November 30, 2023

Brighton Journal

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Why you will never fly in an airplane with these double decker seats

Why you will never fly in an airplane with these double decker seats

Economy bench seat

Regular travelers know all too well how uncomfortable planes have become over the past few years. seats Narrower and offering less legroom than in years pastand with prices soaring thanks to the perfect storm economic inflation And Corporate greedThe flying economy feels more like a form of modern torture to be endured than a luxury experience. Add to that the daunting double-decker and standing-room-only seating configurations that designers and aircraft are trying to sell to the paying public, and the picture of the future of air travel becomes even bleaker.

Take the latest buzz about designer Alejandro Núñez Vincente’s so-called Chaise Longue setup, which debuted for the second time at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, Germany, this week. We may have just reached the peak of uncomfortable airline seats.

Don’t believe us? The media spreads stories about it What happens when someone is nominated in these seats. But before we declare the end of human-oriented economy flight or wring our hands in displeasure at the number of people crammed into jerky makers flying through the skies, we decided to do a little digging and find out why these designs aren’t likely to take off (pun entirely intended).

variety of configurations

The Stand Up Bench has been around for over 20 years. Airbus was the first to come up with the idea of ​​permanent seats and introduced a patent them in 2015. In 2019, an Italian design house was called Aviewantries show a Bicycle upright seat It’s called Skyrider, which has columns connecting each row to the interior of the plane. While they have caused a lot of angst in the travel community and made a couple of budget airline CEOs broach the idea of ​​fitting them (we’re looking at you, Ryanair and Spring Airlines), these seats haven’t taken off and simply won’t fly.

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The idea of ​​stacked seating has been around for many years, with The patents date back to 1948. Some have included everything from outward facing seats to bunk beds, Honeycomb style seatsAnd the seats that look more like Yoga Manuals of seat configurations. The latest is Chaise Longue’s double-decker setup that appeared again this week.

In the 2022 edition, designer Alejandro Núñez Vicente relaxes in his Chaise Longue economy seat.

In the 2022 edition, designer Alejandro Núñez Vicente relaxes in his Chaise Longue economy seat.

Alejandro Núñez Vicente

FAA regulations

Here in the United States Federal Aviation Administration He is responsible for regulating all civil aviation. There are a lot of rules that deal directly with seats and contingencies Reach outthe number of flight attendants needed for each passengerand the physical requirements that seats must adhere to in “Dynamic conditions of emergency landingHowever, none of these regulations specifically address the issue of comfort or personal space in aircraft seats.

But if airlines decide to try double-decker seats or standing seats, those setups will have to stand up to and meet strict (if outdated) FAA standards, like this part of the Emergency Landing Dynamic Conditions Regulation above:

National Archives

In stacked seats, the heads of passengers on the lower tiers are precariously close to the seats of those on the upper tiers, which could cause serious injury in the event of an emergency maneuver. The same goes for standing seats since they are very close together front to back, and passengers’ heads will be much closer to the fuselage when using a standing seat.

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Then there is the political debate over airplane seats. Late last year, the FAA opened a session for comments on seat sizes on flights and it was flooded with more than 26,000 comments before it closed, and major airlines threw a tantrum over the idea of ​​minimum seat sizes.

Just last month, Democrat Senator Tammy Duckworth Re-opened the case and submitted Q 1765, legislation that would limit the increasingly shrinking of airplane seats. Duckworth is a retired lieutenant colonel in the Army National Guard and the first woman with a disability to be elected to the US Congress.

according to Washington PostThe bill has the support of pilots’ and flight attendants’ unions, passenger and medical traveler advocacy groups, and would require a reassessment of the 2018 evacuation rules that call for passengers to be able to evacuate in 90 seconds. The current FAA test is conducted with non-disabled passengers without hand luggage. the FAA official admitted that these tests were “helpful but not necessarily definitive”. The new bill would require the FAA to study and test how easy it is for people of different heights, sizes, ages, and mobility to quickly and safely evacuate an aircraft, and add considerations of darkness, smoke, and hand-holding. The bill is currently in committee.