On your last flight, did you stare with envy at the people sitting in the exit row? Did you get a charley horse from trying to cross your legs under your tray table? Consider yourself lucky, pal. Your next budget flight might ask you to fly horseback style, squeezed onto a saddle in just 23 inches of space.
This new airplane seat will be officially unveiled at a trade show next week, and the early buzz is that several airlines are interested, including some in the U.S. The thought makes us cringe — which, come to think of it, we will be required to do in order to fit into these seats.
The "SkyRider" is the latest innovation designed to save airlines money and, apparently, make passengers miserable. It is supposed to mimic the experience of riding horseback: "Cowboys ride eight hours on their horses during the day and still feel comfortable in the saddle," says Dominique Menoud, director general of Aviointeriors Group, which will make the seats. Some cowboys might say otherwise, but there's a larger point: In the future, do we really want to return to traveling Old West style?
Odds are pretty good that budget airlines will be the first to order the SkyRider, which Menoud says can be used in its own cabin class. Ireland's Ryanair already wants to sell standing-room-only seats, and this could be an aviation-authority-approved alternative. Tickets will probably be cheaper, but airlines will reap rewards by packing more people on board. That is, until people give up and choose telepresence over sardine-style travel.
We're all for future aircraft technologies that improve flight efficiency and design. By all means, give us airplanes with self-cleaning, shape-changing seats made of plant fibers. Please, just don't make us sit 23 inches apart.
Im fairly sure people that don't ride horses find saddles pretty uncomfortable. Saddle sores anyone?
On another note, I would simply never book a flight with any airline that endorses these. I would want to see a 30-40% reduction in fare to put up with this, of course you will most likely see none.
That looks like the most uncomfortable idea anyone could have thought of. I'm sure hell is just a flight with those seats that never reaches its destination.
another note, can anyone explain why we never see stacked bed pods, like these http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capsule_hotel but with interlocking sections where you can sit up. Seems then you could stack people like boxes and maximize every inch, while giving even economy fully flat beds.
That may sound like an odd idea to some travelers, but I've flown many more hours in coach than any 20 year old should have flown and my experience says if you want us to be standing, then just put us horizontal, same space used to stand. Heck think of a plane like an old wooden ship, give us all hammocks, if its good enough for pirates and the na'vi then its good enough for me.
These seats are not handicapped accessible. Forget about using your laptop in flight or any kind of food service. There is absolutely no elbow room. If you are over 5 ft. 5 in. you have no leg room. You probably wouldn’t even be able to read a book. People will not be able to sit in these seats for 3 or 4 hours at a time they will be in the isles walking around. This is a dumb idea.
This looks absolutely miserable. I used to love traveling. But the more I travel, I realize, how much joy the airlines are sucking out of the experience. Now this? I'll take seats on Amtrak over this any day.
@mcronq: I can think of a few that would be more uncomfortable but I won't take us (the readers) there.
I would walk before I would fly in these seats even if they gave them away. Is that the tray between the legs?
If she was in the row behind her, she couldn't move her knees out of that position. Or get them there in the first place, for that matter. Jesus Christ.
I don't see the connection to horseback riding. My first thought is a Japanese toilet.
Wow. Really? Someone actually thinks that people will fly in these seats for less? Either there are a lot of SERIOUSLY desperate people out there that I don't know about, or there are a few marketers and purchasers that are off their rockers.
First, it is nothing like riding in a saddle. So don't lie through your teeth (to Dominique Menoud, the manufacturer's director) and say that it is like riding a saddle. VERY different, and much less comfortable. Most people don't ride saddles anyways and will be uncomfortable in saddles.
Second, do we really think there is no safety issue with these seats? They are tall enough and close enough together that if the passenger next to you gets incapacitated in any way, it could make escape from the aircraft in any reasonable about of time completely impossible. I you want to turn an emergency landing situation into a death trap, you've found the perfect way to do it.
Third, how about we see a picture of an average person having to get into and out of that seat, with 2 average people in the adjoining seats and another row in front of them? I don't want the manufacturer to show me a short and skinny girl with no other passengers around her and no row in front of her.
Fourth, if an airline really packed an entire airplane (or even a section of that airplane) with 30% more seats, can you just imagine the heat and the smell? If anyone thought waiting on the tarmac for delays was bad now, these seats will probably make it 5 times worse.
Any airline that installs these into their planes will definitely be on my blacklist.
Not only is this a security issue, but think of the fat people, how will they sit in such small place?
I think airline seats can be improved ... but this doesn't seem like the way to do it. Of course, no one can really say anything bad about it until they sit in it for 6 hours or more.
Airlines are wondering why they are losing money. It's not just the higher gas prices ... it's because traveling sucks. You make traveling better, you'll get more passengers. Look at Virgin America. They made their seats more comfortable for travel and the TV/Game system helps too (took a note from JetBlue). You do stunts like this and all you're doing is causing more unruly passengers.
I really can't wait for Telepresence. If they can make it real enough ... traveling will be cut down by a lot.
I think its hilarious . The airline industries are finding it difficult to stay in business, they need to cut costs and increase efficiency where ever they can and efficiency of space is one way to get it done .
Also if we want more people to adopt different ways of travelling or promote the use of tele-presence technologies instead of always booking a flight for business , I believe making air travel less and less a pleasurable experience will push people to find alternatives.
Man up! The Japanese have to deal with tight quarters in many aspects of their lives, and we can't even get packed into a plane like sardines without complaining. Look at how advance the Japanese are too! Robots and the like, they are clearly 20-30 years ahead all Western cultures.
The comparison to horseback riding is ridiculous, unless you are a 7 foot man trying to ride a Shelton pony. Since when have you seen a person's knees crammed together on a horse? As a matter of fact for new riders the opposite is their problem.
You don't have to be from Texas to know that ain't no pony!
I can't see how its possible to get into the usual crash position with this set up. Even with "smaller" crash landings, there will sure to be a lot of broken necks.
How much does it cost? I might take the deal if it's 25 times more inexpensive.
Sadly, it's we the consumer driving ideas like this. Some years ago some airlines experimented with spacious seats. They promoted the space and comfort. Guess what, folks wouldn't pay for them.
A thousand years ago, when I was young, seats were spacious, and prices were high. As I understood it, the fares were regulated, and basically identical for any airline.
Now air travel is cheap, and we are jammed together with the possibility of worse to come. You get what you pay for.
What with the ever increasing -and mostly useless- security measures, and now this... are they trying to make us not want to fly? Do they want people to fly -and spend money to do so- or do they want us to sit in front of the TV 24/7 and never go to other countries or parts of our country -which ever that may be-?!??!
You gotta be kidding more narrow seats? They are already way to narrow that's ridiculous. Just like stupid parking lot centers which try to cram in more parking spaces by making them about 10 feet wide instead of 15 like they should be. Thus everyone just beats hell out of each other's car trying to open doors and exit their cars and load them too. When will they learn it's better to have spaces big enough for largest vehicles (trucks)? I have gone to Home Depot's where almost every vehicle parked is a truck and the spaces are 10' wide. What a joke. For trucks they should be at least 16'. Ditto for airlines they should be at least 30" wide.
Those seats look awful dangerous in a air traffic disaster. They are way too much exposed steel and way too little padding. They should be banned for safety reasons before they get off the drawing board.
This is what the typical CEO of a large corporation REALLY thinks of you. You are cattle.
Initially, the airlines would drop the prices slightly. But it would only be temporary...
I wonder if this seat will help to contribute to a higher incidence of colon rectal cancer in frequent fliers?
Man, have they got us where they want us or what? Sure, install the seats in some little row for the people who actually will give this a shot. Then jack up the prices on regular seating and watch people shell out the cash just to avoid the saddle.
Good one airlines. I still hate you.
I've only flown twice, and it was *very* coach on both occasions ... but one of the flights was eight hours, and I already would have preferred to be anesthetized and dropped in the hold. With those "seats" ... I imagine they're only intending them for short flights, but even still, I think I'd rather be put out and tied to the damned thing.
Never mind how absurdly cozy business class seating really does look today. I don't understand how it's even *possible* that folks flying coach would *not* pay an extra $10 for decent legroom, as noted in the other article. I've no sympathy for them, in any case.
I just really, really love the lady's "you're kidding me, right?" expression.
Those seats look extremely uncomfortable which you would simply slide out of the seat unless as a man you ride your balls too much ouch on the raised center 'saddle'. And where is the seat tild back? Hey, those straight up and down seats if they can't be tilted will hurt like heck if you have back problems. Some guys just can't sit that straight up it's a fact. Women like that more than men but our skeletons are different! One seat does not fit all with this kind of design! Build it and I will take the train!
Also where is the seat belts? And what is that triangular thing below the seat? It is a portable pottie or what? Or maybe that's what they want to use in the future in place of the overhead bins for carry on luggage! If so I won't fly because checking in bags cost too much and those are too small ha.
I think the new seats are a good idea. Americans are so selfish. People all over the world have to deal with cramped quarters all the time. There is simply to many people, we need to rethink our modes of transportation to be more efficient. The more people we can fit on a single plane the less fuel we use. Its not the airlines trying to make more money. I think this can help with environmental issues as well. And how do you know if the seat are uncomfortable unless you have actually sat in them?
Mr. Menoud has obviously neither spent 8 hours on horseback nor been a cowboy.
I don't think I ever would have felt "comfortable" after 8 hours. In fact, I was always glad when I had to get off to do whatever work I was in the middle of before I had to get back on again.
Still sore at the end of the day.
You know why you get back on? Because sh** needs to be done. You tolerate it. It's not because it's pleasantly comfortable and gives you a warm and fuzzy feeling. It's work, dumba**.
Send this nitwit to a real ranch (not a dude ranch) and get his a** to work. He wouldn't last two days.
I even get off my Harley every two hours or so on long road trips to give my old a** a rest.
"You're going to tolerate these seats because you really need to get somewhere!"
F you, Mr Menoud. I won't be riding on an airline that uses your stupid seats.
The lady in that picture isn't bad looking. I could go for seeing her in a real saddle.
"Welcome! to the Federation Starship SS Buttcrack!!!"
This will never fly.