While it’s amazing to explore the world, flying is generally the worst part about it. While airline food may be getting (slightly) better, airplane seats are getting worse. And given how tiny and cramped they already are, forgive us for not being excited for the new Skyrider standing airplane seats.
The Skyrider 2.0 is from the Italian seat manufacturer Aviointeriors. The company claims their upright design lets airlines book even more passengers — called “ultra-high density” — and reduces the space between rows. The seats are bent, so the effect is more like a saddle. Should an airline convert to these standing airplane seats, they would increase their passenger load by 20% in coach.
This comes at a time when standard airline seats are, at 17 to 18 inches wide, seats are considered at least five inches too narrow for the average person. For example, this author is 350 pounds and 6’5″ — I already don’t fit in airline seats. And, according to one travel blogger, these seats would be even worse for someone of my size.
The Points Guy saw the Skyrider standing airplane seats at the recent Aircraft Interior Expo. He spent 10 minutes sitting in the seat and though he said the saddle seat “really didn’t seem to be bad,” he noted that “at 5 foot 11 inches tall, my knees were firmly planted against the seatback for the entire time in the rear row.”
The Skyrider 2.0 is an update to a previous design debuted in 2010, which looked even more cheap and uncomfortable. Aviointeriors insists their seats are fine, saying, “Cowboys ride eight hours on their horses during the day and still feel comfortable in the saddle.”
Thankfully, so far, no airline has ordered the Skyrider standing airplane seats. But seriously, if airlines want to improve their falling fortunes, we’d suggest making planes more comfortable, not less. (And, uh, maybe stop having police drag passengers away, forcing them to abandon mobility devices and killing their pets.)