When it comes to a long-haul flight, nothing gives you more angst than the thought of being squished elbow-to-elbow next to a painful passenger while huddled into a single economy-class seat.

But a simple upgrade while on-board an Air New Zealand flight left this mum forgetting all about the temptations of first class in an instant after her row was converted into a makeshift bed.

Known as the Skycouch, Melbourne mum Adele Barbaro posted about her experience to Facebook. Her post has attracted more than 23,000 comments from users questioning how she was able to create a first-class experience for just a few hundred dollars.

“We got to experience the Air New Zealand Skycouch on our way here and for those that don’t know what it is, it is a unique economy option where your entire row becomes a bed,” Adele wrote alongside images of herself and her family using the pullout bed.

“If there is 2 of you travelling, you can purchase a third seat at half price and you will get the entire row to yourself.

“The legs rest all rise to meet the chair in front and create a completely flat, large play or sleep area.

“Paul and Harvey had a bed and so did Chloe and I. It’s the next best thing to business (but way cheaper) and perfect for long haul flights with young families. And we all slept.”

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In a nutshell, the economy Skycouch allows a row of seats to be turned into a couch/bed after takeoff.

It means you are able to stretch out across the entire row and even into the legroom. According to Air New Zealand, the “couch” is so flexible it can be used as seating, a couch or even a play area. The world first comes with pillows and other bedding, meaning you get the entire row to yourself in privacy.

Passengers can purchase the flight add-on from $200 each way (based on a Sydney to Los Angeles flight) when three people have booked the seat row.

Instead of setting a separate price for Skycouch, Air New Zealand charges for one economy seat plus an additional fee. When you upgrade to an economy Skycouch you reserve all three seats in your row. But be warned, you will pay more if you are travelling alone.

Thousands of commenters have praised the upgrade, commending the couch as saving them during a long-haul flight.

“Best thing we did was get the sky couch for our holiday kids slept 7 out of 14 hour flight that’s a win for me,” one person wrote.

“Skycouch was amazing on our recent trip to USA,” another added. “I wish every airline would allow this.”