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Old July 18th, 2014, 09:42 AM
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Thumbs down Airbus proposed new seat design

News broke earlier this week that Airbus filed a patent for what might be the least comfortable airplane seat in the sky. The new design features saddle-like seats that can fold up when not in use. Illustrations show a three-seat configuration in which passengers would sit upright, with a small seatback supporting the lower spine. Gone are cushions, padded armrests, and tray tables. Gone, too, is personal space: The new seating plan would likely allow airlines to cram more passengers into the limited space of the cabin.


In the patent, Airbus asserts, "Reduced comfort remains tolerable for the passengers in as much as the flight lasts only one or a few hours." Says who, we wonder? Even the shortest commuter flights are already cramped and uncomfortable.
But Airbus gets at something essential in their statement by using the word "tolerable." Airline passengers (especially those in coach) tolerate an increasing amount of discomfort, while paying ever-increasing fees, for the luxury of flight. A long time ago, "enjoyment" became "toleration." With this new seat design, are we at the point where "toleration" becomes "outright suffering?"
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