Double-Leveled Seating: Double the Trouble

As if air travel couldn’t get any worse, a European company applies for a patent to somehow cram even more passengers onto crowded airlines.

Double-Leveled Seating: Double the Trouble

Taylor Terreri, Columnist

Who thought that commercial flights could get any worse? Envision the crying toddler kicking your seat, the cramped seating in economy class, and don’t even get me started on going through security. But despite the horror story, Airbus inventors Stephen Sontag, Paul Edwards, and Benedict Kircher somehow found a way with double level seating.

The design is intended for wider commercial jets with three columns of seating because Airbus feels that these planes, according  to their patent application “are not utilized to their full economic potential.” This design would feature the double level only on the middle column of the plane, fitting two additional people per row.

But is this really worth it? Shouldn’t the comfort and peace of mind of the passengers come first? Air travel is already an anxiety-provoking experience for many people and this could cause even more related stress. There would be even more people crammed onto the flight and could cause a multitude of problems. For starters, those prone to claustrophobia would be even more anxious than usual on a flight because of the increased number of passengers. Even if you don’t become extremely anxious around crowds, it still isn’t comfortable to be in that small of a space. And don’t forget about the noise level that comes with an increased level of people. This would most definitely cause issues with some people who have autism, aspergers, anxiety, or a sensory disorder. It simply would be impossible to fly on these planes for a wide range of people everywhere.

The design creates a potentially unclean and rather disgusting environment for passengers. Food and drink falling down from above would likely be a regular occurrence. Expensive laptops and mobile devices that many people bring for entertainment could be ruined if someone simply spills a drink. There’s also the horrendous possibility of getting vomited on from above as many people become nauseated while flying and that often leads to vomiting. That would be a nightmare, seeing as you’re already on a commercial flight (like that’s not horrible enough) and then someone throws up on you from above. I would not want to take that chance and I can’t imagine anyone else doing so. The smell of the multitude of people could become unbearable; you have people passing gas, burping, and sweating all over the place. It would smell worse than a zoo.

There would also be very little comfort for the unfortunate people who would sit on the upper level; with increased feelings of turbulence and less service than other passengers, it doesn’t seem worth the trouble. It would be an economy economy class. These passengers would likely not be able to consume certain foods or drinks out of consideration for the passengers below.

But there is a slight plus side to this horrendous design: the seats to recline all the way back into a bed, offering more room and making it easier to get rest on long flights. But personally, lying next to a total stranger would be extremely uncomfortable and just awkward in general. Although seats on these flights would likely be cheaper, I don’t think the price is worth the discomfort and additional stress.

But don’t worry, according to Telegraph, there’s very little chance that this will ever make it past the initial stage of design. Airbus has applied for a numerous amount of outrageous patents that have never been brought into action. So our levels of comfort and sanity on commercial flights will likely stay the same as always.