Winston Aldworth is the Herald's Travel Editor.

Winston Aldworth: Sitting comfortably?

24 comments
A US patent filed by French flight operator and plane manufacturer Airbus imagines the future of air travel as tightly-packed rows of passengers perched upright on motorcycle-type saddles.
A US patent filed by French flight operator and plane manufacturer Airbus imagines the future of air travel as tightly-packed rows of passengers perched upright on motorcycle-type saddles.

At least there'll be no seat backs getting shoved in our faces.

European airplane manufacturer Airbus is booking a patent for an aircraft seating design that will send shivers up the exposed spine of passengers who crave a little comfort. These stripped-back seats will allow airlines to get more sardines ... sorry, passengers, on board.

It's a design more akin to a bicycle seat than anything you've seen on a plane before. There are, at least, retractable armrests.

The European aircraft-maker estimates it will get around 50 extra passengers aboard a narrow-bodied plane with this seating design. They concede the seating design would mean reduced comfort but are banking on airlines - and ultimately passengers - to put up with it on short hauls.

In the patent application, the inventor Bernard Guering calls it: "A seating device with reduced bulk, for example for an aircraft."

On an Airbus A319, there would be room for 52 more passengers, wedged in alongside the 156 already there.

It looks awful, but as with most things in the aviation industry, the lowest dollar rules. Want to fly cheap? Then snuggle up.

If airlines can keep shorthaul prices low by shoehorning more of us in, they'll bank on passengers going along for the ride.

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW
Winston Aldworth is the Herald's Travel Editor.

Have your say

1200 characters left

By and large our readers' comments are respectful and courteous. We're sure you'll fit in well.
View commenting guidelines.

Sort by
  • Oldest

© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf04 at 23 Jul 2016 21:33:06 Processing Time: 881ms