Airline Reimagines Cabin with Opposite-Facing Lounge Seats
Proposed British Arways aviation upgrades will allow for a variety of unique seat structures and increased personal space
It’s no secret within the airline industry that seat comfort and personal space are two critical components to what a traveler deems as a pleasant flight. In a recent patent application from British Airways, we see three potential designs for economy, premium economy and business-class seats that travelers could anticipate to be unlike any of the current seat offerings.
The proposal is accredited to British Airways in-house lead designer Peter Cooke, whose concepts illustrate new standards in air travel comfort.
The patent includes a variety of innovations that offer more personal space, more convenient entertainment and more easily afforded communication between travel companions. Rather than imagining the aircraft as a larger entity, the patent looks at how more flexible cabin configuration would offer a better inflight experience for all.
Beginning with the redesign of economy class seats, the designers proposed a new reclining feature that also incorporates private screens to each head rest. To offset the density of populated aircraft cabins, alternative forward facing seats offered at a Premium economy price would allow for more spacious leg-room. This concept where seat mates face opposite direction creates easier communication between pairs of travelers.
Business class is getting an upgrade, too, of course. Proposed family cabins would allow groups and business partners to request seats that face each other for easier communication. Similar to group seating during train travel, the private cabin space means that family members or travel companions can spread out comfortably across one adjoining center-table rather than being confined to a single upright tray table.
Within the aviation industry, frequent fliers continually request an upgraded level of comfort and service, but to much avail. The proposed new offering of lie-flat seats and tetris-like seat design would maximize a passenger’s personal and shared space across all cabin classes. The recent patent application offers a hopeful glimpse for more pleasant—and even enjoyable—air travel, though there’s no confirmation of what will actually come to fruition.