Airbus Saddle Seat Design Could Make Air Travel Even More Crowded
If you (like me) are already unhappy with the close quarter seating in economy class on commercial flights, then you will be dismayed to see the even more compact seating design proposed by Airbus in its recently published U.S. Patent Application No. 2014/0159444. This patent application discloses increasing passenger capacity by using narrow rows of a folding saddle seat design that requires passengers to perch on the seat rather than recline. Based on this design, the patent application touts the ability to pack four passengers into the space currently occupied by three standard economy class airlines seats.
To be fair, I can see how the saddle seat design may provide affordable air transportation alternatives to other mass transit options for short haul flights, but I certainly hope the folding saddle seat design does not become the standard seating in economy class in the future.
Fortunately, in an interview with CNN, an Airbus spokesman explained that while Airbus files hundreds of patent applications each year to preserve its ideas, "[m]any patents never become a reality and there is no expectation that this one would."
Sources: CNN online article entitled "Airbus Files Patent for Saddle Seats on Planes," available at: http://www.cnn.com/2014/07/17/travel/airbus-saddle-seat-patent/index.html?hpt=hp_t2 U.S. Patent Publication No. 2014/0159444 entitled "Seating Device Comprising a Forward-Foldable Backrest", available at: http://worldwide.espacenet.com/publicationDetails/originalDocument?CC=US&NR=2014159444A1&KC=A1&FT=D&ND=3&date=20140612&DB=EPODOC&locale=en_EP
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