Tidbits for travelers: YVR’s Olympic rings & Air New Zealand’s Skycouches

The Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics kick off in just a few weeks and Vancouver International Airport (YVR) is getting ready to welcome more than 230,000 athletes and Olympics-bound visitors. Actually, the airport has been sprucing up for quite a while. In addition to its swanky new Observation Gallery, the airport has had these giant Olympic rings on site since last spring.

The installation is almost 46 feet tall, weighs more than 9,000 pounds and has 20,385 individual LED lights. Here’s a video that shows the installation process and some of the colored-patterns that can light up the sky.

In other shiny news, the folks at Air New Zealand unveiled their “Skycouch” today. It’s a specially designed row of three seats that can transform into a flat space suitable for stretching out and sleeping.  That is of course, if you’re not too tall, you don’t mind snuggling up with your seatmate, and you have purchased the entire row.  (The airline says it will sell you third seat at a discount if you’ve purchased the other two).

(Photo courtesy Air New Zealand)

Twenty-two sets of Skycouch seats will be available on Air New Zealand’s new Boeing 777-300 ER planes, which will arrive in November.

And since this is the airline that sponsored a recent Matchmaking flight and created an adorable “nearly naked” commercial and safety video, I fully expect the airline to offer a program to find travelers the perfect snuggle-mate for these flights.

Otherwise- why bother?

Along with the Skycouch and other new amenities, the airline also introduced upgrades for the Premium Economy cabin, including the cool-looking “Spaceseats” you can see in the airline’s promo video.

So what do you think? “Groundbreaking” or just really darn cool?