In a bid to maximise profits, airlines are squeezing more and more people onto their planes. As a result, seats and personal space are shrinking, all the while people are getting larger.
With the federal standard for aeroplane seat width still set based on measurements taken in 1962, many flyers struggle to comfortably fit into aeroplane seats.
Now Airbus has come up with a potential solution to this problem.
Earlier this month, the United States Patent and Trademark Office published a patent application from Airbus’ Sven Taubert and Florian Schmidt for a “re-configurable passenger bench seat.”
The system, which could be adapted for other modes of transportation, features a bench seat that can be configured to hold anywhere from two passengers to a whole family.
The magic behind the Airbus seat lies with a system of adjustable seat belt and armrest placements. As a result, an airline can tailor the amount of space available to a particular passenger, based on the amount required.
The Airbus seat could ultimately revolutionise the way airlines sell tickets. Instead of the current á la cart system, which spreads costs evenly with a class of seats, the new system would allow airlines to index pricing to the amount of space and fuel required to transport passenger. A small child would pay less and be apportioned less room than a full-size adult.
Such a development would be particularly beneficial for families who have to pay full-price ticket for small children and overweight passengers, who have to purchase a second seat.
Such a scheme would fall in line with the fare rate system currently in place for the air-freight industry, which bills based on weight.
With that said, the adaptive seating and pricing system is currently only food for thought. There would have to be major logistical changes made to the airline system in order for it to go into use.
Click here to see the full patent.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.