Theater-Style Seating on a Plane?

For sure, aircraft seating is changing though not always for the better. Nevertheless, there are some concepts out there attempting to make travel by air more comfortable. After all, ten years ago few even thought about lie-flat seats and today, some claim they can’t live without them even for flights of 5-6 hours or less.

Previously I wrote about the PaperClip Butterfly design and Factorydesign’s Air Lair pods concepts. Now comes what may be the strangest seating design of all. It seems Airbus filed for a patent where seating will be in-the-round instead of rows. It’s quite a paradigm shift in this design.

Airbus Patent

Airbus claims this will make passengers more comfortable because their seating design is “more resistant to loads induced by the cabin pressurization.” They also claim this will increase the space for passengers.

Given the trend toward slimmer seats with less pitch in economy class, I am skeptical. Also, it seems doubtful to me that passengers would prefer to spend hours on a flight staring at other passengers. And I have a difficult time imagining how seating-in-the-round would actually work, even on widebody aircraft. Really, do passengers have a desire for 2-3-4-5 seating?

Whatever, I will keep an open mind. Remember, it wasn’t that long ago that Ryanair proposed passengers stand during flights. One thing is for sure – the seating of the future will be different than what we have today.

What is your favorite of these new designs?

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