The Best New Airline Seats Launching This Year—Including Bunk Beds in Economy


Few things in life are as miserable as flying in an uncomfortable airline seat for hours on end. Fortunately for air travelers, cramped legroom and sleepless flights are so last year.

2024 is chock full of new airline cabin launches featuring innovative seat designs that will significantly up the comfort quotient on long-haul flights. Whether you’re traveling in coach or living large in first class, expect to see changes to plane seats this year that offer passengers more space, increased privacy, and better mid-flight sleep across cabin classes.

From the world’s first-ever beds in economy class to private suites with flatscreen TVs and starlit ceilings, here are seven of the best new airline seats launching through 2024, including, yes, beds in economy.

Economy passengers will be able to reserve four-hour time slots in the SkyNest for around $400 to $600.
Economy passengers will be able to reserve four-hour time slots in the SkyNest for around $400 to $600.

Air New Zealand’s SkyNest in economy

The world’s first-ever beds in economy class will launch this year when Air New Zealand rolls out its economy SkyNest bunks in September. Passengers in premium and regular economy will have access to a sleep zone featuring six lie-flat beds configured in a bunk bed style. The SkyNest area will be located between the two economy cabins, with passengers able to book one four-hour session for around $400 to $600. The beds will be available on the airline’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner planes on select ultra-long-haul routes, including those flying from New York and Chicago to New Zealand, which can stretch up to 17 hours long.

Japan Airlines premium economy on the new A350-1000

Japan Airlines recently debuted an ultra-luxe premium economy seat on board its just-launched A350-1000 planes. In addition to featuring a fixed hardshell back, the seats will be the world’s first in premium economy to have an automatic recline function, making the process of reclining easier and as seamless as business class. There’s also motorized legrests and privacy partitions between each seat for an extra sense of seclusion. Among the other features are a 16-inch entertainment monitor that’s Bluetooth capable, noise-canceling headphones, and USB type A and C charging ports. The first of JAL’s 13 new A350-1000 planes began flying earlier in January between New York and Tokyo.

Lufthansa Allegris premium economy

The newest Allegris premium economy seat from Lufthansa will treat passengers to even more business-class-style perks. Most notable? A pod-like, hardshell seat back that allows customers to recline their seat without encroaching on the passenger behind them—a design feature usually only available in business or first. Other perks include leg rests, a cocktail table in the armrest, coat hook, personal reading light, 15.6-inch entertainment screen with Bluetooth capability, USB charging ports, and noise-canceling headphones. The new premium economy seats are set to roll out on Lufthansa’s new A350 and 787 Dreamliner planes in spring 2024 as part of the carrier’s new Allegris cabin designs—which will also see new seats in regular economy, business class, and first class (more on that below).

The completely lie-flat seats in Lufthansa's new first-class Allegris suite feature built in heaters and coolers.
The completely lie-flat seats in Lufthansa's new first-class Allegris suite feature built in heaters and coolers.

Lufthansa Allegris first-class suite

If the privacy of a suite is alluring, then Lufthansa’s new first-class Allegris suite was made for you. The new suite’s walls and sliding doors will almost reach to the ceiling for ultimate seclusion. Each lie-flat seat will also have built in heaters and coolers so each passenger can customize their personal temperature and a “shoulder sink-in” design for more comfortable side sleeping. Inside the suite, there’s also a large dining table, a huge 32-inch entertainment screen, and a personal wardrobe. When it launches the entire cabin will be able to accommodate up to four passengers only.

Japan Airlines business class suites on the new A350-1000

Toward the front of its new A350-1000 jets, Japan Airlines has added fully closing doors to its business class seats for the first time. Inside the private suites, passengers will find innovative design elements, like a wireless charging station and a storage cubby on the floor that can accommodate a full-size carry-on bag, allowing easier access to personal belongings during the flight. As such, JAL has eliminated overhead bins over the center aisle of seats to give the cabin a more open feel. (Bins are still available on the side rows.) The lie-flat seats have high-quality speakers built directly into the headrests, eliminating the need to worry about headphones. When in lie-flat mode, the seat’s headrest can also be propped up to continue comfortably watching the entertainment screen, which measures a whopping 24-inches wide.

The Leihōkū Suite will be the first business class option offered on Hawaiian Airlines flights.
The Leihōkū Suite will be the first business class option offered on Hawaiian Airlines flights.

Hawaiian Airlines business class suites on its new Boeing Dreamliner

Also launching business class suites for the first time in 2024 is Hawaiian Airlines. When its new Boeing 787 Dreamliner debuts in April, it will feature a totally reimagined business class with 34 lie-flat seats with fully closing doors. Dubbed the Leihōkū Suite, the new product will include wireless charging, an 18-inch entertainment screen, a starlit ceiling, and direct aisle access for every customer.

Air France La Premiere first class

Air France’s revamped La Premiere first class cabin is sure to be one of the most exciting seat debuts in quite some time. Although its rollout could possibly be delayed until 2025, and there are few details currently available, the specifications that have been released sound like one of the most luxe cabins in the sky. The new first class suite will be the longest available on the market, stretching across a vast five windows, according to aviation site One Mile at a Time. (That’s one window longer than the current suite.) The new La Premiere suite will also offer three seating options to passengers, including a seat, a bed, and a sofa. The cabin will also feel extremely exclusive, featuring just three secluded seats.

Originally Appeared on Condé Nast Traveler