AirGo, a concept airline, has seats are ergonomic and self-contained, taking the pain out of sitting in the less expensive section.
One of the greatest feelings of guilt we get is when taking a transatlantic flight, we get tired and want to push our seat back. We genuinely feel bad for the poor passenger behind me who might be watching a movie that we have now disturbed, but what can we do? Sitting in economy class of an airplane is cramped, uncomfortable and socially awkward. Certain amenities like your tray and TV are out of your control because they are contained in the seat in front of you. With AirGo, a design concept by Malaysia-based student Alireza Yaghoubi, each seat is self-contained and what’s more, they are designed with ergonomics in mind.
Yaghoubi, who won the James Dyson Award (an annual award run by the the British inventor’s foundation) for his design, was inspired by his long, uncomfortable journeys home. He said:
As a student, I travel a lot over long distances and obviously like the majority of travelers I cannot afford to pay for premium class seats. I think that the current designs are far from being in sync with today’s technology.
In fact, economy class seats haven’t changed much in design since the 1960s. Fifty years of sore shoulders and necks… now seems like a good time for an upgrade.
AirGo is made up of two parts: there is the seat itself, which looks similar to a really comfy lawn chair. It is made out of mesh, which conforms to the body’s shape, and with a foot rest as part of the seat. There are three motors that allow the passenger to configure the seat to a comfortable position. Above the seat is a storage pod, which would replace the shared overhead bins, and crucially contains the tray and tv. Therefore each seat has its own space, without imposing on other passengers. What one passenger choses to do with his backrest, his tray or his screen, will not affect the other passenger.
The minimalist design takes up only 16% more space than current economy seats, plus they are cheaper to manufacture and maintain. To airlines the extra space may seem like a 16% loss in seats to sell, but Yaghoubi believes they could reap profits in other ways:
The big screen for example can be used to encourage passengers to purchase a few dollar applications, movies, songs, games and books that could be used on their other devices elsewhere through cloud syncing.The possibilities are just countless.
It is unclear if AirGo will ever be anything more than a concept, but the guy sitting behind me on the next flight across the pond really hopes so.
See more photos of the airline seats of the future below: