In an age of technological wonders and ingenious design, I can't imagine why in the name of all that is holy, sacred, and made of fur, we can't have comfortable economy seats in airplanes. Apparently, someone is thinking about that too:
At the top of the seat there is a movable winged head-and neck-rest cushion; and when you recline your seat-back panel, the seat-base sitting area moves forward by a couple of inches.
This type of mechanism is frequently used for seats at theatres, cinemas and sports stadiums because it provides an added amount of personal comfort without encroaching on the space of the people in the row behind you.
The Qantas long-haul economy-class experience is further enhanced by the addition of footrest nets placed under the seats of the row in front of you.
When stretching out, passengers can get their feet off the floor and supported in a comfortably flexible cradle. This ingenious innovation is much simpler to use than the traditional front-or rear-projecting foot bars — the nets stop passengers from sliding forward when they are sleeping [...] the footrest net is an excellent accessory because it is virtually weightless.
That's how Jennifer Coutts Clay—author of Jetliner Cabins—describes the economy class seat in Qantas' long-distance flights, which just got an Australian design price. It sounds marginally better than the torture chairs that we are used to. Not that much better, but better.
Nevertheless, it's amazing that the majority of passengers still get treated like cattle, while just a few decades ago flying was a much more comfortable experience. Our comfort keeps getting down along with the price of tickets. And while I appreciate prices going down, did anyone ask me about making the wonderful experience of flying a pain in the ass?
I would gladly pay a little more to get a bit more of comfort. Not business-class super-seats or first class full beds. Just a decent, smarter seat like the one described above, with enough space around it. Just a few more inches will do wonders, really. You know, a seat where I don't have to get my personal space constantly violated by some man with body odor problems drooling over my shoulder while he's sleeping. [Jetliner Cabins via Runway Girl]