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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Airline "Saddle Seat" to Cram those Passengers Aboard



I've never liked plane travel. And for those of you who, like me are not afraid to fly but don't like being herded like cattle into tiny seats, the world just might be getting worse for you. The Telegraph is reporting on the new "SkyRider" seat that will be unveiled at a conference this week.

From the article by Andrew Hough:

"The new 'saddle' seat, to be unveiled at a conference this week, increases the number of seats an airline can have in its economy class.

"The design, named the 'SkyRider', allows just 23 inches of legroom, which is about seven inches less than the average seat's space of 30 inches.

"Shaped similar to a horse saddle, passengers sit at an angle, with their weight taken on by their legs. It allows seats to be overlapped.

[...]

"The makers say the seat would allow budget airlines, such as Ryanair, to cram more passengers into their tight cabins.

"The seat, designed by Italian design firm Aviointeriors Group, based in Latina, in the country's south-west, is to be unveiled this week at the Aircraft Interiors Expo Americas conference in Long Beach, California.

"But while the designers claim it does not affect passenger comfort, they say it would only be suitable for flights of up to three hours.

"'We feel extremely confident that this concept will ... have great appeal to airlines for economic purposes,' Dominique Menoud, the company's director general, told USA Today.

"'For flights anywhere from one to possibly even up to three hours ... this would be comfortable seating.'"

And now my favorite line delivered while hawking the cram concept:

"'The seat ... is like a saddle [Dominique Menoud continues]. Cowboys ride eight hours on their horses during the day and still feel comfortable in the saddle.'"

Yeah, baby! That's totally convinced me!

I wonder how many cowboys the Aviointeriors Group interviewed for design recommendations... I would think that a cowboy-- or pretty much anyone who has ever been on a horse for any length of time-- would've been able to tell them that it takes a lot of time (and a fair amount of soreness) to get used to being in a saddle-- training that most airline just don't have. I just sort of assume that the vast majority of airline passengers aren't going to be cowboys or horseback riding enthusiasts, but maybe I'm wrong. Still, cowboys will probably enjoy the SkyRider seating, as long as they don't mind their face being a few inches away from the seat back in front of them (see second picture).

This thing looks to me like something that would come out of the Age-of-Communism Eastern Europe (why am I reminded of the Yugo and the cloth East German car?) where they didn't actively hate their customers-- they just possessed a high degree of antipathy toward them.

The article mentions that Menoud claims several unnamed airlines are interested in these seats. Take heart however, as these seats are highly unlikely to measure up to current safety standards.

1 comment:

  1. LOL!

    Yeah, you can tell just how much time the designers have spent in saddles!

    But they certainly know how to shovel manure.

    ReplyDelete