Airbus Files Patent for Saddle Seats on Planes

For air travelers who like to gripe about being cramped in economy, here comes another warning that they’ve never had it so good.

Airbus has filed a patent application showing detailed renderings of what may be the plane seat of the future.

The design shows narrow rows of folding saddle seats with low backrests on which passengers perch rather than recline.

The patent application, which makes even the most budget of budget airline seating look luxurious, was published last month and is available for viewing by the public.

As CNN reported last week, a new study says the vertical passenger seat may be the next big cost-cutting move in aviation.

Upright seat designs would allow airlines to pack more passengers into a cabin and provide an affordable alternative to public transportation on short haul flights.

The patent says current seating configurations have reached their passenger limit but numbers can be increased by switching to saddle-style designs (presumably stowing travelers in the overhead compartments has been ruled out).

It says the saddle format will accommodate four seats into a space previously occupied by three.

The Airbus design is somewhat similar to the SkyRider, a perching saddle for planes developed by Italian firm Aviointeriors and unveiled at an expo in 2010.

If Airbus is looking for positive feedback for its design, it may struggle.

The UK’s Daily Telegraph likened the patent to “the inside of a galley,” under the headline “The world’s most uncomfortable plane seat?”

An Airbus spokesperson told CNN that the patent didn’t necessarily mean it would be saddling up its aircraft anytime soon.

“Airbus files hundreds of patents each year — this is what innovative companies do,” Airbus UK head of media relations Robert Gage said via email.

“Many patents never become reality and there is no expectation that this would. It is really to preserve an idea and has not developed beyond this stage.”

Gage said that even if the designs were to be developed, it would be up to airlines would choose the seating configurations and type.

3 comments

  • Mike Cee

    Pack ‘em in like cattle. I can’t imagine flying these days-between the TSA groping and the low quality of the airlines, and now the idea of packing people into planes like cattle in a trailer on their way to the packing plant, I’ll happily drive from now on. And with the highly inflated prices at the Des Moines Airport, I’ll save money driving to my destination.

  • achintyad

    Seems like Airbus is picking on economy class.!!! Purpose is clear, to pack more passengers and get as much profit as possible. !!! sacrificing economy’s comfort .!!!

  • William Denison

    People are going to need to buy a lot of butt butter if they are going to use these seats.

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