If cramped legs and battling for armrest real estate aren’t enough, a new kind of seat might make air travel even more uncomfortable.
Last week Airbus submitted a patent in Europe for airline “bike seats,” which would have passengers perched on a saddle mounted to a vertical bar for the duration of the flight.
It has no tray table, no headrest and very little leg room. According to the LA Times, the patent application indicates that the seat is designed to be less bulky than a typical airline seat, which would allow more passengers to squeeze in side-by-side.
“In effect, to increase the number of cabin seats, the space allotted to each passenger must be reduced,” the patent application states.
From looking at the patent rendering, it seems that the money passengers would save with these seats wouldn’t make up for its lack of comfort.
The full patent abstract reads: “A seating device with reduced bulk, for example for an aircraft. This seating device comprises a backrest which describes a circular translational movement towards the front and upwards of the device when the seating device is brought to the retracted configuration. A seating structure is provided comprising a bearing piece on which reduced bulk. An aircraft is provided comprising a seating device with reduced bulk mounted in its cabin.”
Having no headrest would mean no snoozing. There is no tray table to eat off of, and I can’t even imagine what it might feel like going through turbulence.
Airbus notes that just because this patent concept was submitted doesn’t mean it will be developed. But the concept alone has me worried about the extreme lengths the airline industry is willing to go to in order to cram as many seats into a plane as possible.