Monday, September 21, 2009

Another daft airline seating idea

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!



Old NFO said...

Somebody will try it... sigh...

Anonymous said...

Peter, next to a C-130, flying in a C-17 is the lap of luxury! It is surprisingly quiet and it has a proper lav, which the Herc doesn't.

As for this on commercial airlines, it'll never work, because if the pilot had to reject a takeoff or went off the end of the runway on landing, people would get shaken side to side all over the place, which I expect would cause more injury than facing to the front.


PeterT said...


I expect that the pax are alternating facing forward and facing aft with their knees in the spaces between the seats.... not facing the sides of the a/c as in the c-17/c-130. Otherwise, the space between the seats fore and aft would be wasted... something the airline would never do.


LabRat said...

So, let's take an entire planeful of stressed strangers who have just paid an exorbitant amount of money to have their personal space repeatedly violated, and then strap them down facing each other at a distance that, in the primate world and human culture alike, people generally only face each other when they're getting ready to mate, or fight.

There is no way this can end badly.

Anonymous said...

Labrat - Just think, they could add alcohol, too!


ParatrooperJJ said...

Yup, in a C130 or C141 the occupants are knee to knee.