Aerospace company patents a terrible idea for airplane seating arrangement

Screen shot 2015-07-20 at 8.43.37 AMZodiac Aerospace, a large global aerospace supplier headquartered in France, has come up with an idea to squeeze more passengers on a plane: turn the middle seat in a three-seat row around, and eliminate the armrests. This way, the middle seat passenger will face the passengers in the aisle and window seats.

The Oregonian calls Zodiac’s idea to “jam even more of us into economy class” a patented rendition of “airline seating from hell.

Yes, as if air travel is not bad enough, now a French company named Zodiac Aerospace has patented its “solution” to the problem of how to jam even more of us into economy class. They do it by plac[ing] seats in an alternating pattern of forward-facing and rear-facing seats, using flip-up seats to allow access.

Christopher Elliott, who writes the Travel Troubleshooter column (seen in Sunday A&E print section), is no fan of this concept: “These seats are the latest bad idea in a series of bad ideas on how to squeeze more passengers on the plane.

“When I see a seat concept like this, my first thought is: There ought to be a law against it. I mean, shouldn’t we have minimum seat standards in the United States? We already have rules for how you treat dogs in the cargo hold — why not for people?”

Elliott has noted in past columns that the pitch, or distance between seats, has been whittled away over the years as airlines cram more people in. And airlines have also slimmed the width of seats to get an extra seat per row when possible.

Zodiac presents the idea in a video, claiming short haul/high density with “no more elbow fights,” foldable seats, a cup holder, and a literature pocket: