I just about fell off of my chair when I recently learned about the airline industry’s latest endeavor to maximize profits with the newest technological advancement in aircraft seat design. At first, I thought what I had just read was a joke, but as I researched a bit further my laughter turned into a nightmarish gasp. Economy seating, those wonderful low-priced seats that leave you with bruised knees (especially if you’re tall like me) or squashed next to some unknown individual you hope had showered and brushed their teeth before boarding, is taking on a new level of insanity.
With the general population getting larger and larger, it seems as if airlines are making their seats with less and less leg and arm room. It’s enough to make you say WTF? And that’s exactly what my reaction was to Aviointeriors Group’s new Skyrider 2.0 economy seat.
Recently unveiled at the Aircraft Interiors Expo 2018 in Hamburg, Germany, the Skyrider 2.0 is an upright passenger seat designed to squeeze 20% more people into already tight aircraft designs. These upright, bicycle/horse saddle style seats shrink the leg room from the current industry 28-31 inch of space to a mere 23 inches. 23 inches of space, are they kidding? Oh, but wait, the seats do come with extra padding, more than today’s traditional seats have which, I suppose, makes up for your face being positioned just inches away from the person in front of you.
The company claims that their seats will provide “adequate” comfort for short haul flights. I’m not sure how comfortable straddling a seat in an almost standing position with no room to move, let alone breathe, is going to be regardless of how short the flight will be. Add in the fact that there is no room to stow your personal items underneath the seat in front of you along with reduced overhead storage to accommodate the new height of the seats and you’re looking at a future of very unhappy and cranky passengers. But hey, I could be wrong and people might end up enjoying a bike ride in the sky.
As of now, it’s unknown if any U.S. carriers are considering purchasing this design given the recent Appeals Court ruling in 2017 stating the FAA must begin a review of seat sizes in an effort to understand how shrinking seat sizes affect airline safety.
What are your thoughts? Will you fly on an airline carrier with these new seats? Leave your comments below.