When you fly, there’s only 3 distinct possibilities that can happen to you in regards to your seating and comfortability:
- MOST LIKELY SCENARIO: Both seats next to you are taken by someone between 18-60 years old and of average size. While you’re not extremely comfortable, you’ve got enough space that you can make it through the flight without complaining relatively too much and wanting to curse someone out
- DOOMSDAY SCENARIO: You’re stuck either next to or near a crying baby or someone slightly too large for just one seat and you’re uncomfortable the whole flight (we’ve all been there)
- IDEAL WORLD: you’re #blessed because one or more seats surrounding you is open and you feel like you’re on top of the world (no pun intended) with endless amounts of space
However, what if I said you’d be stuck in the most likely scenario every time you flew? Well, with Airbus’s idea, you’ll be sitting in that middle ground of comfort every time, whether you like it or not.
In a bid to maximize profits, airlines are squeezing more and more people onto their planes. As a result, seats and personal space are shrinking. People, meanwhile, are getting larger.
With the federal standard for the width of airplane seats is still based on measurements taken in 1962, many fliers struggle to comfortably fit into airplane seats.
Now Airbus has come up with a potential solution to this problem.
Earlier this month, the United States Patent and Trademark Office published a patent application from Airbus’ Sven Taubert and Florian Schmidt for a “reconfigurable passenger bench seat.”
The system, which could be adapted for other modes of transportation, features a bench seat that can be configured to hold anywhere from two passengers to a whole family.
The magic behind the Airbus seat lies with a system of adjustable seat belt and armrest placements. As a result, an airline can tailor the amount of space available to a particular passenger.
The Airbus seat could revolutionize the way airlines sell tickets. Instead of the current á la cart system, which spreads costs evenly within a class of seats, the new system would allow airlines to index pricing to the amount of space and fuel required to transport a passenger. A small child would pay less and be apportioned less room than an average-size adult.
Such a development would be particularly beneficial for families who have to pay for a full-price ticket for small children and for overweight passengers who might otherwise purchase a second seat.
Such a plan would fall in line with the fare-rate system in place for the air-freight industry, which bills based on weight.
That said, the adaptive seating and pricing system is only food for thought. Major logistical changes would have to be made to the airline system for it to go into use.
Click here to see the full patent.
Source: Business Insider