New Airline Seats: Another Non-Story

You may have seen pictures and read about the new design of some airline seats. The Daily Mail and the Telegraph both carried stories about this strange seat where the pitch (the gap between the back of one seat and the back of the one in front) is just 23 inches. This is about 6 inches less than is available on most no-frills airlines. The seat is like a saddle and you perch on it with your legs pointing down as opposed to a normal sitting position. Called the SkyRider it is Italian designed (well here’s one Italian design disaster for a start) and the suggestion is that would enable no-frills airlines to pack even more passengers in.
It isn’t going to happen.

Why?

Because there is safety legislation on how many passengers can be carried in planes before additional exit doors need to be built in. In the USA it would also need approval from the authorities for it to be introduced onto planes. The suggestion is that it would be suitable for flights up to 3 hours in length. More suitable for other things rather than flying seems to be the attitude of comments on various websites. It has been roundly attacked with one comment that the seats will get more and more uncomfortable so that soon nobody will be willing to fly at all. Others pointed out that your luggage would have more space than you. Why not install hammocks and double stack them so you could have twice as many passengers some say. How will the larger passenger and the disabled cope? How will you deal with tray tables so that people can eat the expensive no-frills airline food? Ryanair suggested letting passengers stand and this daft idea is akin to that. Regulators are there to be concerned about safety and, like that suggestion, this one isn’t going to go anywhere either.
The owners, a company called Aviointeriors, say that many airlines are interested but hasn’t given any names. I’m not surprised. If ever this sounded like marketing hype, this is it.