Airline Seating Follows Airline Food... Bye Bye!
Interior designers in the airline industry are clearly charged to create seating designs that work... for the airlines. Pack 'em in must be the industry's motto now, as designers create drawings of face to face seating (a là city bus), stand-up seating (a là torture chamber), and stacked seating (a là someone sits in the luggage rack).
Until now, an airline ad might feature a special seating comfort in an ad - larger seats, all leather seats, or more leg room... What else could they advertise, the food?
But now? Forget it. These seating designs have no pretense to passenger comfort... or privacy.
Now, this design looks kind of neat, until you think about sitting in it for an hour or so... and facing a whole row of strangers, squirming like you, impatiently awaiting their landing so they can get on a train and relax!
Even the seats in this military Basler Turbo BT-67 look more comfortable, and they can salvage some bit of privacy by staring at the equipment and supplies in the middle of the aircraft.
As Mary Kirby from Flight Global reports, there have been several standing seat designs. Jennifer Coutts Clay, airline interiors expert, told Kirby "Preliminary sketches showed structures reminiscent of vertical spray-tanning booths, fun-fair joy-ride cabs, funicular gondolas or avant-garde ski-lifts."
Not too long ago, Ryanair and Spring, a low-cost Irish airline, were looking at vertical seating for short trips -- one was considering padded backboards and a harness to hold the passenger, and the other was said to be considering barstool-like seating with safety straps.
Perhaps harnessed standing slots could be placed between these stacked-up sit-lie compartments. They are designed with wide-screens for movie viewing, but that may not end up to be a compensatory factor after spending the next three months at the chiropractor.
Airplane manufacturers are predicting that the new "seating options" will be tried out first on Asian airlines, as Asians have less of a cultural issue being physically close to strangers than Westerners.
That may be so, but what about the size of these cabins? Not all Asians are short and thin, you know, despite that lingering stereotype... Yao Ming positively would not fit in any of these so-called seats!