New stand-up plane seats branded 'torture' and 'inhumane'

Gillian Wolski
Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
A new stand-up airline seat is causing a stir. Photo: Twitter/@timjue.

Stand-up desks have taken offices by storm but it seems like a new spin-off of the trend - stand-up plane seats - have failed to, well ... take off.

The seat, called the ‘Skyrider 3.0,’ was officially unveiled at the Paris Air Show in June and in our opinion it looks more like a bicycle seat or horse-riding saddle than something you’d see on an aircraft.

Forget about resting your rear, this slim-line contraption requires the passenger to perch - rather than sit - with their legs draped down either side.

Designed by Italian firm Avio Interiors, the back of the seat is bolt upright and non-reclinable, and the space between it and the seat in front is a tight 58 cms.

Most regular Economy seats are about 76 cms apart but the decision to slash nearly 20 cms is an “acceptable comfort for the passenger”, according to Avio Interiors.

A prototype for the seat debuted at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg in April but neither it or the finished product has impressed industry insiders or punters alike.

Andreas Spaeth, a German-based aviation journalist, tested the seat and tweeted that it was a “no go” for more than 10 minutes.

Commenters on Andreas’ tweet called it “dangerous, “inhumane” and “bloody terrible.”

One wrote, “This is torture.”

Another aviation journalist, Kathryn Creedy, called it a “torture chamber” while Aircraft Interiors Expo Austin tweeted, "should this exist?"

Self-confessed “aviation geek” Tim Jue, who also gave the seat a try, slammed it as “saddle class.”

“You get a mini tray table at least,” he added. Well, at least that’s something.

There are reportedly plans to incorporate a “shelf” where children or shorter passengers can rest their feet so they're not dangling throughout the flight.

The pared-back seat/saddle does have a positive for thrifty fliers with the designers promising that it comes at a lower ticket price.

But it poses the question, will the introduction of the Skyrider require airlines to create a class below the already cramped and uncomfortable Economy? Is that even possible?

The big positive, of course, is most definitely for the airline itself. Skyrider’s slim design means more bums on seats, so to speak - 20 per cent more, apparently.

Even though Ermanno De Vecchi, CEO of Avio Interiors, announced in Paris that the seat was "ready to go,” SFGATE reports that not a single airline has actually purchased the seats and installed them.

In fact, Avio Interiors has been looking for its first buyer for nearly a decade. Yikes.

Airlines might be cautious to commit to more cost or space-cutting measures following the backlash against both British Airways and American Airlines for axing legroom on some of flights to 73 cms in 2017.

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