Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

Bicycle Seats…For Airplanes?

Could one of those passengers depicted in the diagram above be you one day sitting in one of those seats on a future flight? Diagram courtesy of Airbus Operations (SAS).

On December 9, 2013, Airbus Operations (SAS) had filed for a patent for seats — with a publication date of June 12, 2014 — which would be similar to those found on a bicycle.
The seat would be mounted on some sort of rod or tube. It would be retractable, have no tray table, no headrest — and a scant amount of leg room at best. The small backrest of the seat would be able to be folded forward.
In attempting to cram as many passengers as possible onto an airplane — supposedly to further increase profits — is commercial aviation approaching the point where there will one day be standing room only for passengers?
“Just because it’s patented, doesn’t mean they’re doing to start offering these”, posted FlyerTalk member alphaod. “I’m pretty sure they offer something for vertically packing passengers, but I doubt they would offer that either! Can you imagine standing only ‘seats’ for a 14 hour transpac?”
Diagram courtesy of Airbus Operations (SAS).

On second thought, I think this seat design is a wonderful — albeit incomplete — idea. Why not be really creative and include pedals for the passengers to power the aircraft while “sitting” in the seats? That should save even more money on fuel…
…and it would be a great way for passengers to exercise and lose precious weight simultaneously — possibly saving even more money on fuel. Passengers seated in the exit rows near the wings will need that extra legroom for that super-sized oar to control the wings. Think about the possible marketing rhetoric by the airline: “Assist in piloting an actual airplane while getting precious exercise to refresh you in time for when you reach your destination!”
How about installing hooks on the walls inside of the airplane for those passengers who just want to “hang around” for the duration of the flight? Think of how many more passengers could be crammed in!
Perhaps Airbus can develop a better overhead bin which would allow for more storage — similar to what The Boeing Company is now offering — and sell those at a premium as sleeping berths. More passengers! Extra comfort! Everyone wins!
If there are any irregular operations, the airline can blame the passengers — thereby automatically releasing it from any liability.
Seats currently found in the economy class cabin can then be used as seats in the premium class cabin so that more passengers can finally enjoy that first class experience per flight.
Time to get back to reality: I would have to assume that Bernard Guering — the inventor of this seat — has no plans to travel as a passenger on an airplane in the future with this design…
…and where would the seat belt go?!?
Would you travel as a passenger in one of those seats — especially if the price was right?

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