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Everyone loves to talk about the glass being half empty or half full. Frankly, I don’t care where you fall on the issue, but the phrase does serve as a perfect barometer for Boeing’s most recent endeavor. If you’re a glass half full person, Boeing just patented the worlds greatest economy seating. If you’re a glass half empty person, Boeing has just dreamed up the worst modern business class imaginable. 

It’s not a graveyard plot, it’s a sketch detailing how to fit twelve people across an airplane in business class. No, that’s not a typo, business class. For all you sports fans out there, that’s more seats across an airplane than Airbus is even considering in Economy on the A380! Ah yes, the angle of the article… it’s a dreadful design for business class, a cabin where people are expecting space, privacy, aisle access and large entertainment screens, but my god, it could be the greatest economy idea ever pitched. With twelve seats across it may truly look like a morgue, but transforming economy into flat beds would undoubtedly change the economy flying experience forever and for the better. With the added density, it’s even somewhat realistic. Sure, the champagne, fine dining and airport privileges are fantastic, but wouldn’t it be ground breaking if you could forgo those extras yet still experience comfortable sleep on a plane? I’d be interested…

Less width but flat beds for all?! Very few successful carriers offer anything more than four seats across an airplane of any size in business class and of those that do, all offer direct aisle access, luxurious wining and dining and all the perks expected for a $5,000 ticket. If anything, the seats are getting bigger and wider and thus there is no reason to go the opposite direction in an incredibly competitive market. In my somewhat humble opinion I believe that these seats would never see the light of day as a proposed business class arrangement but that they really do have “legroom” as an economy or premium economy experience. Better travel at affordable prices, that’s the niche. 

At its core, I actually believe that this is a revolutionary idea. What if you could capture the entire budget airline economy market, offering prices reserved for the worst seats in the world, while offering a flat bed? So Boeing, if you’re listening, I hope you see how exciting this could be for economy passengers. If everyone enjoyed travel more, don’t you think more people would travel? Also, your lab coats are being outdone by a rock n roll drummer and a professional tennis player, they raised the topic over a year ago. Commission?!

HT: ViewFromTheWing/AusBT

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