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New Upright Airplane ‘Seats’ Would Mean ‘Ultra-High Density’ Flights

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If these new airline “seats” are any indication about the future of flying, the friendly skies are about to get a bit more crowded. The new accommodations allow passengers to stand, sort of, packed in shoulder to shoulder. The Skyrider 2.0 seats promise a higher profit for airlines on a new class of sub-economy class seating.

The Italian firm making the new seats is called Aviointeriors. They’re pitching this as an “increased upright passenger position.” Not a seat, exactly. Tickets wouldn’t guarantee you a seat, but a position.

The company showcased the new furniture at the Aircraft Interiors Expo 2018 in Hamburg. The concept is clear. By standing passengers up, legroom is a thing of the past. That allows more people on the same flight.

No word yet on how flight attendants would modify policies. “Take your seats,” is a staple of pre-flight instructions. And what would they call the items formerly known as seat belts?

“Each Skyrider 2.0 seat offers a back support and a saddle-style cushion for passengers to rest upon,” Fox writes, “along with armrests and a seat-back tray table. The Skyrider does not, however, allow for much room between rows, and in turn, no room for stowing baggage under the seats.”

Those armrests look thin, too.

“The ‘pitch,’ or the distance between the seats, is reportedly just 23 inches, as compared to the 28 to 31 inches passengers normally enjoy.”

Their marketing materials make their argument to the airlines : “Thanks to this seat,” Aviointeriors writes, “we are able to increase the number of passengers by 20 percent with a consequent increase in profits for airline companies.”

How popular would they be with customers who couldn’t stow luggage under their seats? It would likely depend on the cost, though the length of the flight might play an important factor.

One thing is clear: a standing seat would be a nightmare on those not-so-rare occurrences when the plane is delayed on the runway and they won’t let anyone off.