It’s no secret that airlines are constantly pressured to come up with new efficiencies to make their business, well, fly. With an average profit of only $8.27 per passenger, squeezing more and more of us into their cabins is a sound strategy. The corollary is passenger comfort has become a secondary consideration – unless you pay for upgraded classes, of course. There are plenty of engineers and designers working to develop solutions and configurations to address this problem, some better than others. Here are a handful of concepts that have been patented, proposed or whimsically dreamed up, ranging from the dystopian torture chamber to the space-age cool.
1. The Saddle Seat
In an effort to cram even more bodies into the flying tube, Airbus has filed a patent on this no-frills semi-squat saddle seat design with a forward-foldable backrest. It gives new meaning to the term “cattle class.” It’s more of a leaning platform than a sit-down seat, really. There’s no headrest, limited back support, and some weight would be on your feet at all times. Clearly their goal wasn’t comfort. In fact, in their own words they were shooting to make it merely “tolerable” on short flights.