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Skycouch For 2 Adults & 1 Infant (What Is The Best Option)?

Skycouch For 2 Adults & 1 Infant (What Is The Best Option)?

Old Sep 17, 2022, 8:55 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Sep 2022
Programs: Airpoints Elite
Posts: 76
Skycouch For 2 Adults & 1 Infant (What Is The Best Option)?

Greetings all!

My wife and I, along with our baby (who will be one year old at time of flight in April next year) are travelling to Tokyo from Christchurch for a family wedding and holiday*.

This will be our first international trip together - although we are looking at a shorter "test" trip in January to Sydney.

I fly a lot (mostly domestic/TT) and my wife is fairly well-traveled too.

We are weighing up whether it's worth paying the extra for Economy Skycouch for Auckland to Tokyo (and the same return). Neither of us have ever used Skycouch before, and the reviews seem fairly mixed. The additional cost ($4.5k roundtrip vs $3.5k roundtrip) doesn't bother us but if the extra 1k is going to be wasted then I'd rather we just pocket the difference and put it towards a nicer hotel or more excursions.

Both of us are average height/weight for male and female, and the baby will be one year old at time of flight. I don't care one bit if I have to sit upright on the end of the Skycouch while wife and baby snooze for the flight - so if 2x lying down and 1x sitting up is a workable combo, then it sounds good.

I would also consider booking an extra aisle seat across so they can have the whole Skycouch to themselves, but can't seem to do that online.

Also how would Skycouch compare to Premium Economy (can you even take an infant in PE?). That's the only class I've flown on an Air NZ 787. That is additional cost again, but something I'd consider if more experienced flyers recommend it. On the other hand, I'd feel a bit guilty about having a baby in there as I guess people are paying to get away from kids (in her defence, she is a very mellow baby and doesn't cry much at all).

I'm open to any and all advice - it's much appreciated. My main consideration is making life as comfortable as possible for my wife and for the baby ... I really don't mind getting the short end of the stick.

* NB - I'm aware that Japan hasn't officially re-opened yet, but our Japanese family inform us the re-opening should be soon and the wedding will be happening at some point, so want to get the best option sorted in advance.

Last edited by samjaynz; Sep 17, 2022 at 8:55 pm Reason: forgot a sentence
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Old Sep 18, 2022, 12:37 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: New Zealand (when I'm home!)
Programs: Air NZ Elite
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If you don't mind the side eyes from other flyers seeing a baby in a, premium cabin, then PE with a bassinet seat is what I would choose.
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If you did mind, then I would pay more for the sky couch.

Honestly, I would also personally just choose the sky couch, so that I didn't have to feel stressed if my baby screamed in PE. Everyone expects it in economy, so no one can realistically get annoyed. However, in saying that, everyone is and should be welcome in all cabins.
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Old Sep 18, 2022, 1:38 am
  #3  
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Originally Posted by kiwifrequentflyer
If you don't mind the side eyes from other flyers seeing a baby in a, premium cabin, then PE with a bassinet seat is what I would choose.
​​​​​​
If you did mind, then I would pay more for the sky couch.

Honestly, I would also personally just choose the sky couch, so that I didn't have to feel stressed if my baby screamed in PE. Everyone expects it in economy, so no one can realistically get annoyed. However, in saying that, everyone is and should be welcome in all cabins.
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Thanks for the helpful comment, much appreciated.

I've looked but Air NZ doesn't seem to offer a bassinet row for Premium Economy (unless it is just available on the bulkhead row but not advertised as such?). The only airline I can see that is offering this is Singapore Airlines?

I think that Skycouch + extra seat probably sounds like the best option as I am wary of irritating other customers (if I knew she'd be relaxed for the flight then I would go for PE, which would be nicer for the adults) but I also cannot work out how you are meant to book an extra seat on the Air NZ site.

FWIW I personally only get bothered by children in any part of the plane (or train, or bus, or wherever I'm going) if the parents make no attempt to try and help the kid to chill out. For example was in Auckland airport lounge the other day and a parent was just quaffing the wines while letting their two kids play games on the iPad at max volume, and run around grabbing and putting back all sorts of food. That's annoying ... but if they are trying to make the kids behave and it isn't working, then I can't get mad at that.
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Last edited by samjaynz; Sep 18, 2022 at 1:40 am Reason: Add final comment
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Old Sep 18, 2022, 2:46 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
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PE does have bassinet, it's the front aisle seats of the middle section of seats. You may have to call them to confirm. I have had babies in business class before, so now I go into every flight expecting them regardless of where I sit!
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Old Sep 20, 2022, 5:59 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: May 2010
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For your circumstances, skycouch any day of the week. For a PY bassinet you have to take the infant out every time the seat belt sign comes on. Skycouch you get the infant pod so they can stay strapped in. And being able to lift the armrests up and create a flat contained play area for infant to crawl around in during the flight is great use of the skycouch space.
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Old Sep 20, 2022, 2:48 pm
  #6  
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Thanks for the advice. This is what we've decided to do (will just get one Skycouch row and then have the window/middle seat converted, and mum/dad take turns sitting on the seat on the end ... I'm happy so long as I can get a chance to watch a few movies in peace, which isn't as easy as it used to be).

On a side note, does anybody know if you can book a flight for a baby who doesn't yet have a passport? Passport is processing so we know the exact name/DOB details (not like we are booking for a yet-to-be-born). I can't find any information about this on the Air NZ site and the call centre is taking forever, as is the travel agent we are trying to arrange accommodation through.
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Old Sep 20, 2022, 3:46 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
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Everyone I know who has flown with a baby, has gotten passports for them, so I assumed it was required. The strange thing is that they keep the passport for years beyond being a baby, so even as a child, they will still have their baby photo as their passport!
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Old Sep 20, 2022, 3:50 pm
  #8  
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Yeah she definitely needs a passport to travel, but I'm wondering about the process of simply booking the tickets and then adding her passport number later. As far as I can tell, Air New Zealand doesn't actually ask for your passport number at the time of booking online (they just ask for your name and DOB exactly as they appear in the passport - obviously you cannot do this for a due baby as - just like we discovered - babies have a tendency of arriving when they want to and not when they are scheduled). I feel like this should be an easy question for them to answer on their site but I cannot find an answer.

Her little passport mugshot is hilarious, but also will be out-dated in probably a couple of month's time ... all seems a bit pointless to me, but I just care about being able to book the tickets while pricing is reasonable.
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Old Sep 20, 2022, 7:49 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
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From https://www.airnewzealand.co.nz/spec...ildren-infants

Unfortunately, you can't book an infant fare until your baby is born. You can book everyone else's ticket, of course, and we can add your baby after the big day. Simply get in touch with us and have your booking reference ready.
When you're flying internationally, infant fares are 10% of the adult fare.
Have done this before for domestic flights before by calling the call centre and was fine.
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Old Sep 20, 2022, 8:02 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: May 2010
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Originally Posted by samjaynz
Yeah she definitely needs a passport to travel, but I'm wondering about the process of simply booking the tickets and then adding her passport number later. As far as I can tell, Air New Zealand doesn't actually ask for your passport number at the time of booking online (they just ask for your name and DOB exactly as they appear in the passport - obviously you cannot do this for a due baby as - just like we discovered - babies have a tendency of arriving when they want to and not when they are scheduled). I feel like this should be an easy question for them to answer on their site but I cannot find an answer..
Pretty sure you can book any passenger without entering passport details - they obviously just need a passport by the time they fly. Applies equally to infants as well as adults, provided that the infant has a name and DOB.
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Old Oct 1, 2022, 8:28 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
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I am currently on NZ21 YVR-AKL. There is a single adult in a SkyCouch row.

One if the SkyCouch hazards is foot overhang. You have been warned 😎


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Old Oct 6, 2022, 12:45 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
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Originally Posted by samjaynz
Yeah she definitely needs a passport to travel, but I'm wondering about the process of simply booking the tickets and then adding her passport number later. As far as I can tell, Air New Zealand doesn't actually ask for your passport number at the time of booking online (they just ask for your name and DOB exactly as they appear in the passport - obviously you cannot do this for a due baby as - just like we discovered - babies have a tendency of arriving when they want to and not when they are scheduled). I feel like this should be an easy question for them to answer on their site but I cannot find an answer.

Her little passport mugshot is hilarious, but also will be out-dated in probably a couple of month's time ... all seems a bit pointless to me, but I just care about being able to book the tickets while pricing is reasonable.
Definitely get the extra seat if you can afford it. It's great for parent + baby to sleep! 2 adults and baby on a sky couch no real advantage, near impossible for parent and baby to sleep with 2 seats. (unless parent is sitting up against the window whilst baby sleeps).

Defo not bassinet for 1 year old! Getting them out in turbulance sucks!
Frequently travelled with our little one in J and we had zero issues or bad stares! In saying that .. she is an angel lol
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Old Jan 14, 2023, 5:12 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
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I hope you’ll share your experience after you do this trip. I’m going to NZ this year, starting in Boston, and am currently debating skycouch vs PE. Traveling alone.
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Old Jan 14, 2023, 2:55 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
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Just an update, after talking to friends that have done PE + bassinet or sky couch, they all overwhelming prefer the sky couch for a baby/small child as it allows the baby to move versus being stuck in a bassinet.

As a single adult I will probably not opt to fly sky couch to the USA again after having such a poor sleeping experience. It wasn't particularly comfortable, the seat belts dug into my back, the staff seemed very overworked and it was very, very loud with lots of screaming children around me. I realized by flying it that for me personally, a calm atmosphere is important for me if I want to get a good sleep and the packed, loud, stressful economy cabin was the opposite of that.

Plus I felt super guilty having these stressed out parents all trying to survive the flight with very bored children, whereas I had all of this space and we were sitting right next to each other. This is a personal thing but honestly I came pretty close to swapping with them. It felt so rude to have so much space just for me and they had so little!

It might be different on a flight to Asia that is less family orientated and more adult orientated.
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Old Jan 14, 2023, 3:14 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: May 2003
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Originally Posted by Barrheadlass
I hope youll share your experience after you do this trip. Im going to NZ this year, starting in Boston, and am currently debating skycouch vs PE. Traveling alone.
Skycouch or Premium economy - what's better
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