What if your next flight was standing room only?
I’ve posted a few times about developments in the airline industry, be it sofa-bed berths for long-haul economy flights or clever in-flight advertising, but this latest innovation is a true “killer idea” in air travel.
According to a New York Times article, the Italian airline seat manufacturers Avioninteriors have begun marketing what was for years an industry joke: stand-up seats. Meet the SkyRider—the industry’s most cramped seats. Designed for short flights between 2-4 hours (I am willing to bet that 2 hours in a SkyRider would feel like an eternity)—these seats keep the passenger in an “upright and locked” position throughout the flight. Apparently, in a SkyRider, even arm movement is difficult. Thus far, these have yet to be adapted by any airlines, but there is already a piqued interest in the aviation community.
Although the disadvantages are numerous, namely: intense discomfort (especially for ageing and fattening populations), the unmarketability of such a seating arrangement, and serious difficulties evacuating rows of SkyRiders in an emergency; there are also advantages: packing in more passengers and, of course, making more room for plush, first-class seats.
Here’s a thought: making economy class seating less comfortable (albeit, special hard-discount economy seats) and giving even more luxurious perks to first class, can’t make for a pleasant in-flight environment. Personally, a two hour flight in a SkyRider just might turn me into a Marxist – or at the very least make me envy Elaine Benes’ infamous economy class flight.