Airbus’s scary new seating plan

The future of flying isn’t look so bright if Airbus’ new patent gets approved.

Airbus’s scary new seating plan

Just when you thought economy seating on planes couldn’t get anymore cramped, Airbus has filed a patent to prove you wrong.

Designed so that passengers would literally sit on top of each other, the patent contains plans for seats to be place above a middle row of seats. From the diagram featured below, it appears this would be in the space currently taken up by overhead lockers.

The only obvious upside to the claustrophobia-inducing plans is that both levels of seats seem to be designed to fold flat, which would allow economy travellers to fully recline their seats to sleep. Still, essentially you’ll be flying in a small compartment and possibly unable to stand up unless you’re in the aisle.

Airbus has only filed the patent application at this stage, but there’s every chance this could be the future of flying.

Take a look at the plans and tell us what you think? Would you be open to the idea of stacked seating? Or is one level bad enough?





    COMMENTS

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    aly_rob60
    31st Oct 2015
    6:16am
    Surely, this is some kind of prank or joke! It wouldn't pass safety standards, apart from the obvious discomfort to other passengers and lack of storage for hand luggage. Good grief.
    MICK
    31st Oct 2015
    1:55pm
    Idiots never cease to amaze. All I can say is that if this one were to get up then long distance flights would end up with people with deep vein thrombosis and lawyers to sort out the airline business. That plus people would refuse to fly with such carriers or planes no matter how cheap they were.
    I often have a view that those who think of and/or design such moronic contraptions should be forced to use them at all possible times.
    Spitfire
    26th May 2016
    8:06am
    This type of configuration would require significant amendment to the existing safety and design rules from the legislative bodies FAR and JAR. Side way seating has been established as unsafe for many years as it is not possible to secure side body loading to the spine and other internal organs. Some corporate jets have side way lounge seating which is usually not permitted to be occupied for landing and take off.
    Further consideration of this proposal would also require additional floor structure to support the additional floor G loading in the event of an accident/impact. The additional manufacturing cost to meet design strength to weight ratio would most likely exceed carrier revenue from a reduced payload and performance. An example of this is rear facing seats, whilst they provide additional safety and were not popular except in a few military transport aircraft as I can recall. The loss of revenue earning payload as an offset was not popular with air carriers.
    sexeebear
    31st Oct 2015
    6:47am
    having just about crippled myself past week with a total45 hour plane trip madrid to brisbane via helsinki and bangkok this would seem to be a reasonable solution especially older people who need to stretch out... re hand luggage personally id be happy to see the back of it and just accommodate a handbag size bag and let the airline provide the rest..ive thought for years of traveling there had to be a way to layer seats so people could stretch out and now the airline innovators airbus have had a look.. good on them looking forward to seeing it. and seeing if it works. a big plus from me
    aly_rob60
    31st Oct 2015
    6:52am
    I have done some long haul flights and been crammed in with screaming kids, but this would be my worst nightmare.....if you want to stretch out, pay more for business class, get a seat near the door or simply get up a walk around!
    MICK
    31st Oct 2015
    1:57pm
    We try never to fly on Virgin Boeing 777s as the seats are like boards and the legroom is non existent. A 2 hour flight would be fine but anything over....forget it.
    These days we try to fly with one of the Airbus planes. Good legroom and very comfortable seats.
    Gra
    31st Oct 2015
    2:37pm
    It's bad enough having people jolting the back of your seat without having the possibility of some nong kicking you in the head as they try to get comfortable in the monkey seat. This isn't about giving passengers more room, it's about squeezing more people into a already crowded space.
    MICK
    31st Oct 2015
    2:57pm
    There is always a point where passengers vote with their feet. But you might have to pay more.
    Chris B T
    31st Oct 2015
    3:50pm
    Boeing or Airbus or any other plane it is the The Airline Who Requests the Pitch/Spacing between Seats. Just for the shake of 1cm can add another couple of rows seats on larger Aircraft.
    As for the above Diagram how are the seats attached to the Aircraft Levitation, I think a hamock would work but the lower level might have an arse hole just above them.
    Anonymous
    1st Nov 2015
    7:06pm
    My friends who have just done a long haul flight to Europe have vowed they will go business class next time. Could not cope with 13 1/2 hours again they said.

    There is no way I would entertain flying in the configuration mentioned. Would sooner stay at home.
    sexeebear
    31st Oct 2015
    7:03am
    if airbus listened to you mate we wouldn't have the a 380 2 level marvel .. please try and think beyond the square.. and walk round you say ..with kids lags luggage rubbish and narrow aisles walking round is somewhat of a no no these days mate. and 250 passengers walking round would create havoc on the planes balance system not to mention the obvious seat belt signs.. and hostie deliveries.
    MICK
    31st Oct 2015
    1:59pm
    I'll be your mate aly. It gets a bit lonely on this website at times......come on Sue, where are the smilies????
    johninmelb
    31st Oct 2015
    5:44pm
    We haven't had a "hostie" on a plane for donkey's years.

    I think the term you were looking for was "cabin crew" or "flight attendant"

    We have got past that sexist rubbish from the past.
    Blossom
    23rd Jul 2016
    5:36pm
    We need to be able to go to the toilet.
    We recently flew economy from Cairns to Adelaide in an airbus. A family of 5, we couldn't afford to fly Business or 1st class. no leg room if you are tall and the person in frot reclines their seat
    Blossom
    23rd Jul 2016
    5:36pm
    We need to be able to go to the toilet.
    We recently flew economy from Cairns to Adelaide in an airbus. A family of 5, we couldn't afford to fly Business or 1st class. no leg room if you are tall and the person in frot reclines their seat
    ranga
    31st Oct 2015
    7:30am
    lOOKS LIKE THE OLDER SLEEPING BUSES IN VIETNAM. yikes. Just add wings.
    loraines
    31st Oct 2015
    8:20am
    As someone who needs a window seat, that looks a complete nightmare. Getting out to the toilet would be impossible. What's so hard about sleeping sitting up? With a neck cushion, I have no problem.
    Wstaton
    31st Oct 2015
    8:46am
    Interesting to know how people get down to go to the loo.

    This seems to mee just a way to cram more people in.
    Golden Oldie
    31st Oct 2015
    9:06am
    Sometimes getting to the loo is impossible. I travelled to Europe from Australia on a large plane (forget the size but could have been a 747). Needed loo badly, but was seated in front row of economy, and both aisles had service carts in them moving very slowly. Economy loos were at the back. I resorted to sneaking into loos in business class (1 loo for about 10 people), and was pulled up by stewart when going back to my seat and told I should not have gone there. Justified my action, and stewart realised I had no other option.
    Planes need to be better designed for long hauls for economy class, with restrooms at front and back.
    MICK
    31st Oct 2015
    2:00pm
    And always a queue of women in the queue......that is worth a response methinks!
    Gra
    31st Oct 2015
    2:45pm
    LOL - they just let it trickle down their leg and then down the neck of the person below. It's a garbage idea and we can only hope it goes the way of the Ryanair bike seat idea.
    MICK
    31st Oct 2015
    2:56pm
    That's a response!
    gardener
    31st Oct 2015
    8:52am
    It reminds me of the prison hulks and slavery ships.
    aly_rob60
    31st Oct 2015
    8:56am
    Most definitely! Or Indian trains...!
    MICK
    31st Oct 2015
    2:01pm
    Sounds like you were transported gardener. Just kidding.
    Old Dog
    31st Oct 2015
    9:10am
    Fully reclining seats are a great idea (I am buggered if I can sleep sitting up, even on a long haul) BUT if Airbus can do it AND squeeze in extra people, why can't they come up with a design that would allow for a greater level of reclining (no pun intended) and keep the current passenger numbers? Yes, I know, it all comes down to money. I guess that what they have in mind is a transition from "cattle class" to "sardine class". And as for carry-ons; I nearly need a full size bag to carry the pills I need to keep me going. Seems that the proposed patent would not allow for that.
    MICK
    31st Oct 2015
    2:01pm
    Only works if your miz is in the seat behind you. Otherwise you might be making a new 'friend'.
    roy
    31st Oct 2015
    9:58pm
    Reminds me of stories of slavers ships.
    meow
    31st Oct 2015
    9:19am
    reminds me of stories of slavers ships
    meow
    31st Oct 2015
    9:20am
    you think that too Gardener! I didn't see your comment before posting mine
    Tom Tank
    31st Oct 2015
    11:20am
    The only way a design like that would be feasible would be if every passenger is sedated and has catheters fitted.
    Fortunately my flying days will be over by the time something like that comes into service, if ever it does.
    Don't forget Ryanair has suggested standing passengers on aircraft. It really is all about chasing the dollar.
    MICK
    31st Oct 2015
    2:02pm
    Maybe beats the dreaded hangover.
    FrankC
    23rd Apr 2016
    11:34am
    "Have catheters fitted", that is so funny Tom, I LOL.
    Fran
    31st Oct 2015
    12:58pm
    I am not flying again until they have male and female toilets....at least the floor would be dry in the ladies, i think its just disgusting.
    All the grumpy old men will come out of the woodwork now, and carry on......
    MICK
    31st Oct 2015
    2:04pm
    Great idea but one queue would still be half way down the plane Dizzy.
    Maybe we need male and female planes....I know, 'women are from Venus and men are from Mars'.
    Anonymous
    1st Nov 2015
    4:14pm
    Not always so Dizzy, many 'ladies' do not wipe the drips off and they too end up on the seat or the floor.
    Blossom
    31st Oct 2015
    1:44pm
    Is 2 levels safe in an emergency? Disabled or elderly people wouldn't be able to use the top ones. I don't think it would be safe for children either.
    Gra
    31st Oct 2015
    2:32pm
    I'm inclined to believe the designer didn't think either. What a nightmare travelling like that would be, not only for passengers but for cabin crew as well. I wonder if the designer has been fitted for his white coat yet, you know, the one with all the straps.
    Blossom
    23rd Jul 2016
    5:25pm
    Gra, good comment.
    I reckon OH&S will have a "field day" with this idea, as will Public Liability Insurance.
    MICK
    31st Oct 2015
    2:59pm
    Just a thought from the diagram: how do you get up there and/or move along the non existent aisle.
    Methinks this is a joke Sue. So whose sense of humour has this come from? Come on...own up.
    Old Fella
    31st Oct 2015
    3:08pm
    What a great boost to Ocean travel. Much rather extend the travel time to and from a holiday destination over a few days than suffer 8 or more hours of claustrophobia , no flight services of drinks or meals and or standing or toilet facilities for a crammed plane. Also wonder at emergency exit facilities , not that current emergency procedures are that helpful or promising either. This surely must be an exercise in kite flying stupid ideas by non flying Airbus staff who only travel the Web.
    musicveg
    31st Oct 2015
    5:28pm
    But how much longer does it take via the ocean? But it still sounds better to me, if you got the time and money, enjoying getting there would be much more fun.
    Chris B T
    31st Oct 2015
    3:22pm
    What you missed the Diagrams of the Under Floor Storage, Bins can be toped up with 3rd class passengers. The other Diagram For Pets if there is enough space you can fly in there cage.
    Must sign a wavier that you clean up your own mess.
    Chekin at Cargo Terminal.
    Princesca
    31st Oct 2015
    5:13pm
    I would be willing to give it a go. I just did a return trip to Japan and was lucky enough to get 3 empty seats both ways, sleeping for 6 hours was a dream come true. I took would forgo overhead lockers for this.
    Mutley
    31st Oct 2015
    7:36pm
    There's a saying: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it"
    Roger-C
    31st Oct 2015
    10:14pm
    Just because they file a patent, doesnt mean they have any plans of doing it.

    1st Nov 2015
    4:11pm
    This idea probably comes from the same evil people who invented factory farming!
    PIXAPD
    2nd Nov 2015
    9:24am
    If they could find a way of laying passengers inside the wings, alternately some sort of protective suit and placed into a coma for the duration of the flight they could be attached to the outside of the plane
    JAID
    5th Nov 2015
    1:20pm
    I can't see a problem here. We already have two-story aircraft.

    A revised form of this may be a more efficient way of getting a second level. with triangular luggage hold containments we could even add a similar row underneath.

    Even without considering revised aircraft body forms the addition of bed space over (or under) would certainly find use on trips of say 8 hour plus duration. At little extra weight and without the 'vertical cramping' shown in the patent drawing, beds of this type could greatly improve long distance flight. I dare say a row two wide down the middle may not be enough so that a second similar row underneath may be necessary to balance the weight loss from the seat level. That still leaves as many people who would have to stay in their seats (reducible to about 1 if seats were redesigned to permit lying down across 3 in wide bodied jets)

    No, not a silly idea at all. As jet fuel is a significant weight component hop distances will shorten if anything being replaced by rapid re-fueling and the possibilty of a 5 minute outside walk every 3 to 5 hours but that only makes the very long flights more possible and it is possibly just those long flights which will advantage from this.
    Dollars over Respect?
    13th Feb 2016
    12:56pm
    "Cattle class" perfectly fits this description of what is planned! Instead, what about considering using our thousands of dollars to improve design ('creative' thinkers not restricted by profit squeezing), efficiency of operations, and the comfort for individual body sizes (ie small, average, large). The research seems to indicate that the majority of people would rather have quiet time (no talkies), so seats can be allocated for body size fit and comfort. The proposal is 'inhumane' - why do we allow them treat us like animals? In my opinion, every craft that flies long distances (say any flight over 4 hours) should allow for the individual to lie flat when desired! 'Improve' amenity (otherwise known as a 'progressive' solution, not a ;regressive' one) - potentially affordable by cutting excessive corporate salaries.
    JAID
    13th Feb 2016
    2:00pm
    The design may actually be a step toward that Dollars over Respect. Using the space opens it up for bed use, for quieter areas where one can turn away from their neigbhours and for lower cost air flight due to maximising the use of a given space or infrastructure.

    Rail sleeper carriages show it is possible to use the upper volume yet maintain seat numbers resulting in overall advantage.

    It would be good, as you say, to improve focus on human volumetric factors. This sounds difficult on the surface but the advantage of achieving best fit for all individuals would make for more pleasing flight.
    Dollars over Respect?
    13th Feb 2016
    3:39pm
    OK...if silly is being brainstormed....but not for claustrophobes: Consider floor to ceiling sleep pods (as in Japan) for the fit and healthy, ie 2-3 levels (bodies) high, down the centre of the plane? With enough room to sit up or lie down. Each pod has its own locker. Possibly enough room for a single row of upright/semi recliners on one side (though the corridor needs to be wide enough to enable speedy egress by the increased numbers of people)? Someone do the spatial calculations! That would be comfortable/private etc...need to sound proof though, to subdue the noise from all the happy snorers! ha ha!
    JAID
    13th Feb 2016
    4:00pm
    Not sure that similar ends are not actually being considered here Dollars...? Even the diagram showed a reclined postion and those could cleverly be invested with all the features of the Japanese pods, the comments went further than that however.

    Still, we won't need seats or accessible lockers for suspended animation. Pre-suspension wuld also make delivery complete with pod to locations selected automatically for best fit of various body sizes.

    There is plenty of room to move and all of it depends on being economic and satisfactory to the customer. Even with only a century behind it, air transport development has been incremental.

    On claustophobia, individually required spatial dimensions will vary substantially. The shape of aeroplanes may cater for some of these otherwise special requirements will come with a cost. The dollars saved can also be seen as respect. Respect for peoples liberty lost in required work to pay the cost.
    Alexii
    24th Jun 2016
    12:08pm
    Singles? Why not doubles? Much more enjoyable flight then.
    Dollars over Respect?
    14th Feb 2016
    11:01am
    Evolution is a slow process unfortunately but ultimately the most successful option is the result (in this case, optimum traveller amenity). The majority of people have been traveling sitting upright on flights for hours on end for many years, with little opportunity to move around as needed. Improved comfort is long overdue for the average traveller and, as air travel is now within everyone's reach (almost), the pressing next step needed is to eliminate the chronic discomfort and, most important, life threatening incidences of DVT etc. An improved business model could enable the savings to fund the design improvements needed. Continuing with the existing situation of reasonable comfort only for first/business class (ie wealthy/corporate funded) shows little regard or care for the majority of travellers. Big airlines could not exist without the profits being made from the average (economy class) traveller.
    ronnieb
    14th Feb 2016
    5:56pm
    Looks very much like a midship gunner post in a flying fortress from WW2 to me so unlikely to ever be given a Patent. We can probably cool off a little i suspect, unless of course they actually add machine guns and a blister window to the design.
    Dollars over Respect?
    14th Feb 2016
    8:42pm
    As comment has been invited -there's no time like the present to be looking at this issue. As in all good design, 'form follows function' - for the interior of an aircraft also! Super-light, soundproof and private individual pods may be possible. Just throwing this concept in for consideration.
    JayUK
    23rd Apr 2016
    3:22pm
    Air pressure seems to cause wind. It's bad enough with people next to you without them being above you as well !
    Spitfire
    26th May 2016
    8:02am
    Yes the increased Methane would present a requirement for increased airflow. God bless those poor souls seated in the rear of the cabin, have you ever wondered why they are all asleep when you wander around to stretch your legs. Looks like those oxygen masks may serve a dual purpose and require additional capacity in the future. Perhaps the hidden agenda is to sell more bussiness/first seats.
    Spitfire
    25th Apr 2016
    8:48am
    This type of configuration would require significant amendment to the existing safety and design rules from the legislative bodies FAR and JAR. Side way seating has been established as unsafe for many years as it is not possible to secure side body loading to the spine and other internal organs. Some corporate jets have side way lounge seating which is usually not permitted to be occupied for landing and take off.
    Spitfire
    26th May 2016
    7:55am
    Further consideration of this proposal would also require additional floor structure to support the additional floor G loading in the event of an accident/impact. The additional manufacturing cost to meet design strength to weight ratio would most likely exceed carrier revenue from a reduced payload and performance. An example of this is rear facing seats, whilst they provide additional safety and were not popular except in a few military transport aircraft as I can recall. The loss of revenue earning payload as an offset was not popular with air carriers.
    meow
    8th Jun 2016
    10:50am
    reminds me of stacked slave ships
    Vickbenla
    10th Jun 2016
    11:04am
    I'm claustrophobic enough in an aircraft now, no way would I fly like this
    Pamiea
    21st Jun 2016
    5:16pm
    I think its disgusting and smacks of profit over looking after the interests of paying passengers. What if someone were to spill a hot cup of coffee on someone below??
    Missskinnylegs
    27th Jun 2016
    3:01pm
    What the? I bet Jetstar and Tiger and every other cheap airline goes for it! and idiot people will think it is "hip" Give me a break - all for an extra $$ in their already overloaded ktity and to hell with safety!
    Culgoa
    28th Jul 2016
    1:49pm
    Unfortunately not a joke. Just another way to get more self loading cargo on board.
    Oliva
    29th Jul 2016
    2:55pm
    Crap.
    maxchugg
    16th Aug 2016
    1:00pm
    I have flown on most airlines leaving Australia, other than Etihad. My favourite airline remains Singapore, Cathay Pacific probably as good. And, just to set the record completely straight, I have absolutely no involvement with any airline.

    After getting a DVT on a flight I decided to opt for more legroom so flew Premium Economy once - not with Singapore. There was some improvement, with more legroom and wider seats, but I reverted back to cattle class with Singapore where comfort is almost as good, meals and cabin service far superior to Premium Economy, which is double the cattle class fare.

    According to the Seat Guru site, the most common seat pitch (spacing between seats, or your legroom) is 32 inches, which you get on both Singapore and Cathay. Emirates have an extra inch of legroom, KLM, if they still fly here, have an additional 3 inches.
    Charlie
    26th Aug 2016
    8:09pm
    In one word SARDINES
    Pickles
    29th Aug 2016
    2:02pm
    I hope that the passengers on the top would not have smelly feet or had very clean shoes and had good bladder control
    maxchugg
    29th Aug 2016
    3:06pm
    I couldn't care less. No way would I get on a plane with that configuration. Safety alone would be a major concern to me.
    Ok
    30th Aug 2016
    11:58am
    Every year, hordes of politicians are going on "study trips" to ensure the maximum waste of tax money. A configuration like this would be helpful on very long hauls to their exotic destinations.


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