We have been discussing the race to the bottom in airlines in the treatment of passengers from endless special charges to the elimination of every possible convenience or comfort. As I fly back to Washington this morning, I thought I would share the latest vision of the industry to stuff more people into planes by stacking them like kindling. It would seem that airlines may have to change their standard warning about luggage shifting in overhead bins to alert passengers to the danger of failing passengers who shifted during flights.
Ironically, I previously speculated how the trend in airlines seems to be toward stacking passengers. Well welcome to Airbus’ vision of human luggage. An Airbus patent application allows for seating arrangements with passengers riding atop each other with one seat “arranged at a first lower level,” and “at least” one other seat above on an “elevated level.”
The application states:
In modern means of transport, in particular in aircraft, it is very important from an economic point of view to make optimum use of the available space in a passenger cabin. Passenger cabins are therefore fitted with as many rows of passenger seats as possible, which are positioned with as little space between them as possible. In order to still more efficiently use the space in a passenger cabin of an aircraft, US 4,066,227 proposes an elevated deck structure on a main deck floor in the passenger cabin of a wide-body aircraft for providing a mezzanine seating area in a substantially unused upper lobe of the aircraft fuselage.
The images bring to mind some other images from the “middle passage.”