Under 4.5ft Tall? Thomas Cook Introduces Weird Economy Flat Beds

Thomas Cook Airlines is launching flatbed economy seats on their long-haul routes starting on May 13th, 2019. While these seats are nothing like Emirates First Class, for some, they could be a nice way to cross the Atlantic. That is, if you’re under 4’5 in height!

Thomas Cook’s Sleeper Seat will occupy the center seats on an A330. Photo: Thomas Cook

Thomas Cook will be offering the Sleeper Seat in Rows 41 through 44 of their A330 aircraft. Since these sleeper seats are at the back of the plane where the fuselage narrows, the seats are arranged in a 2-3-2 configuration. With fewer passengers in the row, this could be a more comfortable place to spend the night on a transatlantic flight.

According to Thomas Cook Airlines, the sleeper seats come with a mattress. The mattress is laid across the three center seats and suddenly, you have your own flatbed. Though great in concept, there are some questions as to its practicality.

Thomas Cook’s Sleeper Seat looks comfortable, but is it really? Photo: Thomas Cook

Is this practical?

Thomas Cook’s economy seats are 18.2 inches wide. Multiply that across three seats and you have about 54 inches of usable space. We can assume the mattress doesn’t fit snugly across, so the minor .6 inches account for some of the difference.

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If you’ve already done the math, you know that 54 inches equates to only about 4.5 feet. For most people, 4.5 feet is far too short for a bed. However, if you’re traveling with family, you might think that this would be a great way for your younger children to get some sleep.

But according to Thomas Cook, the sleeper seat is only available for those 12 years of age and older. It is unclear if an adult can reserve it for their children to use, but if that is the case, there is a very small subset of Thomas Cook’s travelers that could make use of the Sleeper Seat.

The sleeper seat is not long enough to fit most passengers. Photo: Thomas Cook

Thomas Cook states that the Sleeper Seat is only for one person use at a time. However, members of your group can swap in and out of the seat as many times as you would like.

The Sleeper Seat is also flexible in that you could sleep, you could read, you could watch a movie, or you could listen to audio while lounging or laying down on the product. The only thing they won’t do is let you eat while lounging or lying down.

Are there special amenities?

Thomas Cook’s Sleeper Seat Amenities. Photo: Thomas Cook

You won’t get a full suite of amenities like you would in Business Class, but the standard amenity kit will be offered. The closest thing to a business class experience you would get is turndown service since cabin crew will need to provide the sheets and mattress.

The meals and entertainment are just like a regular economy seat.

What does it cost?

Prices start at £200 one-way. On a longer hop from Manchester to San Francisco, you can expect to part with £400 to fly in a Sleeper Seat.

Prices can be steep for a short bed. Photo: Thomas Cook

While some passengers may balk at the cost, a sleeper seat would be cheaper than a flatbed business class seat on a full-service carrier. However, if you’re on the taller side, this might just be an unusable product for you.

Sure you can sleep, but will your arms, legs, and head stay clear of the aisle? Photo: Thomas Cook


This is a great concept that a few other airlines have adapted, however, it seems impractical and unusable for most passengers.

Would you fly in Thomas Cook’s Sleeper Seat? Let us know in the comments!

  1. Is the 18.2 inch width the actual seat width, or only between the armrests?

    I’ve been comfortable enough sleeping in a sort of fetal position across a row of 3 seats before, with no mattress or anything else used for additional padding (and no complaints from anyone, so I’m assuming I didn’t stretch my legs). If they had a retractable barrier on the aisle side, one could sleep that way without risking blocking the aisle. But that didn’t cost me anything, and I definitely wouldn’t spend hundreds for it and a mattress rental.

  2. As a mature female planning to travel long haul in October, I am interested in the sleeper seat. I travel alone so no need to feel I am being ignorant to the person alongside me. Plus, I am under 5 feet !!!!!!. This has always been a problem with toes barely reaching the floor, causing swollen ankles due to poor circulation with dangling legs. Plus the head rest pushing my head downwards as I don’t fit in it well. What joy to hear that short people are being considered too……. .I have felt only tall or large passengers have a choice of seating. A drop down foot bar, like on some buses would be so practical. Packed under the seat infront, and clicked down by foot if required as a footrest.
    Shame your sleeper is so expensive, especially as its still being considered as an experimental item How about an introductory offer ???. Well done and good luck anyway. Tina T.

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