New Airline Seating Patent Promises True Sardine Experience

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

Like Sardines in a CanThe quest to achieve the highest passenger density ratio per square inch might be one step closer with the patent application of the Economy Class Cabin Hexagon.

Zodiac Seats France believes this design will allow for better storage of cabin passengers while providing low-fare cargo more “space available at the shoulder and arm area.”

The kicker? You have the opportunity for two passengers staring at you the entire flight.

The seating arrangement is such that middle passengers face rearward toward their opponents in the same row; hence providing the greater amount of shoulder room due to the arms being higher than the legs. This provides an efficient use of space as the knees together compliments the adjacent width of the opposing cargo’s pelvis.

hex-seatingIn an ideal sardine can, every other row juxtaposes the fish where the wider head meets the other’s tail section; thus achieving efficient packing. Zodiac Seats’ solution provides this benefit to the airlines. Stacking passengers vertically is unfortunately prohibited by regulators. Yet, it might be a possibility in future Virgin Galactic flights due to the absence of gravity.

Maybe this new invention will spark interest in developing passenger service for UPS, Hanjin, and Norfolk Southern.

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53 thoughts on “New Airline Seating Patent Promises True Sardine Experience”

  1. Not sure that would be considered “safe” for insurance purposes during take off… People facing backwards would be pushed against their seatbelt instead of the seat. This doesn’t sound comfortable or typically safe.

    1. I realize that this is just a patent and is not on a plane yet, however, I am not sure it is safe.

      1. @Paul: “I realize that this is just a patent and is not on a plane yet, however, I am not sure it is safe.”

        Safe? Did you say safe? Ha,ha,ha.

    2. “Not sure that would be considered “safe” for insurance purposes during take off… ”

      I don’t know about take off. However my recollection is that British passenger planes used to have passengers facing the tail of the plane. I believe for a while there was some public discussion that the rear facing configuration lead to higher survival rates during crashes, and some debate that all passenger air craft should be configured that way.

      Perhaps some reader can tell us about the debate for rear facing passengers and why the forward facing configuration won out.

  2. Airlines seemed to make enough money before they were unregulated. Let’s re-regulate and nationalize them. Screw the stockholders. They do not have any influence on customer service and management could care about something other than the quarterly earnings report.

  3. This reminds me of FDR’s Court Packing Plan. He had a proposal to pack the Supreme Court with New Dealers who each had a stacked deck. Give me Donald Trump. He would not stack the deck or let the tired, poor, huddled masses come into New York. We need to let Mexico annex Texas and take back their people. When the RepubliCon Primary comes up in your State think about voting for The Donald. Please do not seat him across from me on Sardine Airlines Flight Six.

  4. Let’s see.

    Sardines in America?

    Americans stopped increasing the population in 1960 through a deliberate reduction in the birthrate. Growth was subsequently “dictated” by “lobbied” representatives (whom did they represent?) and antithetical, unconstitutional and illegal “immigration” brought about the importation of “workers” and “consumers”.
    to facilitate that “growth,” dangling the lure of jobs derived from artificially created “economic growth” and the welfare state.

    Artificial, antithetical mass “immigration” was the fuel for the “engine” on the compulsory “economic train” to nowhere.

    Was “growth” for growth’s sake good for Americans?

    – Cities and development that never end (there is no more edge of town).

    – Sardines packed in cans on 14-lane freeways sitting at a dead stop.

    – Beaches, public facilities and theme parks packing people in like sardines on holidays.

    – Huge “voting” blocks of unassimilable foreigners with the foreigner’s “culture-clashing” characteristics,

    mannerisms, etiquette, perspective, culture, ideology, language, customs, etc.

    – Burgeoning dependency, vagrancy, substance abuse and drug crime.

    – Counter cultural and blighted areas.

    – Inordinate pollution and inflation.

    – Ubiquitous wind farms, billboards, neon signs, electric transmission lines and power poles.

    “America the Beautiful” was written before 1960.

  5. bam bam

    “Why do I have to subsidize the people who smoke and drink themselves to death? I pay for their poor lifestyle choices in terms of higher insurance premiums.”

    My point exactly. Pay at the pump. It is possible to gauge and distribute individual costs in some cases and not so possible in others. If someone wishes to smoke themselves into astronomical health care costs which are distributed throughout, then make them pay at the pump by taxing the cigarettes up to ten or twenty bucks a pack. Those that wised up and quit would be doing everyone a favor. For those, like myself, who enjoy an occasional pipe of Erinmore, it doesn’t amount to anything. Those that persisted would be paying in advance for those astronomical costs. The same with booze. If you can’t afford a Bud at two dollars a bottle instead of the less than a buck presently then maybe you will cut back and the cost of liver transplants will go down with the number of liver transplants.

    There are enough identifiable and unnecessary items of crap in our society that do an easily calculated harm to the imbiber as well as everyone that pays into the pot that it would be a viable way to offset health care costs. This is done successfully in most other countries. In Canada if you drink, the provincial government takes a hefty slice and it goes to health care. The same is true with tobacco. I don’t give a rat’s patooty about any references to the Constitution or whatever. If one wants to pervert those sacred words by using them to argue common sense that’s fine. However, it ends up being perverse interpretation versus dollars and common sense.

  6. You can thank the invisible hand of the unregulated market for this folks. And while you’re clapping your own invisible hands, remember that the airlines are colluding to keep prices and fees high.

    Nothing to see here. It’s invisible! Move on, move on…

  7. @Jeff

    That $2 or $8 per customer is AFTER paying exorbitant salaries to management, and God Only Knows what other perqs. It’s probably before dividends, but without seeing a financial statement, I can’t be sure.

    As far as Sonic, the reason they handed out mints in the first place was because their food leaves a funky after taste in your mouth. I doubt the loss is minimal if their consumers can’t quickly get to a toothbrush and toothpaste.

    I don’t go to Sonic anymore at all, because they do not respect their customers, and their food tastes kinda weird and funky. If I went in to order an Orange Slush, they are forced to ask me if I want fries or tater tots to go with that. They won’t even let you eat in peace. If you sit there in their little space, some clown comes out with a tray of plastic food to ask you if you would like one of their fantastic desserts, which also taste weird and funky. I guess maybe if you want one, they melt the plastic one or something. Who knows.

    My BFF Penelope (above) was laughing about the mint, but I put it in my coffee this morning to flavor it, and there wasn’t enough mint to even do that. Sonic sucks, and is a good example of how capitalism is screwed up. Particularly the Big Business version.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  8. You can’t demand rock-bottom airfares, high salaries, and luxurious amenities. Sure the airlines are doing better now. Just a few year ago they were making an average of $2 per passenger. Today they are raking in a little over $8 per passenger.

    Current profit margins are about 4%

    It is popular to rail against the airlines, to picture them as greedy. Yet too many forget that the airfare prices are too low. It is the reason why there are so many surcharges, why they try to fit in as many passengers as possible. They only reason airlines are doing well over all is volume. They make a mere 4% profit margin but due to the number of passengers they make a lot of money. That doesn’t mean that they can afford to increase the cost of each passenger, there is nothing more to cut.

    Also, there is a good chance that Sonic’s reduction in their free candy only saved them “nano-cents” per meal, the number of meals served made those nano-cents a substantial savings with a incredibly minimal loss to the customer.

  9. isaac

    Why do I have to subsidize the people who smoke and drink themselves to death? I pay for their poor lifestyle choices in terms of higher insurance premiums. We all do. The airline industry is no different. You pay for shrinkage and security every time you walk into Macy’s, for example, even if you are not personally responsible for shoplifting and the need to maintain a loss prevention program. The extra costs are factored into the cost of your purchase.

  10. I hope we see the industry turned upside down an innovative company like Uber. There is Netjets and Blackjet that I’m aware of. They are both ridiculous expensive and only for rich people, but I like the way they’re going…

    Also has anyone heard of the guy in England who is testing a quadcopter bike? Thing looks cool. Good incentive for helicopter training.

  11. Imagine if tickets were calculated by weight and width. If you weighed 160 lbs you would pay half as much as the person that weighed 320 lbs. The person who weighted 320 would also be wider so they would get twice the seat width or two seats with the bar raised, or perhaps benches with flexible positions for seat belts. There could be a cut off where you had to pay for two seats, perhaps 260 lbs. So, if you had to pay double and you received twice the width but you didn’t need it all, you could sell some; kind of like cap and trade. If the issue is weight and money then create a formula where a 80 lb kid pays much less than a 160 lb adult. As it is now, the lighter people are paying for the heavier people. The government could ascertain the width per pound and the airlines would charge accordingly. Anyone who has had a ‘porker’ ooze over into their seat space for six hours or more would understand. Or, place all the porkers together where they help balance the plane and ooze in and out of each other’s seats.

    If someone planned well enough ahead, one could lose weight and offset the cost of flying. If free market competition can create an obese population by marketing a 1,500 calorie half gallon of flavored sugar water and a 2500 calorie burger, made just for you, because you deserve it and you are special, and the Constitution protects you right to do whatever the f*#k you want to your very own body, then the free market society should hit them up at the other end. Why should someone of average weight and width have to subsidize the porkers?

    I’ll leave the name calling up to others.

  12. There is a difference between sardines and humans. Sardines only go into the can when they are dead. You humans do this willingly. You know not to make a choice. All you make is an echo. What would Barry do? Not the Hawaiin Barry. Barry Goldvasser. The good German whom you rejected.

  13. You pay for what you get, You don’t have to fly and the airlines don’t need you or they would give you a better deal. flying is a privilege not a right

  14. I think it’s an interesting concept, almost all seats will have elbow room (okay, elbowing others’ knees). Unless or until the seats work like movie theater or stadium seats (fold up for ingress/egress), it’s going to be problematic to access the outside (window) seats.

  15. I like the word choice in paragraph 4: “…middle passengers face rearward toward their opponents in the same row…”

    Opponents. That says it all, right?

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