When kids pull out their sketchbook and make drawings, it’s cute. When engineers from top design firms pull out their sketch pads aiming to further cramp the economy cabin, cute is not the word that comes to mind, something with more $%^&# usually does. Here are five designs we can all collectively hope never come to life…

a diagram of a row of people on an exercise bike

The Bicycle Seat

Just imagine the glorious feeling when turbulence shoves a bicycle seat into your rear end. The design from Airbus, which they went to the trouble to patent, offers an incredible dense cabin, similar to that found on the worst busses in the world. Throw in the unpleasant nature of budget travel, turbulence and the bus has never looked better. No thanks.

a row of seats in an airplane

The Honeycomb

Claustrophobic? This will surely send you over the edge. The honeycomb design (surprisingly) from luxury aircraft seat manufacturer Zodiac, envisioned a cabin where every inch of space was filled using honeycomb style seating, where the middle seat folded down. It folds down because without it, you can’t reach the window seat. Oh, and you have to face your neighbors, and by neighbors I mean total strangers…

a row of blue chairs

The Skyrider

Oh the joyful comfort felt by cowboys after a day in the saddle. There’s a reason they walk funny, and thanks to Italian seat designer Aviointeriors, you may get to look the same after a flight. You can experience the joys of having a saddle wedged between your cheeks while enjoying the back and lumbar comforts of a hospital gurney, which looks exactly like a hospital gurney. On a positive note, legroom will be the last of your worries…

an airplane with rows of seats

11 Seats Across An Airplane

Though it was initially marketed as a means to “change commercial air travel” complete with showers and spacious first class suites, the Airbus A380 was designed as a high density passenger transporter, and for its next trick, Airbus wants to put 11 seats across the economy cabin, meaning there is no such thing as a good seat. The seating would be 3x5x3, with the most unenviable spot clearly being the middle, middle seat in a row of five. Going to the lavatory will probably feel something like summiting Everest, just without any glory.

a diagram of a room with people sitting in bed

a cartoon of a plane

The Vertical Layout

Have you ever looked at the vast space for overhead bins and that little bit of fresh air that flows through the cabin and thought “hmm, wouldn’t it be great if we took all of this away and turned it into a second tier of seating?”. Airbus (again) has, filed yet another patent that would put someone’s feet directly in line with someone’s face. This design is so special we’ve included two photos….

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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