit existing aircraft. Adding the option to Airbus’ new long-range A350 jets “is also being studied.”
It’s unclear how the sleeper berths might be offered to passengers. Decisions on how to market and sell such options are typically left up to airline customers.
Some higher-end carriers might explore the idea as a possibility to add a lounge area, where one of the perks could be a nap, the USA Today article says.
Airbus and Zodiac offered several concepts in mock-ups accompanying their press statement. One shows a standard lounge; others show options that include a conference room, a “kids and family zone” and even a “medical care zone.”
“The modules would not be occupied during takeoff or landing,” Airbus spokesman Martin Fendt said by email to USA TODAY’s Today in the Sky blog. “These underfloor sleeping berths would be aimed more towards economy class market, and would be available for a lower price for a passenger than a premium class flatbed seat.”