Explore. Experience. Engage.

Home Travel Tips Travel Deals Destinations Trip Reviews Blog
The IndependentTraveler.com Blog

skyrider seat aviointeriors saddleAs 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

Shares 0

51 Responses to “New Airplane “Saddle” Seat Cramps Passengers”

  1. marcie says:

    I have a better idea then the “saddles seats” how about leave the seats just the way they are and charge for the AIR we BREATH cause they’re charging for everything else :(

  2. Pemberton says:

    This is insane. I am a tried and true budget traveler, but there is no way I would sit in a saddle for three hours just to save some cash. Train travel keeps looking better and better.

  3. Kobra911 says:

    If this wasn’t April 1st, and it isn’t, I would think this was a joke. If I knew the airline had these seats and I would be getting one, not only would I change airlines but that would be the last time I would even think about flying with them.

  4. laurie jette says:

    This total crap- any airlines who do that will lose business- I hope all airline bosses will have to go on a flight and see how they like it! It is easy for them to make these decisions as they all fly first class!!!!

  5. Judy says:

    It would have to be a free (and short) flight for me to want to sit in a saddle seat.

  6. Irene Roque says:

    I saw this on the news yesterday and people were clumsily and uncomfortably packed in…they interviewed a 5′ 100 lb girl who said it was “fine for her” …but anyone overweight or tall would not fit in these; there is no legroom or space between people! The attitude of the manufacturer is “lose the weight”! Not only is their product unsatisfactory and insensitive, but so is their attitude…

  7. Lynn says:

    I will never travel in these seats. They seem inhumane. You would be better served if you had to stand. This is riduculous and I don’t care what the price, you won’t see me sitting in one.

    • Marilyn says:

      I 2nd, & 3rd the reply. These seats will also be extremely uncomfortable, for someone like myself, who deals with chronic pain of any kind. This would NEVER work.

  8. tempgal says:

    It’s not just the fares; it’s the whole flying experience. I flew often when I worked and looked forward to pleasure trips after retirement, but it’s such an unpleasant experience now that I rarely fly anywhere. If you’re on vacation and you want to relax, you don’t want to be worried about airline staff misinterpreting your comments or eavesdropping on your conversations and possibly putting you off the plane.

    Here are some of the other things that I miss from the “good old days.”

    1. We brought what we needed or wanted in our luggage. Since my office socialized together as well as worked together, we all usually brought something to eat and drink upon arrival. Some could be counted on for gin, some for Scotch, some for cheese and crackers…you get the idea. No one searched our luggage until sometime in the 1970s and even then there were no restrictions on liquor.

    2. It used to be possible to buy a ticket for a family member, or buy a cheaper round trip ticket for yourself then sell or give away the unused portion. That was handy if you wanted to leave your car at your destination or planned to buy a car at your destination and drive it home.

    3. If there were fees for cancellations or schedule changes, they were only nominal.

    4. I have a problem with TSA searching my luggage at anytime, but especially when I am not present. On my last trip my camera USB cable and telephone charger mysteriously disappeared, leaving both essentially useless on vacation. It is expensive to replace proprietary cables and airlines say they are not covered.

    5. My husband has two knee replacements that set off alarms every time he goes through the security gates. There are sometimes long delays before he is cleared. Flying to the northeast in Bermuda shorts can get cold. And then there is the whole thing about having to take off shoes.

    6. Is anyone else tired of the incessant recorded voice about the luggage of unknown people?

    The whole situation likely will get worse before it gets better. Airlines can do without pleasure travelers but as businesses increase their use of video technology to conduct meetings online, that type of travel will diminish also. Would not recommend investing in airline stocks.

  9. martin says:

    Horrible idea. I don’t have enought leg room now.

  10. maria says:

    I watched the clip on TV and was amazed at the people who think of these things. It’s bad enough that the seating that all of the airlines presently have are greatly uncomfortable, now they want to squeeze us some more, along with our wallets!!!!! Now I know to ask the airline if they have saddle seating and if they say that they do, I, along with my family, will not be flying with them.

  11. Jo says:

    Ridiculous – the airline seats are uncomfortable enough – no way would I fly using these – I’m not saddling up!

  12. Karen says:

    That forward pitch angle looks terribly uncomfortable! It’s bad enough that they shrank the WIDTH of seats so you are all competeing for the armrest, now they will pitch you forward? Terrific. I think I’ll take a train.

  13. BOB says:


  14. RichardNika says:

    They’d have to pay me! A lot!

  15. charles says:

    I will not go at any price. Back to just drive a car. They need to look at all the large salaries.

  16. clarence says:

    Amen to taking the train, any time I need a 300 mile radius from Chicago I now use dear old AMTRAK. By the time you figure early arrival for your flight etc. Also the train is usually a better fare. Got into the habit of short train trips in Europe, unfortunately AMTRAK is a LONG way from European train travel. Our next trip in Europe is From Brussels to Copenhagen and it is all train travel.

  17. Martha Curry says:

    They don’t even look comfortable nor staying in them, you would fall out. People with bad backs, older folks,etc., would never last 10 minutes.

  18. Hellen Hoffman says:

    I will not be flying that airline. Flying is bad enough and why governments have not intervened in the ridiculous charges for bags, I can’t imagine. But now, the health of flyers is being severely impacted…two close friends in the last month have developed life threatening blood clots directly related to flying in cramped conditions. Can you imagine the effects with seats like these? If one airline gets away with it (like baggage), then they all will follow. Start your letter writing campaign now, folks, or beware!!

  19. Janice K says:

    I ride horses for several hours/day, and I think they look uncomfortable. No way, Jose!

  20. Chinaz says:

    Ridiculous. The tiny seats they use now are already uncomfortable and difficult enough to survive a flight. It really seems the airline execs coming up with these inhumane conveyances are the reincarnations of slave ship owners.

  21. Roz Roseman says:

    Less leg room is not even suitable for small people! Not only will train travel become more appealing for at least short trips, but some trips just won’t happen because of pain and discomfort. But beyond how uncomfortable flying feels in the moment, sitting cramped up for hours can be physically harmful. Just wait until the first of many suits is filed against airlines for causing the serious consequences of circulatory problems from sitting on “saddle” seats for long flights. Already, I know tall people who cannot safely fly long trips because of cramped leg room. Where are the regulators when we need them? AIRLINES – get some medical analysis of consequences of leg cramping. No, no, and no to any further pinching of leg room.

  22. Suziq says:

    NEVER would I consider this. My knees are bad enough in the coach class, and i am slightly claustrophobic, so I would not do this even if it was free !!!!!

  23. Christine N says:

    I think that airlines should be sued everytime someone gets a blood clot from being confined to an airline seat. Then the absurdity of a saddle seat would be a non-issue. Let’s face it–it is dangerous to your health to fly anywhere these days–once you get stuck in your seat, you can hardly get up to go to the restroom much less exercise your legs to prevent blood clots. I am 5’5″ and have my knees wedged in as it is. IF the beverage cart can fit down the aisles, the people in the aisle seats get bumped. Also once the cart starts down the aisle, heaven help anyone that needs to get up to the restroom–it’s not going to happen for 20-30 minutes. If you are the least bit claustrophobic, get ready for a panic attack…

  24. Jules Jameson says:

    Most passangers are willing to pay more for comfort.More for a decent meal.More for a little leg room.I too will not fly this plane.

  25. starnavig8r says:

    I vote NO! Service and comfort are marginal as it is now. They keep lowering the quality of the trip; so why fly? It’s your time & health at risk, and these seats are not worth it to me, at any price. Put these saddle seats in the executive lounges and for director meetings! Let’s see how well they worK!

  26. Peter Campbell says:

    The simple answer is no! I would simply walk off the flight and demand my luggage. Of course the more simple thing to do is ask before either purchasing or boarding. I am obese, tough, and I can not ride a horse since they run screaming when they see me coming. Over share!

    We have to remember we have the power. We are the PAYING customers. We have to decide how important is it and just whether or not it’s worth it. If you fly for business purposes like I do then there is no issue. The customer pays for it. And if your employer tries the argument that the employer pays for it, then give them the steely look.

    The “saddle seats” are truly a stupid idea, but would appeal to the likes of Ryan Air who have absolutely no concept of customer service. And if you want to fly with an airline that buys these things then it’s your own fault.

  27. JohnH says:

    These are in my no-fly zone! I’m a frequent overseas flier and no sane airline would offer these on a 10-hour trip to Dubai. For flights inside Europe, Mideast, USA, etc. I would simply avoid even considering an airline that might offer such seats. That airline would be on my blacklist along with Uzbek International!

  28. Pat Warman says:

    Why not drug us, stick us in coffins and ship us horizontally? It would be way more comfortable then the absurdity of the saddle seats!

  29. Sarah Z says:

    The airline industry is getting way out of line with everything-luggage, the new body scanners,and ticket prices. If they force this new seat on us, I say everybody stop flying for a day to protest and we would see a big change in their thinking. Hit them in their wallet! I have bad knees and these seats would have me in tears. Enough is enough!!!

  30. Tony says:

    There you go!..just very recently I participate in a blog about air traveling..and you know what,,about 80% of people complained very badly about reclining seats,,”because” “when people in front of them recline back they just were (invading their space)..I wrote in that blog: keep complaining about reclining seats and you all very soon will see how the airlines who don’t know how and always thinking on stuff more passenger into what already is a sardine can will establish the straight unmovabale seats. Once again,..there yougo for all of you. ARE YOU HAPPY NOW?? no worries anymore about (invading your space)

  31. Pat Heffron says:

    Unless you have a flight full of munchkins it is probably one of the most idotic ideas I’ve heard-can’t believe any airline would be stupid enough to consider this type of seat.

  32. Jerry Park says:

    Not now – not ever! I will not fly any airline that installs this kind of torture device on their planes. Period. End of story. I will take a bus before I put up with something like this.

  33. I often wondered what it would take to stop my love of travel. This is it.

  34. Jolly8 says:

    NEVER! We now try to fly as little as possible, hopefully, rarely. I retired & gave up road warriorship when we lost to the enemy & now face harassment whenever we have to fly. Bad enough that leg braces are looked at as if they are bombs or a drug cache. Illegal palm of hand contact is another winner. Don’t complain or you’ll miss your flight as they inspect you. Radiation? Sure, do a full body scan! The enemy won the war! We lost freedom! I agree with Pat Warman, go in a box!

  35. J Cot says:

    NEVER, NEVER, NEVER will I let them do this to me! Pure torture!

  36. Rick says:

    My software was stolen from my lap top carry case. How did they have that much time to do that. Yes I sent it trgough inside my suitcase. In enconomy I am already cramped and now they want to squeeze me in a smaller space? I do not think so. What the blood clots suffered from sitting cramped. So no to the saddle seats. Also what about the extra weight. I guess we are going to leave our suitcases behind so they can send them to us on another plane at an additional charge. The suit case plane. This would be the end of my flying. Ric

  37. BryanP says:

    Lets get real here. They have already moved the commoner seats closer together called PITCH and did we see the price drop? Has airlines always charged for meals? Did the seats get more comfortable? Do they charge less for on board drinks? Did we always pay for baggage? Everyone knows what a Capitalist is, right?
    I believe if they packed us in with crowbars and presses until we couldn’t breathe the price would eventually go up and up and up.The inventor can take his saddle and slap it on his own skinny butt.

  38. Rick says:

    Saddle seats!!! The airlines who are thinking about installing these seats have got to be joking. This has got to be a joke? As much of a joke as standing room and pay toilets. As for standing room, I fear that the FAA will approve this in order to allow passengers to trade safety for a reduced air fare. What’s next, paying half price to ride in the baggage hold? Charging us to breathe airplane air? I goes from the stupid to the ridiculous to the sublime.

  39. Rick says:

    Saddle seats!!! The airlines who are thinking about installing these seats have got to be joking. This has got to be a joke? As much of a joke as standing room and pay toilets. As for standing room, I fear that the FAA will approve this in order to allow passengers to trade safety for a reduced air fare. What’s next, paying half price to ride in the baggage hold? Charging us to breathe airplane air? It goes from the stupid to the ridiculous to the sublime.

  40. robo1 says:

    This is a new low.
    I can see a 45 minute flight as an able bodied adult who didn’t need
    a bathroom or enjoyed meditating upright. Otherwise this is bad.
    I cannot ever consider such a thing because it is so physical limiting.

  41. Loves 2 Travel says:

    I saw this “idea” the other day. What kinds of morons would even design and market such a contraption? I’m with the rest of the commenters here… under NO circumstances would I fly on an airline that offered this at ANY price. One thing that hasn’t been mentioned here… what about the safety of the seats in the event of a (god forbid) emergency landing??? i was on a plane a few years ago that had to make just such a landing and it was terrifying. Fortunately no one was hurt. I can’t imagine these seats withstanding any kind of stress or affording any type of protection. To the contrary, they look dangerous, unhealthful and dreadfully uncomfortable. Where in the heck are the regulatory agencies?

  42. FossilCO says:

    They give me the creeps! Too too close to someone I don’t know!

  43. Richard Gale says:

    Twice this year I have elected to drive rather than suffer the hostilities and indignities of flying. I expect to make this decision more often in the future. The airlines are poisoning the water they drink.

  44. ayeamcdn says:

    Not in a month of Sundays would I get on an airline which had these seats on their planes. Not a chance in ….

  45. gale brown says:


  46. Chris Sutcliffe says:

    I didn’t realize that today is April Fool’s Day! It must be — there’s no other explanation for such a bad idea!

  47. Pam says:

    Any airline that installs saddle seats better plan on going out of business quickly. We’ve put up with narrower seats,less leg room,no meals and luggage fees. This is going too far! I can’t believe anyone would put with saddle seats under any circumstances, no matter how short the trip was. Only a cruel, sadistic person with a private plane could have created this assinine seat, and only a person of like mind would think people would put up with an airline that installs them.

  48. KHumphrey says:

    Up to THREE HOURS in a seat that barely allows you to MOVE?!? You have got to be kidding me. My butt hurts already.

  49. Jake Hay says:

    Having just returned to the Midwest from the East Coast, on a 3-hour flight that left my legs numb from being crammed into a middle seat, I will state uncategorically that the concept of such seating is beyond absurd. Airlines have become so greedy and downright hostile to passengers that boycotting them all seems perfectly reasonable. Of course this isn’t possible, or even practical, because…unfortunately…some people MUST fly for business or personal reasons. However, it’s far past time for passengers to stand up and scream “ENOUGH!” Saddle seats are the last straw as far as I’m concerned.

  50. jc says:

    Never! I won’t fly on an airline that charges for luggage, nor will I buy food on a flight. Why then would I subject myself to a saddle seat? Let the airlines CEO’s “enjoy” them.

Leave a Reply