New aircraft seat design could be about to make flying absolutely miserable

9 Jul 2015

Flying on long-haul flights in economy class is never a particularly pleasurable experience, but now a French design company is aiming to make airlines companies happy with seats that face each other, all while passengers feel absolutely miserable.

Imagine being on a long-haul flight where the annoying person sitting beside you eating the smelliest food known to man is not the most annoying person in your vicinity, but rather the odd person directly facing you is?

Well, this nightmarish scenario is now a possibility if the French company Zodiac Seats has its way, with a concept that aims to fit as many people into a place as possible by making the traditional aircraft seating design two-seater aisle into a three-seater, with one person facing towards the standard two-seats.

According to Wired, the seating concept is referred to as the ‘Economy Class Cabin Hexagon’ and has been posted to a patent organisation for future commercialisation.

The company says the hexagonal shape of the chair will actually give the passenger more room on each side given that they are not right up against another passenger.

Zodian Seats design patent image

Zodiac Seats’ design patent image via World Intellectual Property Organization

It will “increase cabin density while also creating seat units that increase the space available at the shoulder and arm area”, the company said.

But it seems to miss out on the fact that nobody in their right mind would want to look at another human being for hours on end on a multiple-hour flight where they’d arguably rather be having awkward conversations with their in-laws.

You’d have to argue whether even the concept of a windowless plane will even be enough to distract you from the child staring back at you.

Thankfully, for now the company’s concept remains just that and there are no plans of yet to actually put this psychological test into commercial flights.

Child in airline seat image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic