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! 


Design by UK-based consultancy group, Design QDesign by UK-based consultancy group, Design Q


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.


Photo via BaslerTurbo.comPhoto via


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. 


 Comfy, huh? (Image via, huh? (Image via


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!

Sources: 1, 2,,



Sep 8, 2009
by Anonymous

leg room

all of these concepts show ample leg room. With the exception of the one that requires a person to practically stand their entire flight (yea, Boston to Seattle, no way I'm standing for that flight) all of these are a "leg up" on standard seating. Yao Ming can't fit in standard seating as it is with the exception of a handful of Air Line's first class seating (though most only give you 2 inches seat width and 2 inches more leg room.

Couple of issues though Design Q's really does not look that comfortable and I imagine many people will be uncomfortable sitting with their backs straight up against the windows. And as far as the doubledecker design goes I personally love it but no one with a bad hip or weak knee's would ever be able to fly again.

None of these designs seem to show any increase of seating. In fact most look like less seats per length of the plane. Maybe the person doing the write up is looking at some different pictures than I am.

Sep 9, 2009
by Anonymous

I actually really like the

I actually really like the idea on the last last one, looks like it'd a heck of alot more comfortable!

Sep 10, 2009
by Anonymous

What about horizontal stacking ...

I've always fancied the idea I saw in the movie 5th Element, in which passengers slide into horizontal bunks, and spend the flight sleeping. Of course, 5th Element did have the advantage of putting everyone into stasis ...

Sep 12, 2009
by Anonymous

Did my 5 hours in Airborne Hell

Design Q & Stasler are Best for Regional Air Traffic vs Transcon or Intl flights.

I love the Stacked Concept, at least I get Legroom vs my 5 hour flight from Dulles to SF CA on United 777 & then same from SF to Phila on Airbus 320.

Both flights superpacked.

No more & avoid Dulles alone for the TSA lines.

Go for the stacked Concept to "pack em in".

Have nice private capsule, meals & movies,

Grab bags & Go.

Im in.
Even for HST & SST Service.