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Airplane bicycle seats could be on your next flight

Bicycle-styled seats
Bicycle-styled seats
Photo by: Airbus

What would you be willing to sacrifice to pay less for an airline ticket? Airbus thinks they have the answer. Airbus believes you’d be willing to give up a comfortable seat reported the Washington Post on July 14, 2014.

Airbus Industries, a France-based airplane manufacturer, filed a seat patent last December that would enable airlines to pack more passengers into planes, but at the sacrifice of passenger comfort. The uniquely designed seats resemble bicycle seats and lack tray tables and headrests reported the Business Insider on July 14, 2014.

The seats are attached to a vertical bar and allows for four rows of seats to be installed on an airplane where previously only three rows of seats were installed. Because the overall size of most passengers have increased, the ability by airlines to decrease the space between seat rows has been eliminated. And a more creative solution was needed.

Reducing the actual size of an airline seat and getting rid of the bulk of the seat makes more financial sense. This allows airlines to increase their profit margin.

To further save space on the airplane, Airbus has designed the bicycle seats to fold vertically when not being used. Airbus recognizes that not all passengers will be happy with the concept, but some would be willing to bear with the new seats if the price were right and the flight was short.

"Reduced comfort remains tolerable for the passengers in as much as the flight lasts only one or a few hours," Airbus stated. Airbus acknowledges that the bicycle style designed seats would severely restrict passenger legroom.

Airbus further states that the filing of the seat patent doesn’t mean that the seats will be put into production any time soon. And that filing of the seat patent is based on concepts that may or may not materialize.

But how cheap would the flight have to be before airline passengers would be willing to pay to bicycle across the sky?

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