As if jet lag and traveler’s tummy weren’t enough, imagine adding “saddle sores” to the list of things you have to worry about when traveling!
A new type of airplane seat called the SkyRider, which will be revealed at an aircraft interiors conference next week, is shaped similarly to a horse’s saddle, reports USA Today. Its design would perch passengers at a slight angle, leaving only 23 inches of space between their seat and the one in front of them. (Compare that to the standard economy-class seat pitch of 30 – 32 inches, which already strains the joints of anyone taller than six feet or so.)
The “ultra high density” seat (in the words of its creator, Italy-based Aviointeriors) is intended to offer airlines a way to pack more passengers onto each plane and therefore reduce ticket prices. Several budget airlines, including Ryanair and Spring Air in China, have already proposed adding standing-room-only sections for ultra-cheap fares; the new SkyRider seats could operate in a similar fashion, with airlines charging less for passengers to squeeze themselves into this cramped section of the plane. (Whatever shall we call it — cowboy class?)
Aviointeriors director general Dominique Menoud suggests that the seats would be most appropriate for shorter flights, perhaps up to three hours. Whether any airlines will decide to adopt the new seats remains to be seen.
How low would fares have to be to get you to saddle up?
–written by Sarah Schlichter