Cramped airplane seating? You ain’t seen nothing yet!

An Italian airplane interior design company is proposing a new style of coach seating that would squash in 50% more passengers than the current already cramped airplane seating, what they call their SkyRider seat.

Generally most coach class seats on most planes have a seat pitch of about 30″ – 32″.  Pitch means that the ‘repeat length’ – the distance between one seat starts and the next seat in the row ahead starts.

Over the years this pitch has reduced, although it has been partially offset by making seat backs thinner.  If you can take 1″ out of the seat back padding, then you can move the rows of seats 1″ closer together without reducing the leg room for the seated passengers.

Until now the basic limiting factor has been upper leg length, because one’s knees typically end up close to the back of the seat in front.

Now an Italian design company is proposing a ‘stepped’ type of design that has your legs sloping down and therefore able to partially fit underneath the seat in front.  This would allow for much closer spacing, or so they say.  They are suggesting a 23″ seat pitch.  In other words, what was formerly two rows of seats at 34.5″ could now become three rows of seats at 23″.

But, think about the following issues :

1.  There’s no way you could squeeze out of a row if you’re in an inner seat.  All the other people in the row would have to get out first before you get out.  This is not only a problem if you want to get up in-flight, but will make the boarding process much more complex.

6.  Talking about boarding, with that many more people, it will take much longer to board – and exit – the plane.

2.  The seat back in front of you will now be 7″ – 10″ closer to you.  Feeling claustrophobic yet?  Wait until the person in front reclines their seat!

3.  Talking about claustrophobia, there’s a greater chance now that your row won’t have a window alongside it, further increasing your sense of ‘the walls crushing in on you’.

4.  If you formerly managed to use a computer on a flight, the reduction in space between you and the seat in front will make that surely impossible.

5.  There’ll be the same amount of overhead space, now to be shared among many more passengers.

7.  Lines for the toilets will be much longer.

As for the overall comfort of sitting in what they describe as ‘similar to a touring motorcycle rider’ (whatever that means), I’ve no idea, but have my doubts.

More details here.  I attempted to open the design company’s website, but it isn’t responding.  Hopefully that might mean they’ve gone out of business and this terrible idea will quietly disappear.

8 thoughts on “Cramped airplane seating? You ain’t seen nothing yet!”

  1. My recollection when I’ve found myself sitting with angled legs like that is it gets very uncomfortable, fairly quickly. And I wonder if it would impact blood circulation and increase thrombosis issues?

  2. My main concern with this format if it ever eventuates, and if it does Ryan Air will be the first, is any form of evacuation. As a former Inflight Manager, we should all be aware that even in a situation that is orderly, ie Precautionary Evacuation it is virtually impossible to get people out now, when you cut the pitch, your chances of survival become much less. In a crash where seats and pax and hand luggage litter the cabin, along with structural damage to the aircraft, Good Luck.!!!!!!!!!
    Ken Buzza.

  3. As a touring motorcycle rider I sit bolt upright and hang onto the handlebars. I think they mean cruiser motorcycle rider where you sit on your tailbone with your feet extended in front of you and hang onto the handlebars. Neither of these positions sounds comfortable for a two hour flight.

  4. I’m sorry to tell you that the company’s website is working just fine. I just opened it and it responded immediately. I Googled Aviointeriors. It may make a difference that I am in Italy, but I doubt it.
    All this is just to say that the company appears to be still in business so this terrible idea may not go away on its own.

  5. Please let them go out of business. They obviously don’t fly themselves, and I am really tired of living with designs by people who don’t actually have to use them. I fly about 140 flights a year, and would never knowingly book myself on an aircraft with this configuration. The first thing I thought of after the amazing discomfort is the safety hazards. Picture an emergency where the aisle seat passenger faints–you have a massive problem to say the least. Please, please make this nightmare go away.

  6. Ok, I cannot believe that the company actually has the nerve (read other words in there, starting with “brass”) to even try to say that their design preserves under seat luggage. Looks to me like any underseat luggage would have to be very small and would be sitting on top of your feet for the entire flight. I guess you could get a notebook or a small laptop in there, but not much else. And what about tall people? I am only 5’6″ and sometimes my knees are touching the seat in front of me. How would someone over 6′ fit their knees into those openings? This is insane!

  7. Pingback: Airline Roundup Friday 8 October 2010 » The Travel Insider

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