Making the middle seat bearable

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When asked for seat preference on a plane there’s usually two options; aisle or window. The middle seat is generally not offered as, let’s face it, it’s one of the worst positions to be stuck in especially if you’re travelling on a long haul flight.

While the window seat has a view and an adjacent wall – handy for sleeping – and the aisle seat makes a good spot should you need to escape quickly, use the bathroom frequently, or if you just enjoy long walks down plane aisles, the middle seat offers none of these benefits. But that could all change thanks to a brilliant new design concept from Molon Labe Designs. 

Called the Side-Slip seat, the Denver-based firm has designed the seat so passengers who would usually feel stuck in the middle end up with seats that are two inches wider at 20 inches, versus 18 for the window and aisle chairs. Another major benefit of the Slip-Side design is the middle seat coming with its own dedicated armrests. Yes, that’s an ‘s’ on the end because they get not one, but two, all for themselves meaning they can put those pointy elbows away and say goodbye to the days of battling it out with their neighbours for armrest space.

However the innovative new design isn’t just intended for extra comfort and also allows the aisle seat to ‘slip’ sideways over the middle seat, making the aisle much larger. This additional space in the aisle is estimated to speed up boarding and disembarking time by up to 33 per cent.

While sadly only a brilliant concept from a small Coloradan design firm currently, let’s all hope that it can overcome the issues of testing and affordable implementation so this dream can become a reality. In the meantime, we’ll continue to pray we don’t end up stuck in the dreaded middle seat having elbow wars with our neighbours.

Watch this video from Molon Labe Designs to see how the Side-Slip seat works and tell us what you think of this revolutionary idea? Would you like to see these seats become a reality on planes in the future?



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Written by SJ


Total Comments: 4
  1. 0

    I wonder if it prevents your neighbours’ knees from intruding into YOUR space – ?

  2. 0

    It’s still the middle seat. The only good thing about these seats is that when a plane is only two thirds filled you sometimes get a row of 3 seats to use as a bed.

  3. 0

    Don’t bet on getting a window on a “window” seat. It all depends on the configuration and spacing of seats. Did the return of a long haul flight from UK in February and guess what? Both “window “seats had no windows and the shape of the seat meant no bulkhead to sleep against either even using the pillow as a bolster. I was a very uncomfortable camper I can tell you.

  4. 0

    Eeeekk! Just imagine the chaos when boarding – is everyone expected to know how to operate these moving seats? It only takes a few being ‘moved’ into position, and the aisle is narrowed down again. Also, the poor aisle person trying to get hand baggage under the seat in front – oops, no seat! Just a thought – how about a discount for those opting for the middle seat….



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