The Future of Commercial Flying: Vertical Seats

The Chaise Longue Economy Seat, a new double-decker seat concept has been designed for aircraft, offering optimal passenger comfort and reducing space. Since the start of the project, the end goal for this design has always been passenger comfort; the chairs can recline in multiple positions without disturbing the passenger behind.

Aircraft double-decker seat concept © Chaise Longue Economy Seat
Aircraft double-decker seat concept © Chaise Longue Economy Seat

Interview with the Designer

Designer and Project Manager of the Chaise Longue Economy Seat, Alejandro Nunez Vicente, spoke in an interview with Travel Radar journalist Sarah Gharib about the benefits of his double-decker seat design. Vicente said the Chaise Longue Economy Seat weighs less than conventional aeroplane seats and thus reducing fuel consumption. He stated:

“This seat has been thought to be built in a way that gives comfort to passengers and also makes the flights more efficient, so reduces the fuel consumption and reduces the carbon footprint as well.”

Designer and Project Manager, Alejandro Nunez Vicente © Chaise Longue Economy Seat
Designer and Project Manager, Alejandro Nunez Vicente © Chaise Longue Economy Seat

Reduced Weight

The reason this concept weighs less than conventional airline seats is due to the product being one piece instead of three. Overhead storage compartments will be placed underneath the seat instead. I asked Vicente whether storage size would be compromised due to this, he said that the storage space is the maximum size standard defined by the IATA.

How Did the Project Start?

The project started at TU Delft University in the Netherlands. Vicente was assigned to create a new economy seat concept for the Delft Flying V, an aircraft designed to carry passengers in its wings. Vicente later realised that his same design could be implemented in conventional aircraft.

Delft Flying V Concept Image © Edwin Wallet / OSO Studio
Delft Flying V Concept Image © Edwin Wallet / OSO Studio

Increased Seat Capacity

With the design being lighter in weight and constructing double-decker style seats, airlines will be able to fit more seats in the aircraft. Vicente said their goal is to maintain the 32-inch Seat Pitch, which is standard for long-haul flights. However, it’s possible to reduce this to as low as 29 inches. Vicente explained this his design benefits both passengers and airlines, resulting in; a more comfortable flight for passengers and offering 10 – 20% increased seat capacity for airlines.

Seat Pitch © SeatGuru
Seat Pitch © SeatGuru

No Shame in Reclining

The seat can be reclined up to 125 degrees, which according to Vicente, is almost 10 degrees more than standard economy seats in the market right now. Passengers sitting in the lower row can stretch their feet in the space below the passenger seats above; Vicente explained this inspired him to name it Chaise Lounge.

“It doesn’t affect the passenger behind, so that’s another great advantage. You won’t feel the shame, or you won’t feel bad for the passenger behind you, and the passenger behind you won’t even notice that you are reclining. Of course, you will be a little bit closer to them, but they can also fully recline.

From research, passengers’ most preferred thing to do on long-haul flights is sleeping. So, we’re trying to give a full-on experience and make passengers enjoy the trip. Not just to get from point A to point B.”

125 degree Economy reclining chairs © Chaise Longue Economy Seat
125 degree Economy reclining chairs © Chaise Longue Economy Seat

Do you think this new design will take off? Let us know in the comments below.

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Sarah Gharib
Sarah Gharib
Jr Journalist - Sarah is anAviation and Travel enthusiast based in London. At Travel Radar she reports on the latest industry news, developments and passenger experiences. Outside of journalism, she has experience working in broadcast TV and Photography.

1 COMMENT

1 COMMENT

  1. This is a terrible idea. If you are a larger person, or have any sort of mobility disability, you will never be able to get in and out of these seats.

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