Sunday, October 10, 2010

jump in the saddle for a squashy ride...

Getting onto a plane for many flyers is now as everyday as getting on a bus. As we are up in the air so much more, budget airlines are popping up all over the place to meet the high demand. In my previous life, before having my wonderful little 'hips', I spent a lot of time flying both domestically and internationally for work. Cattle class for me was the norm, and quick hops from state to state was a regular occurrence, together with all the other bleary eyed business passengers (also conveniently crammed into cattle class!)

However, flying cattle class will soon be taking on a new meaning, as one Italian aviation company, Aviointeriors, have designed the world's smallest aircraft seats. The seats, currently named 'skyrider', are styled on saddles used by cowboys, and the curve of the saddle forces the passengers to sit at a slight angle. They are designed to be comfortable for shorter flights only, around 3 hours max. The idea behind this is to enable more seats onto the flight. More seats = More passengers. More passengers = More money for the airlines! However, one great benefit of these smaller seats are that they are much lighter. Being less heavy, the plane uses less fuel, which in theory should bring down the airline costs, and the best thing, have a lesser impact on the environment.

All very well, and big points to the designers for great imagination, but what I am wondering is, where do the little hips sit? We can't expect them to sit on 'saddle' seats that are designed to make you lean forward, as their short little legs would not be able to support them. Does this mean a higher price for regular airline seats? Not only are some airlines now considering charging us money to use the toilets on board (yes, fabulous if you are toilet training), but now we may have to pay even more to take our little 'hips' onboard, when they actually only take up a third of the size of an adult! Perhaps these designers can create a play area down the back of the plane with all the extra space!

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