The video: While some airlines are contemplating standing-room only flights, New Zealand Air is going in the opposite direction. Starting in April 2011, the carrier will begin offering a "cuddle class" — that is, a row of three economy seats that transforms into a couch for couples "to relax and stretch out in, or for the kids to use as a play area."
The reaction: " No word yet on how much cuddle class will cost," says David Lazarus at the Los Angeles Times, "but it seems like a swell way to make long-haul flights more palatable." It's precisely that issue of cost that makes me skeptical, says Hank Campbell at Science 2.0. Married couples probably aren't going to be that excited about such close quarters — and "will young couples buying coach pay for 3 seats instead of two?" I'm doubtful. See "cuddle class" in action beginning at 0:35 in this Air New Zealand video:
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why you should stop believing in evolution
- 7 of the scariest spiders in existence
- Why isn't 'Arkansas' pronounced like 'Kansas'?
- 4 things NASA can teach you about a good night's sleep
- The secret to handling pressure like astronauts, Navy SEALs, and samurai
- It's time for the police to rethink 'shoot-to-kill'
- This 1,600-year-old Viking war game is still awesome
- How Israel's hawks intimidated and silenced the last remnants of the anti-war left
- Internet piracy isn't killing Hollywood
- The best online movies to watch this weekend
Subscribe to the Week