Airline Seats Trim Down in 2014

Copyright: SeymourPowell Blog

By VGP Blogger Rachel B.

Last week, I posted on American and JetBlue rolling out re-designed first class seats for their transcontinental flights. But for those of us who can’t afford first class or don’t have upgrades, below are some changes that may be coming to economy class this year.

The coolest and most novel idea I’ve heard is that the idea of a one size fits all airplane seat may soon be an idea of the past thanks to British design firm Seymourpowell. Seymourpowell has designed a new concept in airline seating called “Morph”- an adjustable, moldable new design for airline seating that will literally morph to those who are using it. Passengers are able to adjust the width, height and depth of the seat depending on their size.  According to Seymourpowells blog,  the seat works by replacing traditional foam pads with a fabric that is stretched across the width of three seats.

Copyright: SeymourPowell Blog

Copyright: Seymourpowell Blog

The result is the ability to morph the standard three economy seats to best fit the size of the passengers in them. So instead of buying a seat, you are buying the amount of space you use. I can envision many practical users. Dad gets the largest seat, Mom the middle, and child the smallest. Traveling on a long flight but don’t want to spring for first class? Buy a whole row to stretch out and relax.

Copyright: SeymourPowell  Blog

Copyright: Seymourpowell Blog

Seymourpowell’s new concept is coming at a time where more and more airlines such as United and Alaska are adding new ‘slimline’ seats which usually offer the same seat pitch but less width. Expect the airlines to be trimming down in many ways to save weight.  By putting less weight on their planes, airplanes consume less fuel. United’s new seats put the magazine pocket above the tray table and Alaska Airlines will have smaller tray tables. Southwest’s fleet will have thinner seatback magazine pockets.  United’s says the new seats make each A320 1,200 pounds lighter. Southwest says the weight savings is cutting about $10 million per year in fuel spending.

What do you think about the future of coach airline seats?


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