Think flying economy is bad now? New aircraft design puts passengers face-to-face in rows for budget travel
By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 4:04 PM on 21st September 2009
Air travel is being overhauled with a new aircraft design which plans to seat passengers facing each other in rows.
The controversial design is intended to save space and money and could see 50 per cent more passengers packed on to each plane.
Howard Guy, director of the UK company Design Q, acknowledges that some people will not be happy with the plan, but says they will be able to pay less for any inconvenience.
The future of air travel: The new design could see more passengers on each plane and ticket prices lowered
'Having passengers face each other is not an ideal situation,' he said. 'But this will see increased revenue for the operator and more economical tickets for the passenger - so by keeping both happy, this concept makes an attractive alternative.
'Sure the passenger can choose a flight facing forward in a traditional seating position, but he or she will have to pay more for the luxury.'
Mr Guy predicts that the design could see a 50 per cent increase in the number of passengers on board and a 30 per cent reduced cost per seat.
However, he did concede that the seats would not be comfortable for passengers on flights of more than two hours.
Military personnel are used to travelling in rows facing each other
'Our thoughts are really to do with short-haul journeys - anything from 30 minutes to 80 minutes. As the seats will be designed for less occupancy time, passenger comfort will be reduced on longer trips,' he said.
Another downside to the seating design is that food carts would not be able to pass down the plane as the aisles are too narrow, so food distribution would be difficult.
Although the idea has caused a negative reaction among many travellers, others have voiced their opinions in support of the idea.
Mr Guy said: 'Military personnel are used to travelling in that way and have had a positive reaction to the idea.
Flying high: Earlier this year Ryanair looked into vertical seating options
'Many other forms of transport use this layout to maximise space, even VIP's private jets, so why not use something similar for short plane journeys?'
The lighter seating would mean that planes use less fuel and more passengers could travel on each flight which could significantly lower the price of fares.
Design Q is not the only company looking at alternative ways to transport passengers in planes.
Ryanair recently claimed it was looking into having standing areas and bar stools located at the back of some of its flights so passengers could travel on flights of less than an hour and a half for free.
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