You will no longer feel stuck in the middle seat on a plane. A new design will make it comfortable, perhaps even more comfortable than window and aisle seats. And what’s more, it will also put an end to elbow wars.
The Federal Aviation Administration of the U.S. has approved a new design by Colorado-based Molon Labe Seating for commercial flights. The company is already in talks with well over 10 airlines and thinks the new seat would be in at least a few fleets by April next year.
Molon Labe Seating’s S1: Space Seat is wider than window and aisle seats by three inches. The more space has been achieved by making the seat stagger below and behind the other two seats. It also has staggered armrests.
“We have discovered that what looks like a small stagger actually makes a huge difference. The trick is to actually sit in the seat. In fact our main sales tool is to ship seats to airlines so they can sit in them,” said Molon Labe founder Hank Scott.
“I have watched this several times — airline executives see the seat, nod their head and then say they get it. Then we ask them to actually sit down, next to a big fella like our head sales guy Thomas. Within a few seconds they get it — they stop being an airline executive and switch into passenger modes.”
However, the wider middle seat has its shortcomings. It does not recline, probably because it staggers behind the other seats, and It has less leg room because it’s lower than the other seats.
“Flying sucks,” Scott said. “We’re trying to make it suck less.”
S1 Space Seat is for shorter, domestic flights. The company is developing two more designs for long flights. The S2: Stagger Seat is similar to S1: Space seat but wider and has a rotating headrest. S3: Side-slip Seat allows the aisle seat to slide over the middle seat which makes the aisle wider for boarding and deplaning.