The other day I was speaking with a fellow pilot friend about the typical topics that airline pilots most often engage in, which, of course, is about aviation and airlines. Our conversation-subject this time:
Standing airplane seats for passengers!
Yes, you read that right. Is this too crazy of a concept for an already cramped cabin? Or is it a viable cheap fare solution for passengers and a moneymaker by virtue of selling more tickets for the airlines?
Regardless of its viability, I would say that the concept goes against the grain in today’s world where passenger comfort and features are receiving heavier emphasis on improvement.
Italian seat manufacturer Aviointeriors is behind the idea of the new standing airplane seats-concept.
How do standing airplane seats for passengers work?
Here’s a basic description of what you can expect from these standing airplane seats:
Passengers will be standing for the duration of a flight. The only support the flyer will receive comes from the saddle, the backrest and a footrest.
Aviointeriors describe their seats as an innovative seat, allowing ultra-high density in the airplane cabin. The company stresses the benefits to the airline of opening up to a wider passenger market. Upright passenger position, a reduced pitch, and adequate comfort are selling points to the airlines.
The company promises increased airline profits by installing the saddle-style cushioned seats, allowing for a 20% increase in passenger numbers. The weight of these seats is 50% less than conventional economy seats (saving fuel cost per seat mile). Reduced number of components enables minimum maintenance costs.
Aviointeriors’ seats have been designed for short flights.
Standing airplane seat pitch
The SkyRider seats would offer 23 inches of pitch. The pitch of an airline seat is measured as the distance between the seat in the back of you to the back of the seat in front of you.
The typical pitch on most commercial flights in economy class today is 28 to 31 inches.
Aviointeriors stresses the advantage of their seats for passengers seeking low-cost tickets. The seats offer an opportunity for passengers to buy tickets; passengers who otherwise cannot afford to fly.
Cabin configuration flexibility
Of course, the seat configuration is flexible, as chosen by each airline. They could be fitted as a one-class configuration for an entire airplane. Or, they can be fitted as a separate, lower cabin class, as a super-low economy cabin class type.
The third design of the Aviointerior seats
Aviointerior then produced the 3rd design of its seat, called the SkyRider 3.0, displayed at the Paris Airshow in June of 2019, pictured below.
Airlines that have discussed the idea or shown interest
Of course, regulatory approvals would need to be acquired before these seats could be installed on an airliner. Approval would be required from agencies such as the Federal Aviation Administration and the many other Federal agencies responsible for approving airline operations around the world.
People commenting on the idea of standing airplane seats
The Standing Airplane Seat SkyRider 2.0 video was shown at LinkedIn
There was no shortage of reactions from people who saw the video on LinkedIn:
“Livestock-style” passenger transport?
By the way, my pilot friend’s personal opinion on the concept?
“This livestock-style passenger transport idea of standing airplane seats, I don’t like it. But, I am sure some penny-pinching passengers always looking for cheap flights would go for that. However, I am also sure that some passengers with very limited financial means would appreciate, as well as take advantage of this.”
Heres’ a video presenting the second version of the seat in 2018:
The unveiling of SkyRider 3.0 at the Paris Airshow in 2019
Original design from 2010
Here’s what the original seat looked like. The original idea was first introduced in 2010:
Airline cabin seats
Much discussion is taking place on the ever-decreasing size, pitch, and comfort of airline seats. This great presentation by CNBC portrays the evolution of the seats on our airliners:
What’s your opinion?
Featured Image: SkyRider 2.0. Photo: Aviointeriors.