Imagine flying backwards. Particularly, imagine what it would be like taking off backwards for a flight across the country, or even on an international flight. While the takeoff wouldn’t have much to do with the overall experience, flying backwards would definitely be something that would take getting used to. Especially when it comes to the takeoff. However, one airline is working on just that. They say they have come up with a seating map that would actually provide the airline the ability to fit more passengers. Presumably though, more passengers would mean more money in the pocket of Delta, US Air, or any of the other many names in the industry.
However, that might not be the case with this particular seating arrangement. It hasn’t been much of a secret that running an airline is one of the less-lucrative businesses one could possibly be in. So, making the decision to expand fees, or cost itself – to drive up that bottom line and get out from underneath increasing fuel costs – is something that hurts the bottom line more than it helps. As the cost goes up, people will use less. That is why innovative ideas like this one, are becoming more necessary.
The company working to do this isn’t an American company, but the idea is one that could actually wind up in American planes sooner than later. Zodiac Seats France, a company which focuses on making seats for airplanes applied for a patent that would create a puzzle effect for seating in the economy section of a plane. Presumably, airlines wouldn’t mess with the first-class seating, since they would undoubtedly lose customers there, as well.
Think of the seats as similar to movie theatre seating. The seats flip upward and go to a stable position, which makes it more suitable for getting out of the plane. It is something that from a safety perspective would even be an improvement, considering the fact that it would greatly improve the ability for passengers to get out quickly in case of an emergency. While we can openly admit that this is the last thing on the mind of the airliners, this is definitely something interesting that is at least worth noting.
This is still being developed right now, but it is important to realize that this is something that will likely be coming one way or another. It isn’t really realistic to think that airlines are going to stop reaching for more money, since they’ve essentially tapped out every place possible to obtain a fee. How customers will react to this is something that no one really knows the answer to, but what is clear is that there is almost certainly going to be a lot of negative feedback.
Personally, I couldn’t imagine flying backwards – much less taking off backwards, but I also have the distinct feeling that if an airline wants to change something about seating – two things are guaranteed. One, is that it will not matter what most passengers think about it – unless the airlines start hemorrhaging money badly. Second, most passengers will continue flying, and if nothing else the cost of front-facing seats will increase. Perhaps the frequency of first-class fliers will increase, as well. At this point, any of these things are possible, but it remains to be seen how this will work out long-term.