While luxury airlines unveil multi-room apartments in the sky, the future of economy seating for the rest of us is looking smaller and even less comfortable.
In a recent patent filing, plane manufacturer Airbus included diagrams for new standing seats.
Without the context of the filing, you could be forgiven for not recognizing the diagram as airline seating.
The design is meant to fit even more passengers on flights, specifically on short-haul trips where the added discomfort could be more tolerable, at least in Airbus' estimation.
"If you squint, the thing looks more like a medieval torture device than lounging equipment," Brian Fung wrote about the design in the Washington Post.
Airbus spokeswoman Mary Anne Greczyn said the patent diagrams are only a concept, and will not necessarily be used.
“Many, if not most, of these concepts will never be developed, but in case the future of commercial aviation makes one of our patents relevant, our work is protected,” said Greczyn.
Even though the Airbus plan is still just a concept, there is no question air carriers want to fit more economy passengers on each plane.
Boeing is working on adding capacity to its 737 narrow-body airplane model, which is used for short-haul flights. The manufacturer plans to squeeze in more passengers by reducing the space between seats by two inches.
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