New plane seat design: A bit more leg room, a lot more eye contact

The French company's innovative design means passengers will be facing each other

Updated: 
French Company Designs Face-to-Face Airplane Seating Plan


Lack of legroom on a plane is one of the biggest causes of complaint for most budget airline passengers - but space and comfort is often the last consideration for airlines looking to squeeze in as many people as possible.

However, a French design company has come up with a new design for plane seats that it hopes to give passengers that all important increased legroom while at the same time increasing cabin density.

Zodiac Seats France's design, called 'Economy Class Cabin Hexagon', alternates the seats between facing forwards and backwards to give passengers increased shoulder room as well as an extra four inches of legroom.

See also: Where is the safest seat on a plane if it crashes?

This will mean some passengers are facing each other instead of the whole cabin facing in the same direction, which is all rather controversial. Can we cope with eye contact with a stranger for a whole plane journey?

Zodiac says: "The project offers a solution to the issue of increasing the number of passengers in the cabin of a single-aisle airliner by increasing the space between seats by 15 per cent, giving each passenger four more inches of available leg room."

The bottoms of the seats can also be folded up to allow easy access to the middle and windows seats so you won't have to worry about clambering over fellow passengers to get to your seat.

In 2014, Airbus submitted a patent for a new seating design as well which involved a bicycle-style chair. The idea was not to increase comfort or space for passengers, but instead to allow airlines to increase their capacity.

Similarly, in 2012 the Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary debated the idea of so-called 'standing seats' and in February this year there was a renewed call for the space saving technique to be put into practice.

Will any of it actually happen? Watch this space!

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