Take A Look At The Future Of Economy Airline Seating

Contorting your body to fit into cramped economy class airline seats is bad enough without the person seated in front of you invading your space. Reclining seats have been a point of contention amongst fliers for years and as seat pitch gets smaller, the problem has only gotten worse with some passengers even coming to blows over the issue.

Other passengers take a more passive aggressive approach. Remember this traveler who took matters into his own hands and rigged the seat in front of him so it would stay in the upright position? Or what about the Knee Defender, the invention we told you about last year, which is designed to keep airline seats from reclining?

Well, finally, someone has come up with a solution to the seat reclining dramas. The AirGo is an economy class seat designed by an engineering student for the James Dyson Award. Alireza Yaghoubi took first prize for his design concept, which aims to give fliers control over their limited seat space, even when the passenger in front of them reclines.The seats are designed with individual bulkheads, so each passenger has their own area to stow luggage. Suspended from this are the tray table and TV screen, which aren’t affected if fellow passengers recline. The seats themselves are made of a nylon mesh designed to minimize sweating and are fully customizable to suit each traveler’s posture.

While the seating concept does take up 16 percent more space than a regular economy class seat, hopefully the benefits will sway airlines to get onboard.

Check out pictures of the AirGo seat below.


[Photo credit: Alireza Yaghoubi]

Airline Madness: People who recline their seats vs. People who get mad at people who recline their seats

Airline Madness is Gadling’s tournament of airline annoyances. You can catch up on all of the previous tournament action here.

The final first round match-up of Airline Madness is an epic battle between two arch rivals: #8 People who recline there seats and #9 People who get mad at people who recline their seats. This is a battle that has been raging since the first passenger leaned back and banged into the knees of the person behind them. Is reclining every passengers’ right? Are we already too short on legroom to sacrifice any more just so someone else can recline? Tempers flare when this topic comes up and only you can help us settle the dispute.

Read the full bios of both peeves and then let your voice be heard below.

#8 People who recline their seats
Some would argue that all reclining passengers are evil. Others suggest that reclining just needs to be done slowly and politely – only after permission has been given by the person seated behind the recliner. Reclining is an invasion of personal space. It also makes seat-back televisions difficult to enjoy. Oh, and death to those who dare to recline during drink service!

#9 People who get mad at people who recline their seats
You know who paid for that seat-back? The person sitting in that seat. The airline has put in the recline feature and we’re entitled to use it. Frankly, it’s one of the few amenities that’s still free on airlines. We don’t need anyone’s permission to recline our own seats. We can use that seat however we damn well please (well, within reason, of course) and reclining is our right! Our seat, our choice! Now shut up so we can enjoy our reclined seats in peace.

Where do you stand on this hot button issue? Which one of this fliers is worse: the recliner or the complainer? Vote for the one that you think should advance to the second round and then join the conversation in the comments.
First round voting ends at 11:59PM EDT on Friday, March 16.

More Airline Madness:
#1 Annoying passengers vs. #16 Disgusting bathrooms
#2 Legroom vs. #15 Inefficient boarding procedures
#3 Lack of free food/prices for food vs. #14 Cold cabin/no blankets
#4 Baggage Fees vs. #13 Obese people who take up two seats
#5 Lack of overhead space vs. Inattentive parents of crying babies
#6 Change fees/no free standby vs. #11 Lack of personal entertainment/charging for entertainment
#7 Rude airline staff vs. #10 Having to turn off electronic devices during takeoff & landing
Hotel Madness: Gadling’s tournament of airline annoyances

Catch up on all the Airline Madness here.