Just when you thought it wasn't possible to feel any less comfortable on an airplane, there goes Airbus somehow adding more seats to its already cramped rows. Last year, the airline manufacturer announced plans to develop an 11-across configuration in economy class on its A380s. Typical A380s, used on long-haul flights, sit 10 across.
This week, at an airline convention in Hamburg, Germany, Airbus unveiled the prototype.
Somehow, the seats still have a standard 18 inches of sitting room. Space for the extra seat came from cutting width in other areas. Nonetheless, "comfortable" is not the word one would use to describe how people look while seated in the 11-across configuration.
As one might expect, industry response was not overwhelmingly positive.
Airbus is apparently betting on further segmentation of the economy cabin in coming years. While airlines continue to invest in premium economy, at the other end of the spectrum is what's being called "budget economy." You could also call it "cramped."
The sole ray of sunshine in Airbus's plan? The 11-across seats aren't available until 2017. Phew.