Airplane Foolery: Stacking Passengers | HowStuffWorks NOW

Airplane Foolery: Stacking Passengers | HowStuffWorks NOW


– Think airplane seating
couldn’t get worse? – Well, then you’ve underestimated – the human imagination. (upbeat music) Human flight, to think every day eight million people are lifted aloft by iron arms and ferried
to far flung locales to meet their destinies. It’s an amazing engineering feat, and we should celebrate this ingenuity of the human spirit. Except for one thing. Once you step inside the modern marvel that is the airplane, awe and wonder give way to disappointing cramped quarters and a number of unpleasant variables like delays, droolers, over sharers, and seat kicking toddlers. Now imagine a future where
this happens vertically, with kicking toddlers suspended above you. Because Airbus recently filed a patent to do just this. But before we entertain that scenario, let’s look at the present. 16.5 inches, that’s all the room your butt gets these days. Which is a 2.5 inch
decrease from years past. All in an effort to cram more seats in. In fact, the International
Air Transport Association is expecting a 29.3 million net profit up from 16.4 billion in 2014. This is due in part to
increased air travel demand, but also record load factors, aka stuffing in as much human livestock as possible. But, we’re mostly okay with this, right? We’ve reached a point of acceptance and we’ve leveled out our expectations. We get it, airplane travel for the masses is uncomfortable. And surely it couldn’t get worse. Oh yes, it can. – And don’t call me Shirley. – [Voiceover] Behold, the economy class cabin hexagon, a patent filed by Zodiac Seats France on June 11th 2015. It features a three seat configuration with two seats facing the back of the cabin and the middle seat facing the front. Sure, you gain some shoulder room, but in exchange, all three of you get to stare at one another for the duration of the flight. Not awkward at all. At least no one’s sitting above your head. But wait, they could be because on September 30th 2015,
Airbus filed a patent for stacking passengers. Or, in their much more elegant parlance, an elevated deck structure providing a mezzanine seating area in a substantially unused upper load of the air craft fuselage. The patent allows for more than one seat to be suspended above you, so that spacious looking cabin could be chockablock with humans. Also, how would you feel about being downwind from the seat above you? Sure, charcoal filtered
seat cushions absorb some of the blow of human flatuence, but not all of it. But take comfort, these diabolical configurations may never come to pass. Nor are you sitting in
the Ypsilanti Wicker. That’s just some porch furniture that PanAm threw on its flights in the 20s and 30s in case anyone needed a lift with a mail carrier. Hello there ladies and gentlemen, we’re flying at an
altitude of 20,000 feet. Right about now is the
time for me to remind you to check back daily at now
dot how stuff works dot com and subscribe for more high flying times.

14 thoughts on “Airplane Foolery: Stacking Passengers | HowStuffWorks NOW

  1. The last one seems like it would give more space to people than current designs, unless you are tall. For normal height people it will work quite well, and farts are something you will have to deal with anyway. It doesn't really matter if you are under them with cushions and plastic between you or next to them. The only real issue with the last one is some people with bad joints will have to know not to get tickets for those upper seats, tall people will need to not get tickets for stacked seating, and the lower seats should have cushions so they don't get injured if they bump their head on the way in (which will be about as bad as getting in a car for tall people).

  2. I don't see what the problem is as long as the prices decrease and there are alternatives for those who wish to spend more.

  3. Always thought stacked tubes (like a capsule hotel) would be the best configuration. More space efficient, and you can adjust the CO2 concentrations to get everyone to nod off.

    Lemme see that patent form.

  4. I used to worry about people coughing on me and now I'll also need to worry about the fat ass above me crapping.

  5. I mean why not pack us in staggered form? Worked well with slave ships in all respect. Plus, you could have a table in the middle and play cards and stuff

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