Life Travel The face-to-face flying plan with no privacy at all
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The face-to-face flying plan with no privacy at all

Zodiac Aerospace
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An intimate new seating design for passenger planes means you could be facing another traveller for the duration of your flight.

As airlines search for new ways to squeeze in more seats, a French aero industry supplier has patented a floor plan which reverses the middle seat of each row, leaving the traveller facing the back of the plane and their neighbouring passengers.

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Photo: Zodiac Aerospace
Here’s what you’re in for. Have a look at the poor guy in that middle seat. Photo: Zodiac Aerospace

While it eliminates dreaded in-flight elbow rest wars, there is less privacy when trying to eat or sleep because there’ll be at least one person looking right at you for the whole flight.

In the design’s patent application, the proposal says space is saved because the shoulder space of each passenger will overlap.

Depending on the size of your travel companions it may also mean your shoulders and the person’s next to you may come into contact more often.

A promotional video by the creator of the plan, Zodiac Aerospace, says the average passenger plane would fit 30 more seats thanks to the idea.

The design also appears to give each passenger less room. The patent says that “by increasing the number of passenger seats in the space, the amount of space available for each passenger is diminished”.

The average seat width is listed at “up to 24 inches”, which it claims is “high density (seating) with Business Class width”.

The seat width on a domestic Airbus Qantas flight is 17.5 inches while for a business class flight it’s 21.5 inches.

“A push over the past decade by carriers to expand higher-fare sections has shrunk the area devoted to coach (economy class) on many big jetliners,” Jon Ostrower and Daniel Michaels explained in The Wall Street Journal.

“But airlines don’t want to drop passengers. So first airlines slimmed seats to add more rows.”

A promotional video from the French company responsible for the plan gives worried travellers a vision of what the future of the flight might hold.

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