Perhaps in a throwback to the Golden Age of aviation, when sleeping berths on airplanes were as common as they were on trains, Airbus and Zodiac are developing berths that could be placed in the cargo hold of long-haul aircraft such as the A330. Like traditional cargo containers, the sleep pods could be quickly installed or removed depending on the flight.

It’s an interesting concept. Now that flights are getting longer and longer—and longer—maybe it’s not such a bad idea to spend a 20-hour trip stretched out, hoping to get some Z’s. Or, if the pods are double (and co-ed), maybe this will make it even easier to join the Mile High Club.

However, if you needed to use the lavatory, would there be enough room to move around down there? Perhaps just barely. And where would they put the lavatory? What happens when the pods needed to be evacuated? And, in a crash landing, seated passengers will not only have the cushion from all those suitcases, they will also have the cushion provided by a bunch of prone passengers belowdecks.

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In the end, it’s just another scheme to get more and more passengers onto already-crowded flights. Perhaps, though, it’s better than some other options that airlines are looking into...

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