Back in August I wrote about a proposal for standing room passengers on commercial airliners. Now comes another idea, to cram 50% more passengers into already-crowded airliner cabins.
The controversial space-saving design will see passengers sat face-to-face in rows running down the middle and on either side of the plane.
The fold-down seats with a small table to the side will save on space allowing airlines to fit more passengers in and cut costs.
Howard Guy, director of the UK company Design Q, acknowledges that some people will not be happy with the plan, but says they will be able to pay less for any inconvenience.
'Having passengers face each other is not an ideal situation,' he said. 'But this will see increased revenue for the operator and more economical tickets for the passenger, so keeping both happy this concept makes an attractive alternative.
'Sure the passenger can choose a flight facing forward in a traditional seating position, but he or she will have to pay more for the luxury.'
Mr Guy predicts that the design could see a 50 per cent increase in the number of passengers on board and a 30 per cent reduced cost per seat.
However, he did concede that the seats would not be comfortable for passengers on flights of more than two hours.
'Our thoughts are really to do with short haul journeys, anything from 30 minutes to 80 minutes. As the seats will be designed for less occupancy time, passenger comfort will be reduced on longer trips,' he said.
Another downside to the seating design is that food carts would not be able to pass down the plane as the aisles are too narrow, so food distribution would be difficult.
There's more at the link.
Personally, I think it's a ghastly idea! I'm cramped enough already when I fly economy class. Why would I want to pay for the privilege of being 50% more cramped? I know troops fly in this configuration aboard aircraft like the C-17 Globemaster III:
but that's a lot wider than the average short- to medium-haul commercial airliner! They can at least stretch their legs if they need to!
Let's hope this idea dies a swift death . . . otherwise I can see myself driving on a lot more long-distance trips!