The always outrageous Michael O’Leary, CEO of Ryanair – Europe’s ultra-discount carrier – once joked he’d divide a plane into two cabins, one with seats, one without, pricing the seats at 25 euros and standing room at one euro. “I guarantee you, the one euro cabin will fill first.” It all sounds highly improbable but since the man made a successful career of selling less-than-zero frills, never say never.
Airline Seats of the Future?
What else can we expect in the future? More luxury for elite travelers, maybe less in economy. A lot less if some of these possibilities are ever adopted (but it’s by no means clear any ever will). Be sure to check out the videos below.
- The Bicycle Seat
The Los Angeles Times discovered that European aircraft manufacturer Airbus filed for a patent (in Europe) for a new design that resembles nothing so much as a bicycle seat with a tiny backrest:
Drawing from European Patent Office documents.
Bad news: Notice the lack of a tray table. Notice the lack of a headrest. Notice the lack of space.
Good news: The LA Times quotes an Airbus spokesperson as saying, “Many, if not most, of these concepts will never be developed, but in case the future of commercial aviation makes one of our patents relevant, our work is protected.” We sure hope this doesn’t become relevant until a flight between New York and Los Angeles takes 15 minutes.
- The SkyRider Saddle Seat
This bizarre seat made news a few years ago but at least it has a back and the part you sit on seems a tiny bit roomier since it’s more of a saddle than a bicycle seat but also note that passengers are in a semi-standing position. This gem is courtesy of Italy’s Avio Interiors (but we can’t help but suspect they engaged the services of a consultant named O’Leary).
VIDEO: SkyRider seats.
- The AirGo All-in-One Seat
This one’s a little different and is supposedly the middle ground between business class and economy. The design, by a Malaysia-based engineering student is supposed to be a bit roomier. In fact takes up more space than economy seats, which leads us to believe you shouldn’t look for this one anytime soon, either.
VIDEO: AirGo seats.