Flying can be hectic and stressful. Scheduling flights and arriving hours ahead of time to get through security, check-in, and baggage can take hours. Crammed in next to a person you met two seconds ago as you fight over who gets to use the armrest is no fun either. Sleeping on airplanes can occur, but it depends on how tired you are and how you sleep. Reclining your chair always helps, but sometimes sleep evades us as we soar thousands of feet in the air. Airlines are increasing the quality of flight time, by offering movies, Wi-Fi occasionally and now beds. Yes, beds. Specific airlines have small beds or chairs that turn into a place to sleep. Traveling overseas or spending 16 hours in the air doesn’t have to be a sleepless experience now thanks to these airlines that have emerged as leaders in new sleeping arrangements offered to passengers.
Old idea adds new value to sleeping arrangements
Many are shocked and pleasantly surprised to see flights that are available now offer sleeping arrangements. What many do not know, is that this is not a new idea. In the 1930’s, Pan Am’s Clippers had berths that folded into a make-shift bed. The Boeing 377 Stratocruisers created after World War II had sleeper seats available and in the 1980’s, both Japan and Philippine airlines had curtained beds available but were eventually removed as they took up seating space. Nowadays, the creation of beds on airplanes has once again started a rise in popularity among passengers. Airlines are trying to create a solid foundation for their company and brand by adding value to sleeping arrangements. Competition has been fierce among airlines and many are offering more perks, lower baggage fees, rewards cards, better seating and now on some, beds.
Singapore Airlines has impressive sleeping arrangements, especially like those found on the new Airbus A380. These have been called “condos in the clouds.” The jumbo plane has double beds available, complete with sliding doors, blinds in the windows and wardrobes to organize your clothing. These types of accommodations do not come at a fair price, as they are designed to draw the attention of luxury flyers and VIP personnel that want to pay the high price tag for comfort and refined taste in the skies. If you’re looking for a hotel room in the sky and have an unlimited budget, this airplane is for you.
Jet Blue Airlines
Are you traveling between New York and Los Angeles? Then Jet Blue Airlines has seats available that turn into beds for you. Due to the distance of flying across the country, which many business people do between the large cities, Jet Blue has added new flat-bed seats. These types of seats are similar to the wider first-class seats that can fold down into a flat bed, hence the name “flat-bed” seats. The airline decided to add the seats due to the number of passengers who fly this route and wanted a more comfortable experience in which they were willing to pay for.
American Airlines has also followed suit and installed lie-flat seats for their new business class customers. Flying back and forth for work can be exhausting, especially if you have presentations, equipment and time limits in which to accomplish everything. Now business customers can rest before and after their work trip on the new lie-flat seats. The seat has a few positions so you can adjust it to find one that is comfortable to you. A blanket, eye covers, pillows and other perks are available to the passenger for a relaxing and sleepy experience.
Delta has also added some luxury cabins-in-the-sky for a restful trip. Flatbed seats are available for those seeking additional comfort and rest on a long flight or just because. Delta has also improved on their dining experience and now fine dining is available for your trip. These seats are similar to American Airlines’ and Jet Blue, where the seats recline to lie flat. Cover up with your warm blanket and lie on a soft pillow in your bed-seat that lies down to 180 degrees. Delta offers the sleeping seats on long-haul international flights and cross-country flights between New York and California to specific airports within each state.
Sleep in the skies
Other airlines have followed the seat-sleeper installation as they cater to passengers’ wants and needs. In 2000, British Airways’ business class installed flat-bed seats for its business passengers. Other airlines such as Air Canada, South African Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Cathay Pacific have all added lie-flat seats to some of their carriers. Some seats lie down at 180-degree angles while others have angled lie-flat seats available. The angle of the seats depends on which airline you use as they offer different styles and degrees of flatness. Either seat is more comfortable than sleeping in a vertical position scrunched to the person next to you though.
Sleeping tips on airplanes
Not everyone will be able to test the comfort of the lie-flat seats, so what are some tips to sleep well on a plane? Picking a window or aisle seat will help as you can put your pillow against the window or towards the aisle for more room.
Try dressing in layers because the temperatures can vary on the plane. Forced air can make the planes very cold, but during takeoff and landing very warm. Layers will help your body temperature stabilize. Eye masks are soft and comfortable and will seal out the light so you can sleep better. Soothing music on your tablet or iPod will block out people and plane movements for a calm experience. Noise canceling headphones are a great investment, especially during travel. You will only hear your music or move or silence if you want which helps the body adjust better to sleep without further distractions. When fastening your seatbelt, do so above your blanket or take the chance of being woken up by flight attendants to see if you are properly buckled in. They are concerned for your safety and can’t see under the blanket for your seatbelt.
Sleeping aids can also be taken, but ask your doctor first. These should not be taken on shorter flights due to the drowsiness factor. A sweater, small blanket or pillows are good items to have for more comfort. There are many travel sized options available that won’t take up much room and they will be clean and sanitary. Also, try not to drink any caffeine as this will ruin your chances of sleep. Many people get dehydrated while flying so sip water instead for a better experience and enjoy your flight.