How small can airline seats get? (This small)

You may have suspected this was coming, ever since the last time you banged your knee on the airplane seat in front of you.

Airlines have been reducing the space between rows of seats in order to squeeze in a few more rows of seats and max the profits per flight. As a reward, they’ve also raised fares. You don’t mind do you?


Now, comes a daring new concept in air travel comfort, the airplane saddle.

This week at the Paris Air Show Avio Interior unveiled its latest version of the Sky Rider seat.

Actually, it’s more like a saddle. You sit straight up, a bit higher than currently. Your legs kind of hang. There is a small cutout section in the seatback in front of you to allow some space for passengers with knees.

These seats would make additional room for even more rows of seats for airline fare-payers because they have only 23 inches between seats instead of the current standard of 31 inches.

The rows of these new seats are designed to fit onto planes along with the existing first-class and extra-pay for extra-leg room seats, presumably in the back of the main cabin so first class passengers wouldn’t need to endure the screams of terror from claustrophobics and cries of pain from others.

These new thinner seats, theoretically anyway, would allow an airline to set a really, really economy fare for people who wouldn’t mind the discomfort of a bicycle-sort of seat. Presumably for shorter flights.


Avio is considering a luxury model with an underseat shelf in front to enable short people and children to rest their dangling feet on something. The rest of you are plum out of luck. You can just dangle.

Avio admits no airline has yet to order its space-saving product.

But you know it’s coming. Who would have thought some airlines would charge for carry-ons. And it’s better than one other alternative: Rows of seats on the wings.

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David Strom 7:00 AM | May 18, 2024