Overpriced Popcorn, Sticky Cabin Floor Optional
by ANN Associate Editor Rob Finfrock
It could be the next big innovation for airline seating, one
that could allow easier boarding and reduced cases of deep-vein
thrombosis on long-haul flights. At least, that's what Germany's
AIDA Industrial Design says about its new flip-up, theater-style
seats for passenger planes.
"The Foldable Passenger Seat was developed to provide maximum
living space even at low seat pitches by a unique design with a
foldable seat pan," the company says on its website. "This
outstanding feature is possible due to an innovative design of the
main seat structure with its single beam made of composite
According to AIDA -- which lists Airbus, Eurocopter, and Recaro
Aircraft Seating among its clients -- the foldable seats now under
design consideration would provide nearly three times the room for
a passenger to stand, allowing passengers to stretch and relax
during a long flight, or use the folded seat as a "sit-stand"
leaning seat (uh oh... shades of Airbus's rejected "Meathook Class" there.)
The company says this configuration would be an ideal way to
prevent DVT on longer flights. No word, however, on how passengers
would be able to stand comfortably upright under the overhanging
AIDA also says the flip-up seats could decrease aircraft
boarding and turnaround times.
"The Foldable Passenger Seat affects important components of
turnaround times. The new boarding situation means, that travellers
can move directly into the seat row to stow their hand luggaage
without blocking the aisle. Passengers behind them can pass without
delay. This results in an improved boarding and disembarking
It's not hard to see how that would be true... but I also
remember the last theater I was in (for a dollar-movie... do you
think we get paid enough to see first-run movies? Please... we're
still waiting for "The Aviator" to be released on Beta.) The seats
weren't exactly luxurious...
Of course, the same is true for the last commercial airliner
flight I was on... in fact, I could barely stand it (sorry.) So,
maybe these seats would be an improvement. AIDA is currently
working on the prototype configuration... so we could see seats
like these in the not-too-distant future.